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Toronto to Haliburton: City Lights to Ontario’s Wild North in the Winter

Program Number: 21358RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/27/2014 - 3/5/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Price starting at: $1,645.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Natural History; Winter Sports; Signature Cities
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Before journeying north for a winter wilderness adventure, experience Toronto’s cuisine and culture, including the Royal Ontario Museum. Then trade street shoes for snowshoes in Ontario’s spectacular Haliburton Forest. Ride a dog-sled team, tap into a maple syrup forest and shadow a fur trapper — the local pack of wolves’ soulful nighttime howls is your cue that city lights are far behind.


• Explore Toronto’s beautiful Elgin Winter Garden Theatre, the last operating double-decker theatre in the world.
• Drive or ride with a sled-dog team, view stars in one of a handful of dark-sky reserves and enjoy free time for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
• Learn at the Wolf Centre about the fascinating social structure of the resident wolves that roam freely in a 15-acre enclosure.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles; snowshoeing .63 miles; riding in a dog sled

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Toronto (Ontario), 2 nights; coach to Haliburton, 4 nights; coach to Toronto, departure.


This world-class city located on the north shore of Lake Ontario is a mosaic of distinctive neighborhoods with numerous parks and miles of beaches, boardwalks and trails. Canada’s largest city is home to a vibrant downtown core, thriving fine and performing arts groups, extensive green space and a global citizenry.

Toronto: Hotel in heart of city. Haliburton: Research facility with 2-3 bedroom second-floor units, no elevators. Shared baths.
Meals and Lodgings
   Strathcona Hotel
  Toronto, ON 2 nights
   Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd.
  Haliburton, ON 4 nights
 Strathcona Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Strathcona Hotel is a noted landmark, fashioned after small, intimate European hotels. From here, you can walk to almost everything in downtown Toronto, and you are minutes away from the theater district and a variety of night spots and restaurants for dining and dancing. The Harbourfront, Air Canada Centre, and Skydome are mere moments away.
  Contact info: 60 York Street
Toronto, ON M5J 1S8 Canada
phone: 416-363-3321
  Room amenities: All standard rooms include hair dryers, and same-day dry cleaning service is available six days a week.
  Facility amenities: Fitness facilities adjacent to the hotel are available to hotel guests.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rates. Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd.
Type: Lodge
  Description: Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve Ltd. is a unique hidden gem that borders Algonquin Park. They offer outdoor adventures for anyone who wants to get away to a pristine forest for some peace and relaxation. Their philosophy surrounds the essence of sustainability with their certified forest management practices and private stewardship. The air is easier to breathe in the Forest! Home to Canada’s only Wolf Interpretive Centre; North America’s first forest canopy walk “Walk in the Clouds; the world’s only privately owned snowmobiling facility; 100’s of miles of roads, mountain bike, dogsled, and hiking trails and countless wildlife. The main entrance has accommodation, restaurant, logging museum and Dark Sky Observatory. The Forest will inspire you to slow down and connect with your family, friends and nature. All adventures are designed to be for both novices and adventurers new to the activities and want a certain amount of support with the safety of a trained guide. Your trained guide/ facilitator is there to create an experience you will not soon forget. All adventures include wholesome food and necessary gear.
  Contact info: 1095 Redkenn Road
Haliburton, ON K0M 1S0 Canada
phone: 705-754-2198
  Room amenities: Limited number of single occupancy rooms available - private room with shared bath.
  Facility amenities: Outdoor centre with several buildings offering clean and simple accommodations. Private bedroom (double occupancy)with shared bathroom, kitchen and sitting area (2 - 5 people). Accommodations are accessed via 4 - 5 steps. Linens, towels and face cloths are provided. In addition to low fat, vegetarian and low salt options; gluten free and peanut free meals (and many other food allergies) can be arranged with advance notice.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Single occupancy participants will have a private sleeping room (shared bath not private bath).
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Independent arrivals to Toronto. Dinner at the hotel at 6:00 p.m. Check-in after 4:00 p.m. You will be staying at Strathcona Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Coach transfer back to Toronto on final day of the program. Estimated arrival time in Toronto is 11:30 - 12:00 noon You will be staying at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd. the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. PASSPORTS: Visit for up to date information. WAIVER: A signed consent and waiver is required from participants. FISHING LICENSE(option): Participants wishing to ice fish require an Outdoors Card and fishing license tag - for up to date information or to purchase a fishing license visit or call 1-800-387-7011 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
  Parking availability:
Parking available in a public lot near the hotel in Toronto.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Toronto, ON
  Nearest city or town:  Toronto
  Nearest highway: 401
  Nearest airport:  Pearson International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Haliburton, ON
  Nearest city or town:  Haliburton
  Nearest highway: Hwy # 118
  Nearest airport:  Pearson International in Toronto
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Express
phone: 800-387-6787


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $30
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 - 45 minutes 


Shuttle departs from the airport every 20 - 30 minutes. Terminal 1 - Departs from Posts B and E. Terminal 3 - Bus departs curbside at Area # 25. Drop off is across the street from the hotel.




