So Much To Explore!
Whether it’s taking in the beautiful waterfront trails, tantalizing your taste buds at one of the many great restaurants, visiting the historic sites, and popular campsites, there are countless ways to enjoy this destination.
There’s the Cornwall that visitors see, then there’s the more rural part of this area that locals love! Meet the locals at the end of the blog and follow us on Instagram at @southeast.ontario for their upcoming takeovers on our channel! They will be showing you the city life of Cornwall and the hidden gems of the SDG Counties.
Built on land that has been by the Wood’s family for over 200 years, the museum itself is a monument of history. Enjoy a taste of the past by exploring the lessons that Cornwall’s early industry had to offer. See depictions of blacksmithing, forge tools and many other artifacts that will have your mind puzzling.
Food And Drink
Do you know what innovative tastes like? Find out at Truffles Burger Bar where you can taste a range of exciting flavours like the “Aloha Burger”, made with back bacon, grilled pineapple and cinnamon, or the “Fior di Latte Pizza”, topped with fior di latte cheese, portobello mushrooms, truffle oil and tomato sauce.
“The Breakfast Burger at Truffles – too good!”Krystal Taillon
A great brewery with an interesting origin story, Rurban Brewery is a family-owned retirement project that is too good to miss. Enjoy a free tour while sipping on samples of their great selection of fresh beers and ciders. Down to earth and delicious are the main characteristics you will find at Rurban Brewery, along with great staff, excellent drinks and a chilled-out atmosphere.
“Rurban Brewery makes craft beer that is sold in cans and on tap at their location, and is also featured in several restaurants around the city. They have quite a variety of beer, from the Cornwall Golden Lager to their Bacon German Style Smoked Lager to their Wheat n Berries IPA. They take time and care to create innovative brews that tease your senses and delight your palate.”Krystal Taillon
This local hot-spot is a long-time favourite for many families around the region. Being spontaneous should always include good food, and Seguin Patate has great service and delicious food, including favourites like poutine, coney fries, burgers and plenty more!
“Epic poutines, local landmark.”Krystal Taillon
Calling all pizza lovers! Cornwall is the place to be when you’re feeling like chowing down on some cheesy slices! A couple of spots to check out include: Riverside Restaurant, which specializes in authentic old style pizza; Manny’s, with its giant slices and great prices; Louis’ Pizzeria, where they aren’t shy about toppings; and The Shack where the “T-Rex” pizza comes with all the extras!
“Cornwall has the best pizza… ask any Cornwallite, and they’ll tell you this is a fact. I know people who have moved away and when they come back to visit they ALWAYS order a pizza before they leave!”Krystal Taillon
Owned and run by a kick-butt father-daughter duo, this fantastic food truck is one of Cornwall’s’ favourites! We hear they have the best deep-fried pickles in the area, not to mention the buffalo chicken poutine, greek burger and to top it off, great customer service.
Cornwall and SDG Counties is an emerging haven for wine enthusiasts. Touring between wineries along the beautiful countryside of SDG Counties with close friends is the perfect day well spent.
Stonehouse Vineyard is open for patio tastings, tour and tastings packages, wine store bottle purchases and online ordering for pick up, delivery or shipping. Look for sunset sippers events happening until October! At Stone Crop Acres, the winery and grounds are now open to the public for wine tastings and sales by the glass or by the bottle as well as a selection of local organic cheeses and bread. Look here for a fantastic live music series! Smokie Ridge Vineyards is now welcoming people to stroll in the vineyards over their 43 acres, as well as being available online and for curbside pickup and delivery. Make yourself at home on picnic tables or under the big tent to savour and sip.
The pizza is made in a scratch kitchen in Winchester, with heirloom sourdough crust and fresh sauce ingredients. Lunch at Iron Forge is heavenly and hearty, with homemade soups and sandwiches on bread cooked in house. Best part? Breakfast is served until late morning. Dine-in now open – and now fully licensed so be sure to have a drink to toast the end of summer!
Sherry’s has a bit of everything – but one thing it has for sure is a loyal following who know Sherry’s always some yummy food coming out of the oven! From tea biscuits to butter tarts to chicken wings and pizza, Sherry’s has ready-to-go homecooked meals and a fully-stocked convenience store, gas bar, lottery and LCBO. Grab a prepared meal and a bottle of wine and call it a night!
“The best home-baked goods (amazing butter tarts!) and sell Biemond yoghurt and cheese too.”Julie Fossitt
As a family-owned and operated farm business that grows and sells a wide variety of in-season fruits and vegetables, J&L Produce Farm Market pre-picks all veggies for customer convenience. There is lots in season at this Winchester farm during late summer and early fall, see what’s ready now. This is as fresh as it gets!
