Elora is a charming and historic town in the GTA blessed with a very dramatic natural feature – a huge, steep gorge that cuts right through it, with the Grand River roaring below.
The summer time heat typically draws loads of people to the waterways of Elora, such as the Elora Quarry, with its deep emerald green waters, for swimming and cliff jumping. Others enjoy tubing down the Grand River on organized tours that pick you up at the end of the route and drive you back. There’s hiking in the conservation areas, a riverside splash pad, lots of caves and crevices to explore, and even camping.
Unfortunately this year, Because Of F***ing Covid, all of that was put on hiatus. All except for access to the gorge itself.
The easiest way to get down into the gorge is to park at the roadside of Victoria Park, and head into the right-hand part of the park until you find the stairway going down. It’s steep but the steps are good, but you should wear good shoes, of course.
Down in the bottom of the gorge there’s a little path that runs along the river, in both directions. We found people hiking, splashing in the water, picnicking, chilling in hammocks, and just enjoying the amazing, short Ontario summer weather. After all, when you’ve only got ten weeks of heat, you’ve got to maximize every last drop of the sunlight, before the long, cold winter returns.
But, I digress. Once in the gorge, to your right you will see the iconic bridge, and if you go to your left you will reach a striking rock formation and towering cliffs. From here we crossed the river and found little rock pools, while somehow keeping our shoes dry (next time, however, we will take extra shoes so we can get our runners wet).
Some people were even going tubing – covid restrictions be damned! Made me wish I owned some tubes.
I can only hope that in 2021 things will be ‘back to normal’, with the quarry open for swimming, group tubing activities available, campsites open for business, and kids freaking out at splash pads. In the meantime, we’re very fortunate to be able to just get up and go to so many beautiful places, to make the most of this Covid Summer.