Being a city gal I have always wanted to escape on my weekend and see a part of Ontario through a different lens. If you don’t have a car and want to leave the driving to someone else after a busy week at your stressful office job – it’s time to stitch in some restorative healing into your overall health and well being.
With that goal in mind, I chose the Elora Gorge tour with Parkbus (https://www.parkbus.ca/elora). This summer, Parkbus is offering a shuttle service from four Canadian cities to four national and provincial parks. Pack your lunch, hop on board, and spend the day in the great outdoors! This service is made possible through the generous support from TD, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Parks Canada. If you live in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver – now is the time to book your next road trip.
For us city folk who rely on public transit, Parkbus will pick you and your friends at 34 Asquith in Toronto which is located about 100 meters from Bloor-Yonge subway entrance (Yonge Street Entrance). It’s that easy! They will drop you off at the same location.
One of Parkbus’ most popular day trip destinations, is the Elora Gorge. The Grand River rushes through the gorge with 22m-high cliffs in a gorgeous conservation area, before entering one of the most scenic towns in Ontario. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy tubing down the rapids. I chose to do a three hour hike along the banks of the Grand River, I rested at a few spots under some shady trees, checked out the camping grounds, had some lunch at a glorious picnic spot in the sun, read and then casually commenced my hike into town.
A hot tip, your Parkbus ticket includes park admission for the day. I would begin your day at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area which is located about 30 min away by foot to the local Town of Elora. It makes for a nice day getting some exercise in and then grabbing something to eat in town. If you prefer to skip the hike and stay in town, the Park Bus stops at the LCBO parking lot located on 23 Metcalfe St. so you can enjoy your day with the locals. Keep in mind, my hike was a solo trip and not part of a guided tour.
The Town of Elora is perched on the edge of a spectacular gorge along the banks of the Grand River. Restaurants, cafes, art galleries and boutiques line the main street. I grabbed a Kawartha Ice Cream, in Rum Raisin at the local ice cream shop and walked around taking in the sites. I checked out the Farmer’s Market where some local Mennonite women were selling their fresh produce and then took a stroll into the village to take pictures of the colourful cottages. I then made my way down to the Quarry to take in the rushing water, sat down for a moment and took some more photographs. I had 5 hours in Elora on $49 return bus trip price point. The trip was safe, affordable and reliable.
If you are a foodie and want to sample the amazing menu at the Elora Mill, I would suggest making a reservation in advance and wear your nicest outfit.
For those of us with fur babies, you are allowed to bring your dogs onto the bus. You would need to purchase a pet ticket ($10 each way) before hand. The pet must be transported either in a carrier or with a muzzle, and you assume responsibility for a cleaning fee in case their pet makes a mess on the bus. Dogs must be on a leash when in the park.
If you want to grab a 5% discount using @parkbus this month use the referral code, 1039euiwod. Tell them I sent you and have fun! 🙂 @ParksCanada @Parkbus @mec @environmentca @OntarioParks @TourismeOntario #OurNature #goodtimesoutside #parkbusgotmehere @EloraON
Have fun! Looking forward to my next trip with Parkbus!