It’s safe to say that driving in downtown Toronto (i.e. the second-most congested city in Canada) isn’t exactly an enjoyable experience. But driving a hard-earned vehicle shouldn’t always be about rushing from one destination to the next; it’s about enjoying the journey along the way (with an amazing playlist).
That’s why, once the leaves turn vivid shades of yellow and red, you should swap the city for the road and take a day trip to explore the places that make our province so unique.
As the environment weighs more and more on our minds these days, we were inspired by Toyota’s line of electrified vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell) to choose destinations you’ll want to pursue in a more eco-friendly vehicle.
Plug-in hybrids have the amazing benefit of short electric-only commutes with an option to go longer distances (for instance, Toyota’s Prius Prime can go up to 1,035 km between fill-ups with combined gas and electric power) without the worry of running out of juice, and they can tackle the varied terrain that comes at them.
So, hop in your hybrid, charge your phone en route (you won’t want to miss these photo ops), and embark on one of these eight autumn day trips to take from Toronto.
Switch up the pace in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Just under a two-hour drive west of the city lay the endless vineyards, wide-open scenic roads, and charming shop-filled streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake, making for a memorable and photo-filled day trip. If the ample opportunities for wine tasting entice you a little too much, there is no shortage of B&Bs and hotels to check into for the evening.
Distance travelled: 129 km
Shake off winter at Cobourg Beach
Hop in the car and head east 117 kilometres (just over an hour’s drive) to the town of Cobourg, Ontario. After a lunch, a caffeine fix, or ice cream on the main strip, head to Cobourg Beach for some exploring, relaxing, and enjoying the soothing sounds of the water. The sandy beach features a boardwalk, picnic area, and a seasonal snack bar.
Distance travelled: 117 km
Chase waterfalls in Hamilton
There’s more than meets the eye to Hamilton. These days, it’s living up to its long-time nickname as “The Ambitious City,” having come an impressively long way on the arts and culture front. While this offers incentive to make the one-hour drive, Hamilton is also home to some 100 waterfalls (!) to chase. Some notable ones to check off your list include the Tews, Webster’s, and Albion Falls.
Distance travelled: 68 km
Connect with nature at Ferris Provincial Park
For a break from the concrete, hit the road and take a two-hour drive to Campbellford, Ontario to Ferris Provincial Park. Hikes through the scenic park offer memory-ingraining views of nature and waterfalls, fresh air, and the star of the show, the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge, which hangs over the Trent River Gorge.
Distance travelled: 182 km
Step back in time in St. Jacobs
You can celebrate the simple things and simpler times in St. Jacobs. Located just north of Waterloo, St. Jacobs is best known for its Mennonite culture, something guests can learn all about. Here, you’ll find dozens of specialty shops, quaint restaurants, and a farmers’ market.
Distance travelled: 126 km
Get active in Grey County
Winter hot spots Grey County and its largest ski resort Blue Mountain are just as worthy of a day trip in the fall. Part of the Georgian Triangle and just over a two-hour drive from the city, Grey Country is full of fun things to do once the slopes close for the season, like biking, hiking, zip-lining, exploring the nearby Scenic Caves, or relaxing in the Scandinave Spa.
Distance travelled: 169 km
Brush up on your Shakespeare in Stratford
About a two-hour drive west from Toronto is the picturesque town of Stratford. Offering a solid “Sunday Funday” option, the town features arts, culture, vibrant local businesses, and even a brewery. Stratford is best known, however, for its famous Stratford Festival, a celebrated theatre festival that takes over the town from spring to fall and attracts guests from around the world.
Distance travelled: 154 km
Break in your hiking boots at Dundas Peak
About an hour’s drive from Toronto in the community of Dundas, you’ll find the picturesque hiking opportunities offered at Dundas Peak. This spot really shines in the fall with its perfect vantage points for taking in the cornucopia of bright autumn hues. The photo-worthy peak is accessed via nature trails of the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area and overlooks towns and waterfalls.
Distance travelled: 73 km
As fall approaches, weekend road trips are definitely a refreshing way to escape the city grind. With instant torque and lasting power to push the distance, Toyota hybrid cars can take on any journey — without denting your wallet.
Bringing the whole gang? A solid choice for the weekend road trip enthusiasts, Toyota’s hybrid SUVs offer room for everything from bikes and warm blankets to the dog and baby gear.
Ready to upgrade for the fall season? Visit your nearest Toyota showroom to test drive a hybrid for yourself.