Must Visit Small Towns in Canada

These small Canadian towns are not a typical tourist destination, but each small town has its own charm and character that makes the tourists feel welcome and at home. From charming fishing villages in the east to atmospheric mountain towns in the west, the small towns are dotted in the drama and beauty of the Canadian landscape.

Canada, the second largest country in the world, has the longest coastline that stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean and is an extremely diverse country featuring a plethora of different terrain. Each province and territory in Canada has something to appeal to the senses of the travelers from impressive mountain ranges to the largest protected boreal forest to lakes to valleys to waterfalls. Canada is renowned for its beautiful cities like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal which offer varied cuisine, majestic landscapes, and rich cultural offerings. There are a lot of other travel-worthy places in and around the country, however, only the bigger and most congested cities steal the spotlight. The delightful small towns are definitely worth planning a trip around as they deliver in terms of adventure, charm, and hospitality. 

SmallTowns Small Towns in Canada

From charming fishing villages in the east to atmospheric mountain towns in the west, the small towns are dotted in the drama and beauty of the Canadian landscape. There might be plenty of reasons to visit big cities but traveling to a small town provides the visitor with a special and intimate experience. These Canada small towns are not a typical tourist destination but each and every small town has its own charm and character that makes the tourists feel welcome and at home. The best adventures are discovered by just wandering around on foot or taking the time to talk to the locals. From ocean to mountain view, these small towns have a lot to offer. The diverse geography of the country, from the awesome spectacle of tall Rocky Mountain peaks, to tranquility of the Great Lakes should not be missed. If you’re looking for scenic views, unpretentious atmosphere and exceptional attractions, start planning a quick getaway to these Canadian towns on our list. These cozy communities would make you fall in love at first sight for sure!

Visiting Canada has never been easier since the Government of Canada has introduced the simplified and streamlined process of obtaining electronic travel authorisation or Canada Visa Online. Canada Visa Online is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit Canada for a period of time less than 6 months. International visitors must have a Canadian eTA to be able to enter Canada and explore this amazing country. Foreign citizens can apply for an Canada Visa Application in a matter of minutes. Canada Visa Application process is automated, simple, and completely online.

Golden, British Columbia

Golden Golden

Golden is a beautiful town situated in British Columbia and with a population of under 4000  residents, the town has much to offer to both visitors and residents. It is situated at the confluence of two major rivers, the slow paced, Columbia and the powerful, Kicking Horse, with epic mountain ranges such as the Columbia and Rocky Mountains in its vicinity. Sitting in the Canadian Rockies, there are six stunning national parks, including Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho, where the visitors can experience the spectacular scenery and wildlife viewing, iconic hiking trails, mountain biking, waterfalls, lakes and heritage sites. It is the perfect place for those who don’t want an adrenaline boost to take in Canada’s natural beauty. The town also has a lot to offer adventure seekers, with white water rafting, hiking in the summer, skiing and snowboarding at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in the winter.

If you wish to kick back and refuel, Golden has more than a few top-notch restaurants and pubs, including Whitetooth Mountain Bistro, Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, The Island Restaurant, etc. to offer unique dining experiences. It is also home to the Golden Skybridge that features two bridges that are the highest suspension bridges in all of Canada. Standing on top of a bridge that is 130 meters above an expansive canyon offers a spectacular view to the visitors. This town is home to the highest concentration of backcountry lodges and the longest free standing timber-frame bridge in Canada. The sense of community is strong in this town as the locals embrace tourists who come to explore the ruggedness of the area and organize community events and festivals. If you wish to explore Canadian wilderness, you must visit this town nestled in the mountains making it every outdoor lover’s paradise.

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Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec

Baie-Saint-Paul Baie-Saint-Paul

Baie-Saint-Paul, the town of art and legacy, is located in the Charlevoix region of Quebec nestled in a valley on the northern shore of the great St Lawrence River just to the northeast of Quebec City is an epitome of French Canadian charm. Surrounded by imposing mountains and rivers, its grandiose landscapes charm the visitors and fill them with a desire to be at one with nature. Also referred to as one of Canada’s cultural capitals, its narrow streets are bustling with culture as the streets are lined with independent shops, artist’s studios, galleries, unique bistros and boutiques along with picturesque and magnificent century-old houses.

Rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste is the home to one of the highest concentrations of art galleries in Canada, and a stroll down this street will be an unforgettable experience for the art enthusiasts. Known as an artist’s paradise, the visitors can witness musicians, painters, and acrobats performing in the streets. If you are looking for a bit of adrenaline pumping, you can try hiking, mountain biking, whale watching by sea kayak, snowshoeing, canyoning, etc. This town is the birthplace of the world renowned Cirque du Soleil and was the muse of the Canadian painters the Group of Seven. The town is known for amazing cheese, fresh berries, exquisite meat foraged mushrooms, handmade chocolates. The warmth and hospitality of its residents along with its artistic and cultural life will delight and inspire you, making it an experience you should not miss.

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Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill Churchill

Churchill, located on the west shore of Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, is referred to as the ‘polar bear capital of the world’. It is a town of less than 1000 residents living in a sea of wilderness. Despite the fact that the landscape is arctic, the boreal forest, tundra and marine environments ensure that the place is not barren and houses 500 species of arctic wildflowers and boreal plants, over 225 species of birds. Lying along the migration path of polar bears and beluga whales, Churchill is a magnet for outdoor adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts. These polar bears are the rulers of the arctic and reside mostly on ice sheets, swim in freezing waters and can also survive on land. Visitors flock to the town mostly in the months of October to November to catch a glimpse of the majestic white bears from the safety of massive tundra vehicles. This town is also a beluga hotspot, therefore, a great place to visit both in the fall and the summer months. In summers, adventure lovers can jump in a kayak and witness the spectacular sight of beluga whales and also get up close and personal to these incredibly friendly and curious creatures.

