Ontario’s epic food scene should be for everyone, and these destinations are working hard to find inclusive spots and safer spaces for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to gather around delicious food.
This summer, grab some friends or loved ones and head out on the road to taste the rainbow!
3 Rainbow Registered Destinations
Prince Edward County, Thunder Bay and Windsor Essex Pelee Island are all Rainbow-Registered tourism destinations with epic food scenes to discover this summer.
Wondering what it means to be Rainbow Registered? It’s an accreditation program run by the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Learn more!
Prince Edward County
Speaking of that Rainbow Registered program, Prince Edward County tops the list for volume and deliciousness this summer. This rural destination has so many spots to discover and not only is Visit the County rainbow registered, but all these businesses are as well!
When it comes time to grab a beverage- you have options. Adega Wine Bar serves up a massive selection of wines that change regularly. Chat with their knowledgeable staff to find something for you and pair it up with a charcuterie board that features loads of Ontario-produced goodness.
Want to crank things up a notch? Adega also hosts loads of 2SLGBTQIA+ events. Past events have included everything from Queers and Wines Night and drag performances to social evenings for the community.
More in the mood for beer? No worries! 555 Brewing Co. in Picton crafts a good selection of brews that rotates including Belgian wits, West Coast IPAs and more.
Pair those beers up with something off the menu like east coast garlic fingers with donair sauce or their wood-fired pizza. 555 Brewing Co. also frequently hosts spectacular, sell-out drag events, so keep your eyes on their Instagram for their next announcement.
Beer and wine aren’t your only options! Find out what’s buzzing over at Millefleurs Lavender Farm and Meadery.
Stop by in late June to July if you want to see their lavender farm in full-on bloom. Grab a glass of their mead to drink on the terrace (made using honey from their on-site bee colony) and if you love it, bring some home with you. Do you smell that? It’s romance in the air!
Want more? You could also check out County Cider Co. for some appley goodness! With tastings, tours and a patio restaurant, there are plenty of ways to enjoy!
Time for dinner! Bermuda PEC aims to bring sunny vibes to The County all year round and that means for everyone (check out the policies, beliefs and values section of their website to see what we mean).
What else makes us happy about this spot? The menu, of course! From green chilli burgers and pork shoulder ragu to taquitos and nachos, our stomachs are howling!
Finally, when it’s time to settle in for the night, check out the famous June Motel (you may have caught them on Netflix) or Jackson’s Falls Country Inn. Both accredited accommodations will help you embrace the oh-so-relaxing feeling of being in The County.
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The June Motel is well-known for its fun aesthetic. With pops of pinks and greens galore, cheeky photo opps and beachy vibes- you’ll love your stay. Pop down to their hotel lobby bar for a glass of wine, a light snack or complimentary coffee during your stay!
Jackson’s Falls Country Inn has a cozy, rural feeling that will make you want to stay indoors (but don’t because getting out in PEC is half the charm)! On weekends they serve up a brunch under the helm of Chef Chris Wylie that will make your mouth water. Think Finnish pancakes, breakfast bowls and more!
That’s not all! There are more rainbow-registered businesses coming soon to The County so stay tuned for those.
Cheers to a wonderful escape to Prince Edward County!
Travel north to Thunder Bay for a summer adventure you won’t soon forget! Nestled along the shores of Lake Superior, we love Thunder Bay for its fantastic food scene and friendly people.
The folks at Tourism Thunder Bay have perfected the idea of playing hard and rewarding yourself! As such, these perfect pairings are how we’re suggesting you taste the rainbow in Thunder Bay this summer.
Go for a Hike + a Bite at In Common
Head out for a short yet scenic hike at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park. Second in size only to Niagara Falls, these falls are a stunning feat of nature you need to see for yourself.
Check them out from the lookout before heading onto the trail system which ranges from 750m to 4km so choose what suits you! You’ll have a chance to see wildlife, a smaller set of falls and an old portage loop that travellers used to use to get around the falls.
Other great hikes include Ouimet Canyon, and Mount McKay for adventure seekers.
When you’re done, head to In Common for a drink and bite in an uber-friendly atmosphere. This delicious spot puts the community front and centre with a locally sourced, colourful menu (right down to the dishes) and community events like drag shows, art shows, queer nights and more! We loved their colourful cocktails and kimchi bowl.
Mountain Biking + Lakehead Beer (plus Tomlin Subdivision!)
When it comes to mountain biking, Thunder Bay knows what they’re doing. From Modern flow trails to old-school rock tech, you’ll find it here.
22km of single-track trails await you at Trowbridge Forest while those who fall for flow will be happy to check out Drift, a new, machine-built trail system.