“Hands down the freshest and most delicious vegetables in the three united counties!”Julie Fossitt
Apple picking has started at Avonmore Berry Farm! Visit the orchard for you-pick or take home pre-picked. There are even distanced wagon rides available – with some limitations. Look here for pumpkins this fall, too! With more than 20 acres of strawberries, Avonmore Berry Farm is a favourite place to connect farm to fork.
If you like scones, this is a must-try! Simply Baked in Winchester is famous for their scones – and watch for their bagels, too. They are currently offering pickup and delivery on their delicious pastries, bread, and meals-to-go made from local products. Weekly menus can be found on their website to order ahead. Yum!
Butler’s is a local favourite for casual dining in SDG Counties – with exceptional food. The burgers are an experience here and the fish and chips is a fan favourite. Butler’s got creative and created an extended patio to welcome guests at this time. In addition to the comfort food with a classy twist, watch for live music, trivia night and Beau’s flowing!
For more than 50 years Mountain Orchards has been a mainstay in the community. It’s become a tradition for many families to go apple picking each fall. This fall that tradition can continue, as Mountain Orchards is open! Pick-your-own is available, however, there are some rules to follow at the orchard this year. Be sure to try the legendary apple cider doughnuts from the on-site bakery!
Fact – some of the best gifts come out of local stores owned in small communities. For your next visit to Cornwall, we recommend you check out some of these lovely shops:
“Kids Korner, is a toy store that has just about everything you could possibly want for your children. The upstairs is primarily for babies/toddlers, with cribs, accessories (bibs, pacifiers, sleepers, etc.), and age appropriate toys from great brands like vtech. The downstairs is absolutely PACKED with a huge variety of toys- legos, books, arts and crafts, board games, puppets, STEM items, Melissa & Doug, and even outdoor stuff like slacklines and giant unicorn bowling! When I go there, I know I’ll be greeted by someone with a friendly face who’s knowledgable about what’s in the store and what would work based on what I’m looking for, and that I’ll walk out with something amazing and fun for my children.
“The Happy Popcorn Co is the candy store of your dreams! They have a great variety of gourmet popcorn, and even create flavours for special occasions. On Canada Day, they made a red and white popcorn with the red being cherry flavour and the white was birthday cake! They also have retro and novelty candy/chocolate bars that I never see at other stores, sodas and carbonated waters, pork rinds, and cotton candy. Their selection is outstanding… AND delicious, of course!’ Krystal Taillon
“The Fantasy Realm, is my geek heaven. It’s been around for 35 years, and has comics (thousands of them!), graphic novels, as well as various action figures, funkos, and geek-themed items like mugs and banks. It’s been owned and operated the whole time by Randy Sauve, who goes above and beyond for his customers, even setting aside certain issues if he knows a regular will want it”Krystal Taillon
Going once, going twice, sold! Rideau Auctions has been a mainstay in SDG Counties for three decades. With a sales arena, warehousing, sales office, and canteen on the premises, Rideau Auctions has what you need. A liquidation centre is currently open but has a cap at 50 people inside at one time. All auctions are currently running online-only and open to the public, featuring housewares, lighting, electronics, jewellery and many other biddable items. Experience the thrill of an auction!
“Huge outlet store with great selection of items at excellent prices”Julie Fossitt
This is feel-good treasure hunting! House of Lazarus’ Thrift Shop and Household Goods Shop in SDG Counties offers opportunities to find something at reasonable prices. The money generated goes back into the House of Lazarus, a community outreach mission that offers food, clothing, and household goods to those in need, serving not only HOL food bank clients, but those of neighbouring food banks as well. Look for two store locations at the HOL Boutique & Ingleside Thrift Store, as well as Mountain Treasures.
“One of the best thrift stores around located in a rural setting. The thrift store supports many of their outreach initiatives.”Julie Fossitt
The Cassbridge Gift Shop in Winchester is a one-stop-shop for gifts – or for treating yourself! With a variety of home decor, candles, print, as well as women’s accessories including Canadian designer jewellery, leather wallets, purses and more, plan to lose yourself among the shelves while finding the perfect something special for a friend.
This isn’t just an antique shop – it feels like you’re coming home when you walk in the door. Barnfull O’ Goodies in Morrisburg offers an incredible variety of beautifully-displayed antiques, vintage finds, collectables, handmade and hand-crafted items, as well as upcycled and repurposed pieces. Look here for salvaged treasures, too, so you can create your own upcycled masterpieces!
Travel off the beaten path with some cycling in the beautiful trails in Cornwall. Visit important landmarks and take in the sights and smells of nature as you glide along 40 kilometres of scenic waterfront of the St. Lawrence River.
Looking for a unique ride? Cycle the Upper Canada Island Hopper family bike ride. This ride takes you on a bike path through the heart of the forest in SDG Counties. If you are lucky, you might see a deer or other wildlife. At the halfway point you can park your bikes and visit the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary Visitor Centre.
