13+ Things to Do in Beaverton Ontario For A Quaint Country Getaway

13+ Things to Do in Beaverton Ontario For A Quaint Country Getaway :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

There is no shortage of small town gems in Ontario but I can’t help but continuously be amazed at what this incredible province has to offer. Beaverton is flying under the radar but I know that’s going to change in no time flat. It makes the perfect day trip from Toronto or even a great weekend getaway in the country with its gorgeous public art, unique experiences, interesting history and unreal eats. Beat the incoming crowds and plan your adventure ASAP with my guide to all the amazing things to do in Beaverton Ontario!

Beaverton is located where the mouth of the Beaver River feeds into the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe. Before it was first settled in 1822, the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga and Wendake Peoples called these lands home and still do to this very day. The town was originally called Calder’s Mills before it went through a few naming iterations, finally becoming incorporated as Beaverton in 1884. However, the town has been the centre of commerce since long before that, hence the town’s slogan open for business since 1833.

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Beaverton Town Hall & War Memorial Statue :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Beaverton Town Hall

Top Things to Do in Beaverton Ontario

Now the largest community of Brock Township in Durham Region, Beaverton is located 90 minutes from downtown Toronto and approximately 3 hours from Niagara. This makes it a great day trip for Torontonians and a weekend adventure for all. Without further ado, let me show you what to do in Beaverton during your visit!

Explore the Heart of Town

Beaverton is quite small but there’s plenty to see in the town’s core. Take a walk along Simcoe Street and enjoy the quaint country charm of its treed sidewalks and the pops of colour from the various hanging plants. Many of the storefronts still have styled signage from previous decades, creating an eclectic collection of designs. Make sure to check out the large mural by artist James Gain on the side of Ben’s Pharmacy, an ode to Beaverton’s history.

As you meander, admire some of the picturesque architecture, which includes several century-old buildings. One such structure is the Beaverton Town Hall which was built in 1910. It’s now home to the charitable organization, the Beaverton Town Hall Players, who have produced musicals and plays in town for over three decades. Just around the corner, you’ll spot the Beaverton Public Library. Built just a few years later in 1912, it’s one of the 2,509 Carnegie libraries built between 1883 and 1929. It may look familiar as there were 111 erected in Ontario alone and they all follow a similar style. 

Close Up of Plant Holder in Blooms on the Go in Beaverton :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Some of the Plants in Blooms on the Go

Support Local with Some Shopping

As you explore, pop into some local businesses starting with the Simcoe Street Market. You’ll find over 30 different local makers and artisans showcasing their work. Check out their Instagram for a sneak peek at what you may find inside. At the back of the store, you’ll find the Retro Alley Thrift Shop or RATS as it’s affectionately called. Take a peek at the collection of thrifted and crafted items, then have a little fun as you snap some photos with their big pink couch. Be warned though, it doesn’t look it but you’ll struggle to get up because it’s so comfy!

Another fantastic store is the ever-beautiful Blooms on the Go. You’ll not only be amazed by the stunning arrangements crafted by the owner Sandy but also by the gorgeous century home it resides in. Sandy was an interior decorator and together with her partner Beau, restored the building to its former glory. I was lucky to get a tour of their home and the attention to detail is incredible! You can get a taste of it within the room where the flower shop resides as well as the neighbouring living room area you can see from the foyer. She also sells jewelry and artwork so be sure to stop by while you’re in Beaverton.

No trip to Beaverton is complete without a stop at Shirley’s Country Clutter. While Shirley has since retired, her name lives on as Alicia has taken the reigns. Inside you’ll find all things Beaverton with a variety of apparel sporting the city alongside work from numerous local and Canadian artisans. It’s your destination for everything cottage core (take a look at their Instagram, you’ll see what I mean) and I bet you’ll struggle to leave without buying something. Especially since it’s also home to something very special which I’ll talk about next. If you pop in (which you should), say hi to Alicia for me!

Check Out Beaverton’s Art Vending Machine

Another reason to visit Shirley’s Country Clutter is because you’ll find a peculiar periwinkle machine. This is the Great Canadian Art Machine, an upcycled cigarette dispenser crafted by Lori-Anne Crittenden and her partner John Ducker.

