Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque countryside of Ontario’s Durham Region and a 20-minute drive from one of our other favourite spots, Port Perry, lies Uxbridge, Ontario.
With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and breathtaking natural beauty, Uxbridge is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a lover of the arts, there is something for everyone in Uxbridge.
This Uxbridge, ON, guide will show you everything you need to know to plan a day trip to explore this idyllic corner of the province.
History Of Uxbridge Ontario
- The town of Uxbridge came from a city in London, England of the same name. In 1806, Quakers from Pennsylvania began moving to the area, bringing their distinctive Religious Society of Friends.
- The year 1871 saw Uxbridge come into the spotlight with the arrival of the railroad that helped earn it the status of a village in 1872 and a town in 1885.
- Two prominent Canadians, Lucy Maud Montgomery, the creator of Anne of Green Gables, and Thomas Foster, the former mayor of Toronto, both resided in this area.
- Uxbridge, Ontario, has been a filming location for several projects, including the popular comedy series Schitt’s Creek, which was shot in nearby Goodwood. Furthermore, the area was also the setting for the productions of Road to Avonlea, A Map of the World, and Serendipity.
Where is Uxbridge, Ontario?
How Far is Uxbridge from Toronto?
The drive from Toronto to Uxbridge takes approximately one hour, depending on traffic and route. Uxbridge is also easily accessible by public transit, with regular GO Transit train and bus services connecting the town to Toronto and other parts of the Greater Toronto Area.
What is Uxbridge Famous For?
Uxbridge has earned a reputation as the “Trail Capital of Canada,” offering visitors and residents a vast network of trails to explore and enjoy. The town is also well-known for its diverse industries, including the historic Uxbridge Piano and Organ Company and it’s rich rail heritage that dates back to the 19th century.
These days it’s probably more known for being one of the filming locations for Schitt’s Creek and Road to Avonlea.
Read more: How many of these Ontario facts do you know?
Downtown Uxbridge starts on Brock Street, the town’s main road. It’s full of delicious eateries, exciting shops, and historic buildings. The Uxbridge Public Library is especially worth a visit as it dates back to 1887 and is now home to plenty of tourist information, such as brochures on things to do in Uxbridge and the Lucy Maud Montgomery Trail trail map!
Blue Heron Books
Uxbridge is definitely a destination for book lovers! Located in a 200-year-old building, Blue Heron Books is a two-time winner of The Libris Award for Best Bookstore in Canada.
It houses an extensive selection of books and book-related gifts, with a little something for everyone –– from children’s books to best sellers and classics from Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Not only that but the bookstore is connected to The Bridge Social, a local coffee shop. In addition, Blue Heron Books hosts various events, such as book clubs and readings and the renowned Book Drunkard Literary Festival! Definitely a must-visit for book lovers!
The Bridge Social
The Bridge Social, your friendly neighbourhood cafe and eco-store, offers various products sourced from local and Canadian artisans. Stop by for a cup of organic premium loose-leaf tea or organic coffee, and pick up some delightful treats. Or, if you’re looking for something special, check out their selection of eco-friendly products!
The Roxy Theatre
The Roxy Theatres was built in 1940 and was lovingly restored and reopened on December 13th, 1996, by Mark and Cathy Christoff, two passionate film fans. Their mission was to create an inviting place to watch movies reminiscent of the past, with the latest state-of-the-art digital projection and sound equipment.
During the summer, they have movies playing every day and evening, ensuring that there is something for everyone, from family films to adult films.
Uxbridge Public Library
The Uxbridge Public Library, located at the intersection of Brock and Toronto, is a magnificent structure from the 19th century that has been immaculately restored. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also offers a wealth of tourist information for those eager to explore Uxbridge. Be sure to grab one of the brochures that detail the many activities available, including a map of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Trail!
Holistic Salt Therapy & Cave
Holistic Salt Therapy & Cave brings the experience of an underground salt mine from Poland to its clients with its man-made Salt Cave. The Halotherapy Wellness Centre offers a variety of therapeutic salt treatments and holistic therapies.
Uxbridge Music Hall
The Music Hall is a historical staple in Uxbridge, constructed in 1901. Notable guests have included Sir Wilfred Laurier and countless theatre and music productions. Events at the Hall include musicals, stand-up comedy, concerts, and more!