Coming specifically for that Canadian shield ride? Head to Snakes and Ladders or Other Side to head right on through or bring the whole family out to Prospector Skills Trail for something fun!
Once you’ve worked up a sweat (or not! Look at you go!), head over to Lakehead Beer for a cold one. With an unmatched cool factor and tasty brews, you’ll be in your glory sipping on their Deep Cuts American Brown Ale (oh no, we’re drooling on our keyboard).
Feelin’ peckish? Lakehead Beer is also home to Tomlin Subdivision (sister company to the Tomlin, a 2023 sponsor for the Thunder Bay Rainbow Collective, which you also really need to visit) which serves up incredible Detroit-style pizzas and hush puppies we fall asleep dreaming about each night.
Lakehead recently worked on a great value statement and house rules policy as well to create a safer space for those looking to visit. Kudos!
Paddle Boarding + Sleeping Giant Brewing Company
Looking for a way to connect to Thunder Bay’s scenic waterways? Give Stand Up Paddling Boarding (or SUP as the cool kids say) a try! You’ll get the chance to feel connected to the water and possibly to muscles you didn’t know you had.
NatriBros and Superior Stand Up Paddle Boarding both offer equipment rentals and lessons on local lakes.
Once you’re done, it’s time to kick back in a relaxed atmosphere. Head over to the city’s outskirts for a cold one at Sleeping Giant Brew Co.
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Not only does this brewery have an epic lineup of flagship and seasonal brews (seriously, we’re kind of obsessed with their spruce harvest ale made with fresh spruce tips each year) but they also work hard to create a welcoming environment.
Not only will you see those visual signs of support (pride flags, stickers etc.) but you can feel good knowing the brewery is putting in the work to train their staff. Working with the Thunder Bay Rainbow Collective, they are Gender and Sexual Diversity Certified which requires mandatory training for staff every two years.
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In past years they have also created the Love=Love Raspberry Sour for pride with proceeds going to the Rainbow Collective of Thunder Bay and brewed in partnership with them!
Fort William Historical Park + The Goods & Co.
Fort William Historical Park is an exciting way to learn about some of Thunder Bay’s most prolific historical event: Rendez-Vous. You’ll be transported back in time to the inland headquarters of the Northwest Trading Company.
You’ll wander a traditional Anishinaabe encampment to learn about traditional foraged foods and medicines as well as watch a Bannock-making demo over the fire.
Next, walk along the wharf and discover the main square where you can learn about roasting coffee on the hearth, Scottish shortbread and more as you come to understand the many ways that the French, Scottish and Anishinaabe interacted at the time.
This year is the park’s 50th anniversary so we’re sure you’re in for some special additions to their already awesome programming!
After you finish, head over to The Goods & Co. for a bite and perhaps some shopping. This space houses local grocers, maple syrup producers, local artisans and a full-on cocktail bar, The Woodbine. It’s basically a shopping mall for strictly local goods.
A sponsor of the Thunder Bay Rainbow Collective, The Goods& Co. also hosted a Pride Market last June so stay tuned for details on that in 2023!
A Wellness Escape to Windsor-Essex
Take it easy breezy with a quiet, rural escape in Harrow. Start off by checking into Walnut Grove Bed and Breakfast for a stay that truly dazzles and will leave you feeling refreshed.
Just minutes from several delightful wineries, you can choose to tour around the area or just stay on site. This rainbow-registered bed and breakfast is located within a farmhouse built in 1902 on a ten-acre treed property and is owned by Leslie, a certified sommelier, and her partner Bob.
Wander the property, go for a dip in the heated pool or hot tub and take a deep breath. When you’re ready to eat, you’ll surely be delighted. Walnut Grove prides itself on offering up truly local fare right down to house-made sausages and eggs from chickens they know (how cute is that). You can even enjoy a picture-perfect picnic out in their scenic meadow!
Want something extra special? Check out their pollinator experience. This two-hour interactive experience invites the curious nature lover to stroll through the meadow on a guided tour where you’ll discover all kinds of pollinators.
You’ll learn about native species, gardening tips and the needs of pollinators before going through a patch of Carolinian Forest and over to a chalet in the woods to enjoy a locally-sourced charcuterie and taste walnut syrup. Finally, you’ll decorate your own bee bowl that was handcrafted for Walnut Grove.
If it’s romance you seek, you can even request a farm-to-table candle-lit dinner in advance of your visit! Next stop: Relaxation City. Population: you.
Have a Wonderful Time
We hope you enjoy these summer escapes and eating your way through Ontario! Don’t forget to download a Great Taste of Ontario passport before you head out. When you check into five stops, you’ll automatically receive a $25 Feast On® voucher right to your inbox!