Travel books

Backroads of Ontario


Fabulous excursions via backroads explore and celebrate Ontario in special ways.

Backroads of Ontario gives travelers the information and maps they need to explore Ontario in a new and creative way. It invites them to exit the noisy busy highways and take a trip through Ontario's countryside and its history: silent ghost towns, charming villages, century-old mills and farmhouses, dramatic cliffs, prime picnic spots, architectural curiosities, an amethyst mine, an underwater graveyard of shipwrecks and so much more.

This guidebook has been used by thousands of travelers as they have discovered some of the province's most unexpected places. In this third edition, new information updates the old, including new attractions and the most current routes and directions.

There are 24 trips, each illustrated with photographs and accompanied by an easy-to-follow map. Trips range in length from afternoon outings to weekend excursions and all lead to out-of-the-way places within easy driving distance of Ontario's major cities.

Along with the Lake Simcoe Steeple Chase, there is a tour of Ontario's prettiest, most historic and most unusual country churches, and a lock-by-lock tour of the Welland Canal, an engineering marvel lauded around the world. Here are some of the sites on these tours:

  • An 1811 Quaker Meeting House, one of the oldest buildings on Toronto's Yonge Street
  • Lagoon City, a community on Lake Simcoe built entirely upon a system of canals and known as "Ontario's Venice"
  • A historically important First Nations site of significance later known as the Toronto Carrying Place Trail
  • Oro African Church, the 1845 church built by black settlers, descendents of militiamen who served Britain in the 1812 war, likely the oldest surviving log African church in North America.


I was surprised by the number of interesting drives in regions of the province that I know very little about.
- Lisa Goodmurphy Gone With The Family Blog  on 29/04/2016

Get the book, and plan new overnight adventures or make that long trip slower but a lot more fun.
- JB Cottage Country Reflections Blog  on 04/04/2016

[Review of previous edition:] There are twenty-two places featured in the book, and we dare you not to take Brown up on his offer to visit at least one of them. Once you do, you will be setting aside days to visit many more... These destinations are impossible to resist either alone or with family and friends.
- Shelf Life  on 01/01/2014

[Review of a previous edition] Compiled by Ron Brown, who must know more about Ontario's towns, past and present than anyone else.
- Joanne Bury Community Voices  on 14/05/2004

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