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Ontario has no shortage of outdoor destinations to explore which is perfect for anyone planning a staycation. The new book 125 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places by Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read is a lively, informative introduction to some of the province’s best-kept secrets. And for birders, botanists, wildlife lovers, rock hounds and naturalists, it also shares a fresh look at destinations that have made Ontario famous.

The call of the great outdoors is hard to resist. Here are some nature hot spots to explore, in various regions of the province, as found in the book:

NORTHERN ONTARIO: PUKASKWA NATIONAL PARK
b2ap3_thumbnail_PUKASKWA-NATIONAL-PARK_Photo-Credit-Shutterstock_HelenFilatova_20220812-194051_1.jpg
Photo Credit: Shutterstock, Helen Filatova

 

This park puts fresh life into the overworked descriptor “pristine wilderness.”

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Road trips are an essential part of summer and an inexpensive way to take a vacation. If you live in Toronto or the GTA consider a day trip down to the Southern Georgian Bay area this summer. Whether you hike, bike or drive, there are plenty of routes, sites and activities to find in this geologically diverse corner of Ontario.

 

To inspire your next getaway, we asked Beverley Smith, the illustrator of the new book Backroads of Southern Georgian Bay about her favourite day trip, picnic lunch spots and places to explore in the Southern Georgian Bay area.

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A Guest Blog by Erich Hoyt

 

On the morning of May 30, off Tofino, British Columbia, an orca calf, complete with fresh fetal folds and typical orange (instead of white) patches, surfaced between two mature females of J Pod.

There is always joy at the sight and sounds, the presence of a new baby. When that baby is a several hundred pound killer whale, born to J Pod in the southern resident orca community, the event turns into big news. This is a very welcome occurrence as the southern community has lost most of their calves in recent years and their numbers have dwindled to 75 — now 76 — individuals, down from a high of more than 100 before SeaWorld and other aquariums ransacked these pods with repeated captures in the 1960s and 1970s. The captures in BC and Washington State waters ended in 1976 but the southern orca community has had compounded pressures and threats including boat traffic, noise, pollution loads and reduced numbers of their preferred food, Chinook salmon. The southern community has been given endangered status by both the U.S. and Canadian governments.

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