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145km (90 miles) SW of Toronto

For those who care: This is the hometown of Justin Bieber. But its real claim to fame is the great Stratford Festival. Additionally, it's a charming and pretty place to amble before and after taking in a show.

The Festival has humble roots. The idea of a theater was launched in 1953, when director Tyrone Guthrie lured the great Sir Alec Guinness to the stage. Whether Sir Alec knew the "stage" was set up in a makeshift tent is another question, but his acclaimed performance gave the festival the push -- and press -- it needed to become an annual tradition. Since then, the Stratford Festival has grown to become one of the most famous in North America, and its four theaters have put this scenic town on the cultural map. It has also triggered the development of fine restaurants, good hotels, and tours for everyone from theater-loving cyclists to history buffs.