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Tourist Destinations in Southwestern Ontario

Southwestern Ontario is a popular tourist target in Canada. A short trip from the US border, it offers visitors a chance to see Toronto, the Great Lakes, and Niagara Falls. The many small towns that dot Ontario’s landscape also provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy quiet weekends taking in the local sites.

3 Worth While Small Town Stops

1. Bayfield is a historic village on the shore of Lake Huron. A visit to the village is a step back in time when walking the wide street with its shops and galleries and old homes. The stores offer a variety of shopping for books, home, garden, art and fashion. Visitors can walk from the street to the river, beach and marina at the point where the Bayfield River reaches Lake Huron. Guests can try fly-fishing on the Maitland River or rent boats and charter fishing trips. The Little Inn at Bayfield started as a coach stop in the 1830s and remains an ideal stopping point for visitors. You can discover more about this great town on their website at

2. Dresden, a farming town in southwestern Ontario, is the home of Josiah Henson who was a U.S. slave before the Civil War. His life was the source for the Uncle Tom’s Cabin novel. The home site is the end of the Underground Railroad though many of the slaves who escaped gathered near Chatham, Ontario. The Ontario Heritage Trust maintains the Henson Homestead. The Reverend Henson’s home, called the Josiah Henson House, is part of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site. It is on five acres of the original Dawn Settlement. The preserved home commemorates the lifetime of Reverend Henson who served many roles in the Underground Railroad movement. There are lots of other things to explore in Dresden you can check them out at

3. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a small town in the Niagara district on the coast of Lake Ontario where the Niagara River empties into Ontario. It is close to Niagara Falls. One of the better known attractions of Niagara-on-the-Lake is the Shaw Festival named for the playwright George Bernard Shaw. The productions are staged from April until November and highlight plays by Shaw, playwrights who lived at the same time or dramas about his time period. A famous historic site is Fort George, a recreated British fort from the War of 1812. Music Niagara, the summer music festivities, includes a variety of concerts of international jazz, classical and operatic artists. Visitors will find an array of tours while visiting the town. The Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours race up the Niagara River Gorge to the Devil’s Hole Rapids. The area offers many wine tours where visitors get brief lessons about wine tasting and an opportunity to sample the many types of wine. Niagara-on-the-Lake is regarded as one of Canada’s most haunted villages because of its years of ghostly history portrayed in the inns and homes. You can view other activities to take part in on their website at

Ontario is one of Canada’s largest provinces and a main tourist spot. The best way to explore this great province is by car, you can easily rent one from one of the major car rental companies. The website offers visitors an opportunity to compare car rental prices from major competitors in order to obtain the most economical car rentals available. Enjoy your time in beautiful Ontario.

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Written by: Morgan Roddick