Even though I’m very much a city person and can’t imagine living in a place with a population of less than 500,000, I’m in love with Canadian small towns.
Over the year, we visit quite a lot of small towns, mostly in Ontario but also in the U.S. Some were just a stop on the road to or from somewhere, some were a getaway, but most of them were simply lovely.
It’s a cliché but the pace of life is different and people are friendlier than in the big cities. It’s also refreshing to see fewer franchises, more “mom and pop” stores, and fresher products. It also helps that Ontario is a lovely province, and that a lot of these towns are in a beautiful natural setting. Most small towns here really try hard to be welcoming, unique and original and they each have their own little quirks or attractions.
Last week, on our way back from Toronto, we decided to break the five-hour long drive in Gananoque instead of Kingston (home of the Tragically Hip!), our usual stop. We had been to Gananoque once before, in 2008, when exploring the Thousand Islands.
Our stop there was quick but very relaxing. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we noticed how quiet it was compared to Toronto and to the highway. We walked around Joel Stone Park and the marina, and enjoyed what probably is the calm before the storm for this touristic site.
You can see more small towns in the Ontario Travels set.