Set your compass to southern Ontario, location: Pickering, where nautical adventures and more await you. As the western gateway to the Durham Region, Pickering’s finest features can be found along the shoreline where shops, restaurants, the Beachfront Park boardwalk (a segment of the larger Waterfront Trail) and art gallery overlook the water. For the adventurous at heart, Frenchman’s Bay Marina offers sailboats, powerboats and fishing boats for those looking to test the waters. You can make your way anywhere from Bluffer’s Park for a picnic, to the further west reaches of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The direction you steer towards is up to you.
But listen, you don’t have to weather the waves to enjoy Frenchman’s Bay – prime time May to September the bay features “Sunday on the Porch” – a mélange of local artistry for your visual pleasure and brought to you by Silverstone Gallery. There’s also free music entertainment in the warmer months that will have you swaying to the rhythm, and kids can look forward to a waterside playground that’s more than a step up from a simple sandbox.
If the waves are picking up on the day you visit and you don’t feel like weathering the storm, no reason to fret. There are plenty of indoor activities in Pickering, including a tour of the historic Pickering Museum, which features a collection of historic 19th century buildings, or nearby restaurants where you can grab a snack. May we suggest Crabby Joe’s, where despite the name, menu selections will likely leave a smile on your face. There is also the historic century-old Herongate Barn Theatre, where you can enjoy a unique dinner theatre experience in this warm and repurposed barn setting.
If the reason you came to Pickering in the first place is “to get away from it all,” there are more than 220 hectares of outdoor parkland at your disposal, just waiting to be explored. We’re talking parks, trails, and even conservation areas chockfull of marsh areas, creeks, forested lands and meadows. Check out our trails section of the website if you have boots that are meant for walking or if you’re itching to blaze a trail. And don’t forget, a trip to Pickering isn’t complete without stepping foot in the Altona Forest, right smack dab in the city’s urban center, where bird watching and hiking are on the to-do list.