Delightfully known as the "Sunshine City," Orillia has preserved its charming small-town character all while developing many modern city amenities and services.
This four-season community, located just over an hour from the GTA, boasts a rich arts & culture scene, plenty of outdoor adventures, a vibrant historic downtown, Lakehead University and more.
Join me as I explore what this beautiful city has to offer!
Electric violinist & Artistic Director
Aaron Davis Quartet
Episode 2 features Gemini and JUNO-award winning pianist, Aaron Davis, alongside his bandmates, Johnny Johnson (winds), Kevin Breit (guitar/banjo) and Ian de Souza (bass). Aaron Davis is an eclectic composer, arranger and keyboardist who is perhaps best known as a founding member of the Holly Cole Trio and the world beat band Manteca. He also acts as music director for singer Measha Brueggergosman.
Filmed live at the Orillia Opera House and with Lake Country Airways
Downtown Orillia Arts & Culture
This past September, Aaron Davis, his band and myself spent the evening at the Orillia Opera House to film the second concert of the Travel by Sound series. This is the only concert of the series that was open to a live audience, and the hall went to great lengths to ensure everyone was safe and comfortable by developing new booking and seating protocols.
If you happen to be in the area, you'll want to be sure to check out the Farmer's Market which pops up behind the Library on Saturday mornings. The nearby arts district also boasts some very cool outdoor street art displays on Peter Street North, the Orillia Museum of Art & History, and plenty of unique independent local shops and restaurants along Mississauga Street.
This time of year, Orillia's vibrant fall colours make the city a stunning place to explore. Trevor and I hopped on our bikes to explore the Millenium Trail - an easy and family friendly 15km stretch of paved and gravel bike trail that passes through Orillia's waterfront and downtown core, with easy access to parks, beaches, public restrooms, shops and restaurants.
If you happen to be looking for a more adventurous tour, local company Born to Ride Bicycle offers over 80 guided tours, custom tours and bike rentals. Their Western Wetlands tour is a 3 - 4 hr trail tour through the lush green Jurassic marshlands of Orillia and Coldwater.
Fall Colours... From Above
Orillia sits between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, and after exloring the waterfront by bike, I decided to get completely different view of the area on a float plane tour with Lake Country Airways! And check out the plane I flew on... is that fate or what?!
Lake Country Airways' Fall Colours Tour is one of the company's most popular float plane tours this time of year. Booking was as simple as picking up the phone and registering in less than five minutes.
Once at the airport, my pilot, Kelsey, walked me down to the docks and ran through the safety features of the plane. We all made some final adjustments to our face masks, then hit the air for my FIRST ever float plane ride!
Over the next hour, we flew over Lake Couchiching and got a bird's eye view of the City of Orillia. Then we headed over to Bass Lake, the Trent-Severn Waterway and dipped down to take a peek at their Woodland fly-in camp where visitors looking for a truly remote fishing experience can rent cabins and enjoy a truly peaceful weekend on the water.
We landed back on Lake St. John at the airport, and Trevor and I kicked up our feet for a well deserved meal on the patio at Tailwinds Restaurant as we watched planes take-off and land on the lake for the rest of the afternoon.
For more information about Lake Country Airways, or to book a Fall Colours, Fly-and-Dine, or Fly-in Fishing tour, visit their website www.lakecountryairways.ca or call 705-325-9838.