Purchase a token from Alicia, pop it in the machine and see it spring to life! Choose from 18 different artists who work with various media from metalwork to painting to wearables. You may know the artist and the medium they work in but you won’t exactly know what you’ll receive. How fun is that?! If you can’t decide on a specific artist or medium, throw caution to the wind and pick ‘surprise’. Or if you’re a Christmas fanatic, you can choose to expand your holiday decor in the most whimsical way possible. 

All of the artists within the machine are Canadian, many of which are from Ontario. It’s a fun way to support the local art scene and probably one of the most unique things to do in Beaverton! Lori-Anne and John are bringing more of these amazing machines to life so give them a follow on Instagram to see if a machine is coming to a town near you!

Lindsay Under the Lions Park Sign at the Start of the Park to Pier Trail :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Start of the Park to Pier Trail

Explore the Park to Pier Trail

A great way to get fully acquainted with the town of Beaverton is by following the Park to Pier Trail. Beginning at the Old Mill Gateway Park, this one-kilometre trail leads you along the Beaver River to the harbour area. As you pass ruins from the old mills dating back to the 1800s and historical buildings like the relocated old stone jail, interpretive signage shares about the history of Beaverton over the past 300 years. I always love when trails speak to the past, making this one of my favourite free things to do in Beaverton!

The trail is easy to follow for the most part as the gravel path leads you towards the Harbour. However, as you climb the wooden stairs by the Beaver River Museum, the trail seems to disappear at Simcoe Street. Turn right and continue to follow Simcoe Street across the railway tracks and you will arrive at the harbour area. I recommend crossing the street to ensure you’re on the sidewalk whenever necessary.

Admire The Wishing Tower

As you arrive at the harbour, you’ll be greeted by the newest piece of public art in Beaverton. Say hello to The Wishing Tower! Installed in December 2023, it’s the heart of an established gathering space to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Scottish settlers’ arrival and the impact on the original Indigenous peoples of these lands.

Renowned sculpture artist and Beaverton local Ron Baird crafted this contemporary kinetic design to embody the idea of wishes, a universal theme as the act of ‘making a wish’ is timeless and practiced by all ages and cultures across the globe. Every element has a purpose from the orbs representing the movement of water to the sculpture’s placement at the intersection of three ley lines which are rivers of energy that cross to connect sacred sites across the globe. By sitting at one of the three benches, you can allow this energy to flow into you and if you make a wish, the tower will broadcast it to the universe.

FUN FACT: Ron Baird is the same artist who crafted Barrie’s Spirit Catcher sculpture which has become an icon of the city! You can find his sculptures in a number of Ontario cities and also internationally.

Standing at 13.5 metres high and 4 metres in diameter, its calm, mesmerizing design is the perfect welcome to the shores of Lake Simcoe. You can read more about this fascinating sculpture and its symbolism here.

Lindsay Walking Along Beaverton Beach :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Enjoying the Sunshine at Beaverton Beach

Soak up the Sun at Beaverton Beach

Continue to the end of Simcoe Street where you’ll find Beaverton Harbour. To the left of the parking lot, you’ll find a sandy beach and the perfect destination for a relaxing afternoon in town. Grab a blanket, a book and a beverage as you settle in with the waves of Lake Simcoe as your soundtrack.

FUN FACT: Since the Trent Severn Waterway’s Gamebridge Lock opened in 1907, you can sail anywhere in the world from Beaverton Harbour!

Picnic tables dot the beach and a pair of blue Muskoka chairs are waiting for you to snag a selfie with them. There is also a splash pad that’s perfect for keeping the little ones cool on those hot summer days. Complete your visit with an ice cream cone from the window outside Barney’s and enjoy it as you walk to the end of the pier before continuing with your adventures in Beaverton.

Beaverton Harbour Pier :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Beaverton Harbour Pier

Cast a Line in Beaverton Harbour

It’s not uncommon to see folks casting a line from the pier hoping to get some bites. Lake Simcoe is the smallmouth bass capital of Canada and therefore a popular destination for anglers. Beaverton is the perfect spot to start your day of fishing as it’s centrally located between the lake’s largest islands, Georgina and Thorah. Here you’ll find plenty of baitfish and shoals which the bass love, increasing your odds of snagging some as smallmouth bass love to wander.

