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Visit an Animal Sanctuary

Looking for something to do this weekend that will bring nothing but smiles to your face? Visit a local animal sanctuary! There are quite a few animal sanctuaries that make a nice day trip from Toronto, most only within an hour or two drive from the city. I've volunteered and visited a few and urge you to take a nice day trip to get reacquainted with your animal friends.


Happily Ever Esther Only a 50 minute drive from downtown Toronto, this farm sanctuary is what dreams are made of. I was lucky enough to attend their grand opening and I've gone back with coworkers for a volunteer day. We helped sod a path in the forest and build a fence. Volunteering with Happy Ever Esther was a great experience. It allowed for close encounters with the animals in a more intimate setting.

Located near London, Ontario, only about a 2 hour drive from Toronto. Cedar Row is one of the oldest farm sanctuaries in Ontario and has rescued thousands of animals since they began in 1999. They host vegan potlucks and sanctuary tours. Be sure to check out their page to find out date and times for the events.

Wishing Well Sanctuary Wishing Well is only about an hour drive from downtown Toronto. They host tours from April - November twice a month, so make sure to check their schedule to see the next tour date. I've visited Wishing Well quite a few times and made a nice donation to them last year. The animals are truly special, I especially enjoy lightning, the Llama. His personality is truly one a kind. If you're lucky, he might even pose for a picture and give you a kiss on the cheek.

Located close to Mount Forest, Ontario, less than 2 hours from Toronto. This unique sanctuary also acts as a bed and breakfast which allows guests to stay the night and reconnect with nature in one of their cabins. To visit, email Karuna Lane for availability and visitation dates.

Located in Uxbridge, Ontario, about an hour from Toronto. Farmhouse Garden Animal Home is a beautiful story of a multi-generational organic farmer and cattle rancher Mike Lanigan. One day he was taking care of the cows and had a change of heart: he no longer wanted to send them off to slaughter. Instead, his employee Edith took over and converted the cattle ranch into a beautiful forever home for the cows. They now grow organic vegetables on their 40 acre farm and houses not only cows but donkeys and horses as well.

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