Where to Go Hiking in Toronto

Where to Go Hiking in Toronto, ON

Are you looking for a way to enjoy the beautiful fall weather here in Toronto? One way to explore the outdoors is by going hiking. There are a lot of spots available in the area, but here are a few of our favourites.

High Park Trails

The High Park area of Toronto is filled with greenery and is home to a handful of trails. In total, there are 5.3 km of accessible paved paths that are great for all levels of hikers. In addition to the scenic views, this location also features a nature centre, the High Park Zoo, a café, Hillside Gardens, and the High Park Labyrinth!

Scarborough Bluffs Trail

On the opposite side of the city, on the coast of Lake Ontario, is the Scarborough Bluffs Trail. The area looks like it belongs in a place like California or Greece due to its tall cliffs and blue lake waters. But you can enjoy this 6.8 km trail that’s only 17 km away from downtown Toronto.

Mount Nemo

If you’re able to get a little further outside of the city and want to scale a mountain, you’ll enjoy a hike up Mount Nemo in Burlington. The forested trail is 3.3 miles long and takes you to the summit of the mountain, offering incredible views of the Toronto skyline.

Where are your top spots to go hiking in Toronto? Let us know the next time you come see us at Downtown AutoGroup!

Top Places to Camp Near Toronto

Top Places to Camp Near Toronto, ON

With the temperatures cooling down, now is an ideal time to get outside and explore the great outdoors through camping! Here are some of the best places to camp near Toronto.

Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Head approximately 180 km north to camp at Georgian Bay Islands National Park. This spot offers cabin rentals, seven primitive campgrounds, and the 45-site Cedar Spring campground with more facilities and amenities. Keep in mind, camping takes place on Beausoleil Island, which is only accessible by boat, and there are no grocery stores or restaurants.

Darlington Provincial Park

This quiet park located alongside Lake Ontario is only about an hour outside the city. At Darlington Provincial Park, you can experience one of the three available campgrounds: Hilltop, Cliffside, and Lakeside. Most of the sites offer electrical service and sites that allow for large RVs and trailers. There’s plenty to do in the area, including fishing, birding, canoeing, boating, hiking, and swimming.

Rockwood Conservation Area

West of the city is the Rockwood Conservation Area, not far from Guelph. This beautiful area has an abundance of campsites available, ranging from those with water and electricity to those with just the bare bones. While there, see if any special events are occurring or make your own fun with hiking, swimming, paddling, and more.

Before heading out on your camping adventure, be sure to stop by and see us at Downtown AutoGroup. We’ll make sure your vehicle is prepared for the journey.

Toronto’s Best Festivals to Visit This Fall

Toronto Fall Festivals | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking for something fun to do this fall, Toronto has you covered. The city offers a ton of entertainment in the form of festivals, especially in the fall. Here are some of our favourites to consider visiting!

Honey Harvest Festival

From Sept. 21-22 you can celebrate one of the most underrated creatures that do a lot for us humans — bees! The Honey Harvest Festival takes place at the Kortright Centre for Conservation just outside of the city and revels in all things related to bees and honey. Along with tasty treats, you can enjoy live music and entertainment, crafts, bee games, and meet beekeepers to learn more.

Toronto Oktoberfest

Nothing says fall more than Oktoberfest! Toronto Oktoberfest takes place from Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Ontario Place and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. This Bavarian-themed festival will be held in a huge tent with communal tables and benches so visitors can enjoy special brews, pierogis, and brisket. The first 500 people who attend Oktoberfest will receive a free German beer stein.

Ashkenaz Festival

Celebrate global Jewish culture through the arts at the 2022 Ashkenaz Festival from Aug. 30-Sept. 5 at Harbourfront Centre. Here, you’ll see all kinds of traditions, from music and art to delicious Jewish food. The lineup for this year’s festival includes over 80 performances by artists from Canada, the U.S., Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, and more.

Our team at Downtown AutoGroup can’t get enough of our local community. We hope to see you around town at these Toronto fall festivals!

Save Money on Gas with These Getaways Near Toronto

Niagara-on-the-Lake | Toronto, ON
Niagara on the Lake” by AL.Eyad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

If you’re looking for a way to save on gas this summer, consider a local getaway! These spots near Toronto offer plenty of fun and are so close, you’ll barely have to stop at the pump.

