quaint, pretty & great to explore!

In this section of our site, I plan to guide you through some of our favourite villages and small towns of Southern Ontario - some are quaint with delightful Tea Rooms and Gift Shops, others are places of significant Historical interest.

One of my long-time favourites is Sparta, Ontario, which I discovered 35 years ago and after my first visit, I couldn't wait to visit again, and actually worked there for a couple of years in the pretty Tea Room at the corner of main street!

I still think that Sparta has a unique charm and could spend a whole day exploring the village and surrounding area.

King George VI lift bridge on Kettle Creek at Port Stanley Ontario

Located south of highway 3 between St Thomas and Aylmer, you can find this lovely village by turning south along Quaker Road at the St Thomas Municipal Airport.

From London follow highway 4 south to its end, and you will reach the pretty village of Port Stanley

In the summer months Port Stanley is a bustling place, with restaurants, gift shops, galleries and ice-cream parlours.

There are also two beaches for you to enjoy, so why not pack a picnic and head south ....... south to Port Stanley, Ontario!

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A little north of Port Stanley is the small village of Shedden, Ontario, where there is the "Rosy Rhubarb Festival" in early June each summer.

A few miles east of Port Stanley is the village of Port Burwell which has a beautiful Provincial Park with camping and a lovely stretch of clean, sandy beach. This Provincial Park is great for vacations and family reunions and we have enjoyed many of them here.

Monument to Josiah Henson in Dresden, Ontario

Just a short drive up highway 19 from Port Burwell is the village of Vienna which has a long and interesting history and was once a thriving lumber town.

Further east along the lake shore is the town of Port Dover, check out this page if you like fishing and great fish restaurants.

One small hamlet located on highway 3 between St Thomas and Chatham is tiny Eagle, which is about a 45 minute drive from Chatham, London or St Thomas.

If you would like a peaceful drive and a pleasant place to stop for coffee or a meal, head for Eagle - you might find a delightful resting spot, as we did when we turned left at the only intersection in the village!

Another of my favorite Villages is Dresden which is located north of the city of Chatham, Ontario.

This favourite village is the home of the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Historical Site and is somewhere you should not miss if you have any interest in the topic of the Abolition of Slavery.

My first visit to Dresden and the Museum opened my eyes to the horrors of the Slave Trade and the conditions under which the slaves were kept.

Five young people enjoying the beach

Having followed Highway 3 south from St Thomas, and going through the villages of Shedden, Eagle , Morpeth, Blenheim, Wheatley, and the town of Leamington, you will turn south in Leamington and follow Seacliff Drive to Kingsville.

Although it is actually a town and not a village, I have included this pretty town in this section.

One of my favourite villages, has a pretty small beach which is to be found on Heritage Road.

Spa Marvel great for your hot tub, environmentally friendly

Go through the main shopping area of town and turn left before the Beer Store and follow the road as it twists and turns. The public beach is on a curve in the road and is a quiet place for children to play and for Mom and Dad to relax - keeping a watchful eye on the little ones as they do so!

There are two areas of interest which I am adding to this section, because they are both great places to visit - Point Pelee is a haven for wildlife and is well worth a visit, and Pelee Island, which is the most southerly point of Canada.

The town of Grand Bend on the shore of Lake Huron is a great place for families to take in some sun and sand - there are lots to see and do here. Grand Bend is known to have some of the finest sunsets in the world, certainly some of the best in North America.

While you are exploring the Lake Huron shore, don't forget to visit the prettiest village in the area - Bayfield which is another of our favorite villages, and is known to have the best shopping, antique shops and more.

Heading farther north, you reach the Bruce Peninsula which juts out into Lake Huron, and is where you will find the community of Wiarton.

Favourite villages Amish & Mennonites horse and buggy

St Jacobs is one of my favourite villages and one that I try to visit every summer. I also make sure that I take any visitors here who come from England, as they love this charming village.

Located north of Waterloo, St Jacobs has an atmosphere that I have found nowhere else - if you have never been to the Farmer's Market there, try to make the time to go, you won't be disappointed.

Another of my favourite villages is lovely Elora which has great shopping and an interesting history.

Further east along the Lake Erie shoreline is Ridgeway, (pop. 29,000),  which is between Port Colborne and Fort Erie and just 25 km south of Niagara Falls which is another pretty spot to visit.  Named for the ridge of limestone which runs north to south through the community.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of our Favourite Villages

Do you have a favourite Southern Ontario village?

These are my favourite villages in Southern Ontario - do you have a favourite village or a great story about this area? Why not share it!

Our readers would love to hear about your favourite Tea-room, Craft store or quiet beach or the magic moments you have enjoyed in this area - and enjoy your pictures too!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Ridgeway - a Hidden Gem 
Make sure you visit the town / village of ... Ridgeway, Ontario. It is actually the rural area of Fort Erie. It's like stepping back in …

The Village of Moorefield 
Moorefield, Ontario, is a community in Southern Ontario, located within the Wellington County township of Mapleton. The founder of Moorefield, Richard …

Tall Ships in Port Stanley 
There have been Tall Ships in the village of Port Stanley, Ontario for the past few days. They were the "Playfair" and the "St Lawrence II". Here …

A short distance between Sarnia and London, Petrolia (known for its oil beginnings)...this is the place if want to shop, eat and see live theatre. …

Dungannon Ontario 
Dungannon is situated between Goderich and Lucknow, Ontario. A place and Time when People waved and said Hello. My Brother and I used to …

Arden, Ontario 
Typical of many small Ontario towns founded in the mid 1800's - largely by descendants of the United Empire loyalists who moved north from settlements …

Shedden, Ontario 
Sarah, one of our readers, sent us this information about one of her favourite Ontario villages - If you live in Elgin County, I hope you didn't miss the …

Neustadt, Ontario 
One of our readers, Kay, tells us about her favourite village, Neustadt, near Hanover, Ontario - In the warmer weather Neustadt is a pretty little village. …

Fanshawe Pioneer Village 
I loved going to the Fanshawe Pioneer Village when I was little, and still go there every now and then. It's like stepping back in time. They hold …

Glen Williams, Fergus & Elora 
We asked our readers for their favourite villages and quiet spots and had a few replies, which are below. Peter from Guelph said ..... Both Fergus and …

Back Roads of Ontario 
I have been fortunate enough to have been able to share my favourite places through my books, Back Roads of Ontario and Top 115 Unusual Things to …

Hawkesbury, Ontario Not rated yet
Hawkesbury is great for people who don't like much traffic and cities with too many people. With a population of 10,550 - 11,000, Hawkesbury is the …

Rodney Night Market Not rated yet
My husband and I visited the Rodney Night Market today, November 19th 2022, for the first time and we were delighted at all the crafts and baked good that …

Sailing...It's Fun Not rated yet
We have a sailboat which we either dock at Port Stanley or Port Bruce in the spring, then we go out on Lake Erie whenever we have a chance to sail. It …

Norwich, Ontario Not rated yet
I went to Norwich, Ontario, not too long ago and its beautiful!!! The Amish are everywhere with their horses and buggies and its just so neat to see …

Kincardine, Ontario Not rated yet
Small towns are generally friendly. You can usually find this out right on the main street of any small town - people will smile or say "hello" …

Mount St Louis Not rated yet
Mount St Louis is a ski and snowboard resort located north of Barrie and it is one of the largest family-owned ski resorts in Ontario. This ski resort …

Summer Flora Not rated yet
A nice day in Georgetown,with Mother Nature showing her beauty. Thanks Marinus, for sending these to us - your pictures are beautiful! I will also …

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