Woodstock Ontario
Travel Guide

Woodstock Ontario Detailed Review. This small town has a LOT to offer the day-tripper. Check out its museum, art gallery, prettily-preserved downtown and Victorian mansions. 

woodstock museum, exterior

Above: Woodstock Museum

Attractions in Woodstock Ontario

Woodstock's core is nicely laid out along Dundas Street, where you’ll find most of the attractions that will appeal to day-trippers, like the art gallery, the city hall, the restaurants and shops and of course the wonderful Woodstock Museum. The building, which is located on the main street at 466 Dundas, started life as the Town Hall, market, public meeting place and jail. It was built in 1853 and modelled on the Town Hall in Woodstock, England. City offices outgrew the space eventually and moved out, and in 1948 the museum moved into the building. The inviting fountain in front of the museum – a popular gathering spot for locals – was erected in 1916 in honour of Andrew Pattulo, a local newspaper editor.

The interior design of the building is just as interesting as the exterior. Downstairs you’ll find the restored council chambers in lovely lemon and cream, a little reminder of what it used to be:

woodstock, chambers

Upstairs is the former public hall which was also used for balls and lectures. Oscar Wilde appeared here in 1882.  

woodstock museum, upper level

What a pity that it isn’t used as a theatre anymore. Half of it is blocked off and used for temporary exhibits. The stage can no longer be used because it doesn’t meet code.

This is a close-up detail of that gorgeous ceiling:

ceiling at museum museum

The museum’s permanent displays downstairs deal with the history of the town and the region, including its various industries, especially the dairies (the region is known as the Dairy Capital of Canada and celebrates a festival called Cowapalooza). Go to the corner of Dundas and Springbank streets to see the life size statue of "Springbank Snow Countess: a Famous Cow".

City Hall is located just down the street at 500 Dundas St. in a building that was originally constructed in 1901 as the post office. It has a nice solid feel, with a kind of H.H. Richardson heft to it.

City Hall in Woodstock

Just behind the museum is the Woodstock Market, built in 1895.  At one end of the sprawling building you’ll find the Woodstock Theatre.

Woodstock Market

The Woodstock Art Gallery at 449 Dundas Street offers two floors of exhibitions, one temporary and one permanent. Admission is free.

Woodstock Art Gallery

Vansittart Avenue is a street of mansions. The most ostentatious of them is the home of Thomas L. “Carbide” Wilson at 210 Vansittart who was the inventor of the 1st commercial calcium-carbide process for the manufacturer of acetylene gas.

Carbide House, Woodstock

Shopping & Dining in Woodstock Ontario

Downtown Woodstock Ontario runs from Vansittart Avenue to Huron Street on Dundas Street, the city's main street. There are several shops and restaurants, many of them housed in vintage buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Check out their downtown BIA: www.downtownwoodstock.ca

Or try the regional tourist web site at Tourism Oxford:  www.tourismoxford.ca

On the way out of town, at 97 Wilson Street, you’ll find a large sprawling warehouse full of antiques, The One of a Kind Antique Market, purported to be the largest in the county.

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