Collingwood

The region of Collingwood is home to various resorts and spas. Stop by Blue Mountain resort and enjoy beautiful views of the water. Or head to Wasaga Beach to get into the waters of the Georgian Bay and run around in the soft sand. You can also visit the Collingwood area during winter and take your turn at skiing and snowboarding.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re living in a Hallmark movie, Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) is the place to go. This quaint town is known for its colonial-style architecture and is home to various wineries, boutiques, and restaurants. NOTL hosts many events throughout the year, so be sure to check its calendar for ideas during your visit.

Kawartha Lakes

For a more serene experience, head to Kawartha Lakes. This outdoor getaway features gorgeous rivers, multiple parks, and plenty of opportunities to fish. If you don’t want to drive your own boat on the water, the area offers houseboat rentals. Since you’re already saving on gas or flights, you should have the option of taking an extended vacation in one of these floating abodes.

Where are you headed this summer? If you’re planning on taking a road trip, feel free to stop by and see us at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto to prepare your vehicle for the journey.

Where to Go for Pet-Friendly Fun in Toronto

Where to Go for Pet-Friendly Fun in Toronto, ON

There’s plenty to do for humans in the city, but what about our furry companions? If you’re looking for pet-friendly places to visit in Toronto, check out these spots!

Black Lab Brewing

With a name based on a dog breed, it should come as no surprise that this microbrewery allows dogs inside. In fact, the location’s name comes from the owners’ dog, Snoopy, who you just might get a chance to meet when you visit.

Centreville Amusement Park

To get to this fun place, you’ll need to take a ferry with your pooch. This amusement park features various rides and an antique carousel, offering family fun for all ages. But the best part? Your leashed dog can walk within the park with you. However, someone will need to watch Fido if you plan on riding anything, as dogs aren’t allowed on the rides.

High Park

With over 160 hectares of space to adventure, High Park is a great place to take your furry best friend. You’ll even find various leash-free trails where your pooch can explore many ponds and rivers as well as a partially fenced dog park. When it’s time to relax, stop by one of the tables for a picnic lunch.

These are just some of the many dog-friendly places to visit in Toronto. What are your favourite spots to go with your pup? Let us know the next time you see us at Downtown AutoGroup!

Best Toronto Festivals to Attend This Summer

Best Toronto Festivals to Attend This Summer | Toronto, ON

Now that the weather is improving, you might be itching to get outside. From music and cars to celebrating our true selves, there are plenty of things to do in our city! Rather than wandering around aimlessly without a plan, consider checking out these fun Toronto festivals this summer.

Toronto Pride Festival

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and a great way to show your support to the queer community is by attending the Toronto Pride Festival. The festival takes place from June 24-26 downtown and includes drag shows, booths with local art on sale, and parades.

Beaches International Jazz Festival

If you’re all about music, you have to check out the Beaches International Jazz Festival, which takes place July 2-24. That’s right; you’ll have three weeks to head to The Beaches and enjoy jazz concerts, food trucks, contests, and fundraisers.

Honda Indy Toronto

For those with a need for speed, Honda Indy Toronto is the place to be. Formerly called the Molson Indy Toronto, this event at Toronto’s Exhibition Place occurs from July 15-17 and includes trackside beer gardens, delicious food trucks, and — of course — the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Which event are you most excited to attend in Toronto this year? Let our team at Downtown AutoGroup know the next time you stop by!

Does My Car Need a New Battery?

Does My Car Need a New Battery? | Toronto, ON

Your car and its parts go through a lot over time. Making it through the harsh cold of winter can take a toll on many components, including the battery. But how do you know when it’s time to replace a car battery? Our team at Downtown AutoGroup put together this guide to help.

