Leaves the work to them

On­tario fall colours re­port rakes to­gether key road-trip info

Toronto Sun - - TRAVEL - IAN SHANTZ

Re­joice, fo­liage fa­nat­ics. Th­ese are the prime days of an awe­some au­tumn – and there are at least a few weeks re­main­ing to en­joy On­tario’s spec­tac­u­lar sea­sonal swatch.

While the an­nual au­tumn spec­ta­cle — namely, leaves chang­ing colour — is a short sea­son rel­a­tive to the prov­ince’s long, cold win­ters, there’s no short­age of tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties to be har­vested. To that end, On­tario’s of­fi­cial travel mar­ket­ing agency has once again raked up all the stats and info per­ti­nent to all things au­tum­nal, help­ing you plan your next pump­kin spice latte, knit­ted sweater-wear­ing ad­ven­ture.

Com­piled weekly from early Septem­ber to late Oc­to­ber, Des­ti­na­tion On­tario’s fall colour pro­gres­sion re­port (avail­able at www.on­tar­i­o­travel.net) ex­am­ines the colour change of leaves in re­gions through­out the prov­ince, along with a list of trip ideas and lo­cal events. For ex­am­ple, the lat­est re­port in­di­cates the Thun­der Bay area has reached 65% of its colour change, with dras­tic change ex­pected in the com­ing days due to frost in the fore­cast. The re­port fur­ther adds that in­com­ing shades of yel­low and gold are com­ing on strong, while sug­gest­ing Sleep­ing Gi­ant Provin­cial Park and the Thun­der Bay Look­out Trail as ex­cel­lent van­tage points for vis­i­tors.

To the south­west, Grey County, in­clud­ing Owen Sound and Beaver Val­ley, has only wit­nessed 20% to 30% colour change, while the Ot­tawa re­gion, also at about 20% to 30% change, has nu­mer­ous events listed for the com­ing weeks.

This fall view­ing sea­son has been an ap­par­ent step up from re­cent years, help­ing give the pro­gram a nice boost.

“We’re find­ing that (the re­port is) ac­tu­ally get­ting more and more pop­u­lar be­cause road trips and fall colour tour­ing is some­thing that every­one seems to be very in­ter­ested in, es­pe­cially this year,” said Des­ti­na­tion On­tario’s Kevin For­get, adding the growth of so­cial me­dia – and the hard­core selfie en­thu­si­ast – likely hasn’t hurt the ef­fort.

While the most pop­u­lar fall ar­eas from year to year typ­i­cally in­clude places such as Dorset, the Muskoka re­gion and The Blue Moun­tains, GTA fall colour op­tions, such as High Park, are in abun­dance.

Just know, a week­end get­away to Al­go­nquin Park in the com­ing week or two might not be as per­fect as your en­vi­sion.

“Ev­ery­body and their brother is go­ing to Al­go­nquin Park. Traf­fic jams,” For­get said. “Every­one seems to sort of grav­i­tate to­wards Al­go­nquin Park and we sort of say, ‘Don’t do that.’ It’s not the only place to see the fall colours and it’s re­ally, re­ally busy at this time of year.”

CP FILES

Work­ers in Toronto’s High Park round up au­tumn leaves.

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