Orillia Ontario, The Town That Feels Like a Resort! Want to get away from the city but still have all the conveniences of an urban centre? Hungering for a taste of cottage country without spending too much time in travel? Then Orillia may be just the spot for you.
I recently spent three lazy days relaxing in this little lakeside town, which lies a couple of hours north of Toronto. Orillia feels more like a resort than a town, as the core is small and walkable and everything seems to have been designed for a visitor’s pleasure and leisure.
Above: A scene at the lake in Orillia. As pretty as a picture!
Like a resort, the town offers many attractions to amuse guests: live theatre and music, museum visits, restaurants, spas, shopping, and even, a short drive away, a casino for those looking to court Lady Luck.
Orillia's waterfront is its biggest draw for many visitors, including me. Although I'm not one of the hundreds of boaters who use their port every week, I'm a big fan of the water. Just put me on the boardwalk of a lovely lake where I can stroll up and down and admire the yachts coming and going, or take me on a cruise so I can admire the cottages (mansions, really!) lining its shores, and I'm perfectly mellow and stress-free! Talk about instant therapy.
Here's the contact info for the boat cruise:
Orillia Boat Cruises – Island Princess
But the town's attractions don't stop there. Here's a sample of some of them.
The Orillia Opera House
The Mariposa Market
The Orillia Museum Of Art And History
The Stephen Leacock Museum
The Ontario Provincial Police Museum
Heritage Homes (Get A Map Of A Heritage Site Walking Tour From The Tourist Office)
Festivals like the Mariposa Festival
See details about these attractions on my page on Orillia Attractions.
There are several B and Bs in town and most of them are located in century-old cottages in the leafy downtown district just west of the main drag, Mississauga Street. I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast, owned by a gracious couple who retired and ran away from Toronto to cottage country several years ago and have been living happily-ever-after.
Above: My charming bedroom at a B and B
My only complaint was that after three days of staying here, I came home so pampered by the multi-course gourmet breakfasts that it took me nearly a week to recover from the withdrawal.