  • Battery Leak: If you notice any corrosion near the battery’s ports, often in the form of white or light blue powder, consider bringing your vehicle in for an inspection.
  • Swelling Battery Case: Another under-the-hood check is to see if the battery case looks like it is expanded, which could mean the battery is losing power.
  • Check Engine Light: While this dashboard light can illuminate for a variety of reasons, it can also be a sign that your car needs a new battery.
  • Slow Engine Crank: Does it take longer than normal for your car to start? A slow engine crank could mean your vehicle has a dying battery.
  • Low Battery Fluid Level: This might be hard to see on your own, but if you notice that the battery’s fluid levels are low, you will want to test the battery’s charge to ensure it is working properly.

If your vehicle shows any of these signs, schedule a service appointment at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto so we can replace the battery for you.

What You Need to Know About Spring Vehicle Service

What You Need to Know About Spring Vehicle Service | Toronto, ON

Heading into a new season is a good reminder to have routine maintenance done on your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know about spring vehicle service, which you can schedule here at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto.

Check the tires

Tires naturally wear unevenly due to the way a vehicle’s weight sits on them. As we enter spring, it’s a good time to have the tires rotated. If you encountered any pot holes during winter, you may need to check the alignment to prevent your vehicle from veering to the left or right.

Fill up the fluids

An oil change is one of the most common services you should have done after a few months. But don’t forget about other fluids that your vehicle relies on. This includes the windshield wiper fluid as well as the brake fluid.

Replace wiper blades

Snow, ice, and salt can all have damaging effects on your vehicle’s windshield wipers. Check the metal pieces for signs of rust and be sure to examine the blades for any cracks, tears, or warping. The last thing you want are streaky wipers during spring showers.

Miscellaneous items to check

While you’re giving your vehicle a thorough inspection, it’s probably best to check a handful of other items as well. This includes the battery, headlights and brake lights, turn signals, brake pads, and air filters.

If you need assistance taking care of any of these components on your car, let our team of experts at Downtown AutoGroup handle the work for you!

Do’s and Don’ts for De-Icing Your Windshield

Do's and Don’ts for De-Icing Your Windshield | Toronto, ON

One of the most tedious winter tasks is de-icing your vehicle’s windshield. From the time it adds to your daily commute to your hands feeling like they’re frozen solid, getting that sheet of ice out of the way can be exhausting. Check out these do’s and don’ts for de-icing your windshield so you can protect your vehicle and be on your way.

Do: Try using a de-icer spray

Many hardware stores sell windshield de-icer sprays that make clearing your windshield easier. But you can also make the solution with a few ingredients at home. One option consists of putting two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol with one part water in a spray bottle. This method works because alcohol has a lower freezing points than water and can thaw the ice.

Don’t: Use hot water

While adding hot to cold might seem like a good idea, you should not pour hot water onto your frozen windshield. The extreme change in temperature could cause your windshield to crack — or shatter completely.

Do: Scrape gently

Rather than aggressively hacking away at the ice on your windshield, start gently. First, brush off any loose snow or ice. After that, use a plastic ice scraper to get the rest of the ice off the windshield. Never use metal tools, though, because they can scratch the glass of your windshield.

If your vehicle’s windshield has any cracks or chips in it, you’ll want to get it fixed as soon as possible at our Collision Centre at Downtown AutoGroup.

How to Keep Your Car’s Cabin Clean This Winter

How to Keep Your Car’s Cabin Clean This Winter | Toronto, ON

As beautiful as a blanket of snow looks, that beauty quickly turns to sludge and can make its way into your car. Road salt and snow can wreak havoc on the interior of your vehicle, so it’s important to keep it clean throughout winter. Here are some tips on saving your car’s cabin.

Get rubber floor mats

Some of the best investments that you can make for your car are rubber floor mats. Along with being helpful for protecting your car, they’re also easy to clean! While carpet mats absorb the moisture of rain, sleet, and snow, quality rubber mats are designed to protect your vehicle’s flooring. Try to splurge on mats that are sized specifically for your car so you don’t have anything getting underneath them.

Vacuum often

Even if you try your hardest to keep unwanted debris out of your car, it is inevitable that some stuff will find its way inside. As tedious as it may seem to constantly vacuum your car’s interior, you’ll be saving money as you continue to do so. Road salt is incredibly corrosive and can wear down the interior of your vehicle, resulting in costly repairs.

These are just a couple of ways to keep your car’s cabin clean this winter. For more tips, contact our team at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario.