Creemore, a Day Trip from Toronto

This headline is a little misleading, because Mom and I didn't technically come from Toronto to visit Creemore (we drove from Barrie, which was a pleasant 30 minutes). However, you can get to Creemore from Toronto in a brisk hour and a half, which still makes it a great day trip from the city. 

The time between Christmas and New Year's can turn into a vacuum of blank, dead space where time is just slipping through your fingers and you start getting a little stir crazy. Cue blogTO's article (read here) which inspired Mom and I to get our butts off the couch and enjoy some of Ontario's natural beauty and one of its cozy towns. 

Our first stop was Noisy River Provincial Park, which turned out to be quite the adventure thanks to Google Maps. The directions led us down an unmaintained, unpaved, treacherous road that had a thick layer of ice underneath. Our car didn't have winter tires, so we were swerving and slipping all over the place.

We decided to try and find another entrance to the Bruce Trail. I've pinned the location below on the map – there's a discreet entrance just off of County Road 9. We parked on the side of the road and wandered into a thickly forested winter wonderland – no other people on the trail, the sounds of a gentle stream running alongside us, and a canopy of evergreens overhead. 

After some time in the great outdoors, Mom and I made our way to the charming little town of Creemore – and when I mean little, I mean tiny. The "downtown" is one street with shops, restaurants, and bars on either end that maybe stretches 200 metres. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in cuteness. 

First on the agenda was warming up with some toasty beverages (coffee for Mom, peppermint hot chocolate for me). There are quite a few cafes and coffee shops in Creemore, but we ended up at Bank Cafe, primarily because it was the first one we came across. We settled down to enjoy the lovely view outside the bay window – twinkle lights hung up on the trees and pastel washed Victorian facades. 

The entire street is a picturesque playground – every building has its own unique character, history, and beauty. The Old Mill House Pub looked like a delicious place to grab some food, but alas, dinner was waiting for us at home. From how busy it was and how happy everyone looked inside, I'd say this is a more than safe bet for lunch or dinner. 

If you've heard of Creemore before, that's probably because you've heard of their beer, Creemore Springs. The brewery is the main reason tourists visit Creemore. They offer tours and flights and merchandise in a fairly small room given their fame. Advice if you want to visit: get here early, and have a lot of patience. We went on a chilly Sunday in December, and it was still packed. 

Something you probably didn't know about Creemore – it has North America's smallest jail (no longer in use, unfortunately). Just off on a side street, you can snag your photo op with this tiny little building, as well as take a peek at a restored log cabin. 

My favourite part of Creemore was the shopping (and window shopping) we got to do. I'm all about supporting local when I can, especially when local stores offer unique and cute knick knacks. Mom fell in love with an antique store and a Swedish boutique called Lagom, whereas my heart was more drawn towards Curiosity House Books and the 100-Mile Store where I purchased some local honey.  

Long story short: Creemore is a sweet little masterpiece. Every nook and cranny begs to be photographed and Instagrammed. The people are kind, hospitable, and in love with where they live. The hot chocolate is great, the beer even better. It won't be long before the crowds roll through (thanks, blogTO) so be sure to visit before that happens. 

Till next time, Creemore! 👋