Yesterday, after presents, we bought a map of Ontario (which we needed anyway), drove around the corner and kept driving. It's kind of funny - the main north-south street near us is Hurontario, or Highway 10, which stretches from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay.
We were wondering how far we'd have to drive before the suburban sprawl and fast-food chains disappeared. Mississauga bleeds into Brampton, which has a pretty stretch of original town on Hurontario, but looks poised to be overwhelmed by sprawl. (We looked at houses in Brampton last year, and you could practically see the open space being devoured by townhouse developments in front of your eyes.) But slightly north of Brampton, the development thins out and you're in rural country.
We found a roadside diner, our favorite kind of place when driving around. Eating at a joint like that, you could be anywhere. Rural people look the same everywhere in North America, only the accents change.
Further on, we poked around the town of Orangeville, which has preserved its little main street apart from the development near the highway. I love little towns with main streets - the old church, the original town hall now used for something else, the storefronts. I noticed this town's library was originally a Carnegie library. I didn't know they were in Canada.
At Orangeville we turned back. We stopped at a roadside pumpkin and fruit stand to pick up some autumn colors for the house. We also stopped at a provincial park called Forks of the Credit. That's the Credit River, from which our town of Port Credit gets its name, because the river empties into Lake Ontario here.
The parking lot was nearly full, and there were a lot of people setting out on trails with cameras, which was nice to see. We only took a short walk - it was getting late to keep the dogs waiting, and we weren't really dressed for a serious hike. But it was great to see where nice country hiking spots are, a relatively short drive away. I noticed several provincial parks on the map in this general area. These are good places to take the dogs and spend the day out when we're not exploring.
The autumn colours were beautiful, but muted, not the brilliant, knock-out colours you sometimes see. I don't know if that's the variety of tree or this particular autumn, because the strength of the colours does vary from year to year. (I had to go back and add all those us.) But it was terrific to be out in the country, to feel the sky and space all around us, and to know this is only a short drive away.
I don't have a lot of foliage photos, I didn't know folks would be asking for them! But here's a little taste of our day.
P.S.: a big thank you to James for suggesting this little jaunt and heading us in the right direction.