The only thing is that there’s no bait shop in Beaverton so you’ll have to bring it along before you depart. If you plan to launch a boat rather than fish from the shore, it’s $15 to park and launch for the day.

Snap Some Selfies at The Welder’s Wife

Just off Highway 12 towards the outskirts of Beaverton lies The Welder’s Wife, a home decor store with antique and vintage items. Located in the front section of the Beaverton Metal Works building and while the metal shop has officially closed, “the Welder” still finds unique bits and bobs to keep the shop stocked.

The Welder’s Wife also hosts several events throughout the year. Their market days bring over 30 vendors including food, beverage, local artisans and more to their parking lot for a day of fun. You can also sign up for one of their crafty DIY workshops and create your very own door hangers. Keep an eye on their Instagram for information about upcoming events!

Unfortunately, a family emergency meant The Welder’s Wife was closed when I tried to visit. Luckily all is well and they’re back to their regular business hours! However, there’s plenty of fun decor on the grounds that’s perfect for photo opportunities. Don’t be afraid to get snap happy and have some fun with the displays. I know I sure did!

Make Friends With the Alpacas

I think we can all agree that this is hands down one of the cutest places to go in Beaverton. Say hello to Ginger, Gunner, Tara and Tango along with the rest of the crew at Forget Me Not Alpacas!

Book a guided farm tour where you’ll learn not just about the farm’s beautiful alpacas but also the importance of pollinators and other wildlife that you may spot on the property. At the end, say hello to some of the girls as you head into the pasture to give them some treats. They’ll come right up and eat out of the palm of your hand! Rumour has it there may even be alpaca walks so be sure to give them a follow on Instagram to stay up to date with what’s happening at the farm. 

It’s no secret that alpaca wool is soft and warm so if you’d like to take a souvenir home with you, check out the farm store during tour hours. Here you’ll find a variety of items from mitts to socks that’ll keep you cozy when the weather dips once again. All of the yarn used to craft these items is made from the alpacas on the farm and comes with a label saying which alpaca’s wool you’re sporting! Of course, you can always just buy the yarn and make whatever your heart desires at home.

Sandwich from the Shortis|s Cafe :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Ham Sandwich from the Shortis|s Cafe

Amazing Restaurants in Beaverton

Some may think that small towns have a lacklustre food scene but there are certainly some great spots for a meal in Beaverton! I was only here for a day so I didn’t have time to check out too many spots. I can confirm without a doubt though that these restaurants in Beaverton are fantastic as they’ve been taste-tested by yours truly!

The Shortis|s Cafe|Bar

I started my day in Beaverton with a visit to The Shortis|s Cafe|Bar. What you may not know about this beautiful building is that it wasn’t originally located where it sits now at 379 Simcoe Street. It was moved in the 1880s from its original lot near the lake! While it was initially a hotel, after it settled into its new location, The Shortis|s was renovated to have apartments upstairs and a retail shop on the ground floor.

When owners Sandra and Alex took over in August 2021, they reverted to the building’s roots and established a boutique hotel upstairs while the main floor became a cafe and bar. Its elegant decor is stunning to the eyes with the centrepiece being the cafe’s wood counter which is the original dating back to the 1880s!

The Shortis|s Cafe|Bar keeps it simple with the majority of their menu being sandwiches and other handheld pastries, but don’t be fooled. A lot of thought and passion still goes into each and every sandwich as they use only the best ingredients. I indulged in their smoked ham sandwich with brie, heritage blend lettuce and honey mustard mayo on sliced marble rye bread. Sandwiches might be simple but let me tell you, this is a work of art! Not to mention it pairs perfectly with one of their lattes. Take a peek at their Instagram to see what new eats, treats and beverages they’re whipping up!

And in case you’re wondering about the double S spelling, it turns out the few historical records of the building feature conflicting accounts of how the name was originally spelled. So, Alex and Sandra decided to go with both!