From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $60 - $65
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30-45 minutes depending on traffic 


Taxis available curbside at the airport.




To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle


Per Person/One Way:


Included in program cost.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


3 hours 


Participants will be transferred from Haliburton to Toronto on the final day of the program. Approximate arrival in Toronto is 12:00 noon. Drop off at the airport and downtown.

Driving Directions
  From the DVP/ Highway 401 (Trans Canada Hwy) Starting from the 401 east or west, continue in your direction to the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). Travel south on the DVP all the way to the Gardiner Expressway. Take the York Street exit. The Strathcona Hotel is No. 60 on York Street, just past Front Street.
  From the QEW From the QEW Toronto, continue to the Gardiner Expressway. Take the York Street exit. The Strathcona Hotel is No. 60 on York Street, just past Front Street.
Equipment Requirements: Optional to bring personal skis or snowshoes. Rentals also available.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and registration
(Thursday, February 27)
 Arrive To: Independent arrivals to the hotel in Toronto. Orientation and introductions followed by welcome dinner at the hotel at 6:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Strathcona Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Toronto: History and Heritage/Elgin Wintergarden Theatre/Royal Ontario Museum
(Friday, February 28)
 Morning: Discover the history and heritage of Toronto and Ontario in a presentation with a well-known historian and author. Join Bruce Bell for an entertaining and enlightening presentation on the city of Toronto and "how it went from here to there".
 Morning: Visit the historical Elgin Winter Garden Theatre, a National Historic Site and hailed as one of the most beautiful theatre complexes in the world. It is the last operating double-decker theatre in the world – containing two completely separate and restored Edwardian theatres. With its history of vaudevillian roots, the Elgin is now a sumptuous affair with royal boxes. Magic casts a spell in the Wintergarden so named for its lovely trompe l'oeil paintings and pastoral ambiance. Only open to organized groups when the theatre is not booked for specific special performances.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: A guided exploration of the Royal Ontario Museum will provide an overview of the many galleries and exhibits followed by free time to explore on your own. Explore an exceptional array of themed galleries throughout the Museum, spanning both world cultures and natural history. The ROM is the fifth largest museum in North America and contains more than six million items and over 40 galleries. It is also the largest museum in Canada and has notable collections of dinosaurs, Near Eastern and African art, East Asian art, European history, and Canadian history.
 Dinner: Dinner on own to sample from an array of dining options.
 Evening: Free evening to explore on your own or take in a performance.
Accommodations: Strathcona Hotel
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 3: Depart for Haliburton/McMichael Canadian Collection/Wine & Cheese Social/Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve
(Saturday, March 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is the hotel
 Morning: We depart for Haliburton. Enroute we will stop at the McMichael Gallery to examine Canadian artistic expressions and cultural content as we explore the works of Canadian artists including the magnificent landscape art made famous by the Group of Seven. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection offers its visitors a unique experience. From the art on its walls to the surrounding landscape, the McMichael provides an introduction to Canada’s art, art making and artists. Renowned for collecting only Canadian art, the McMichael permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to the development of Canadian art.
 Lunch: Lunch en route
 Afternoon: Upon arrival at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve we will have an orientation to the site and a walk around base camp (30 minutes, less than 1 mile, easy, flat terrain). Enjoy a wine and cheese social before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Cookhouse Restaurant. Usually hot table, self serve buffet or platter service to table depending on group size. Cash bar, beer and coolers available.
 Evening: A slide presentation will highlight the philosophy behind the management of this privately owned 80,000 acre reserve. Topics include forestry, wildlife, ecotourism and education.
Accommodations: Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Wolf Centre & Feeding/Maple Sugar Bush/Solar System Walk and Dark Sky Viewing
(Sunday, March 2)

