13 Photos That Prove Ontario Is the Best Place for Wildlife Viewing

Bucket list images to help you plan your own Ontario wildlife safari.

From delicate songbirds to lumbering moose, playful otters to wary Canada lynx, Ontario is rich with incredible wildlife viewing. We’ve assembled this list of parks, wildlife preserves, bird centres, and animal attractions so you can experience the province’s finest fauna-watching for yourself. Please respect wildlife while exploring—read Ontario Parks’ guide to ethical wildlife photography for some great tips on viewing etiquette.

For up-to-date wildlife sightings, follow the Ontario Parks iNaturalist project. Then download the iNaturalist app to share your own observations, learn species identification, and get connected with nature experts around the world.

Canadian Polar Bear Habitat, Cochrane

Learn about these magnificent northern bruins at Cochrane’s Polar Bear Habitat, a centre for polar bear research, education, and conservation. Situated on 24 acres, the Habitat’s five large outdoor enclosures offer visitors the chance to see the bears in natural boreal and subarctic environments. See what the bears are up to via their live webcams.

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Killarney Provincial Park

With its sprawling wilderness of inland lakes, coastal shores, ancient mountains, and rugged Canadian Shield, Killarney Provincial Park is a wildlife-seeker’s dream. Catch sight of black bear, fox, lynx, otters, beaver, moose, and more along Killarney’s extensive canoe routes and hiking trails.

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Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre

With live wolfcams and an indoor observatory, visitors can almost always catch a glimpse of the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre’s resident pack as they wander through their 15-acre forested environment. Plus, every Thursday evening in July and August, you can join Wolf Centre staff for an interpretive program, followed by a short walk during which your guide will engage the wolves in a round of howls.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

The sprawling boreal forest and endless waterways of Superior Country provide ideal habitat for the versatile and resourceful black bear. Just about every road and park in this corner of the province offers a potential bear sighting, but one of our favourites is spectacular Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

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Quetico Provincial Park

Canada boasts 95% of the global loon population—and the vast, watery wilderness of Quetico Provincial Park is the perfect place to watch these iconic birds. Dip your paddle in some of the park’s more than 2,000 lakes, and you will be serenaded by the loons’ haunting calls. Learn more about Ontario’s loons, and if you’re canoeing in Killarney Provincial Park this spring or summer, consider participating in their annual loon count!

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Canadian Raptor Conservancy, Norfolk County

Situated on the shores of Lake Erie near bird-watching hotspot Long Point National Wildlife Area, the Canadian Raptor Conservancy is one of the largest captive breeding projects in the world. The facility features over 200 captive-bred birds on site, as well as a rehabilitation program for injured birds. Regular events include “owl prowls” and public photography sessions; the Conservancy also performs educational birds of prey demonstrations at shows and festivals across Canada.

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Neys Provincial Park

The deep boreal forest of Neys Provincial Park is home to the shy Canada lynx, one of Ontario’s three wild cat species (the others are bobcat and cougar). Take a quiet hike along the park’s beautiful trails for your best chance at spotting one of these majestic creatures.

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Chapleau Crown Game Preserve

Northern Ontario boasts the world’s largest wildlife preserve—the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve encompasses 700,000 hectares and shelters healthy populations of black bear, timberwolf, moose, lynx, beaver and bald eagles. Since hunting and trapping are banned in the preserve, it’s not uncommon for wildlife here to be oblivious to respectful human admirers. Missinaibi Provincial Park is nestled in the heart of the preserve, allowing for extensive exploration by canoe. Go guided with MHO Adventures. Learn more about the history of the Chapleau Game Preserve here.

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Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park

Located between Chapleau and Timmins near the village of Foleyet, Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park is home to the White Moose Forest. The park is one of only two places in the world (the other is in Sweden) where all-white “Spirit Moose” are regularly seen. Park naturalists explain that these unusual moose are not albinos. Read about the rare genetic anomaly that causes the animals’ ghostly appearance here.

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Manitoulin Island

Spring and early summer is the perfect time to look for does and fawns while enjoying a scenic drive or cycle tour on Manitoulin Island. The island’s pastoral tapestry of agricultural lands, fallow fields, and forests creates perfect habitat for white-tailed deer, as well as a rich diversity of bird species. With camping, cabins, and tipi tenting, Manitoulin Eco Park is a great home base for wildlife sojourns on Manitoulin—you may not even have to leave your campsite!

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Moose in water looking a 2 people in a red canoe taking pictures of moose.
Don’t miss the chance to see a moose in person.

Algonquin Provincial Park

For amazing moose viewing opportunities right from your car, take a scenic spring drive along Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park. The moose are attracted to roadside salt left behind after winter maintenance, and motorists at this time of year are often rewarded with sightings of cows and calves.

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For a wilder encounter, canoeists frequently spot these long-legged ungulates feeding in backcountry wetlands. Best chances are to go with a local outfitter. You are (almost) guaranteed to see moose on the three-day Algonquin Park Moose Photography Safari with Voyageur Quest.

Thunder Cape Bird Observatory, Sibley Peninsula

Learn about avian ecology at Thunder Cape Bird Observatory on the tip of the Sibley Peninsula. The location sees a wide diversity of migratory species, which pause to rest at the Cape before making the daunting crossing of Lake Superior. Over 300 species of birds have been documented here, and over 200 species banded. When weather conditions are right, the area is teeming with thousands of birds. Learn about how to visit this remote observatory, tucked at the foot of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

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Cedar Meadows Resort, Timmins

You don’t have to book a flight to Canada’s Rocky Mountain parks to get up close with bison, elk, moose, and more. Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa, located near Timmins, offers intimate wildlife tours on 175 acres overlooking the Mattagami River.

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Wildlife Safaris

Ready for your great Ontario wildlife safari? Each of these destinations offers something special for bird and wildlife lovers.

About Virginia Marshall

Virginia Marshall is a freelance outdoor adventure writer, photographer and editor with roots in Muskoka and Lake Superior. Read her work in Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, Rapid, Paddling Magazine and Backroad Mapbooks.

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