15 Most Charming Small Towns in Canada


You’re by no means too removed from some superb pure surroundings in Canada, whether or not it’s the tranquility of the Great Lakes or the superior spectacle of the Canadian Rockies. It’s house to nationwide parks, emerald islands, and lengthy highways ripe for road-tripping into the wilderness. Of course, dotted in the drama and fantastic thing about the Canadian panorama are its small cities.

From Francophone communities with robust connections to the primary French settlers, to numerous British colonists, as effectively the nation’s Aboriginal individuals, small cities in Canada are a mixture of cultures and eras, the place gold rush cities nonetheless appear like gold rush cities, and grand railway accommodations jut out of forests and likewise European castles. Here are a number of the locations that make exploring this expansive nation an actual pleasure.

15. Tobermory, Ontario


Named after one other fairly charming city in Scotland, this Tobermory is called ‘the freshwater Scuba capital of the world’ – there are 22 shipwrecks to discover in the adjoining Fathom Five National Marine Park alone.

There are additionally many rock formations in Fathom Five – simply off shore is Flowerpot Island, named for 2 flowerpot-shaped stacks on its coast, and which additionally options tenting amenities and mountaineering trails. For the much less adventurous there are glass-bottomed boat excursions to glimpse the wrecks with out getting moist.

14. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


French Acadians first based a settlement on the southwestern tip of the Nova Scotia peninsula in the mid seventeenth century, referred to as Tebouque. Settlers from New England, nevertheless, arrived throughout the Seven Years War and named a close-by web site after the city they got here from in Massachusetts: Yarmouth.

Today the city is understood for its Gothic Victorian structure, iconic for the Maritimes area Canada. It’s additionally well-known for lobsters, with the biggest lobster catch in Canada per yr; you possibly can pattern this and extra seafood at quirky seaside restaurant The Red Shed.

13. Nelson, British Columbia


The idyllic mountain city Nelson first boomed because of the invention of silver in 1886 at close by Toad Mountain. Today lots of the buildings that date from this period have been lovingly restored and make up a lot of what provides Nelson its previous world attraction.

It’s a cultural heart full of issues to do in the type of eating places, cafes, retailers, artwork galleries, espresso homes, and extra. Skiing and snowboarding are the winter actions; summer time contains issues like Marketfest, a energetic nighttime market held on the final Friday of every month in June, July and August.

12. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw

Oddly named Moose Jaw is a gorgeous city with plenty of historic buildings and issues to do. There’s the Moose Jaw Tunnels, as an illustration, an underground community of tunnels connecting buildings made in 1908 for a steam system that by no means went forward – Chinese immigrants hid right here from persecution in the early twentieth century, and Al Capone is rumored to have gambled and made offers in the subterranean areas.

There are excursions of the city on historic trolley buses, too. And in spite of everything that, a soak in some scorching springs sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?

11. Churchill, Manitoba


Polar bears, beluga whales, and northern lights: Churchill has it all. Whilst Danish explorers reached this space in 1619, solely 3 of the 64 expedition members made it again to Denmark – a extra everlasting historical past of Churchill begins in 1717, when the British Hudson’s Bay Company constructed the primary settlement right here. Relics of the Anglo-French dispute over North America nonetheless survive, such because the spectacular 250-year-old Prince of Wales Fort.

Elsewhere in city, try the Eskimo Museum, and make sure to go on a Polar Bear Tour – that is the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’ in spite of everything.

10. Summerside, Prince Edward Island


Incorporated as a city in 1877, Summerside appears to have the proper identify to mirror the character of the city itself. Though comparatively small, that is Prince Edward Island’s second largest ‘city’, and as such there’s rather a lot to do right here. History lives and breathes in the tree-lined streets with their stately heritage properties, and studying about Summerside’s previous is feasible in the gorgeous Wyatt Historic House Museum.

The harborfront boardwalk with its seaside attraction is an effective place to eat, drink, store, and see performs – on the Harbourfront Theatre, that’s.

9. Dawson City, Yukon

Dawson City

An actual gold rush city, Dawson City was based at a First Nations Camp in 1897 on account of the Klondike Gold Rush, and shortly grew right into a metropolis of over 40,000 inhabitants, all longing for gold. Smaller now, historic Dawson City nonetheless brings in guests.

The ‘Dawson Historical Complex’ refers back to the quaint nineteenth century heart of city; in truth, all new buildings need to adjust to visible requirements conforming to that nineteenth century look to maintain it trying fairly. Weirdly it’s well-known for the ‘Sourtoe Cocktail’ on the Downtown Hotel – full with an actual mummified human toe!

