Written by Terisa Able.
One of the greatest experiences is going to new places with no one but yourself for company. Being alone in a foreign city is the best way to become completely entrenched with the local culture. Every city in Canada has something truly unique to offer the experimental traveler, so here are a few ideas of places to go by yourself!
St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market
St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market is the most popular Ontario outdoor market. All you need to do is rent a car, take a short drive and you’ll find yourself in an atmosphere of sensory overload, complete with delicious cuisine. If you’re in the mood to try an intense variety of fresh flavors of exquisite fare, meander through the St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market, where you can sample rare treats like homemade sausages and freshly grown fruits and vegetables. The “market” is located in the heart of Ontario and provides a perfect opportunity to mingle with locals.
If you’re a person who enjoys travelling solitarily, chances are that you enjoy some kind of impassioned hobby— like hiking. There are few better places to visit to get into the hiking groove than Gatineau Park. This gorgeous landscape offers over 1,500 miles of extensive climbing and hiking trails, accessible and safe for the solo hiker. Here you can find solace and comfort climbing to the tops of incredible peaks, visiting Lake Louise, or enjoying a relaxing afternoon spent exploring the McKenzie King Estate, built in 1903 by Canada’s tenth prime minister.
Royal Ontario Museum
If you are a history buff who prefers to wander down the path of knowledge alone, there is no better museum to get lost in than the Royal Ontario Museum. Situated on the north corner of the University of Toronto, and known around campus as ROM, the immense museum resembles the Smithsonian in both its range and the rarity of pieces it houses. Since its inception in 1914, the museum has accumulated and now displays over six million artifacts and pieces of history from all around the world, including dinosaur fossils, ancient mummies, Renaissance art, and modern wonders. The museum has already begun plans to celebrate their centennial anniversary next year, which will surely offer the finest galleries and exhibitions yet, so you might want to hold off on this location for a little while.
The term market has always meant more to the traveler than just its literal association with food. Markets can be a portal through time, introducing you to rare objects of the past and present that may not mean anything to anyone but you. If you happen to travel to Ottawa and have some free time to explore local hot spots, you must visit the Byward Market nestled in the heart of downtown. Infamously known for the bizarre wares and peculiar dining experiences, the Market is a place to find hidden treasure in the middle of a populated city, and to stumble upon something that you may not have known you missed.
Photo courtesy Tomas Vinar.