12. April 2012
#1: Southern Ontario
With a full range of seasons with comparatively mild temperatures (-11 in February is the coldest average low), Southern Ontario offers the full Canadian Grade “Eh” experience!
Species to see in the Wild We from Ontario are so used to seeing some animals that we forget how lucky we are! Europeans that come to Southern Ontario delight in the abundance of Grey and Red Squirrels, as well as the fascinating flying squirrels, which are found in the Carolinian Forest, and now designated a Rare Species due to its dwindling habitat of mature hardwood. The considered lucky “white squirrels” can be seen at McNaughton Park in Exeter, Ontario.
In Southern Ontario (in areas of Elgin County especially) residents claim to have an overabundance of white-tailed deer that are so plentiful they eat up families’ gardens! Other animals are of course the ubiquitous groundhogs, as well as the less common coyotes, wolves, red foxes, possums, and chipmunks. In late summer you can sometimes be spellbound by the unforgettable experience of being passed by a cloud of millions of monarch butterflies, who gather in large groups on the north shore of Lake Erie whilst preparing to begin their fall migration. Oh, one more thing—those of you not from the area may also want to be prepared for the incredibly cute but frequently “imposing” visits of raccoons and skunks.
Places to Stay
Almost everyone who lives in Ontario has a cottage, cabin, or trailer that they visit to get away from every day life, and with good reason. Visitors to the area would feign pass up the experience of staying in a small house, chalet, or cabin, many available all along the Lake Erie and Lake Huron shorelines. Those who enjoy lakeside beaches, swimming, fishing, hiking, or simply being surrounded by the wonderful sights and sounds of nature will find that the plethora of cottage rentals Ontario has to offer confirm the proud claim that Southern Ontario truly is Cottage Country.
#2: Atlantic Canada / East Coast
Coming in at #2 is Atlantic Canada, composed of four distinct provinces all connected by their intimacy with the Atlantic Ocean, marked by unique natural wonders, breathtaking sea vistas, picturesque seaside towns and their world-famously friendly residents.
Species to see in the Wild
On Sable Island, Nova Scotia you can see what is likely the world’s largest herd of unmanaged horses, composed of over 300 wild horses of mixed breeds. You can also see harbour and grey seals. In Nova Scotia you can also spot many black bears and eastern coyotes, which can be twice the size of average coyotes found in Southwestern North America. Their size is thought to be the cause of past interbreeding with wolves as coyotes spread northward and eastward across North America. The Atlantic puffin is, surprise surprise, another frequently seen animal in the Atlantic provinces, and over 60% of its population breeds on the islands off of the east coast of Newfoundland, the province to which it is official animal. The mainland moose are also plentiful but can be a bit tricky to find, due to their thriving in remote areas with limited access. The main Nova Scotian areas where moose can be found are Tobeatic Region, Cobequid Mountains, Cobequid Mountains, Pictou-Antigonish highlands, as well as the interior of the eastern shore area.
Places to Stay
If you want to get a great view of the West Coast of Newfoundland, find an affordable cabin in Cormack, Newfoundland. You can find some of the best Newfoundland cabins just a few kilometres away from Gros Morne National Park and Deer Lake Airport, with a bounty of salmon fishing, golf, and animal spotting opportunities.
Read on for more ideal species-spotting locations in Canada!