Ontario, Canada’s second-largest province, is arguably one of the country’s most famous and well-known for its many attractions. Located in the eastern part of the country, Ontario is home to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa and 14 million people — over one-third of the country’s entire population! It also houses four out of the five magnificent Great Lakes, the world-famous Niagara Falls, and has a fiercely loyal fanbase for its multiple professional sports teams.
One unique, slightly lesser-known aspect of the province relates to Ontario landmarks. There’s a notable abundance of quirky roadside attractions here, many of them easily accessible and giant in size. It’s already a fantastic road trip destination with so much to see and do, but add in the roadside attractions Ontario offers, and it becomes even better!
Consider including these fun, photo-worthy Ontario landmarks on your road trip itinerary to help break up long driving days across the country.
Must-see Ontario Landmarks for Your Road Trip
From larger-than-life animal statues to the world’s biggest apple structure, the roadside attractions Ontario offers make for planning a fun and memorable road trip itinerary.
Wawa Goose, Wawa
What’s a Canada road trip without a Canada goose, anyway? Easily one of the most famous roadside attractions Ontario is known for, the 28-foot-tall, made-from-solid-steel Wawa Goose has been welcoming visitors with its 20-foot wingspan since 1963. In fact, it’s said to be one of the top most-photographed landmarks in North America!
The giant goose was erected to attract tourists after the Trans-Canada was built and completely bypassed downtown Wawa. It seems it works very well, as people now come from all over to take a photo with this famous Ontario landmark.
Red Canoe, Toronto
Located inside Canoe Landing Park in downtown Toronto, the giant Red Canoe is among the most famous Ontario landmarks. It’s large enough to walk inside and sit down or hang out, making it the perfect photo op. Visitors will also find additional artwork at the park, including a field of life-sized fishing bobbers and a beaver dam.
While you’re here, don’t miss the impressive rooftop park on top of the Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre. It has a mezzanine running track, a children’s play area, plenty of seating, and spectacular views of downtown Toronto.
Big Loonie, Echo Bay
If you’ve ever heard of this particular Ontario landmark, you may have asked yourself, “Where is the giant loonie in Canada?” For those unfamiliar, a loonie is an 11-sided Canadian one-dollar coin.
Here in Echo Bay, a giant version stands in Loon Park, adjacent to an environmental center and the wheelchair-accessible Lake George Marsh Boardwalk. After snapping your photo with the loonie, be sure to stroll along the other roadside attractions in Ontario. And keep your eyes open — you may just spot an actual loon.
Insider tip: Awe-inspiring Lake Superior is right near the Big Loonie, well worth another quick stop on your road trip!
Jumbo the Elephant, St. Thomas
Jumbo is one of those Ontario landmarks that almost anyone can appreciate. History buffs, railroad enthusiasts, animal lovers — the 38-ton statue has a little of everything. Thought to be the biggest elephant in the world and certainly among the most famous, Jumbo stood about 3.2 meters, or 10.5 feet, tall at the shoulder.
He was the star of the Barnum & Bailey’s circus in the 1880s and was tragically struck by a train and killed while in St. Thomas for a performance. On the 100-year anniversary of his death in 1985, the community unveiled the Jumbo statue. While a bit tragic, Jumbo is a must-see when it comes to roadside attractions in Ontario.
The Big Apple, Colborne
Unlike many roadside attractions Ontario has that are essentially giant photo ops, The Big Apple is an entire destination in and of itself. In fact, you could easily spend a whole day here! Situated right on Highway 401 (AKA the Highway of Heroes), the world’s biggest apple/country store/restaurant/mini theme park is a bit touristy, but in the best possible way, offering something for literally everyone.
Little ones will love the train ride, mini-golf, and petting zoo, while adults will appreciate sampling the made-on-site hard cider. The giant apple structure itself contains an observatory offering sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Best of all, most of these activities are totally FREE! Don’t forget to purchase some apple-flavored goodies to bring home!
“Cruise” Through Your Ontario Roadside Attractions Trip
Regardless of your starting point or how much time you’ll be on the road, renting a Cruise America RV can make the trip even better.
With several RV rental models to choose from and nearly 130 convenient pickup locations across North America (including in Ontario!), it’s never been easier to hit the road. Which Ontario landmarks will you visit first? Safe travels!