There are loads of virtual tours online lately, from virtual museums tours to national parks that you can explore virtually. Whether you are looking to explore somewhere new, or for something educational to keep the kids occupied, there’s definitely a virtual tour for you! And these virtual tours in Ontario are perfect! You can explore some places and attractions without leaving home, and then add them to your list of places to visit later!
These virtual tours in Ontario give you a glimpse of some important and popular attractions in the province. There’s museums (even a children’s museum), historical sites including a castle and popular attractions such as the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, the CN Tower and even a live view of Niagara Falls!
You can explore these places from the comfort of your own home and won’t have any crowds to contend with. And best of all, these virtual tours in Ontario are all free!
Virtual Tours in Ontario: Museums
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
The Royal Ontario Museum, is the largest museum in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Combining collections of natural history and world culture, the ROM features over 6 million items in 40 galleries.
Collections vary from dinosaurs, minerals and meteorites to Canadian and European artifacts and African an East Asian Art.
In fact, the museum contains the only permanent collection of Korean art in Canada. Although they don’t have a virtual tour, you can browse the online collections here.
If you have the chance to visit in person, the Royal Ontario Museum is one of the best things to do in Toronto with kids.
Battlefield House Museum, Hamilton
Battlefield Park is located under the Niagara Escarpment and was the site of the historic Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812.
This historic site is located on 32 acres of land and includes Battlefield House as well as Grandview and the impressive Battlefield Monument. The Museum offers several virtual tours, including a look inside Battlefield House or the Grandview Building (also called the Nash-Jackson House).
You can also virtually tour the grounds of Battlefield House, including the impressive Battlefield Monument, which stands 100ft tall.
Tip: If you have the chance to visit in person, a re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek is held during the first weekend of June!
Hamilton Children’s Museum
The Hamilton Children’s Museum is the perfect place to explore and enjoy family fun!
Located in Gage Park, the 1875 farmhouse displays exhibits and offers a chance for kids and adults to learn through play.
The virtual tour takes your through each of the rooms and explains the different exhibits.
While you may not be able experience the hands on activities during a virtual tour, you can explore the rooms and exhibits in the museum and make plans to visit in person at a later date!
Thunder Bay Museum
Learn more about Northern Ontario by visiting the Thunder Bay Museum’s virtual tour.
The Museum offers a virtual tour, which takes you through Thunder Bay’s historic past and a Paleontology exhibit, as well as offering virtual exhibits of Thunder Bay’s history.
If you plan to visit Thunder Bay in person, here are the 20 Best Things to Do in Thunder Bay.
Museum of Steam and Technology, Hamilton
This National Historic Site preserves two 70-ton steam engines which pumped the first clean water to the city over 140 years ago!
The virtual tour offers a glimpse inside the museum, with 360 degree views inside all of the areas of the museum.
Tip: If you are looking to visit this Hamilton museum in person (when it is safe to do so), the Museum of Steam and Technology offers guided tours and special events for the whole family, including Live Steamer Days from May to October where families can ride a miniature steam train around the track!
National Air Force Museum of Canada, CFB Trenton
The National Air Force Museum of Canada was established in 1984 and is dedicated to preserving and telling the history of Canadian military aviation.
You can see some of the collections through a virtual Doors Open Tour. From mini compasses to light guns and even a flight suit, you’ll be able to see some of the artefacts that are on display in the museum.
Virtual Tours in Ontario: Historical Sites
Dundurn Castle, Hamilton
Dundurn Castle is located in Hamilton and offers a look into Canadian life prior to Confederation. It was home to Sir Allan MacNab who was one of Canada’s first premiers.
Dundurn Castle was completed in 1835 and took 3 years to build at a cost of $175,000. It featured the newest conveniences, including gas lighting, running water and even an indoor toilet!
It’s now a National Historic Site and the rooms have been restored to 1855 when Sir Allan MacNab was at the height of his career. The virtual tour offers 360 degree views of the rooms and grounds of the castle.
Fort William, Thunder Bay
Fort William Historical Park is a living history site in Northern Ontario.
Historical interpreters recreate Fort William as it was in 1816 during the days of the Canadian fur trade. Skilled tradesmen produce crafts according to traditional methods, and include blacksmiths, tinsmiths and a birch bark canoe builder.
