The Toronto Experience at Chautauqua
Just two short hours from the Canadian border, Chautauqua Institution makes for an ideal summer vacation destination. Winner of USA Today’s “Best Small Town Cultural Scene” contest in 2020, Chautauqua’s stunning scenery and thriving cultural scene provides the perfect mix of spiritual growth, arts, and recreation. Canadian visitors will discover CHQ’s sun-filled skies, a dramatic lakeside setting, National Historic Landmark architecture, and an abundance of activities and enrichment. Whether it’s a couple’s getaway, a solo trip, or a family vacation, we invite you to explore what makes Chautauqua Institution so unique and celebrate our Canadian relations. Here are a few tips to maximize your trip!
Attend a Lecture
The Chautauqua Lecture Series and Interfaith Lecture Series serve as our primary platforms for scholarship and thought leadership. They feature world-renowned speakers on topics that illuminate the week’s themes, and we have welcomed a myriad of Canadian experts. 2022’s morning lecture platform featured Kelsey Leonard, a water scientist, legal scholar and enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Nation, Raina Douris, an award-winning radio personality from Toronto, and Sheena Jardine-Olade, a cultural equity and accessibility planner for the city of Vancouver. We have also hosted distinguished Canadian author and cultural activist, Margaret Atwood, Canada’s first Jewish woman judge, Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, and Scottish-born Canadian actor, writer and improvisational comedian, Colin Mochrie.
See a Show
CHQ offers a sensational nine-week season of concerts. No summer is complete without a trip to our awe-inspiring open-air Amphitheater. Many iconic Canadian performers have graced the Amp stage over the years, including major-label artist K.D. Lang, top folk singer and guitarist Gordon Lightfoot, and award-winning instrumental group Sultans of Swing.
We know that sport is a jewel of Canadian culture, and Chautauqua has no shortage of recreational and leisure activities. Choose from sailing, boating, fishing and swimming, as well as a 36-hole golf course, fast-dry and hard-surface tennis courts, playing fields, playgrounds and fitness centers. We also offer a plethora of activities for young people.
Browse, Dine & Shop
View the exhibitions at our world-class galleries, build your reading list at the Chautauqua Bookstore, and enjoy delicious food and craft cocktails at one of our bars or restaurants. And of course, no trip is complete without a souvenir to bring back to Canada! Stop by one of our many boutiques for clothing, antiques, homeware and collectibles.
It’s tradition at CHQ to celebrate Canada’s national holiday on July 1. We honor this “birthday” before the Chautauqua Lecture Series that morning, and whoever is moderating the lecture leads the Amphitheater in singing “O Canada,” while also recognizing the cultural richness and contributions of First Nations.
What Our Guests and Employees Have to Say
“We’ve been coming to Chautauqua from Canada for about 30 years. While Canada’s culture is different from U.S. culture, we get great enjoyment from all that Chautauqua’s various platforms offer. It’s amazing what you learn about your own country when exploring another country’s culture. Of course, it’s always fun to hear from Canadians whether it’s from the lecture or concert stage, or in the lines at the coffee shop or bookstore. We also always appreciate the nod to Canada Day every July 1. That’s an important reminder that Canadians have been coming to Chautauqua for more than 100 years.”
—Christine Dawson, Guest from Mississauga, Ontario
“I’m originally from Victoria, BC. I love Chautauqua because it offers all the experiences of nature with walking trails, the lake, beautiful skies and stunning summer sunsets.”
—Christine McKay, Executive Producer, CHQ Assembly
Join Us, Won’t You?
This only touches upon the hundreds of incredible activities offered during our Summer Assembly season. Chautauqua has something for everyone, and you’ll return to the Great White North feeling reinvigorated, recharged, and will have participated in a little bit of American history (with help from our Canadian friends!) That’s the inclusive and holistic magic of Chautauqua.
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