A couple weekends ago, I swapped my heels for hiking boots and explored more of our beautiful “backyard” in the Heart of Ontario.

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I got closer to nature, explored the rich Native history, and discovered new hot spots only an hour’s drive from my home in Hamilton Halton Brant for the Red, White & True experience.
Learn more about the Red, White & True Canadian Heritage Passport in Hamilton Halton Brant for planning a trip, click here.
There are 20 offers for activities throughout the region including 2 for 1 admission at Chiefswood National Historic Site.

Our first stop was discovering the beautiful Bruce Trail and Hiking Hamilton’s Waterfalls.
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It was one of the most refreshing, beautiful and fascinating walks I’ve had in a very long time. I admit that I’m not an avid hiker or the “outdoorsy type” if you will, but after this experience, I will make sure to hit the trails more often. It’s so serene and just the feeling you get afterwards is absolutely exhilarating! Especially if you conquer those crazy Chedoke Stairs off the Bruce Trail! Learn more about Nature Unexpected with links to hikes here.

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After our 3 hour walk/hike, we headed to a quaint restaurant, CafΓ© Troy adjacent to the lovely Don Zverr Pottery.
Using locally grown products from local farms in Troy and herbs straight from their very own garden, they have a vast menu at very reasonable prices considering the quality and the first-class service. Our waiter was exceptional and the restaurant was stunning! It would be an ideal spot for intimate events, such as weddings.

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The food was splendid, so much so I may have dug right into it before taking my usual pre-meal foodtography to share.
I have had many salmon quiches in my life and this may quite possibly have been my favourite. Delicious! 

Don Zverr Pottery offered a large collection of beautifully sculpted work ready for purchasing. That included lovely hand-made ornaments which I collect for my children and picked up two.
I love that they use the beautiful pottery in the restaurant as well for serving. I will definitely be going back for a delicious meal and more pottery!

I embrace culture so I especially enjoyed learning about the rich history of the First Nations People at the Chiefswood National Historic Site and the Woodland Cultural Centre.  You never know how much you don’t actually know until you step foot in a museum! I was blown away by the lives and history of the First nations people and the amazing aboriginal art!  

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Before this trip, I admittedly knew very little about First Nations Culture and Heritage — it was well worth it and I’m so glad to have experienced it!

Officially one of my new favourite towns, I felt like I was transported back to a more simpler time in Paris Ontario.
We stayed in the beautiful and historic, Arlington Hotel, situated conveniently in downtown Paris and overlooking the beautiful streets of Paris and the Grand River.
Everything you need is located right on the street with an abundance of fantastic shops and restaurants including Stillwaters! Plate & Pour and Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe (make sure to grab there apple fritters – yum!) with their amazing views of the Grand River and awesome patio dining overlooking the river plus an amazing Chocolate Shop, Chocolate Sensations, that also offers ice cream too! I was in chocolate heaven!

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The white wine mussels and CrΓ¨me brΓ»lΓ©e at Stillwaters! Plate & Pour are definite must-haves and the atmosphere and service from our waitress was wonderful. They make you feel like they’ve known you forever. I love that. And the view is unbeatable!

The Arlington Hotel is the perfect hotel for a more relaxed, independent overnight stay.
The hotel was established in 1851 and newly renovated and re-opened in 2014. You get great views and are steps away from all the Paris attractions and the rooms are so clean and cozy.

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What really impressed me was how courteous and friendly the staff were.
I tend to have a lot of questions and we love room service, and there were absolutely no issues at all at the Arlington Hotel. In fact, they go out of their way to satisfy their guests (and this is not just because I was a review blogger! I noticed this with everyone they came across).
If you’re looking for a simple and comfortable hotel stay, this is it.
The Forks Restaurant is located on the main floor of the Arlington Hotel and we were quite impressed with their selection of cocktails and beers. The appetizers were also delicious, particularly the loaded pulled chicken nachos. YUM! The night scene is hopping at The Forks Restaurant offering live music.

I had a wonderful weekend getaway in the Heart of Ontario and I highly recommend planning a trip out there to experience our great Canadian Heritage, only an hour and a half from Toronto.
It’s a wonderful location for families, a fun adventure with friends or a romantic escape with that special someone.
You will come back feeling rejuvenated and filled with a whole new appreciation for nature and our Canadian heritage.

Disclosure: CAC received complimentary services for a thorough review of this travel experience, however as always all opinions are expressed are entirely my own.

24 comments on “Red, White & True: Exploring the Heart of Ontario”

  1. Hamilton’s waterfalls looks spectacular! We have never yet travelled down east.. there are a lot of great places to visit there though. I especially like the Don Zverr pottery- it’s so unique & would make lovely gifts.

  2. Fantastic! I went to uni in the Hammer and have not been back since having a family. All of these delights look so great and were not on my radar as a student. I must make a point of checking out the area as an “adult” now!

  3. How beautiful. I live in NB and there’s a sweet waterfall right outside my front door. (Okok so it’s through a few trees, but it’s still beautiful.) I laughed at the convenient location of the Tim’s cup at picture taking time.

  4. I didn’t know there was so much to offer so close to home! I have to check it out soon. And love the pictures of the chocolates!

  5. If I wasn’t in so much pain from arthritis I would love to take the trails in Hamilton, everything looks so beautiful!!

  6. Wow, we have been over in that area many times but have missed all of this. Looks like we need to plan a trip back to see some of these hidden treasures!

  7. Oh wow! Those photos! So beautiful! There are so many gorgeous places to visit in Ontario – very much worth exploring πŸ™‚

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