Each summer, the park hosts a historical reenactment, bringing participants from all over Canada and the United States. You can enjoy a virtual panorama of the Main Square or take a 360 degree tour of some of the more popular historic buildings at Fort William.
(It’s a fascinating place to visit, especially with kids, so if you ever take a road trip to Thunder Bay, be sure to visit Fort William Historical Park!)
Whitehern House, Hamilton
Another National Historic Site in Hamilton and a great example of a historic home, Whitehern House is a rare example of a walled garden estate.
The virtual tour takes you through the rooms of Whitehern, from the Drawing Room with its’ ornate chandelier to the more recent additions in the back of the house, which include a refrigerator and stove from the 1930’s and modern plumbing.
In each room, you can click on different items to learn more. The virtual tour also includes a view of the gardens and terrace on the grounds of the estate.
Casa Loma, Toronto
Casa Loma is the only full sized castle in North America and located in midtown Toronto.
Built in 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt, who was intrigued by the castles he visited in Europe, the house consists of 98 rooms and cost over $3.5 million to build – and that’s in 1911 dollars!
The castle had three bowling alleys, a rifle range, secret passageways and a swimming pool, which was never completed.
The house sits on five acres of land and the gardens are filled with ornate sculptures, fountains, wildflowers and grasses.
Unfortunately the gardens are not part of the virtual tour but you can view all three floors, as well as the stables. Oh, and there have been a few movies filmed at the castle, including some of the X-men movies!
Virtual Tours in Ontario: Attractions
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
The Art Gallery of Ontario, or AGO, is one of the largest art museums in North America.
With close to 95,000 works of art ranging from European masterpieces to Canadian art by indigenous Canadian artists and the Group of Seven, there is something for everyone.
Now you can browse the AGO’s extensive collections online and even filter by time period, category or artists.
The AGO also offers many virtual classes for everyone, from children to adults, beginner to advanced, but there is a registration cost to these classes.
The awe-inspiring Niagara Falls is often thought to be one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
And it’s certainly one of Ontario’s Natural Wonders – you have to admit, the Falls are pretty amazing!
While Niagara Falls is technically three separate waterfalls, Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side and is the most powerful waterfall in North America.
While it isn’t exactly a virtual tour, Earthcam has a live camera so you can view Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) from the comfort of your own home!
Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto
It seems fitting that the only Hockey Hall of Fame in the world would be in Canada, as hockey is the national winter sport.
The Hall of Fame offers something for everyone, from themed exhibits about the game’s greatest players and teams, a replica NHL dressing room, to simulation games and NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup!
The virtual tour lets you explore different areas of the museum and click on different trophies to see details.
You can also access more information on their homepage to learn about players, stats and see photos.
Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto
While not exactly a virtual tour, you can view several live cameras at Ripley’s Aquarium.
You can view live cameras on the sharks, jellyfish, Ray Bay and the Rainbow Reef.
Ripley’s also offers a 45 minute virtual tour, but there is a fee.
The CN Tower
The CN Tower is an iconic Canadian attraction, towering over the city of Toronto at an impressive 553.33m (or 1,815 feet)!
Built in 1976 as a telecommunications tower, it was the World’s Tallest Free-Standing Structure at the time.
It’s considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and was the tallest tower in the world for over 34 years.
You can now explore this impressive tower from the comfort of your own home – and for those who have a fear of heights, this tour is perfect!
Virtually explore the base of the tower, then head up to the top for a view from above!
Or you can view the livecam over the Toronto skyline.
Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory features a 10,000 square foot tropical garden that showcases thousands of butterflies along with small birds and tropical plants.
The 6 ½ minute virtual tour takes you through a tropical paradise, down lush garden pathways and beneath a flowing waterfall, all while butterflies dance through the air around you.
After the tour, browse through their online guide and learn more about the different types of butterflies and moths!
Safari Niagara is a privately-owned and operated nature park, which is home to more than 1000 mammals, reptiles and birds.
This virtual tour allows you to virtually walk the path through the grounds and spot different animals along the way. While it definitely isn’t the same as seeing the animals in person, it’s still pretty interesting!
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If you have any other interesting virtual tours in Ontario to add to this list, let us know in the comments below!