If you’re looking for an ideal day trip, look no further than the charming village of Creemore, only 90 minutes north of Toronto. The idyllic countryside drive on your way is a highlight in of itself. Through the rolling hills of the incredible Niagara Escarpment you will gaze upon large heritage homes, farms, towering trees, creeks and ponds. Oh, and did I mention the rolling hills? Yes, well it’s worth mentioning again. There’s a reason why this area is a huge draw for road cyclists. It’s undeniably scenic and blissful. So, what are you waiting for – hop in your car and head to Creemore!
The Little Village with a Big Heart
Creemore, first settled in 1842, was named after the Irish Cro Mor, meaning “big heart”. That’s why today, Creemore is often referred to as “the village with a big heart”. There is a strong sense of community here – you can just feel it. Everyone is welcoming, friendly and proud to show off their village and share their passions. It’s a thriving arts and culture hub filled with artists, galleries, and festivals all-year long.
The Village Shops
The lovely little shops that line the main street offer something for everyone. I love them all, but my go-to favourite is Heirloom 142, and Lagom 142. It’s filled with European, both new and old, home décor. Swoon worthy antiques, textiles, glass ware, pottery and so much more. Trust me, these are two stores that you won’t leave empty handed.
The newest boutique shop, The Creemore Apothecary, is not to be missed. Stop in and chat with Dr. Kate Hunter for all your wellness needs all of which are locally sourced in Canada. Her store is simply lovely and is filled charming vignettes of beautiful products.
The Village Eateries
The best spot for breakfast, lunch, or a sweet treat is the Bank Café. As soon as you swing open the door to this historic landmark, you know you’re in for a special treat. From the wonderful aroma of their kitchen to the friendly buzz of patrons, there is a reason why it’s always packed. They offer delicious panini, wraps and salads. But it’s their “world’s greatest” carrot cake and cinnamon buns on Saturdays that they’re most famous for.
For dinner I recommend the farm to table Chez Michel, a French country restaurant. It is chic, cozy and casual – just like what you would find in Provence. The food is scrumptious and the service is top notch making this an easy favourite among locals and tourists alike.
The Village Brewery
Yes, Creemore is home to their very own Creemore Springs Brewery. Take a tour and learn about their unique fire-brew process using a copper kettle which helps to produce their signature honey colour lager. Afterwards, hang out on the patio overlooking Mill Street while sampling their beer for free.
The Village Artists
Tucked away down a tiny alleyway between two buildings on the main Mill Street is an artists’ walk that leads you to their studio. I met with artist, Sue Miller who primarily works with oil paints on large canvas, where she talked about her latest project, the “Ice Project Series.” She was inspired by the time she spent in Newfoundland where she fell in love with the land and its icebergs. She wants to raise awareness of how ice shelves and glaciers have been impacted over time in hopes to create a movement towards positive environmental change. Her work is powerful. It is not only beautiful, but transcends an important message.
You can see her work, along with two other artists, Martha Bull and Elizabeth Eakins, and others in their “open house” studio tour on October 3-4, 2020.
The Village Festivals
If you love festivals than you’ll love Creemore! All year round, Creemore hosts a wide variety of festivals. From vintage to cycling to kids to parades to farmer’s market – there is something for everyone to enjoy! One of their most famous festivals is the Copper Kettle Festival, held at the end of August. It celebrates the Creemore Springs Brewery and it draws more than just beer enthusiasts, it is also family-friendly.
One of my favourites, and a long-standing tradition for my husband and I to visit is the Horse, Hound and Harvest parade. Held on the Saturday of every Thanksgiving weekend, the Toronto North York Hunt Club rides down the main Mill Street with 20 or so hounds leading the charge. It’s such a fantastic sight to see! The parade kicks off a variety of family friendly activities, including a pie contest at the Farmer’s Market.
As a holidaymaker…
The Village of Creemore is that quintessential charming small town. It’s no wonder that it is often described as “one of the prettiest towns in Ontario” by Harrowsmith Magazine. No plans for this weekend? What are you waiting for, head to Creemore!