Note: For the Wolf Centre and Maple Sugar Bush field trips there is a short walk (or by snowshoe depending on snow conditions) - 15 mins/less than 1 mile each way on flat, easy terrain. Some standing.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Cookhouse Restaurant, usually a hot table, self-serve buffet or platter service to table depending on group size.
 Morning: Meet the Wolf Centre’s resident pack of wolves with David Bishop, General Manager. You will have an in depth look at the wolf including social structure, life cycles, myths and legends, wolves and media, territory as well as a comparison to dogs and coyotes. View an interpreted feeding through one way glass. The centre has a theatre, displays, games, viewing area and a gift shop.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Cookhouse Restaurant, usually a hot table, self-serve buffet or platter service to table depending on group size.
 Afternoon: Experience a favourite Canadian tradition as we snowshoe through our Maple Sugar Bush with Ray Martin our resident Biologist and Non Timber Forest Products Coordinator (Maple Syrup, Shitake Mushroom Bolts, Honey, etc…) Ray is passionate about his numerous projects and captivating when he speaks; he is full of stories, knowledge and enthusiasm. During your stroll discuss the process of maple syrup from tree to bottle, the natural history as well as the chemical processes.
 Afternoon: Free time – Cross Country Skis and Snowshoes will be provided to participants to use throughout their time at Haliburton Forest. Various trails will be pointed out and a map provided for self-guided excursions through the forest. Cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy winter at a gentle pace. Trails wind through mature stands of hardwood forest and are relatively gentle and groomed.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Evening: Led by Brian Mould, a local avid astronomer, participants are guided through a short solar system walk, followed by a presentation and dark skies observation. Participants will have the opportunity to view stars, galaxies and deep sky objects.
Accommodations: Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: On the Trap Line - Fur Trade and Wildlife/Meet a Musher
(Monday, March 3)

Note: The field trip today will be about 4 hours of activity. Participants will snowshoe to the cabin approximately 1.5 miles each way; mainly flat terrain with some rolling hills.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Morning: Discover the fascinating world of Canada’s oldest industry - the fur trade - On the Trap Line. This intriguing, thought provoking adventure takes participants snowshoeing back into history with an 18th century fur trader, along the forest and stream to discover Ontario’s furbearing animals, and by snowshoe on a trap line.
 Lunch: Enjoy a traditional lunch at the Trapper’s Cabin of baked beans, bannock, wild rice and hot rum toddies.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues "On the Trap Line". Follow our guide on snowshoes to Ten Mile Creek where a log cabin has been restored as a trading post. Hear stories of the fur trade as it was conducted in the late 18th century, and observe and handle reproduction trade goods. Learn about the ecology and biology of furbearing animals, interpreted in light of Native technologies and lifestyles and with regard of European market economics.
 Afternoon: Free time. Choices include snowshoeing, cross country skiing.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Evening: Participants will “Meet a Musher” and be introduced to the basics of dog sledding in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience the following day. Stories will be shared as well as conversation about the importance of dog sledding past and present and a Q&A session.
Accommodations: Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Dog Sledding/Free Afternoon/History and Plans Haliburton Forest
(Tuesday, March 4)

Note: While dog sledding does require physical participation, participants do not need to be in excellent physical condition, but should bring along an attitude of adventure.Dog sledding activity will be approximately 3 hours on the sled, covering approximately 10 miles of hilly terrain. Participants will be required to step off sled and walk on occasion to help dogs up hills.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Morning: Enjoy the exhilaration of driving your own team of dogs through the pristine wilderness of Haliburton Forest as we embark on a half day Dog Sledding experience. Expanding from the evening before now we hit the trails! Time is taken to enjoy the winter wonderland as you make your way through the scenic forest trails. There will be many photo opportunities and a warm up snack if time permits along the trail. You will be fully immersed in the experience by helping rig your sled and harnessing your dogs. Afterwards join your guide in the kennel to see where your team of dogs live and play.
 Lunch: Lunch at Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon: Participants can choose from - Wolf Centre, Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing at no extra cost; Snowmobiling - self-guided ($); Ice Fishing ($); Downhill Skiing at Sir Sams Ski Area ($). Most activities take approximately 4 hours or less (extra fees applicable for some activities $):
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Evening: Visit with management and discuss Haliburton Forest’s history and future plans for this 80,000 acre multi-use reserve. The owner will discuss the history and development of Haliburton Forest and their certification as Canada’s first sustainable forest under the international FSC standards in 1998.
Accommodations: Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Program Wrap-Up/Coach Transfer to Toronto/Departures
(Wednesday, March 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Cookhouse Restaurant.
 Morning: Check-out and program wrap-up followed by coach departure for Toronto. Depart Haliburton 8:30 a.m.; approximate arrival in Toronto is 11:30 - 12:00 noon. Independent departures from Toronto.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Toronto, ON Allan Gardens Conservatory
Allan Gardens Conservatory is over 100 years old and has over 16,000 square feet of greenhouse area. This garden is open to the public year-round. It contains tropical plants from all over the world from palm trees to cacti. There are also seasonal plantings throughout the year. For additional information, visit
  Top Attractions
Museums and galleries such as Royal Ontario Museum; The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art; The Art Gallery of Ontario; The Textile Museum; Casa Loma; Spadina House; Bata Shoe Museum; Fort York; Harbourfront Centre; Ontario Place; Ontario Science Centre
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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