Road Trip from Toronto – Elora and the Gorge

By: Jim Bamboulis

No matter what time of year you decide to pack up the car and take a road trip, there’s always a place to explore in Ontario that’s worth the trip. One of those great spots is Elora. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or a serene and charming small town feel, you’ll find both in Elora, definitely one of the most beautiful towns in Ontario.

It’s only about an hour and a half west of Toronto (map) and yet, it feels like you’re in another world far away from the big city. Loaded with a thriving art and culture scene, rich history, boutiques and restaurants it’s also home to an unreal gorge you probably no idea was this close to Toronto.

The Elora Mill is Ontario’s only remaining five-story mill. It has gone through a massive renovation over the past few years with the plan being to transform it into an inn and restaurant. Adjacent is Elora’s Tooth of Time, the Islet Rock that divides the powerful waters of the Grand River as they go down the Gorge.

If you’re more of an adventure seeker, then Elora will keep you wanting more time to do more stuff.

For cyclists, hikers and walkers, hit a portion of the Trans-Canada Trail which connects with the 47km long Elora Cataract Trail. The trails take you through some incredible terrain and scenery, including a descent down the gorge and to the river’s shore.

The Elora Gorge itself and the activities you can enjoy is arguably the biggest draw to this region. The limestone cliffs are more than 70 feet high and stand tall along the Grand and Irvine Rivers. Here you’ll find everything from kayakers, tubers and swimmers. If you want to get up and see it all from above, there are several hot air balloon as well as zip line companies in the area. If you prefer to stay on the ground, then take your pick as to what activity you want to do.

And then there’s the Elora Quarry, also known as the “old swimming hole”. This is a 2 acre former limestone quarry surrounded by 40 foot cliffs. A stunning backdrop and a really cool place to swim.

Beautiful, close to Toronto and plenty to see and do. Elora is a great getaway any time of year. For more information about events in Elora and surrounding area, check out this website.

Did we miss something that you feel we should have included? Let us know in the comment box below.

Happy travels everyone!


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