The Village of Creemore Ontario, only 90 minutes from Toronto, is a thriving arts and culture hub filled with artists, galleries, and festivals all-year long. Stores and restaurants line the historic downtown.
Canada

Creemore – the Little Village with a Big Heart

The charming village of Creemore, only 90 minutes north of Toronto, makes for the perfect small-town getaway or day trip. Nestled amongst the Purple Hills, Creemore is located in the most blissful setting. The idyllic countryside drive to get there takes you through the rolling hills of the Niagara Escarpment where you will gaze upon large heritage homes, farms, towering trees, creeks, and ponds. No matter the season, it’s undeniably scenic. It’s a popular area for a cycling tour too. Whether you’re looking for the perfect Ontario small town getaway or a fun day trip you’ll find all the best things to do right here in Creemore Ontario. (Updated August 2022)

field of sunflowers in Creemore Ontario

About Creemore Ontario

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’s 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.

red brick building in Creemore Ontario

If you want to learn more about Creemore, why not take the self-guided historic walking tour. In any of the shops lining the historic main street you can pick up a flyer containing a map of Creemore with all of the heritage markers and interpretive signs. Discover the land of the Petun Indigenous People or the Creemore jail. It’s known as being North America’s smallest jail and was built in 1892.

Top Things to Do in Creemore

Creemore Shops

The lovely little shops that line Creemore’s historic main street offer something for everyone. Boutique stores like a book shop, a local and sustainable boutique grocery store, and lots of amazing lifestyle stores. My go-to favourites are Heirloom 142, and Lagom 142. Both are filled with European home décor products, both new and old. Swoon-worthy antiques, textiles, glassware, 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 with charming vignettes of beautiful products. 

garden in shop in Creemore Ontario
Sign in shop window in Creemore Ontario
Creemore is known as "Little Village with Big Heart"

Creemore Restaurants

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’s chic and cozy – 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.  

red brick restaurant with blue awning in Creemore

Creemore 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. 

brewery in Creemore Ontario

Creemore Artists

Tucked away down a tiny alleyway between two buildings on the main Mill Street is an artists’ walk that leads you to their art gallery. I met with artist, Sue Miller, who primarily works with oil paints on a 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 toward positive environmental change. Her work is powerful. It’s 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 that runs the first week in October every year.

Creemore 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.

copper kettle at brewery in creemore ontario

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.

horses and dogs in parade in creemore ontario

Creemore Trails

The surrounding area of Creemore is known for its hiking and biking trails. There are nearby parks and conservation areas like the Noisy River Provincial Park,  Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area and Devil’s Glen Provincial Park. Or, if you want to go for a leisurely stroll continue on Mill Street until you hit the shores of Mad River where you might want to make a picnic in the park. 

two bikes leaning on fence in creemore ontario

Small Towns in Ontario

As a holidaymaker…

The Village of Creemore is that quintessential charming small town in Ontario. It’s no wonder it is often described as “one of the prettiest towns in Ontario” by Harrowsmith Magazine. With its scenic setting and amazing things to do it makes for the perfect small town getaway in Ontario or a fun day trip from Toronto.

main street in creemore ontario
brewery in creemore ontario

52 Comments

  • Mike

    Wow, this place looks perfect…my wife and her mom and sister are looking for a Canadian destination for their get together next year. And they are going in August, so might even coincide with the Copper Kettle Festival! That would be awesome.

  • Clarice

    Wow! This place is charming. It’s nice to know that they host a wide variety of festivals. It just shows that they are happy and positive people — able to find many things to celebrate about. Would love to visit them in the future and have first hand experience in this charming little village with a big heart.

  • Natascha

    What an interesting and adorable village! I think the name is probably the biggest draw – who wouldn’t want to visit a village named “Big Heart”. The small shops and the brewery would be amazing to visit.

  • Jennifer Prince

    Ah! I would love to visit Creemore. It looks so quaint! I’ve only ever been to Niagara, but I would love to explore Ontario more. What a lovely place!

  • Saurabh

    Firstly, Such beautifully composed pictures! Creemore certainly seems like a hidden gem. Love the colours around. Adding it to my Canada travel list.

  • Ambica Gulati

    What a lovely place–truly scenic. It was good to know what Creemore means and I have never seen a jail from inside. The jail in Delhi has a shop where you can buy cookies and other snacks made by prisoners. I’d love to do trails around the village with a big heart.

