Here at the Road Warrior Travel Adapter, we very much look forward to the end of summer as this means the beginning of the fantastic autumn season. In Ontario, Canada, this means cool and crisp weather, very little rain, and beautiful blue skies…all framing some magnificent colors that emerge from the leaves of the falling trees up north.
The fall colors are so spectacular that many tourists actually travel to this part of the world in late September and early October to tour around and “leaf-spot”. Of course, this isn’t just isolated to Ontario in Canada. In many parts of the country, from the west coast to the east coast, there are beautiful displays from the trees as summer turns into winter. The colours range from neon yellows and oranges, to fiery reds. It is quite a beautiful show that should not be missed if you’re in this part of the world during the autumn months of the year.
This event is much anticipated by many…so much so, that in Ontario, Canada, the provincial parks authority keeps an updated map of the developing fall colors so that people are able to catch the best of the fall foliage before it’s too late. The map is available on the internet and it tracks the progress of the changing colors of the leaves. For select rural areas, it includes the dominant color of the leaves (such as red, orange or yellow), the percentage of color change of the leaves and the percentage of leaves that have fallen! The website also offers some great tips on where the best viewing sites can be found in these areas, so if you’re planning a day trip you can make sure to maximize your time outdoors! The “Fall Colour Report” website can be found (on a seasonal basis) at this address: http://www.parkreports.com/fall/
We ventured up to northern Ontario and spent a couple of days exploring the area in the small town of Baysville. This is a small town about 200 kilometers north of the main city of Toronto, Ontario, located in an area with an abundance of fresh water lakes and deciduous forests. Deciduous forests, those where the leaves fall off of the trees each year, are what produces the amazing colorful show in the autumn months. If you’re thinking of traveling to see the fall colors, note that this is a perfect time to explore northern Ontario because tourist season is over and the rates for most accommodations are at highly discounted rates. Don’t be surprised if you even get a taste of summer weather during this time of year, as it is not uncommon to see unseasonably warm temperatures (often referred to as the “Indian Summer” in these parts). We were blown away by the beauty of the colors and the contrast with the many still, clear lakes that make up the Muskoka area.
So what makes these beautiful colors, you may ask? In the summertime, when the leaves are green, small amounts of yellow and orange that may exist in these leaves are covered up by the green chlorophyll that is produced through photosynthesis (as we all learned in grade school science class!). Bright reds and violet colours are often caused when certain sugars are trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis slows down, which occurs when there is less daylight and cooler temperatures. (How’s that for a quick science lesson?!)
In Canada, the fall colors are often synonymous with the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday (or the “Jour de l’action de Grace” in french-speaking Canada). This holiday celebrates the harvest season in Canada. In 1957, the Canadian government proclaimed that the second Monday in October would be a day to be thankful for “the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”. Although it isn’t actually an official statutory holiday across Canada — the eastern Canadian provinces consider this day an optional holiday — the holiday brings the same rituals in practice to Canada as are well-known in American Thanksgiving, such as a large turkey dinner, served with harvest favorites like pumpkin and squash. Unlike Canadian Thanksgiving, the U.S. celebrates their Thanksgiving for a full two days in late November. However, it was these traditions that were replicated in Canada when American settlers migrated up north and settled in Canada, still maintaining their customs as they began their new life on Canadian soils after the American revolution.
This is truly one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world and a definite must-see if you are in Canada in the autumn season. From the amazing and vibrant fall colors up in northern Ontario, Canada, we wish you a very happy (and colorful!) autumn!
Stay warm as the cooler months approach… and Happy Travels from the Road Warrior Team!
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