Souvenirs from Ontario
If you've planned a trip to Ontario, be sure to bring a big suitcase! Not only will you need to prepare for many different weather conditions and terrains, but you're also sure to return home with your bags full of keepsakes. These souvenirs will remind you of the incredible range of activities you enjoyed and friendly people you met. Mementos of Ontario's cosmopolitan cities might include scale-sized models of the famous CN Tower, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Casa Loma in Toronto, or the Parliament Buildings and Maman sculpture in Ottawa. Proud Canadians love to wear T-shirts displaying their bold red-and-white maple leaf flag. You can buy one too, and you might even be mistaken for a local. From Niagara Falls to Algonquin Park, Ontario's park system is one of the greatest in North America, and you can find an incredible array of souvenirs, from simple postcards to one-of-a-kind art.
Ontario's Aboriginal People, a Unique Culture
Many of the First Nations of Canada are based in Ontario, and their unique culture is an important part of Canadian society. Some of the most beautiful mementos of Ontario are native Canadian arts and crafts. A visit to the naturally pristine Manitoulin Island, where many First Nations people live, is worth the long, long trip north! There, you can buy native woodcarvings, including ceremonial tobacco pipes and figurines. Carvings made from deer antlers are especially valuable, and hand-made prints and paintings, which usually depict plants and animals, reflect the distinctive talents of First Nations artists. Native Canadians are also well known for their skill at producing deerskin moccasins, a welcome souvenir on a chilly evening. Another famous icon of First Nations culture is the Inukshuk, a name for large stone sculptures that they have erected along Arctic coastlands for thousands of years. Replicas of the Inukshuk made of stone, plastic, wood, or metal are widely available across Ontario.
Ontario is a World-Class Culinary Destination
Ontario is committed to producing four-star gastronomy, and is most famous for its wine, beer, and maple syrup. The province is especially well known for its icewine, which is a dessert wine produced from grapes that have frozen right on the vine and then been pressed. It is only produced in a few places worldwide, and the grapes can only be harvested in the first cold nights of the winter. Icewine is a great delicacy, and a perfect gift to bring home from your trip. Microbreweries also abound in Ontario, and a few local porters or pilsners are always welcome souvenirs! In addition to its rolling vineyards, the Niagara region is dotted with lavender farms. You can buy lavender for culinary and decorative uses, a great memento of some of the world's most fertile farmland. Because much of Ontario is covered with maple forests, Ontario maple syrup is a major export. You might choose to visit a maple farm and tap your own syrup. Whether or not you visit the farms themselves, a bottle of maple syrup is a must-have souvenir from Ontario! Ontarians swear it is the best in the world.
Ontario, a Sportsman's Paradise
Ontario is an enormous place, and its wilderness is pristine and varied. If you are going to visit Ontario, you must be planning a trip to a national park. Hopefully, you'll be lucky enough to spot moose, bears, foxes, deer, and even wolves. You can remember these thrilling encounters with cuddly stuffed versions of the animals you saw on the trip, which are widely available around the province's parks. Some even come wearing a Canadian flag T-shirt, so you'll always remember where you got them! Ontario's parks also boast scenic vistas and one-of-a kind landmarks. A souvenir plate, mug, or T-shirt emblazoned with famous Niagara Falls is an easily recognizable sign that you traveled to Ontario. Framed photographs, nature books, and natural keepsakes such as gold-dipped pinecone and maple leaf jewelry are other great ways to remember some of the world's most unspoiled wilderness. Some of Ontario's first settlers were fur trappers, and their tradition continues with the wide selection of fine fur and leather products that are available in fine shops throughout the province. A new leather jacket or briefcase is a useful purchase that will always remind you of your adventures.
From Toronto to Ottawa: Ontario's City Destinations
Toronto is a modern city with an international flair and an exciting nightlife, while Ottawa, the nation's capital, offers a thriving art scene, historical architecture, and lots to discover about Canadian culture. In both cities, you are sure to find more irresistible mementos than you can anticipate! Toronto, for example, is known for its antique markets. Beautiful handmade furniture, textiles, home decor and art abounds. In the maze-like antique malls of Toronto's West End, the hunt for treasures is half the fun, so be sure to set aside an afternoon to collect the most precious and unique souvenirs you can find. Toronto is a city of neighborhoods and one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. On stroll through the city, you can find jewelry in Little India, preserves and fine cooking supplies in Portugal Village, and discount clothing and electronics in Chinatown. Ottawa has its own set of temptations for the traveler and collector. Ottawa is one of the epicenters of hockey, a game that Canadians are crazily passionate about. Commemorate your trip to a hockey game with a jersey, hat, or team hockey puck. Miniatures of the Gothic buildings on Parliament Hill and other famous Ottawa architecture are also great keepsakes from your trip to Canada's capital city.
Did You Buy a Conversation Piece in Ontario? Share These Fun Facts with your Friends!
- Icewine is very valuable because it is so labor-intensive to produce. Because the grapes must be harvested when frozen solid - yet still full of juice - they are picked in the middle of the night at temperatures below -8 degrees Celsius, always by hand.
- You are almost always guaranteed to see a rainbow over Niagara Falls. That's why so many Niagara Falls souvenirs show a rainbow arching over the river.
- In the winter, you can skate right through the city of Ottawa on the frozen Rideau Canal. Souvenir prints of the city often feature groups of ice skaters.
- Algonquin Park is considered to be one of the finest moose-viewing areas in the world. There are an estimated 3,300 moose residing within the park. Moose are aggressive, so don't get too close! Buy a picture taken with a zoom lens, and then you can tell your friends at home that you were so close to the moose you could pet it.
- Over half of Toronto's population was born outside of Canada. Take advantage of the diversity and visit the city's unique ethnic shopping districts.
- The official bird of Ontario is the common loon, which earned its name because its call is said to sound like the laugh of a crazy person. Stuffed loons that make the unusual call when squeezed can be quite surprising!