Travel article: What You Didn't Know About Burlington, Ontario

Travel blogger: Raelynne Larson

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Burlington, ON, Canada

Canada 6 days - June 2019


Burlington, Canada is a gorgeous city tucked between Niagara Falls and Toronto, situated directly on the shores of scenic Lake Ontario. It’s a wonderful place to visit, brimming with nature, history, and culture, and yet, it's still a bit off-the-beaten-path. There are many things about this special city that set it apart from other Canadian tourist destinations, which also make it an exception city to relocate to. Here’s what you didn’t know about Burlington:

The art is astounding

At the Art Gallery of Burlington, which is the seventh biggest public art gallery in Ontario, travelers can check out the largest collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics in the world, plus peruse the always-exciting exhibitions. In addition to the AGB, there are several other small-scale galleries and studios worth seeing, including the Teresa Seaton Studio & Gallery, which boasts beautiful stained-glass art. In the downtown area, Frederick Fine Art is another lovely gallery.  

The nature is incredible

Outdoor lovers will have a field day in Burlington. This urban oasis is home to lush city parks, tree-lined streets, a waterfront playground, and plenty of hiking and biking paths. For those who enjoy looking at beautiful blooms and plants, the Royal Botanical Gardens are a must-visit. This is Canada’s largest botanical garden, and one of the top attractions in Burlington—it features four outdoor gardens and one greenhouse, and there are even three restaurants on the premises.

Into long hikes and natural scenery? Spend the morning on the famed Bruce Trail (the country’s longest and oldest footpath!), which juts up from the Niagara River to Tobermory, passing through Burlington along the way. Your efforts will be well worth it: On the Bruce Trail, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views, waterfalls, and exciting wildlife. For outdoorsy types, there’s much to love about Burlington and the surrounding area.

The culture is world-class

Whether you’re into architecture, the arts, or history, Burlington has a little something for every type of culture vulture. To start, the Ireland House Museum is a fascinating museum that celebrates the history of the city from the 1830s to the 1920s, through the eyes of the well-known Ireland family. Beautiful Paletta Lakefront Park is home to the Paletta Mansion, which was built in 1930 and is divided into two parts: the estate lands and the flood plain of pristine Shore Acres Creek. And downtown, there are dozens of architecturally significant buildings, including late Victorian and Gothic Revival mansions as well as historic churches (namely, the Knox Presbyterian Church and L’Eglise St Philippe Church) and homes from the picturesque period of Victorian Vernacular architecture. 

Finally, those in the mood for live comedy, theatre, ballet, or modern dance can take in a show at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Here, talented local theatre companies perform full productions throughout the year, and through the free Concerts in the Park series, visitors can enjoy listening to local musicians. Burlington is teeming with culture in many forms; if it’s your first time here, be sure to go on an organized walking tour so you can get acquainted with everything the city has to offer.

The food is fantastic

Did you know that Burlington is home to over 200 restaurants, many of which are considered by many to be some of the best in Canada? Be sure to take advantage of Burlington’s foodie culture by indulging in fresh seafood, delectable Chinese or Thai fare, or tasty Italian cuisine—Son of a Peach, Pepperwood's, and Spencer’s at the Waterfront are all great picks, though you really can't go wrong with any of Burlington's many acclaimed downtown restaurants.

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