Sightseeing Suggestions: Things to See and Do in York Region

Visitor Tips

Here are some quick suggestions for visitors with limited time in the area. Perfect if you have only ONE DAY to visit (like a business trip, when passing through, or when stopping over between flights). The additional days schedule is a recommendation for those who want to see the essence of York Region in only a couple of days.

You can read ALL SORTS of travel guides, and carry around pounds of paper, or just print off this ONE PAGE and have all the info you ever need! These are the area’s top activities, family activities and attractions, tourist attractions, historical sites, museums, interesting architecture, sightseeing and top shopping/dining areas. Organized into a nice walking or driving itinerary!

York Region covers a significant area, so we’ve split the “tour” into three parts: South-East (around Markham), Southwest (around Vaughan) and north (Aurora-Newmarket & Georgina). Here are a lot of farms & farm markets in this area, along pretty well any country road, selling their fresh produce in season.

In and Around Markham

Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery Of Markham
Here are our picks starting in Thornhill, heading north to Richmond Hill:

Historic Thornhill. Take a walking tour and see dozens of 150 year old settlers homes, including the Cricklewood mansion

Canadian Museum Of Hindu Civilization in Richmond Hill sits beside a beautiful temple, and showcases many facets of Hindu culture,

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, in Unionville, was the home of this Group of Seven painter, and shows works by Varley as well as exhibits of contemporary local, national and international artists.

Unionville Main Street

Historic Markham. Take a walking tour and see dozens of 150 year old settlers homes and the historic Markham Train Station

Boardwalk along wetlands, Rouge national Urban Park

Rouge Park, along 9th Line between Markham and Stouffville, showcases the post-glacial Oak Ridges Moraine landscape.

York-Durham Heritage Railway between Uxbridge and Stouffville

The York-Durham Heritage Railway connects Stouffville and Uxbridge on an old steam train. Plan ahead to arrive in time to take the train

Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area, in Stouffville, has a beach, a hiking trail, and a treetop trek trail through diverse eco-systems that are home to 50 bird species.

In and Around Vaughan

This route starts in the south, eads along the western edge of York Region, and then east to Richmond Hill:

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village just south of Steeles, shows what Canadian rural living was like at the time of Confederation back in 1867.

View of Countryside around Maple, Ontario

Blue Willow Garden & Butterfly Conservatory, along the western edge of the region, is a summertime oasis where you can see thousands of butterflies in a luxurious garden setting.

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

McMichael Canadian Art Collection displays many of the works of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, If you love art this can be a half or whole day

Nearby are two conservation areas along the Humber River, Boyd Conservation Area, the Kortright Centre for Conservation. and the 5.7 km long Humber Trail (William Granger Greenway)

Paramount Canada's Wonderland

Paramount Canada’s Wonderland is a must-see stop if you are travelling with kids worth having a peek, or take all day here on the rides and the rollercoasters.

Vaughan Mills mega mall
Catch the NASCAR Speed Park at Vaughan Mills Mall. Fun for the kid in all of us… there’s also a ton of big box shopping to do (everything form IKEA to Bass Pro Shops)

In and around Aurora-Newmarket & Georgina

This route zig-zags north from Newmarket

Historical Tower in downtown Newmarket

Historic Downtown Newmarket, has a history dating back to an early 1800s Quaker settlement from the early 19th century, with features like the old Town Hall and Fairy Lake

Rogers Reservoir, 2 km north of Newmarket, has a reservoir with a concrete lock and its swing bridge which are remnants of an early 1900s “Ghost” Canal System.

Holland Marsh aerial view, near Highway 400
Holland Marsh, west of Bradford and roughly between Yonge Street and highway 400, is a unique farm area that used to be underwater marshland and now intensively farmed for a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and flowers

Sibbald Point Provincial Park, on Lake Simcoe has sandy beaches, a pioneer family’s manor and a historical church

Chippewas of Georgina Island (Georgina Island First Nation) are located on a 1357 hectare island in Lake Simcoe, accessible by ferry, gives insight into how Canada’s Indians live. There are trails, exhibits, and storytelling on the Island.