14 Ontario Towns Bursting With Fall Charm

No better time to explore Ontario as the air crispens and the leaves change colours. Huge on charm, each of these smaller towns is well worth discovering.

1. Wellington: The heart of hip Prince Edward County

Courtesy of Drake Devonshire Inn /Photographer Nikolas Koenig

Wellington is technically a village, and it has all the charms of a village with a farming and beach community. Plenty of wineries and eateries abound. You can also enjoy Wellington’s fantastic arts scene and Sandbanks Provincial Park’s freshwater sand dunes. Plus there are some seriously stylish places to stay, including the very happening Drake Devonshire.

2. Niagara-on-the-Lake: Ontario charm personified

Guillén Pérez (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: mossaiq

Take a stroll through the beautifully preserved Niagara-on-the-Lake to transport yourself back to the 19th century. Tour some of the many nearby wineries. And if you like theatre, the Shaw Festival runs from spring to fall and offers award-winning shows that are not to be missed.

3. Dundas: History, boutique shopping, and great dining

Paul Bica (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: dexxus

 

This small town in the Dundas Valley features a variety of specialty shops and restaurants, ranging from award-winning contemporary French to Indian to a lovely farmers market, all amongst historic, 19th-century buildings and quiet, picturesque streets. And don’t forget about Spencer Gorge Conservation Area with Tew’s Falls and Webster’s Falls if you want to escape civilization into the changing colours of fall.

4. Huntsville: All the best of Muskoka in one place

Sam Dao / Getty Images

Although Huntsville features unique boutique shopping and cultural treats like theatres, libraries, and art studios, it’s also abundant in natural beauty. Located on the Canadian Shield, with resorts and lakes aplenty, Huntsville is also a great place to stay while exploring Algonquin Provincial Park.

5. Port Hope: The gateway to picturesque Northumberland

Courtesy of Stephen Hardley / Via Flickr: 9711821@N05

With a designated heritage conservation downtown, Port Hope is the prettiest picture of a quaint town. In fact, Port Hope has 300 designated buildings, which is more per capita than any other place in Canada. Port Hope’s beautifully preserved Main Street makes a great starting point for a fall driving tour of Northumberland.

6. Cobourg: Ontario’s feel good town year-round

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Gary J. Wood (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: garyjwood

 

Located centrally on the shores of Lake Ontario, the pleasant town of Cobourg has earned its “feel good town” status. It’s not lacking in attractions: From film festivals to shopping to antique hunting in the markets or the auction house, this jewel of a town never fails to please.

7. Paris: Canada’s prettiest little town

Courtesy of Perry Quan / Via Flickr: pquan

If you’re a fan of architecture, Paris is a must-see with its cobblestone residences and churches. Paris also boasts flawless Edwardian, Gothic, Victorian, and Postmodern buildings, which are particularly breathtaking with foliage as a backdrop. The Lighting of the Paris Falls each evening at Penman’s Dam is also not to be missed, especially if you’re a romantic.

8. Jordan: Wine and culinary heaven

Located on the brim of the Twenty Mile Creek, this historic village is home to some award-winning restaurants and wineries. On top of the delights for your taste buds, nature trails with plenty of fall colours, galleries, shops, historic buildings, and the Jordan Historical Museum (featuring the Pennsylvania German Mennonite roots of the area) should all keep you plenty occupied.

9. Perth: Heritage charm abounds along the Rideau

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Courtesy of Charles Dobie / Via Flickr: chasdobie

 

Traditions have survived well in Perth; Canada’s oldest continuously operating golf course calls Perth its home, and the Perth Citizens’ Band has played on the bandstand behind City Hall for over 150 years. Take a heritage walk of the churches of the cemetery and soak in the history behind this pretty town as greens, yellows, and auburns surround you.

10. Timmins: Northern hospitality, the great outdoors, and a burgeoning arts scene

Courtesy of Tourism Timmins / Via tourismtimmins.com

From canoeing and kayaking to hiking rustic trails, Timmins has all the outdoors activities you could want in the crisp fall air. And if it’s arts and culture you’re after, be sure to check out their galleries, a fantastic symphony orchestra, murals, and memorials.

11. Thornbury: Glam stop along the Apple Pie Trail

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This stop on the Apple Pie Trail, along the southern coast of Georgian Bay, is the ultimate indulgent destination in Ontario. With its beautiful harbour, golf courses, art galleries, and fab shopping, Thornbury is the perfect place to sit back and get pampered.

12. St. Jacobs: Home to Canada’s largest farmers market and a lot more

Eoin Clarke / Getty Images

 

Canada’s largest year-round farmers market is hosted by St. Jacobs every Thursday and Saturday with hundreds of vendors for farm-fresh veggies, snacks, and imported delicacies. But beyond the culinary delights that St. Jacobs has to offer, the town is also known for its unique arts and crafts, so get ready to shop.

13. Elora: An enchanting village on the edge of a spectacular gorge

Gregory Pleau / Getty Images

With its stunning natural beauty and small-town charm, Elora is a multi-sensory pleaser. Featuring 80-foot limestone cliffs and two majestic rivers, the Elora Gorge is breathtaking and unforgettable, especially in autumn. And if the finer things in life are what you seek, the downtown village offers plenty of ways to indulge.

14. Port Perry: Ontario’s most happening historic downtown

Courtesy of Gordon Maxwell / Via Flickr: gamduffer

Downtown Port Perry, hugged by Lake Scugog, offers sublime shopping and dining. This bustling area charms with its beautifully preserved Victorian architecture. But that’s not all Port Perry has to offer — fishing is great year-round on Lake Scugog (especially surrounded by fall foliage), culture abounds with galleries and the performing arts centre, and you can always warm up with a tour of the Old Flame Brewery.

What are your favourite towns in Ontario that you LOVE to visit during the autumn season? Comment below!

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