Image: Ajax Downs’ Facebook page
Image: Ajax Downs' Facebook page
Image: Ajax Downs’ Facebook page

Toronto, we love ya, but sometimes we forget that there’s so much to do outside the 6ix.

When summer weather finally settles upon a booming metropolis like Toronto, hardcore city slickers head for their favourite parks and patios on weekend afternoons, seeming to forget that there is life outside the city walls. The GTA is a big place with lots to do, all forty-five minutes or less from your closest TTC stop. Let’s face it, even the lifelong 416-ers get sick of the skyscrapers and concrete. It’s good to get away. For that reason, Vv Magazine brings you five awesome things to do only 40 minutes from Toronto.

Ajax Downs
Make the trip out to Ajax Downs one of these weekends and experience one of the GTA’s premiere entertainment destinations. Try your luck at one of 800 OLG slot machines or place your bets at the Live Quarter Horse Races. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and/or dinner at the Getaway restaurant located on the grounds. Check their web site for updates on cool events. If you like beer, beef and live country music, don’t miss Steak Stock. Held on July 18-19, you’ll be two-stepping all weekend long.

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Located in Terra Cotta, aka the heart of horse country, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is a family-owned and operated orchard, cidery, bakery, restaurant and artisan shop frequented by the likes of Galen Weston and Michael Bonacini. Experience a tasting of the cider infused with hops or the classic Estate Reserve, an aged cider resembling a chardonnay. Be sure to stay for lunch as they offer an extensive menu of scratch-made quiche and flatbreads, featuring locally sourced ingredients.

McMichael Art Gallery
Canadiana at its finest, the McMichael Gallery, located in the picturesque town of Kleinburg, is where to go for a unique combination of quintessential Canadian art and landscape. The gallery is renowned for its collection of original works by the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson and First Nations artists who have influenced the development of our Canadian art. Not to mention the grounds are a spectacular display of old foliage and Inukshuks.

Image: McMichael Art Gallery's Facebook page
Image: McMichael Art Gallery’s Facebook page

Devil’s Punch Bowl
Looking to become one with nature? You’re certainly not going to find your zen among the tourists and neon lights of Niagara Falls, but the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Hamilton might do the trick. This ribbon waterfall is located in the centre of rainbow-coloured layers of stratified rock that visitors are welcome to explore. Stand atop the platform and experience a stunning view of Hamilton and then hike the challenging trail that descends down into the gorge.

Hike the Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest marked footpath, running along the escarpment and all the way to Tobermory, which is approximately 890km of hike-able trails. Many chapters are located within a one-hour drive from Toronto. Download the Bruce Trail App to select the chapter best suited to you. If you want to turn your hike into a weekend getaway, the trail is speckled with charming inns and B&Bs as well as camping grounds.

Related Link: Toronto’s best golf courses in the GTA

Did we miss any awesome GTA attractions? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.