  • Paul Johnson

    What a beautiful village, full of interest and character. Chez Michael sounds like a lovely restaurant and it looks as though the weather was relatively kind to you… lovely photos!

  • Jan

    What a hidden gem! I would love to explore this place and spend time on that art shop. The parks and bluffs here add to its attraction. It would be fun to walk around this lovely little town and enjoy some yummy food as well. 🙂

  • Angela Price

    What a quaint and charming town. It looks so clean and almost like a film set! I love finding places like this when I am travelling. I was surprised to see the hound chase – I didn’t realise that sport was held in Canada.

  • Jamie Italiane

    What an adorable village and amazing to think it is so close to Toronto. I have just started cycling more seriously. I am planning to bike Cape Cod, Massachusetts as my first long-distance attempt. Do the hills make it a pretty challenging ride?

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes Jamie, the hills in this area are challenging. Many riders come from other areas just for that. Especially Saturday mornings, cyclists take over the town.

  • Kevin

    It sounds like I really need to schedule some time in Toronto and the surrounding countryside after everything reopens! Creemore looks so quaint and I love the name and the little nods here and there to the town’s Irish roots. The Horse, Hound and Harvest parade sounds like a lot of fun, and I love the beautiful brick buildings in the town center!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Yes, definitely Kevin. It just like any destination, there is so much more to see beyond the large metropolitan city that is every country’s sought after destination.

  • Umiko

    I love visiting small town like Creemore. Shopping, eating, watching the events, or just walking admiring charming old buildings. Those hounds walking into town are really cute. I want to see it.

  • Joanne

    Oh my gosh! Creemore is gorgeous! I can’t believe we live just a few hours from there. The artist walk is lovely and the horse, hound and harvest parade is so unique. My youngest son just loves dogs so he’d be in 7th heaven!

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    Creemore is a spot I have heard of but not yet visited in Ontario. Will have to put it on one of our day trips. Any place with a “big heart” is worth a stop. We have had a lot of Creemore SpringAle so that would definitely be a place for us to stop. The Horse, Hound and Harvest festival sounds like a fun one to plan. Love all these great small towns.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you for your comment Linda. I’m sure you’ll love this town, it’s such a vibrant community.

  • Eric Gamble

    What a fun place to explore! I love the quaintness of Creemore but it looks like there is still tons to do there! Nothing better than a small community physically but large in personality! I think I need to take Darcee up there to see the Horse, Hound and Harvest parade! She would lose her mind seeing them trotting down the road! Silly question from a Southern Boy…I assume it is during Candien Thanksgiving and not the November American thanksgiving?

  • Sarah

    What a charming village! I love the origin of the name and I love seeing local artwork when I travel. I love anything to do with snow and ice so the Ice Project series sounds very interesting.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      You’ll just have to check out her work online if you are interested. Thanks for stopping by Sarah.

  • Gus Feliciano

    All these Canadian villages are making me want this border shut down over. Love Canada and guess I keep adding more and more spots to visit! Also the brewery def will be my spot!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thanks Gus, happy to share lots of ideas with you for places to visit when you are able to cross the border.

  • Emma

    This looks like my kind of place. I love these small villages. Craft beer sounds lovely and I really like the art work. Definitely putting this on my list for my next Ontario visit

  • Riana Ang-Canning

    What a cute little village! I love the idea of exploring the shops and restaurants here on a weekend trip. The Horse, Hound and Harvest parade looks super cute and I’d love to shop at the European decor store you mentioned!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Riana for your comment and stopping by. It appears this little village is right up your alley to make it a visit next time you are in the Toronto area.

  • Alison Browne

    Ah. I love the little villages of Ontario. I have been to Creemore many times and agree it is a village with a big heart! Would love to see the hounds leading the parade on Thanksgiving weekend!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Alison for your comment. It is quite the sight to see, and has been a tradition for us to go there that weekend.

      • Brooklyn

        I haven’t been to Creemore since I was a young kid, so I hardly remember it at all. But now you have me wanting to go back! I didn’t realize how charming and artistic it was. Looks lovely!

        • The.Holidaymaker

          Yes, I’m sure a lot has changed while staying the same. But sounds like it’s time for another visit!

  • Sue

    What a gorgeous looking village! Love the look & sound of this place, not least because the artist Sue Miller is my namesake (my maiden name is Miller). Also the festivals look fun & fab. Thanks for sharing…next time I’m in Canada…

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thanks Sue for stopping by, and hopefully you get a chance to visit this little gem of a place.

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