No, this is not the summer to be sipping beer on a patio in Berlin, museum-hopping through London or cruising through Vietnam’s floating markets. But there is an upside to having to stay close to home. Limited travel options mean that you can finally visit that biodynamic winery or plan that hiking trip. These starter packs and Ontario vacation ideas will help you get inspired to finally book that time off. 

 

Hit the Beach 

From buzzing Grand Bend on the shores of Lake Huron to Lake Superior’s idyllic Katherine Cove, Ontario is home to some truly charming beaches. This is the summer you finally visit them.

Holt RenfrewTropic of C top, $95, holtrenfrew.com and bottom, $95, holtrenfrew.com

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Sustainable swim brand Tropic of C makes its suits from regenerated nylon. The top on this set features a sporty racerback silhouette.

Hudson’s BayTopshop shorts, $52, thebay.com

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The waistband on these shorts is elasticated, for a less rigid fit than standard denim—ideal for a long car ride.

SlowtideSlowtide towel, $40, slowtide.ca

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Slowtide towels are made from recycled post-consumer waste and responsibly grown cotton and printed with artful patterns. 

NativeNative shoes, $65, nativeshoes.com

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These lightweight and perforated rubber slip-ons easily double as water shoes—perfect for wading into rocky shores or for anyone who hates the feeling of seaweed on their feet. 

Well.caLove Sun Body Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Lightly Scented, $47 (200 ml), well.ca

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Nanoparticles in sunscreens have been shown to damage reefs and freshwater ecosystems. This all-natural mineral formula is not only super sheer and lightweight, it’s also lake- and ocean-friendly.

MojiMoji mask, $20, mojimask.com

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A mask may not be a requirement outdoors, but it’s still a good idea to toss one into your beach bag. Moji’s masks are made in Canada by seamstresses who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. 

 

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Visit a Drive-In 

Not only does a drive-in movie theatre offer a quaintly nostalgic way to spend an evening, it’s also a communal activity that’s socially distanced by design. Plus, it will make rewatching Dirty Dancing for the 12th time feel downright novel. 

IliaIlia Illuminator in Polka Dots & Moonbeams, $45, sephora.ca

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You’re watching the movie and your date turns to you, captivated by the light of the screen softly reflecting off your cheekbones. Ahhh, romance!

UniqloUniqlo pants, $20, uniqlo.com

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Sometime after the third act, you might feel sore from sitting in the car. These cargo-style joggers are stretchy, so you can contort yourself into a more comfortable position. 

VansVans shoes, $60, vans.ca

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You’ll be putting your feet up, yes? Show off some adorable printed slip-ons when you do. 

H&MH&M jacket, $35, hm.com

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A casual, lightweight jacket that’s perfect for summer nights.

S’wellS’well food container, $34, swell.com

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Popcorn is a given, but this mini cooler will keep your other snacks fresh.

Tuck Shop Trading Co.Tuck Shop Trading Co. mask, $36, tuckshopco.com

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Five dollars from the sale of each mask goes to the Robert Kerr Foundation for the purchase of PPE for frontline workers. 

 

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Book a Winery Tour 

Before driving out to PEC’s or Niagara’s wine countries, you’ll want to do some research to avoid disappointment. While some spots are still closed, Niagara’s award-winning Rosewood is offering tastings by appointment and nearby Malivoire and Fielding Estates have opened their patios. Happy sipping!

SSENSEStaud sandals, $485, ssense.com

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A flat shoe is a must if you’re going to be wandering through the vines. 

EtsyStokes Design Studios wine tasting journal, $9, etsy.com

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These pocket- and purse-friendly notebooks are full of templates to help you remember which wine you liked and jot down tasting notes.

ShopbopCharine Sarte dress, $469, shopbop.com

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The billowy sleeves! The ruffled neckline! A photogenic dress if there ever was one.

Herschel Supply CompanyHerschel Supply Company hip pack, $38, herschel.com

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A belt bag will leave your hands free—one for the phone, one for your glass, of course.

Shoppers Drug MartRevlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in Wine Trip, $14, shoppersdrugmart.ca

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A balm-like finish and cabernet hue make for lovely wine-stained lips.

Bronze AgeBronze Age face mask and scrunchie combo, $55, abronzeage.com

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These masks from Vancouver-based Bronze Age are made from the sweetest Swiss dot fabric. Matching scrunchie optional. 

 

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Go off The Grid 

You can’t get more isolated than a forest—no wonder camping and hiking are more popular than ever. Whether you spend your time reeling in smallmouth bass, canoeing through water lilies or simply kicking back with a book is up to you. 

MECPatagonia pullover, $149, mec.ca

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When the sun goes down, the fleece comes on. And you can’t go wrong with timeless, sustainable and endlessly practical Patagonia.

AritziaTna bike shorts, $20, aritzia.com

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A pair of bike shorts can take you from the car to a kayak and back again with ease.

MECLight My Fire meal kit, $30, mec.ca

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Ditch the single-use plastics and paper and opt for this smart set of reusable containers, cutlery and coffee mug that will float if dropped in the lake.

The North FaceThe North Face backpack, $100, thenorthface.com

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Pack all of your essentials (and then some) into this roomy hiking pack. 

MerrellMerrell hiking shoes, $190, merrell.com

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Combining a trail runner with a hiking boot, this shoe has a waterproof membrane, cushioned sole and a mountain-grade outsole. Plus, the colourway is delightful.

Detox MarketKaia Naturals The Vitamin Cleanse, $16 (30 pack), thedetoxmarket.ca

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These biodegradable bamboo cloths are soaked in nourishing honey, sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil. When you’re done washing your face, just plant the wipe in the ground and water the soil.

Frank and OakFrank and Oak mask, $24 (set of 2), frankandoak.com

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It’s a good idea to pack a mask if you plan on stopping anywhere on the way to the campsite. 

 



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