Driving around has been one of the few outlets we have had as a family during our 2020/2021 house arrest. This forced me to learn much more about my local area than I ever thought I would. For those who live nearby here are my recommendations for the most scenic routes, especially in winter around the immediate west for the Toronto area (Peel, Hamilton, Niagara and Halton Regions), would love to get some more ideas if anyone would like to share:
- Belfountain Area (Caledon) – Go up Winston Churchill/Road 19 north to Belfountain area and then down through Mississauga Road/Erin Mills Parkway or Heritage Road in Brampton. The farms for half the trip will quickly give way to more nature with a few winding roads and topographically interesting sites, going up and down hill. In winter it’s Magical.
- Terra Cotta (Halton Hills) – Same rout is Belfountain, but split up where Winston Churchill turns to Road 19 and head to Terra Cotta in Halton Hills, the charming little town looks like it belongs in a Disney fairy tale story.
- Kelso Conservation Area (Milton) – Take the scenic route of Britannia Road West to Appleby Line and up to Steeles Avenue West to make your way around back east. You’ll hit a hill top with amazing views of the town nearby. If you want to go in an out faster, you can also take Hwy 401 to Appleby and drive around Steeles to get that view (then back to the Highway for a quick return back). In winter it’s equally beautiful as any other season in town.
- If you have the luxury to take a longer ride, head out to Niagara on the Lake, first through the QEW and then branching off at Exit 89. Take a first left to 90 and up to regional Road 55 to head to the little charming town. The vineyards and farms have a distinct character in winter that’s well worth the drive.
- Some where in between Niagara and Halton you might also want to try making the drive to Albion Falls near Hamilton. Take the QEW west to Red Hill Valley Pkway and keep going south and west till you hit the 403 Highway and back to east to the Toronto area. Winter is incredible, but I have to admit this drive is a definite must in the fall with the amazing tree colours in the season.
Those are definitely my top 5, would love to hear other nearby ideas!