7 last-minute Toronto getaways to stretch out your summer

As humid and sticky as you are right now, Toronto, this.

As humid and sticky as you are right now, Toronto, this weather will not last. Before it goes away, you should take advantage of some great activities and destinations that are waiting for you just outside of the city. Here are seven last-minute getaways that aren’t your typical cottage country weekend, and they’re all within easy driving distance from Toronto. 

Treehouse in Durham

This treehouse is for real. Available for rent through Airbnb, TripAdvisor or directly through its owners, this elevated cabin space has tons a lot of appeal for those of us who still dream about living among trees. Bring a few friends with you and rent out the on-site cabin space too. There’s even a refurbished Airstream camper nearby, in case your friends’ friends want to join you in Durham. 

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Learn to Train a Hawk

Imagine seeing a bird of prey swooping towards you – and knowing how to handle yourself. Just an hour outside of Toronto, Hawkeye provides bird-lovers with a chance to experience falconry for a day. You’ll meet and learn about a Peregrine falcon, an eagle, an owl and a Harris hawk, and then actually “fly” a bird of prey. Choose a one- to three-hour time slot and be sure to bring your camera. 


Rent a Houseboat

Love being on the water? Like, really love it? Well, you can live on it for a time by renting a houseboat and touring around the Trent-Severn waterway. Find a quiet place in a secluded bay or stay overnight next to small towns with historical landmarks, shops, restaurants and parks. These boats are easy to operate and have a six-person max capacity with plenty of room to stretch out either inside or on the roof.

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Steam and Soak at Scandinave

Everywhere you go in Scandinave’s Blue Mountain location, you will smell cedar. People in varying states of chill make short walks between hot and cold outdoor pools, indoor rest areas, a dry sauna and a foggy eucalyptus steam bath. Staff are pretty serious about keeping things quiet – this place is all about unplugging. If you haven’t booked a spot in advance, the entrance wait list grows by the minute so try to get there well before they open the doors. 

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Eco Adventure in Long Point

Ziplining, hiking, kayaking, mushroom-hunting – there are a ton of activities to do around Long Point, the thin stretch of Ontario that juts out into Lake Erie. Companies like Long Point Eco-Adventures showcase these and more in one-off bookings or as part of a vacation package. Go with a plan, but leave yourself open to surprises when exploring the natural environment out there!

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Hike to Evergreen Brick Works

Located just outside the city’s downtown core, this hike takes you up a hill behind the Brick Works buildings to a fabulous lookout point. Take in the view of the city, wander through the Don Valley Brick Works Park or visit the community environmental centre, which hosts events all week long. Stop by on Saturdays or Sundays for their farmers’ market where you can pick up some of the local and seasonal food in the city. 

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Visit a Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada is a 100-acre facility dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of donkeys. You might’ve noticed it in this Bry Webb music video. Visitors can get close and interact with these cute (i.e., Instagram-ready) animals while also exploring the grounds for hiking trails and picnic areas. And if you fall in love with a specific donkey, you can sponsor him or her and keep in touch. 

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