4 Charming Towns Near Toronto That Beg for Your Attention

Ontario, Canada, has much to offer. Whether you’re looking for an energetic city nightlife or an escape to nature, Canada’s most populous province has what you want. What if you’re looking for something between the bustle of Toronto and the quiet respite of Ontario’s 250,000 lakes? Don’t worry. A perfect middle ground awaits you. Explore the following four charming towns near Toronto for an idyllic getaway.


Image by Tamara Smith via Flickr.

Do you love theater, wine, golf, and quaint streets? Then Niagara-on-the-Lake is the place for you. Visit between the months of April and October to catch a show during the Shaw Festival Theatre. The theater has a number of fabulous plays on three different stages. Whether or not you’re a theatergoer, you’ll find something to do in this lovely community.

Niagara-on-the-Lake has foodie tours, festivals, golf courses, and wine tastings. If you want to do some shopping, head to the Heritage District. This historic part of town is the hub of the local shopping scene.


The Cobblestone Capital of Canada blends its rich history with modern fun. Nestled at the fork of two rivers, the town is distinguished by beautiful buildings from the 19th century. If you like the idea of shopping and dining in buildings with more than a century of history in them, don’t miss Paris.

The attraction of this town isn’t contained indoors either. Due to its position on the Grand River, Paris is an adventurer’s paradise. Whether you want to bike, river raft, hike, jog, or fish, you’ll find your fun in this active riverside community.


Keep your cultural exploration of Ontario going by heading to Stratford. Not only is it the home of the continent’s largest classical repertory theater company, but it also has a vibrant arts and culture scene. Victorian buildings line its streets, parks and gardens dot the landscape, and the Avon River provides a beautiful border to the town.

Local restaurants have been growing, too. Today, Stratford has an exciting and surprisingly affordable dining offering. Want to satisfy your sweet tooth? Hit the Maple Trail. A ticket puts you on a self-guided tour that will take you through Stratford’s lovely streets and leave you with six tasty treats at the tour’s finish.


A short 40-minute drive from Toronto, Vaughan has surprises at every turn. However you like to get your thrills, this fast-growing community delivers.

Lizards lovers, rejoice! The Reptilia Zoo has more than 75 species for you to check out. Want to grow your skills or your knowledge? Check out the huge range of workshops at the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

Maybe you’re a true adrenaline junkie. If so, don’t miss Canada’s Wonderland. The nation’s largest theme park doesn’t fail to deliver; it has 16 roller coasters. After all the excitement of a day in Vaughan, you’ll need a good place to sleep. Fortunately, the town has fantastic hotels. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, you’ll find many hotel options in Vaughan.

Ontario has much to offer outside of its bustling cities. You can drive less than two hours from Toronto and find yourself in any of these fun and charming towns.


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