You’re never too far from some amazing natural scenery in Canada, whether it be the tranquility of the Great Lakes or the awesome spectacle of the Canadian Rockies. It’s home to national parks, emerald islands, and long highways ripe for road-tripping into the wilderness. Of course, dotted in the drama and beauty of the Canadian landscape are its small towns.
From Francophone communities with strong connections to the first French settlers, to diverse British colonists, as well the country’s Aboriginal people, small towns in Canada are a mix of cultures and eras, where gold rush towns still look like gold rush towns, and grand railway hotels jut out of forests and also European castles. Here are some of the places that make exploring this expansive country a real joy.
15. Tobermory, Ontario
Named after another quite charming town in Scotland, this Tobermory is known as ‘the freshwater Scuba capital of the world’ – there are 22 shipwrecks to explore in the adjacent Fathom Five National Marine Park alone. There are also many rock formations in Fathom Five – just offshore is Flowerpot Island, named for two flowerpot-shaped stacks on its coast, and which also features camping facilities and hiking trails. For the less adventurous there are glass-bottomed boat tours to glimpse the wrecks without getting wet.