Cyclists: be prepared to fall in love. The Long Sault Parkway flows through a series of islands connected by a quiet roadway just west of Cornwall. These islands sweep in an arc through the St. Lawrence River like a necklace of green jewels, connected by causeways and bridges. In fact, the islands are the former hilltops of the Lost Villages, which were flooded to allow the International Seaway and Power Dam project in 1958.
There are also three campgrounds along the parkway, as well as two beaches and picnic areas to explore! The campgrounds may have individual COVID-related restrictions in place, please see more info here. Look for the largest sand beach on the St. Lawrence corridor: Mille Roches Beach. It spans a long arching bay and is on the biggest of the 11 islands connected by the Long Sault Parkway.
Whether you are an avid angler or a novice newt, you can always catch a line in Cornwall! Due to its location on the St. Lawrence River, the freshwater is rich with big fish including bass, carp and muskie!
The Iroquois beach is a beautiful sandy spot along the fabled St. Lawrence River to dip your toes or dive right in to escape the heat! It’s a family favourite, as it has washrooms as well as change rooms – and the swimming area is marked by buoy lines and even has floating docks connected to the shore. The Municipality of South Dundas announced earlier this summer that the beach is temporarily closed on weekends, due to concerns regarding physical distancing and traffic as the beach was proving popular.
Imagine seeing enormous tankers and ships passing through a St. Lawrence Seaway lock right before your eyes! It’s a daily occurrence at the Iroquois Lock in South Dundas. The Visitor’s observation area was closed temporarily earlier this year, but typically people flock to Iroquois Point every summer to marvel at the canal and lock. Did you know that the lock fills with about 91 million litres of water in under 10 minutes?
Sightseeing And Tours
Roam with life-sized dinosaurs at Prehistoric World near Morrisburg! Intricately-created dinos of all types are stationed along a trail through field and forest with more surprises around every bend in the path! Enjoyed by dinosaur experts of all ages; it takes about an hour to go through the trail. There are currently no picnics allowed.
History is alive at the engaging Upper Canada Village, where everyday life in the 1860s is re-enacted in meticulous detail. Inspire awe at the village’s authentic buildings and activities, farming methods and costumes. The village is welcoming visitors again but will be offering guided tours as part of the phased reopening.
Do you think you and your closest loved ones can make it out of a locked room in time? Gather anywhere from two to eight players, and work together to complete your mission. Rush Hour Escapes locks you in a room for 60 minutes where you and your pals have to use the clues provided to find your way out before the clock runs out.
Perfect for a sunny day with the family, Archie’s offers plenty of fun activities to do for all ages. Try your hand at Par 3 golf, get a hole-in-one in mini putt, and hit some balls on the driving range! After you have filled your golfing-craving, cool down with a cone of yummy ice cream to make your perfect day complete.
The Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg serves up a memorable prescription of musicals and comedies. Operating out of a charmingly converted former toothbrush factory, the Upper Canada Playhouse is one of the most acclaimed professional theatre companies in Eastern Ontario. The Playhouse is closed for the 2020 season, but watch for the stage to come alive again next year with everything from professional theatre to live music!
Meet The Locals
Bernadette Clement, Mayor of Cornwall
Mayor Bernadette Clement was elected to City Council in November of 2006, re-elected in 2010, and again in 2014, as the first choice of voters on all three occasions. She decided to offer herself as a candidate for Mayor in2018, and received a strong mandate, becoming the first woman to hold this position in the 235-year history of Cornwall! She is also the first black woman to ever hold the position of Mayor of any municipality in Ontario!
Upcoming Instagram Stories Takeover: Wednesday September 23
Get ready for a fun day highlighting locally owned businesses in various industries such as culinary, the arts, sports, and more!
Kelly Bergeron, Tourism Champion
Kelly Bergeron moved back to Cornwall 4 years ago, to help bring digital literacy to the community through her Code Heroes program. She has been an advocate for cycling and urban design in rural areas, and is currently working for Google’s Code Next program, building curriculum for Black and LatinX youth in Oakland and NYC.
Upcoming Instagram Stories Takeover: Friday, September 25th
Follow Kelly for the day as she visits some culinary gems, shows you the best places for peaceful walks, and tries the newest game at Rush Hour Escapes.
Julie Fossitt, Tourism Champion
Julie Fossitt is a marketer living in Kingston, Ontario. Born and raised in Winchester – the dairy capital of Ontario – she loves to visit her extended family in North and South Dundas and explore the farm to table food, outdoor activities and great shopping. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @ juliefossitt.
Upcoming Instagram Stories Takeover: Monday September 28th
This rural part of South Eastern Ontario is beautiful and widely unexplored. Julie will be sharing with us more hidden gems that are budget-friendly! Think thrift shopping and insta worthy locations.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey and shared with us their local favourites!