The Central Provinces: Golf Travel to Canada
By Adam Stanley
TPC Toronto (Photo by Chris Fry)
Travelling to Canada for golf has never been easier – or more affordable – and with plenty of options from coast-to-coast, it’s an easy destination to consider for your next golf trip.
A quick flight from almost all of the major cities in the United States, and a straightforward enough drive from most places in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, you can take advantage of mountain golf, ocean golf, and classic parkland-style golf courses across the country.
Food options abound -- boasting local, fresh ingredients – while wineries dot the landscape, the craft beer scene is booming, and the cultural experiences are second-to-none at some of the world’s buzziest cities.
That said, all those opportunities merely enhance the great golf that exists north of the border.
Over the next month, we’ll showcase from West to East each of the four big regions for golf adventures with our neighbors to the north. Oh Canada, indeed!
While there is plenty of nice golf through Saskatchewan and Manitoba – Dakota Dunes in Saskatoon and Pine Ridge in Winnipeg in particular – Ontario, as Canada’s most populated province, has thousands of great courses to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a fins and skins adventure to the north – mixing in some fishing and golfing in Thunder Bay, for example – or need to inject some big-time cultural events to your itinerary in Toronto, there are great options abound for on-course and off-course fun.
If you take Toronto as your central hub, the options within a five-hour drive (including Montreal and Ottawa) are incredible – and seemingly endless. Toronto is the home to major league sports teams, world-class dining and shopping, and lots of neat off-course experiences that could easily overwhelm! Don’t skip the opportunity to see all that Toronto has to offer – even just a walk along Queen St. West or The Beaches’ boardwalk promises to ignite the senses – but those activities are there to support you going for the golf.
And the good news is, there is lots of it.
The City of Toronto itself operates five municipal golf courses that are all accessible by public transit. There’s a par-3 course, a short course, and three other full-length facilities highlighted by Don Valley Golf Course. Mississaugua as well is home to a fabulous municipal layout, Lakeview, which was just renovated and stacks up well against nearly any public track within a 30-minute radius from the CN Tower. And don’t sleep on Copetown Woods, a family-run facility near Hamilton that punches way above its weight class in terms of conditioning and fun-factor at a can’t-beat-it price.
The best of the best in Toronto, however – and one could argue, the best 54-hole facility in North America – is TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley.
Home to three courses each of TPC Toronto’s courses offers up a euphoric escapism from the hustle and bustle of Canada’s buzziest city. The sprawling countryside topography is the perfect landscape for the links-style, parkland-style, and wasteland-delight that are the Heathlands, North, and Hoot courses, respectively. There are stay-and-play options available with hotels in nearby Caledon, Ont., or it’s an easy 35-minute drive from Toronto’s airport.
There’s not enough space to continue to write on all of the wonderful options through Ontario and into Quebec in Canada, so we’ll offer up just a snippet on the regions to research:
- Niagara-on-the-Lake - Home to one of Canada’s top wine regions (Kelowna in British Columbia is another, along with Prince Edward County – which we’ll get to in a minute) there is also lots of good golf in the area, which is a barely-there jump across the border from Buffalo, NY.
- Muskoka - Canada’s cottage country to the rich and famous, rocky outcroppings and unique design features make the Muskoka layouts perfect places to play before or after some time on the lake
- Prince Edward County - Another of Canada’s wine regions, great golf dots the area in Eastern Ontario including the fabulous Black Bear Ridge.
- Ottawa - Canada’s capital city is home to as fine a collection of courses as any other metropolis in the country, highlighted by eQuinelle (about 30 minutes south of downtown) and The Marshes in Kanata. A nice compliment to the historical hub that is Canada’s capital
- Montreal - One of the best areas in the country for culture, food, and European influence, Montreal’s golf offerings are pretty darn good, too. The Presidents Cup returns to Royal Montreal in 2024, which would be as good a time as any to wrap a trip to La Belle Province
With so many options for great golf, and little areas to explore, the only issue with your next trip to the central part of Canada is how fast you’ll want to come back again!