Love Child and Latte Inside the Underground Bakeshop :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Love Child and Latte Inside the Underground Bake Shop

Underground Bake Shop

For a little boost to beat the mid-afternoon sleepies, I highly recommend a stop at the Underground Bakeshop. A few blocks north of downtown Beaverton, you can’t miss the bright teal sign beckoning that you visit. This cafe is so adorable and home to some of the tastiest little morsels you’ll ever eat.

While I can confirm that their cookies and butter tarts are delicious, there is nothing that compares to the Underground Bakeshop’s “love child“. A croissant in muffin form, it has the light and flakey texture we all know and love but with a sweet and savoury twist. It’s honestly an absolute dream and it took everything I had not to eat six of them in one sitting. Whatever you do, make sure you buy at least double what you think you’ll eat because they’re that good.

This hidden gem in Beaverton is not to be missed. When you do stop in to grab a treat, please say hi to Evelyn for me!

Lobster Risotto at Stefano's Bistro :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Lobster Risotto at Stefano’s Bistro

Stefano’s Bistro

If you’re going to eat anywhere in Beaverton though, it has to be at Stefano’s Bistro. Enjoy the culinary prowess of Chef Stephen Ng and his 40 years of experience and passion for European cuisine. You’ll enjoy casual fine dining at its best as you settle into the modern elegant atmosphere.

Diners will enjoy a diverse menu focusing on delectable French and Italian dishes with everything plated beautifully. Right off the hop, I was blown away by the grilled portabella mushroom cap. Think of it as an upgraded bruschetta as these traditional flavours mix and mingle with the savoury juices of the grilled mushroom and a splash of balsamic. It was the perfect tee-up to my main course, the lobster risotto. Rich and creamy, this dish is bursting with lobster (1.5 lbs!!) alongside enoki mushrooms, red peppers and onions. It pairs wonderfully with Stephen’s Caesar salad. One of their weekly specials for the summer, I cannot recommend it enough!

Very few restaurants can compare to the quality of eats you’ll enjoy here at Stefano’s Bistro. I can’t remember the last time I had such exquisite eats, especially at such an affordable price! Wearing your stretchy pants is a good idea because you will leave absolutely stuffed and satisfied.

Where to Stay in Beaverton

While a day trip to Beaverton is always a good idea, an overnight stay is an even better one! There are a few fantastic options for hotels in Beaverton to ensure your stay is a memorable one.

First is the aforementioned Shortis|s Boutique Hotel. Featuring four private suites, you can’t beat the location right in the heart of town. It’s one of the oldest buildings on the street and boasts all of that old-world charm. Each room is uniquely decorated with original pieces by local artists alongside a menagerie of eclectic furniture pieces.

Specific amenities can vary though each room has a private bathroom complete with a personal hygiene kit, plush towels and a small bar fridge. While one room has two single beds, the others have a cozy queen bed perfect for a couples getaway. Two of the rooms also have soaker tubs which are clutch after a long day of exploring! Find out more about the Shortis|s Boutique Hotel here.

Another fantastic option is the Grant House Bed & Breakfast. This cozy guest house features private executive suites that are perfect for a getaway to Beaverton. Each suite offers a comfy queen bed as well as a futon for a great night’s sleep. Guests will love the luxurious amenities like the spa tub, cozy three-sided fireplace, kitchenette and private balcony. There is also a pool which you’re welcome to use. It certainly comes in handy on those hot summer days!

You may arrive as a guest but your hosts John and Lore will ensure you leave feeling like family. Each morning they prepare an incredible breakfast and previous reviews say it’s quite the spread! Not to mention is served on their beautiful wrap-around deck. The Grants will happily accommodate any food sensitivities and dietary needs while also giving recommendations for your visit to Beaverton. If you truly want a local’s touch, this is the place to stay!

Villa Vida Loca Farm Market :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Villa Vida Loca Ready for a Big Weekend!

More Things to Do Near Beaverton

The Township of Brock is beautiful and the perfect place for a road trip in Ontario. Since you’re in Beaverton already, I recommend checking out these other great things to do in the area.

