Pickering & Ajax
Pickering and Ajax are neighboring towns just a half hour east of Toronto, blessed with hiking and cycling trails, plenty of shops and restaurants, a beautiful waterfront, and much more.
Named for the WWII Royal Navy cruiser the HMS Ajax, the town of nearly 120,000 people is a light industrial centre with many opportunities for recreational activities, while neighbour Pickering is a thriving hub of business, culture, and history.
To learn more about all there is to see and do here, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website.
Where are Pickering & Ajax?
Pickering and Ajax are located in the Durham region, roughly 45 km east of Toronto. The location in relation to Toronto makes Pickering or Ajax the perfect place to escape for a weekend away from the city, without going too far away.
Those travelling from abroad should plan to arrive at Toronto Pearson International (YYZ), the largest airport in the country. From there, it’s possible to get to Pickering and Ajax by bus, train, or car. The bus from Union Station to Pickering GO Station is 30 minutes. Another option is driving, with the route following the Don Valley Parkway and ON-401 Expressway.
Things to Do in Pickering & Ajax
Pickering and Ajax feature a number of natural attractions. Hikers can choose one of the many trails through scenic Altona Forest or attempt to spot the nearly 70 different types of trees at the Petticoat Creek Conservation Area. Meanwhile, golfers can grab a tee time at one of the various courses in the area, and cyclists can peddle parts of the local 140 km cycling network.
If being near the water appeals to you, then you’re in luck, Pickering and Ajax both feature lovely waterfront areas. The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail passes through Ajax along Lake Ontario, where you’ll find Paradise Beach for a lovely day in the sun. Or take time to explore Pickering’s Nautical Village, a community with shops, cafes, ice cream parlours and several marinas.
Those interested in learning about the history of the Pickering-Ajax area should stop by the Pickering Museum Village. Spread across a number of historic buildings, the Museum collects artifacts to preserve and demonstrate life from the 1800s.
Ajax has a thriving creative arts scene that includes galleries, a live performance venue, and public art and monuments. Ajax is also home to the Ajax Downs and Casino, the only track in Ontario that has quarter horse racing. After watching the exciting horse race, you can try your luck at one of the casino’s slot machines.
For a truly unique experience, don’t miss your chance to let out some energy with a little axe throwing. The Pickering location of the Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) is the largest of all its venues. Try your hand at hitting targets with real axes during public drop-in hours on the weekends.
Finally, plan your visit to coincide with the Pickering Food Truck Festival, which takes place every year in August. Admission is free, there are endless food options, live music and entertainment, a beer garden, a children’s village and even eating contests.
Pickering & Ajax Neighbourhoods & Districts
Pickering and Ajax are distinct cities and so are its neighbourhoods.
This large neighbourhood in southeastern Ajax borders Lake Ontario and features a public art sculpture garden and an extensive network of paved trails to explore the shoreline.
This confusingly named neighbourhood lined with quaint Tudor-style buildings is actually in Ajax, but has maintained a strong identity throughout history.
Also in Ajax is this community named for its well-known beach on Lake Ontario.
Things to Know About Visiting Pickering & Ajax
Make the most of your trip to Pickering and Ajax with these insider tips.