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!

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Winter

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Winter | Toronto, ON

Whether you have noticed or not, your vehicle uses more fuel during the winter. Due to the weather conditions being tougher to drive through, your car must work harder and — as a result — use more gas. But there are ways to get better gas mileage this winter.

Stop idling to warm up

Although it may seem like a good idea to start your car and let it sit to warm up, you’re actually wasting gas that way. Instead, simply driving your vehicle is a better way to heat things up in the cabin and be on the way to your destination, thus saving gas.

Check the tires

When your car’s tires aren’t properly inflated, they’re not performing at their peak. Be sure that they’re not underinflated or overinflated by checking the PSI. Check the owner’s manual for your vehicle, or look at the driver’s door jamb, to find the correct PSI for the tires. Keep an eye on tread depth, too, and have the tires replaced if needed.

Consider a block heater

If the temperatures drop immensely to below freezing, your vehicle’s engine may need some assistance just to start. A block heater is a device that will warm up the engine ahead of time while reducing fuel consumption.

If you notice any issues with your vehicle this winter, contact our team at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, for assistance.

Enjoy These Outdoor Winter Activities in Toronto

Outdoor Winter Activities | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

It’s never hard to find something fun to do in Toronto, especially during the winter. If you’re looking for some winter fun that’s also socially distanced, check into these outdoor activities.

Head to an outdoor skating rink

It wouldn’t be winter if you can’t go ice skating, so head to one of Toronto’s 54 city-run outdoor ice rinks for some free skating. It’s easy to stay spaced out from other skaters, and many rinks require you to reserve spots online before arriving. For instance, Nathan Phillips Square only allows 25 participants at any time, and you must wear a face mask and reserve a spot online before heading to the rink.

Explore a winter trail

There are so many lovely natural spaces in Toronto, and many have their own hiking trails. Why not bundle up and head out to enjoy the beauty winter has to offer? Check out Sun Valley Trail, the High Park Trails, or the Beltline to name a few. You can easily stay distanced from other hikers while enjoying some crisp winter air.

Grab your toboggan

Heading out to your local sledding hill doesn’t have to be reserved for your kids. If you’re young at heart, this is a great way to spend the day outdoors in Toronto! There are plenty of options to choose from — just be smart and stay safe while you’re out on your toboggan.

Need a dependable vehicle to get to all these activities this winter? Here at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, we have a wide range of models for you to choose from — whatever your needs and budget.

AWD or FWD: What’s The Best Choice for Your New SUV?

Toyota RAV4 AWD | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON
Toyota RAV4 AWD | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

There’s no denying that winter in Toronto can be hard on drivers. But do you need all-wheel drive to thrive out on the snowy, icy roads? Here’s a look at whether AWD or FWD is the right option for your next SUV purchase.

All-Wheel Drive

A vehicle with all-wheel drive sends its power to every wheel. This allows the wheels to compensate when one starts to slip, giving you better traction out on the road. If you’re constantly driving in tough conditions, an AWD-equipped vehicle will give you the grip you need. There are multiple types of AWD systems, including a partial system that will only send power to all wheels when it needs it. This makes it more efficient than a typical full-time system.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive is a simpler system than all-wheel drive, making it easier and less expensive to maintain. Because this system is also lighter, FWD vehicles also tend to have better fuel economy. With FWD, your vehicle will be sending all of its power to the two front wheels. This gives these types of vehicles better traction when climbing hills and is even a good option for rainy conditions. Thanks to anti-lock braking and traction control, FWD vehicles can even take on snow, though they’re not as good at it as AWD rides are.

The upshot: AWD vehicles are best for traction in bad weather. However, FWD vehicles are plenty capable, too, and also more efficient. You can find great examples of both right here at Downtown Autogroup in Toronto, and our friendly sales staff will be glad to help you make the choice that’s best for your needs.

3 Winter Day Trips for Toronto Dwellers

Winter Day Trips | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking to get out of Toronto for some winter fun, there are so many day trips to consider. To help your decision easier, we’ve put together a list of things to do this winter near Toronto.

Take in natural beauty at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Cold weather doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great outdoors. Bundle up and head to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. It’s the perfect place for a winter hike. Be sure to check out the meromictic lake, which is a rare lake type that has multiple layers of water that stay separate.

Get a unique glimpse of Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is a beautiful destination by itself, but did you know you can experience what it’s like behind the falls, too? Visit the Falls and opt for the Journey Behind the Falls experience. You can enjoy a close-up view of the waterfall and venture 125 feet down into 130-year-old tunnels.

Relax at a spa. Winter can be a stressful time. Relax this year with a visit to Scandinave Spa. The spa is known for its heated outdoor pools that allow you to enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment. Right now, it even has strict COVID protocols to keep your visit relaxing, and the spa is only a two-hour drive away from the city.

As you make your travel plans, be sure to elevate your peace of mind with a visit to a Downtown Autogroup location. We’ll provide your vehicle with the service it needs to run reliably for the whole trip.