Grab a Local Bite at Villa Vida Loca

What started as a fascination with honey bees has transformed into one of the coolest destinations for all things local! Villa Vida Loca is your one stop shop for anything farm fresh, homegrown and handmade. All personally curated by Ann and Brian, their market is a treasure trove of goodies that will leave you constantly wanting more. What’s even more amazing is their self-serve stand is always open so you can enjoy fresh eggs and local goodies whenever you like! 

If you’re wondering what are some of the things to do in Beaverton this weekend, Villa Vida Loca is the place to be as they’re serving up some incredible eats at The Smoke Shack. Folks travel from all over for their smoked brisket on a bun as well as their carnitas tacos. Not to mention, I’ve heard their butter tarts are some of the best in Ontario. Make sure to keep an eye out for their special events around The Cauldron such as the yearly pig roast in August! Bring your friends and family as you grab a seat at one of the picnic tables and surround yourself with some of the best vibes around.

That’s not all Villa Vida Loca does though! Ann and Brian also have a dinner series at The Villa. Chef Alex Page wows all with his culinary mastery with his five-course farm-to-fork menus. Enjoy each round of eats more than the last as you dine plein-air on the outside terrace of Ann and Brian’s beautiful home. It’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another country as you soak up the Tuscan vibes! As if this isn’t incredible enough, every dinner extravaganza has a theme to take your experience to the next level. From Moroccan feasts to disco vibes, there’s plenty of fun to be had at The Villa!

There’s always something going on at Villa Vida Loca so keep an eye on their Instagram to stay in the know for their upcoming events. Don’t forget to say hi to the free range ladies during your visit!

Lindsay Walking Over the Bridge Beside the Beaver River :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Enjoying Golden Hour Along the Beaver River

Explore the Beaver River Wetland Trail

Stretch your legs with a jaunt along the beautiful Beaver River Wetland Trail. Enjoy 34 kilometres of trails as you explore 500 hectares of natural wonders. beginning in Uxbridge and ending in Cannington. Here you’ll find one of the Lake Simcoe Watershed’s largest intact wetland complexes and along with it, plenty of wildlife including migratory birds, frogs and turtles.

FUN FACT: This is just one small section of the 28,000 kilometre long Trans Canada Trail connecting our country from coast to coast to coast!

Enjoy as much or as little of the trail as you like, however I absolutely love the stretch near Highway 7 just north of Concession Road 3. The Beaver River twists and turns along the landscape and you’ll enjoy plenty of waterfront views as well as a gorgeous bridge overlooking it. I highly recommend an after-dinner stroll to enjoy the golden hour colours! Here’s the rough location so you don’t miss out on these stellar sights.

Seafood Linguine at Bon Select Bistro in Sunderland :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Seafood Linguine at Bon Select Bistro

Check Out the Town of Sunderland

Just 20 minutes south of Beaverton lies another great gem within the Township of Brock. This rural community is powered by agriculture and has plenty of stories to share. Check out the historic town hall that dates back to 1871 and pop into some of the amazing restaurants. One that’s not to be missed is Bon Select Bistro. This vast menu has everything from pizza to burgers to chicken curry. Though I can say from experience that their seafood linguine is off the charts! Fresh mussels, calamari, tiger shrimp AND lobster tail… need I say more?

Plus Sunderland hosts a number of events throughout the year. Come and celebrate everything maple at their 100-year-old festival in March as the spring thaw begins. The warmer months bring the Sunderland Summerfest followed by their Agricultural Fair in the fall. Plus the local Lions Club host a variety of events throughout the year from concerts to raffles!

One of the Beautiful Murals in Beaverton :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

One of the Beautiful Murals in Beaverton

Ready to Explore Beaverton?

That’s great to hear because Beaverton is waiting for you! While my visit was a quick one, I can’t praise the town folks enough. I had so many lovely interactions with locals who were excited for me to be in the neighbourhood and I know there’s still more for me to see. 

With a great mix of history, unique attractions, outdoor adventures and incredible eats, a road trip to Beaverton is a stellar idea. If it’s not on your list for road trips in Ontario yet, make sure you change that!

While this article was crafted in partnership with Central Counties Tourism, all of the content and opinions outlined here are, as always, honest and speak to my personal experience.

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