15 Best Small Towns To Visit In Canada

Canada is an extremely diverse country that stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second largest country in the world, featuring a plethora of different terrain. There are so many spectacular places to visit in Canada, from large, vibrant cities to small mountain villages, as well as mountains, lakes, valleys, and waterfalls.
Here is a list of the 15 best towns to visit in Canada.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


Niagara-on-the-Lake is a Canadian town in Southern Ontario. It is across the Niagara River from Youngstown, New York, US. This lovely place is filled with 19th-century homes and small Victorian streets that are lined with hotels, shops, and restaurants. In fact, the town is known for its excellent bistros and luxury accommodations. The best time to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake is the summer.

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


Yarmouth is a port town located on the Bay of Fundy in southwestern Nova Scotia. Yarmouth is the shire town of Yarmouth County and its largest population center in the region. Long connected to fishing due to its proximity to Georges Bank, the town is located in the heart of the world’s largest lobster fishing grounds and as a result receives Canada’s largest lobster landings each year.

Colorful Victorian buildings are what you can expect to see in this lovely town. It’s quaint and picturesque, and home to numerous preserved buildings. A visit to Yarmouth will result in the beautiful scenery, excellent food, and an amazing feeling of culture.

St Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick


St Andrews-by-the-Sea is a historic town that sits at the southern tip of a peninsula in Passamaquoddy Bay. It is the shire town of the county. The town is quite colorful and has numerous historic buildings and lovely gardens.
Important attractions include The Algonquin Hotel, Kingsbrae Horticultural Garden, The Ross Memorial Museum, the St. Andrews Biological Station, the Huntsman Marine Aquarium, The Sheriff Andrews’ House, Minister’s Island, whale watching, fine art and craft galleries, many shops, restaurants, and the charming seaside setting.

Paris, Ontario


Paris is nothing like a European city, apart from the fact that it is dissected by a river. Oddly enough, the lovely town is named after gypsum deposits that are used to make plaster of Paris.
Located at the forks of the Grand and Nith Rivers in the heart of Ontario, Downtown Paris offers something exciting for everyone. It is home to numerous historic buildings, great cafés, unique shops, and delightful restaurants.

Nelson, British Columbia


Known as “The Queen City,” and acknowledged for its impressive collection of restored heritage buildings from its glory days in a regional silver rush, Nelson is one of the three cities forming the commercial and population core of the West Kootenay region.

Nelson has earned a reputation as a cultural center. The downtown area is packed with good restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, local shops, small art galleries, the restored Capitol Theatre, and impromptu theater venues. The city is about forty-five minutes away from the site of the annual Shambhala Music Festival, an internationally known artistic music festival held in August at the Salmo River Ranch. It is also home to the Whitewater Ski Resort and the Nelson Brewing Company (a regional microbrewery).

Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island


Victoria is a municipality that holds community status in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The population fluctuates with seasonal residents. A historic seaport, the community is situated at the extreme southwestern edge of Queens County in the township of Lot 29. In recent decades the community has branded itself as “Victoria-by-the-Sea” to honor its heritage as a seaport and to attract tourists.

Victoria-by-the-Sea has become somewhat of an artists’ enclave, though it also keeps much of its farming and lobster fishing culture. There are small art galleries to visit, as well as beautiful restaurants that serve fresh catch of the day.

Banff, Alberta


Banff is a picturesque town within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. The town sits at an elevation of 1,400 meters above sea level, boasting fantastic views of its surroundings. Banff is a resort town and one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, known for its mountainous surroundings and hot springs. It is a destination for outdoor sports and features extensive hiking, biking, scrambling, and skiing areas within the area. Sunshine Village, Ski Norquay, and Lake Louise Mountain Resort are the three nearby ski resorts located within the national park.

Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec


Baie-Saint-Paul is a city in the Province of Quebec, Canada, on the northern shore of the Saint Lawrence River. The city is situated at the mouth of the Gouffre River. It is known for its art galleries, shops, restaurants, and charming century-old houses.
Not only was Baie-Saint-Paul the muse of the Canadian painters the Group of Seven, but it is also the origin of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil. It is a bohemian town with stunning surroundings.

Canora, Saskatchewan


Canora is located at the junction of highways No. 5 and 9 in East-Central Saskatchewan. Centrally located on the corners of four adjacent rural municipalities, the community is home to approximately 2,200 residents and draws upon a substantial trading area. Canora is a very beautiful town with outstanding surroundings.

Good Spirit Lake, Crystal Lake, and Duck Mountain Provincial Park are all within proximity of the town, giving it the nickname the ‘Heart of Good Spirit Country.’ Canora also features a lot of golf courses. When entering the town, visitors are greeted by “Lesia,” a 25 ft statue dressed in traditional Ukrainian costume.

Churchill, Manitoba


Churchill is a town in northern Manitoba, Canada on the west shore of Hudson Bay, roughly 110 kilometers (68 miles) from the Manitoba–Nunavut border. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname “Polar Bear Capital of the World” that has helped its growing tourism industry.

Thousands of beluga whales, which move into the warmer waters of the Churchill River estuary during July and August to a calf, are a major summer attraction. Churchill is also a destination for bird watchers from late May until August. The aurora borealis is another reason to visit this beautiful town.

Springdale, Newfoundland, and Labrador


With a population of 2,907, Springdale provides small-town appeal with big-town services. The town is a modern, well-groomed town nestled between rolling hills and the rugged coastline of Hall’s Bay. This beautiful town is filled with attractions, including a lovely harbor, a tranquil beach, Mainmast Museum, and the H.C. Grant Heritage Museum. Moose, ducks, and Canadian geese can often be spotted. It is also a great place for whale-watching.

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia


Settled in 1754 and founded on the shipbuilding and logging industries, the history of Mahone Bay is rich in tradition. Discover the story at the Settlers Museum and pick up a free historic walking tour pamphlet, then find your favorite spot along the historic harbourfront to capture one of the most photographed views in Canada: the Three Churches of Mahone Bay.

Mahone Bay is open year-round and boasts a simple yet extraordinary quality of life. You will want to experience it all from, history, to unique shops, artisans and culinary experiences, to outdoor adventures.

Rankin Inlet, Nunavut


Rankin Inlet is an Inuit community that sits on the Kudlulik Peninsula on the northwestern shores of Hudson Bay. Rankin Inlet is not only notable for its artists and artisans, but it is also recognized as housing the only Inuit fine-arts ceramics production facility in the world.

Community artists work in a variety of media including ceramics, prints, bronze castings, carvings, watercolor, and drawing. The Matchbox Gallery, founded in 1987, showcases artwork and provides educational resources.

Fort Smith, Northwest Territories


Fort Smith is located in the southeastern portion of the Northwest Territories, on the Slave River.
Fort Smith is the gateway to Canada’s largest national park; the Wood Buffalo National Park. Every year the South Slave Friendship Festival, a music and arts festival, occurs in Fort Smith, usually in August. Musicians and artists from across the Northwest Territories and many other faraway places come to interact with other artists and show off their talents to the public. Many tourists come to see the world-class Slave River and many kayakers try its rapids. Fort Smith Mission Park is a popular tourist attraction featuring historic buildings and a grotto from the Oblate Catholic Mission. In the summer months, pelicans can be seen nesting on several rapids near Fort Smith.

Watson Lake, Yukon


Watson Lake is a town in Yukon, Canada located at Mile 635 on the Alaska Highway close to the British Columbia border. The town is named for Frank Watson, an American-born trapper, and prospector, who settled in the area at the end of the nineteenth century.

Watson Lake is known for being one of the world’s best places to see the Northern Lights, though its hip downtown area makes it a unique little town. Tourist attractions in Watson Lake include the Northern Lights Centre and the much-imitated original Signpost Forest.