Everyone knows and loves Canada’s big and bustling cities. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and others have plenty to offer in terms of accommodation, things to do, things to see and things to eat. But there’s something to be said about the small towns nestled in between these boisterous cities. These villages and hamlets have lovely qualities that you just can’t get from the city life. They offer time to relax, stunning scenery and a glimpse into the lives of rural communities! We’ve gathered together 8 small towns across Canada that are full of personality, small-town hospitality and charm.
While we know that travel isn’t possible right now, keep this list handy for when we can explore different areas of the country!
Visit One Of These 8 Small Towns Across Canada For Your Next Local Getaway!
Located about 2 hours northeast of Halifax, Pictou is known as ‘The Birthplace of New Scotland’. Here is where Canada’s first Scottish immigrants landed in the 1700s and the town still has that old-world charm. Pictou offers a cultural museum, period homes on tree-lined streets, a port for boat access and plenty of trails for the adventurists!
This lovely little town can be found about 1.5 hours East of Montreal and is unique for a few reasons. For one, there are houses in this town where you might cook dinner in Canada and eat in the USA. Some of them are built right along the border of Vermont and back in the day, many inhabitants had dual citizenships! Secondly, not far from this town is Bleu Lavande, a stunning lavender farm that sells essential oils, soaps, lotions and more. Here you can take a tour of the farm with your friends and family and breathe in the incredible scents for yourself.
Located just south of the popular surf town Tofino, Ucluelet offers much of the same amenities with considerably smaller crowds. Vancouver Island is known for its stunning wildlife and Ucluelet is no exception. Enjoy surfing, hiking, fishing, beaches and whale watching while in Ukee (as the locals call it) or head over to a spa for some relaxing downtime.
Dawson City, YK
Although its population stands at less than 1,400 people (the second largest in the Yukon), this small town wasn’t always so vacant. During the gold rush of the 19th century, more than 16,000 occupied this beautiful town but eventually drifted off and settled elsewhere. This town is still full of museums and an old-timey gold rush charm, plus there are stunning views everywhere you turn. Even better, the Northern Lights are on full display in this town all winter long.
If Queen Elizabeth II thinks Goderich, ON is the prettiest town in Canada then who are we to argue this point?! Located just over an hour north of London, this small port town overlooking Lake Huron has plenty to offer. With three beaches, an octagonal award-winning courtyard downtown and plenty of shops and restaurants, this town has got to go on your must-see list.
The wildlife is abundant in this northern Manitoba town about 100km from the Nunavut border. There are nearly as many polar bear inhabitants here as there are human ones and about 60 times as many beluga whales! Here you can take dog sledding tours, witness the magical Northern Lights and enjoy seasonal bird-watching. Driving is not an option in this remote town so with no roads, you will have to catch a train or a plane from Winnipeg!
This small town is located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and is about an hour northeast of Quebec City. The landscape and old buildings in Baie-Saint-Paul scream European charm and has the wine, cheese and meat selection to match. Here you can snowshoe, kayak on the river or go canyoning down a waterfall! Apart from the beauty and delicious food, this town’s claim to fame is that Cirque de Soleil was founded here in 1984.
Fort Simpson, NWT
The only village in the Northwest Territories, Fort Simpson has a population of a mere 1,200 people. You can find this exceptionally beautiful place at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard rivers. Here the days are long, making it the perfect place for canoeing and camping trips. Check out the nearby Nahanni National Park Reserve for a truly unforgettable trip.