Churchill is also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, which is a wondrous and mysterious natural phenomenon, in its greatest glory. Since there is no light pollution produced by humans here, the Northern Lights are visible here up to 300 nights of the year showcasing nature’s greatest light show. Churchill, called the ‘accessible arctic’ is definitely a place for adventurers as there are no roads that lead to Churchill; but as it is on the warmer southwestern shore of Hudson Bay, it is accessible by flight or train, which adds to its remote allure. This small town has big adventures to offer like kayaking with beluga, camping, snowboarding, skiing, etc. Whether the reason behind your visit is to explore the wildlife in the boreal forest, hear the whistles of the beluga whales, or to visit the great polar bear, you will be able to soak up the diverse culture of this humble town and its majestic landscape.

Some of the oldest castles in Canada date as far back as the 1700s, which create an absolute joyful experience to revisit the times and the ways of living from the industrial era with restored artworks and costumes interpreters ready to welcome its visitors. Learn more at Guide to Top Castles in Canada.

Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island

Victoria-by-the-Sea Victoria-by-the-Sea

Victoria-by-the-Sea, a picturesque fishing village on the southern shore, situated halfway between Charlottetown and Summerside is one of the smallest and beautiful towns that Prince Edward Island has to offer. It consists of only four blocks that are dotted with brightly painted homes. The town can be considered as an artist’s enclave, and also has small art galleries nearby. The friendly locals of Victoria-by-the-Sea are a strong community and are extremely welcoming. Being close to the sea, there are some great restaurants that serve fresh catch of the day such as Landmark Oyster House, Richard’s Fresh Seafood, etc. along with Island Chocolates to sample homemade chocolates. There are many things to see and do here and the protected warm waters make it the perfect place for coastal exploring. A stroll along the historic tree-lined streets will lead you to Palmer Range Light, a lighthouse that houses the Victoria Seaport Museum and the Keepers of the Light exhibit.

Kayaking tours from sunrise to sunset provide a fun, safe and easy eco-adventure for the visitors. Clam digging is a popular daytime activity while evenings are best spent eating oysters and lobsters or catching a play at the historical Victoria Playhouse which is the longest running little theater in Prince Edward Island. The theater is housed in the historic Community Hall and is regarded as a hidden gem and an entertainment spot for Islanders and summer visitors as it offers a series of plays, comedies and concerts. In order to slow down and experience the relaxed pace of life and get a true sense of the history of the village, plan a trip to this quaint seaside village.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara-on-the-Lake

Nestled on the southern shores of Lake Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful town located right along the Niagara River just opposite New York State, close to the famous Niagara Falls. It is a charming, well-preserved 19th century town with small Victorian streets that are lined with hotels, shops, restaurants and some of Canada’s best wineries. The small town with a population of around 17,000 has lots to keep the visitors busy and the long days, warm weather, scenic countryside, and lively downtown make for the perfect getaway. With a riveting history and rich heritage, The presence of historic sites such as Fort George, Historical Society Museum that exhibit the riveting history and rich heritage of the town. 

The summer is the ideal time to visit the town as festivals like the Music Niagara and the Shaw Festival, the world-class theater festival, are organized in full swing. The festival takes place from April to November and features a diverse mix of plays from modern plays to classics of George Bernard Shaw, among others. The place is considered as a tourism hotspot because of the presence of sun-drenched vineyards.  The town has a unique selection of imaginative cuisine and fine dining experiences at Cannery Restaurant, The Gate House, etc. Due to the presence of a well-connected shuttle system, and numerous bike rental shops, it is easy for the visitors to explore the town. The old town charm will capture your soul once you set foot onto its historic streets, so what are you waiting for?

Canada is the second largest country in the world that borders three oceans and is renowned for its rich geography that encompasses everything from snow-capped mountains of the north to temperate rainforests and rolling grasslands of British Columbia. Experience the wildlife in Canada

Dawson, Yukon

Dawson Dawson

Dawson City, a northern town in the Yukon Territory, is one of the most interesting small towns in Canada that boasts of a blend of arts, culture, wilderness and history. This town was founded in the Klondike Gold Rush era of the late 19th century, when prospectors searched for treasures in the flowing waters. During gritty, glamorous gold rush days, this small, remote settlement was turned into a lively booming town. Even though there is far less gold now and the number of inhabitants has gone down to around 1000, this historic town’s legacy lives on. The spirit of the gold rush is still very much alive in Dawson City as the town’s appearance has not changed much and it has embraced its rich history through museums, colorful frontier-style buildings, vintage house saloons and hotels. Vestiges of the glamorous days in the past remain in one of Canada’s oldest gambling halls, the Diamond Tooth Gerties which is still in operation and puts on nightly shows in the summer, and the historical exhibits at the Dawson City Museum.

To get a taste of Yukon culture and know about the indigenous people of Klondike, the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre is definitely worth a visit. The spotlight has shifted from gold and the town is now famous for its wildlife and boasts an unspoiled wilderness. The spectacular panorama that can be witnessed atop the Midnight Dome will take your breath away. Adventure seekers can also head out to snowshoe, pan for gold and board elegant paddle wheelers so as to experience the mighty Yukon River in style. This magical town must be added to your bucket list!

The national winter sport of Canada and the most popular sport among all Canadians, Ice Hockey can be dated back to the 19th century when various stick and ball games, both from the United Kingdom and from the indigenous communities of Canada, influenced a new game into existence. Learn about Ice Hockey – Canada’s Favourite Sport.

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