Welcome to lockdown 2.0: on your left you’ll find your couch and on your right you’ll find all of your past travel memories that you took for granted. But wait, could there be a light at the end of this Covid tunnel? I think we’ve all spent (nearly) the past year wondering when this will all end and how our lives are going to return to “normal”. Honestly, life may never return to the normal it once was, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to things. I compiled a little list of local (under 3 hour drive from Toronto), eco-friendly day trips to do once our stay at home order has passed and it’s safe to do so.
Disclaimer: I know driving from place to place isn’t exactly the most environmentally friendly thing you can do, but these are little day trips that I think are worth it for everyone’s mental health and happiness :).
- Southbrook Organic Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. An organic and biodynamic winery that carries some of my favourite wines in Ontario and they are Gold level LEED certified. So great! Plus, they don’t skimp on the wine tasting portions (I’m talking big glasses people).
- University of Guelph Arboretum, Guelph, Ontario. I might be a bit biased, having gone to university there, but the walking trails and gardens are really a sight to see in the Spring/Summer. There is a large focus on conservation and the grounds are used as a “living laboratory” for the students.
- Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Rosseau, Ontario. This place is amazing. I went on a tour there a few summer’s ago and it was informative and heart warming all at once. I am a HUGE softie when it comes to animals, so visiting a sanctuary is really something I love doing. They accept donations in cash and in supplies, so feel free to donate even if you can’t visit!
- Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve, Gravenhurst, Ontario. Ever feel like you can only see like 10 stars in the city of Toronto? Well, it’s because of all that light pollution. If you love astronomy or just want to see a beautifully lit up starry sky, this is the place to go. Environmental bonus: having all of your lights off to see the stars helps reduce light pollution. Torrance Barrens is also a conservation reserve, so you can spend the afternoon hiking the area before lying down to enjoy the night sky. OH and the northern lights have even been seen here! Crazy!
- The Bruce Trail, Niagara to Tobermory, Ontario. Although some of these sections are a bit far for a day trip, there’s quite a few that are great for just a few hours hike during any season of the year. I can’t recommend the Speyside section enough (my partner and I volunteer as Trail Captain’s so I may just see you there!) since there’s rarely any foot traffic. Also, you can’t forget about all of their conservation work and nature reserves. The Bruce Trail is the BEST.
- The Pigs of Pearly Acre, Douro, Ontario. I think I may have saved one of the best for last; I am DYING to go here when it opens in the Spring. My dream is to own my own hobby farm/animal rescue and pigs are a big part of that dream. They have 9 adopted and rescued pot bellies that I’ve been falling in love with via Instagram over the past year. You get to learn about the pigs and how to care for them, as well as share your veggies with them! Hopefully this inspires a few vegetarian converts or at least a meatless Monday in your household. Cute and sustainable, yes please :).
I hope these all gave you a little something to look forward to! Or at the very least, allowed you to look at this cute piglet picture. Happy dreaming you guys, keep your heads up! Love you all.