If it wasn’t on social media, it didn’t happen. Nowadays we live for the beautiful places we visit, not only to enjoy them ourselves, but to share them with friends, family and associates on social media.
From Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay, from the countryside of the West, to the Ottawa River Valley in the East, Ontario is an aesthetically diverse province, with landscapes, coasts, and colourful foliage, offering numerous iconic places to get memorable pictures.
Home to quaint towns, cities rich in history, and Canada’s largest metropolis, there are famous sites which explorers have long sought to check off their bucket list.
As the rise of social media continues, Ontario’s hidden gems and wonders have increased in recognition and popularity. Previously, it took travel brochures, guide books, and word of mouth to know about some of these picture-perfect locations. Now, you’ll see landmarks, sites, and natural features frequently spotted on your friends’ pages on social media.
These are some of the most Instagrammed, Facebooked, Pinterested, and Snapchatted places you’re sure to see on social media!
1 SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS
Known as “A Natural Wonder in the City”, the “ The Bluffs” are located in the GTA suburb of Scarborough, just over a half hour drive from downtown Toronto. It is one of many parks located along the geographical formation, the bluffs—a type of broad rounded cliff —along the shore of Lake Ontario. If you’re adventurous, you can hike to the top of the 100 metre cliffs, which makes a perfect snap for social media, as on nice days the turquoise waters and sandy beaches resemble a setting like those in the Mediterranean sea.
2 CN TOWER
A recognized Wonder of the Modern World, it’s no surprise that Canada’s iconic 553.3 metre tower in downtown Toronto is one of the most popular shots on a traveller’s bucket list. For Torontonians, the tower represents one of the main symbols of their home, as it’s the most eye-catching piece of the skyline, next to the Roger’s Centre’s dome. According to a study done last year by On the Go Tours, it is one of the 12 most popular landmarks based on the number of hashtags on Instagram, as #CNTower’ has been used over a million times.
3 OUIMET CANYON PROVINCIAL PARK
If you venture up to under Bay in Northwestern Ontario, you can see the spectacular gorge known as Ouimet Canyon. The canyon is 100 metres deep, 150 metres wide, and 2,000 metres long. Visitors can enjoy a hike along the walkway consisting of boardwalks and trails, which lead to viewing points for great photo ops overlooking the beautiful gorge. See if you can spot the formation known as the Indian Head rock.
4 THE DISTILLERY DISTRICT
One of Downtown Toronto’s hot spots for both visitors and locals, The Distillery Historic District is a national historic site comprising 47 buildings of the old Gooderham & Worts Distillery. The pedestrian-only neighbourhood has kept its 19th century charm with the restored old buildings and cobblestone streets, and is filled with boutique shops, galleries and lively bars and restaurants. Be sure to get a photo with one of the many art installations, the most popular being the ‘Love Lock’, where the letters L-O-V-E are are adorned with hand-decorated padlocks.
5 PARLIAMENT HILL
Referred to as ‘The Centrepiece of Downtown Ottawa’s landscape’, Parliament Hill is a political and cultural landmark on the Southern Banks of the Ottawa River. Gothic-style parliament buildings sit atop the dramatic hillside setting. Pose in front of the Centre Block to get a great photo with the 92.2 metre Peace Tower in the background.
6 WHITE WATER WALK
Here in Niagara, the White Water Walk is a board walk situated on the Niagara River, where you can get an up close experience with the class 6 white water rapids. You must take an elevator 70 metres down to Niagara’s Gorge and pass through a tunnel which leads out to the board walk, taking you adjacent to the thrilling rapids. This attraction gets very busy, so it is best to go towards the end of the day for a beautiful picture at sunset.
7 DECEW FALLS
One of numerous waterfalls within the Niagara Escarpment, DeCew Falls is comprised of both Upper DeCew Falls, a 22 metre plunge waterfall, and Lower DeCew Falls, an 8 metre cascade waterfall. You can hike along the Bruce Trail which offers an infinity of spots for pretty pictures, but to get right up close to the falls you’ll need to wear some good shoes, as the hike down is very steep. With this shot, your followers may ask if your photo was taken in Costa Rica or Hawaii!
8 NIAGARA FALLS
Self-proclaimed as the new 8th Wonder of the World, Niagara Falls is a natural wonder which you cannot visit without getting a photo to post on social media. There are several vantage points to which you can capture a great photo, including the Journey Behind the Falls and Hornblower viewing platforms, the walkway in from of the Table Rock Centre with the falls falling behind, and across from the American and Bridal Veil Falls. Of course, the most popular is the backdrop of the beautiful Horseshoe Falls, during the day or when illuminated at night.
9 BLUE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
A popular vacation spot in all seasons, Blue Mountain is an alpine ski resort located just Northwest of Collingwood, between the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment and the shores of Georgian Bay. The Blue Mountain Village captures the hearts of many cell phone cameras, as the unique four storey buildings reflect turn-of-the- century rural Ontario architecture. These beautiful four-storey buildings house unique restaurants and shops, and the public spaces host festivals and events year-round.
10 THOUSAND ISLANDS
The Thousand Islands in Gananoque is an archipelago of over 1,800 islands in the St. Lawrence River between the U.S. and Canadian border. For the best picture-perfect spots, it is best to explore by boat, either on a private vessel or on one of the river cruises. There are numerous spots within the #thousandislands area where social media users take photos, but the most popular include the German-style Boldt Castle on Heart Island or any activity enjoyed in the Thousand Islands National Park in the summertime.