Burlington in the Fall Beckons One and All

You’ll have to forgive us. We never get tired of trumpeting the virtues of this city we call (our corporate) home and the change of seasons is one more opportunity to blow our horn.

Burlington’s ideal location in the sweet spot of the Golden Horseshoe pays dividends year-round but never more so than in the Fall. Sorry, deniers, the cooler breeze and shorter days of autumn are almost upon us though rest assured it’s no cause for gloom.

On the contrary, Burlington shines at this time of the year when it celebrates many of its best features. Whether you’re into the food/wine harvest scene, changing colours, music, festivals or fitness, there is something for everyone. This abundance of cultural riches is one of the qualities that attracted the Molinaro family to the area long before Paradigm Grand was even a glint in anyone’s eye.

As company President Vince Molinaro says, the city combines small-town appeal with a growing urban sophistication. He’s believes the two can comfortably co-exist because of deep roots.

“Burlington has a strong character; people love living here. There’s a lot of large festivals, a lot of good restaurants, a lot of mom-and-pop shops people love to see.”

It also means that you can sample all of these attractions without venturing far from your door. Allow us to curate what might be your fall itinerary of events and destinations in the weeks ahead.

Some Suggestions to Help Plan Your Autumn Adventure

Burlington’s waterfront jewel and focal point, Spencer Smith Park, gets top billing for convenience and accessibility. You can make a day of it to explore; pack a picnic lunch and cycle or simply enjoy the trails on foot.

It’s an ideal spot for kids and families with plenty of room to spread out and relax or play. It’s also home to the unofficial start of Fall, the Labour Day Weekend Ribfest, an all-ages outdoor event billed as the largest in Canada, marking its 25th anniversary this year. In addition to the aromatic smoked meat delicacies, you’ll find a tantalizing selection of traditional carnival treats guaranteed to leave a mustard or ketchup stain.

It’s never too early or late in the season for ice cream and Burlington punches above its weight in the frozen treat department. You can map out of a tour of the city’s dozen-or-so top-notch purveyors and sample one or more of these establishments every weekend. Whether you prefer a cone or cup, full-dairy or vegan alternatives, you’ll find a shop to satisfy your personal craving.

Head for the Hills and Valleys

Gardening enthusiasts come from all over the region to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. Typically ablaze with vivid blooms throughout the summer, the grounds project a more melancholy mood in fall that holds its own charm. The tree canopy transitions to a multi-coloured riot and the well-defined trails are ideal for walking, outdoor dining or finding a remote corner for quiet contemplation in a beautiful natural setting. Don’t miss the Hendrie Valley Trails in the Grindstone Creek Valley in mid-to-late September.

You’re always within easy driving distance of one of Ontario’s most popular attractions, the Niagara wine region. Just minutes south on the QEW, September and October are peak harvest season. Most local winemakers are pleased to host tasting/information sessions during this exciting time of year, and post visiting hours and directions on their websites.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre will be humming right through October. Fans of Seventies’ rock radio can catch former chart-topper  Air Supply (Sept. 15), vintage Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane and his band Red Rider at the same venue on the 20th while the October calendar includes performances by local favorite Glass Tiger (Oct. 14), the Vienna Boys Choir (Oct. 15) and the Canadian Jazz All-Stars on the 29th.

The  Burlington Terry Fox Run/Walk for Cancer Research (Sept. 18), and the Applefest Fall Fair (hosted by Museums of Burlington – Oct. 1) are also on the list of autumn highlights.

You’ll find a complete day-by-day list for September and October on the city’s own website.

Fall in Burlington. Life doesn’t get much grander.