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 in Creemore here.
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 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.
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 is known as being North America’s smallest jail and was built in 1892.
Top Things to Do in Creemore
The lovely little shops that line Creemore’s historic main street offer something for everyone. Boutique stores like the book shop, local and sustainable boutique grocery store, toy 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, 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 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.
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.
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 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 that runs the first week in October every year.
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.
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.
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.
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