8. Neepawa, Manitoba


Known as ‘Manitoba’s Most Beautiful Town’, Neepawa was first settled in 1877. Like many locations in Canada, the land was in use lengthy earlier than Europeans arrived – Neepawa which means ‘Land of Plenty’ in the Cree language.

Today there are numerous historic buildings to admire: the Margaret Laurence Home, the place the Canadian novelist grew up, and the enduring Roxy Theatre Neepawa, constructed in 1906, nonetheless in use in the present day for occasions and present movies. Curiously it’s the self-appointed ‘Lily Capital of the World’ – 2,000 kinds of lily are grown in Neepawa, and sees 12,000 guests annually to its July Lily Festival.

7. Goderich, Ontario


Founded in 1828, and named after the British prime minister on the time, this city is pleased with its aesthetics: its motto seems to be ‘Canada’s Prettiest Town’ – plus it has gained awards in totally different classes of the Communities in Bloom competitors.

It is claimed that Queen Elizabeth II referred to as this the prettiest city in Canada (although there’s no file of any reigning monarch having visited). Historic sights embody the 1839 Huron Historic Gaol and the Huron County Museum, however outdoors-minded guests will likely be extra in the three seashores boasted by Goderich.

6. Banff, Alberta


Tiny Banff grew up across the scorching springs that had been found right here by railway employees in 1883. The Cave and Basin Hot Springs – now closed – are the primary scorching springs created right here when the city was marketed internationally as a spa resort.

Today Banff is a busy and industrial city the place you possibly can pause for a few days to replenish on provides earlier than you discover Banff National Park. But by no means concern: you possibly can nonetheless soak in mineral wealthy waters at Banff Upper Hot Springs, amongst others. Perhaps a good suggestion after an extended hike at close by Lake Minnewanka. The luxurious nineteenth century Banff Springs Hotel is the place to remain, one among Canada’s well-known grand railway accommodations – extra like a chateau than a resort, it’s actually magnificent.

5. Brigus, Newfoundland and Labrador


This little fishing village dates again to round 1612, when first governor of Newfoundland Colony John Guy bought half the bay to the Spracklin household. Now it’s recognized for being significantly scenic, after all, in addition to being stuffed with attention-grabbing locations. These embody the nineteenth century Convent of Mercy, constructed for Irish nuns, St. George’s Anglican Church, and the Brigus Tunnel – hewn by strong rock to get to a deep-water harbor.

There’s additionally Hawthorne Lodge, the house of Arctic explorer Captain Robert Bartlett – one among a excessive proportion of Arctic explorers produced by this village.

4. St Andrews By-the-Sea, New Brunswick

St Andrews By-the-Sea

Officially Saint Andrews, this city acquired its ‘By-the-Sea’ nickname as a result of, effectively, it’s by the ocean! Founded in 1783 by United Empire Loyalists – those that fled throughout or after the American Revolution – the unique components of city stay effectively preserved. The Ross Memorial Museum, as an illustration, is an ideal instance of a nineteenth century abode, stuffed with beautiful furnishings.

There’s additionally the pristine All Saints Anglican Church. Many buildings function vibrant, colourful murals. Aside from the structure, whale watching is an enormous draw to this seaside city.

3. Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec


Believe it or not, one declare to fame that this Quebecois city has is that the Cirque du Soleil was based right here in 1984. Another much less enjoyable declare is the prominence Baie-Saint-Paul gained when Doctor Philippe-Louis-François Badelard named a illness he was learning after the city in the 1770s.

But other than this, its slender streets lined with boutiques and artwork galleries, plus historic landmarks just like the 1714 Église de Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul, make this a very fairly place to be.

2. Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy’s Cove

This tiny settlement on the Atlantic Coast has an extended historical past of being a fishery, however because the finish of World War II, Peggy’s Cove has been reliant extra on tourism than catching fish. Today it’s recognized for its picturesque coastal magnificence.

Founded in 1811 when 6 households of German descent had been granted permission to construct right here, the city is awash with quaint wood fishing sheds which can be attribute of the city. Set amidst its sparse rocky shoreline with the Atlantic stretching out from it so far as the attention can see, Peggy’s Cove is a postcard-perfect fishing village.

1. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

#1 of Small Towns In Canada

Quaint colonial buildings; Niagara Falls – there’s a cause why Niagara-on-the-Lake is nicknamed ‘The Loveliest Town in Canada’. Known from the late 18th century as Butlersburg, then as West Niagara, it was a haven for pro-Loyalists fleeing the United States in the wake of the American Revolution.

Landmarks embody the 1840s Old Court House Theater, and the oldest Catholic and Anglican church buildings in Ontario: St. Vincent de Paul (1826) and St. Mark’s Church (1791) respectively. From April to November the city places on the Shaw Festival, a theatrical occasion that includes performs from George Bernard Shaw, amongst others.

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