Sarnia: Sleepy town on the western border of Ontario

Travel PeriodSeptember 2018
Length of itinerary3 days
Mode of travelRoadtrip

Staying true to our way of travel to go to places which are not the most popular (yet), we decided to check out what west Ontario had to offer. There were a few options but we ended up choosing Sarnia.

Sarnia is a small border town with a bridge and water crossing to US. Since it is not very far (about 300 kms from DT Toronto), we left after work on Friday with the aim of having dinner after check-in to the hotel.

Drive from Toronto to Sarnia

We selected a route which can take us to Sarnia in time for dinner (considering GTA’s peak hour rush) without compromising much on the views on the east-west drive. The route took us through Niagara Escarpment and, boy, was that a revelation! We were so busy in admiring the landscape going past us during the drive, that we did not click pictures.
Our stay was booked in Best Western, a pet friendly hotel which is in dire need of an upgrade.

Day 1: Pinery Provincial Park

Pinery Provincial Park is a small protected area north east of Sarnia on the shores of Lake Huron. The Ontario provincial parks website is a good guide to go through before going to the park. It provides the details on the facilities, amenities, timings, various maps and campground booking feature. For us the deal clincher was availability of a dog beach!

The drive to Pinery did not have anything interesting to write home about some stretches with palatial homes and mansions by the lake- nothing extraordinary here. Tree-lined drives, garden, multi-level patios overlooking the clear waters of Lake Huron- that’s all!

There is a small fees per car for day use of the park. A map handout of the park is also provided. We recommend going to the park early in the day to be ahead of the rush. However, since it is a popular park for campgrounds, many groups and families stay overnight. We recommend looking at park maps from the website beforehand so you know where you want to go. Once you enter the park, there is very limited place to stop the car and look at the map- it will hinder the traffic flow.

Beach 1 is a dog beach with a small trail with mud track and wooden steps. Despite being a dog beach, the sand and the water are quite clean and you can spend ample time on the beach playing in sand or water. Pinery’s beaches are just amazing with limited waves, slight gradient and clean sand. All three of us indulged ourselves here, so much so that we skipped taking pictures but some pictures on Google can be found here.

Day 2: Canatara Park in Sarnia

We kept the second day of the trip for looking around Sarnia. After a slight breakfast, the three of us loaded in the car and drove around the various lake facing open spaces, the bridge to US and finally spent some time in Canatara Park. Some glimpses from the park are below:

Day 3: Drive back to Toronto

We left Sarnia around 10am after breakfast and after an uneventful 3 hours, arrived home in Toronto .
That was the end of our short trip to Sarnia- a laid back, fit for retirement, beautiful town!

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