Painting of a rockey shore with trees in background Photo Credit: Susan Straiton as featured in Art in the County 2020 Juror’s Choice Awards

Sun’s Out Fun: Art Activities and Tours to Enjoy Across the Province

June 30, 2021

With Ontario warming up for a beautiful summer, there’s no better time to celebrate the rich beauty and heritage of the province. Scroll through for a round-up of tours and arts crawls, with some virtual options for those who prefer to explore from home. There’s much to see and experience.

Self-Guided Walking Tours and Virtual Heritage Resources by Architectural Conservatory Ontario

Ongoing, free

Explore the province with a list of walking tours compiled by the Architectural Conservatory Ontario. Locations include Coburg & Northumberland, London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Toronto, Stratford, Barrie, Mississauga, Brampton, and more. One that stands out is Port Hope’s Historic Barn Quilt Tour, featuring 23 Heritage Barns. Some of these tours are virtual, so if you’d prefer to enjoy them from home, you’re in luck.

Tours in the Town of Perth and a Walking Tour App by Heritage Perth Tourism

Ongoing, free

Check out several thematic walking tours through Heritage Perth Tourism’s Walking Tour App. Designations of national significance across the province have been added to the app, which will notify you when you’re next to a historic property. Free tours to choose from include a Tavern and Brewery Tour, and a Vintage Signs and Murals Walking Tour, and more. If being guided is more your style, pre-register for “Stories from the Settlement,” a guided walking tour offered during July and August.

Regional Bike Tours by Ontario By Bike

Ongoing, price varies

Are bikes how you roll? Ontario By Bike has an excellent collection of regional bike tours and tour operators, listed by region. Check out July-specific tours like “Pedal, Pints & Pubs” in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands (dates TBD) or the “Simcoe Circle” starting out of Barrie on July 10-12.

Huntsville Art Crawl

Throughout June, free

The Huntsville Art Crawl is a free self-guided art tour around downtown Huntsville, Muskoka. Visitors will be able to create their own Art Crawl experience by touring local businesses, galleries, and studios, which will feature exhibits, demos, and interactive experiences by local artists. Artwork will be available for participants to purchase throughout the event.

Prince Edward County Arts Trail & Arts in the County

Ongoing, free

Established in 2008, this year-round Arts Trail connects art lovers, buyers and collectors with artists, studios and galleries throughout Prince Edward County. Visitors are encouraged to visit the bilingual Arts Trail website, download the Arts Trail Guide and watch for the blue Arts Trail signs to plan their self-guided tour. And if you can’t make it to the County, view the works online from June 18 – July 4, 2021.

Gardiner Goes Outside with the Gardiner Museum

Ongoing, free

This summer, the Gardiner moves beyond traditional museum spaces to allow folks to meet their communities safely in outdoor spaces for creativity. Join them for pop-up window exhibitions, outdoor dining, and public art projects, followed by family clay activities, wellness workshops, performances, and more. And if you’d prefer to engage online, check out their free digital programs.

Haliburton Sculpture Forest in Glebe Park

Ongoing, free

Enjoy a unique outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists in Haliburton Sculpture Forest, located in Glebe Park. The Sculpture Forest experience is ideal for families looking for an interesting outing, for those who enjoy outdoor trails, and for people looking for a unique artistic experience. A map is available on this website and at the entrance to the Sculpture Forest. You can even book small group guided tours, or check out the free Tuesday and Wednesday tours this summer.

“Summer of Play” by The Bentway

Ongoing, free

You may think you know the city, but not like this. The Bentway launches Playing in Public this summer, a collection of outdoor and online projects that invite you to rediscover “play” in Toronto. Designed by local residents, the program includes 8 art installations, a connective Play Path, roaming and audio experiences, and more across The Bentway and local parks, public spaces, and sidewalks throughout the Fort York, CityPlace, Niagara, and Waterfront communities. Check out the exciting lineup on their site.