Visitors can take in the original opera chairs, chandelier, intricate iron railing, and modern features like air conditioning and heating.
The Second Wedge Brewing Company
The Second Wedge Brewing Company offers craft beer lovers unique and delightful brews and a place to enjoy them, making them a favourite amongst the locals and visitors from around the province.
The brewery offers a variety of seasonal brews and traditional house recipes ranging from light and crisp lagers to malty stouts and robust porters. There is something for every taste. The knowledgeable bartenders and staff can advise on which beers suit your palette.
York-Durham Heritage Railway
The York-Durham Heritage Railway allows visitors to experience the life of a 1920s railway passenger. Visitors can take a trip aboard the original steam engine, Victoria, built-in 1912 by the Baldwin Locomotive Company in Philadelphia.
The historical ride runs along an 8.5 km stretch of the former Toronto- Oshawa line, beginning at Uxbridge Station and stopping at Goodwood Station. The scenery along the way is beautiful, and visitors will take in the sights of old bunkhouses, open fields, forests of maple trees, and beavers diligently working on the nearby lakes.
Things To Do In The Township of Uxbridge
Uxbridge, Ontario, is a charming town with various activities and attractions catering to visitors of all ages and interests.
Uxbridge Historical Centre
The Uxbridge Historical Centre, which was once housed in the former Ontario Trunk Railway station, offers visitors a unique glimpse into the historical lifestyle of the area. The building was initially constructed in 1899 but retained its original architectural elements.
The Centre’s permanent exhibit, The Story of Uxbridge, details the area’s rich history from the 16th century to the present with more than 5,000 artifacts, photographs and documents, including some dating back to the 1800s. Visitors will also learn about the history of professional ice hockey in Uxbridge and the people and events that shaped the town.
Uxbridge Quaker Meeting House
The Quaker Meeting House was built in 1847 in a Greek Revival style is one of the oldest religious and public buildings in Uxbridge. The Quaker Meeting House was built to serve as a place of worship and gathering for the Society of Friends, a Christian religious movement.
Visitors can also explore some of the artifacts collected over the years when visiting the Meeting House. Artifacts include old photographs, maps, letters, and a variety of relics from the original Quaker congregation, including an old organ and a bell used for church services.
Picnic at Elgin Park
Elgin Park provides a peaceful and perfect setting for a picnic, with various amenities to enjoy. There is a circular asphalt trail with public washrooms and two playgrounds. The park also features a baseball field, an arena belonging to the Uxbridge horsemen club, and a Rotary Bandshell for events.
There are also numerous trails throughout the woodlands, wetlands, and ponds. A 0.5km Fitness Trail loop offers fitness equipment on the way, while the Elgin Park Trail is a .75km loop, and the Elgin Pond Trail is a 1.3km loop around the pond.
More Trails in Uxbridge
Historic Trail – This 2.5km hiking trail allows you to explore the picturesque areas of Uxbridge through woodlands, streams, and more.
Ewen Trail – This unique 3.5km trail meanders through Uxbridge, traversing Elgin Park and historic homes while affording views of three tranquil ponds. It is an ideal combination of rural and urban scenery.
John McCutcheon Way – This stretch of the Trans Canada Trail in Uxbridge includes the restored 1872 Trestle bridge, originally part of the Toronto-Nipissing Railway.
Take A Hike
Uxbridge, known as the Trail Capital of Canada, offers some of the best hiking in the province! With more than 300km of trails within the town and the surrounding area.
You can find great outdoor activities for all four seasons in Uxbridge! Cyclists, snowshoers, and skiers will love the many trails in the area. The Oak Ridges Trail and the Trans Canada Trail are two of the most popular, passing through Uxbridge.
Glen Major Forest & Walker Woods – The 6.1km Glen Major Forest Loop Trail, part of the Durham Regional Forest network, is perfect for those seeking a shorter outing. For a longer, more rugged, and varied trek, the Walker Woods Trail is 7.1km long and meanders through 1,500 hectares of terrain.
Secord’s Pond & Oak Ridges Trail Loop –This 4.3-kilometre path takes you along a winding journey, passing a pond, going through wetlands, and strolling through a lovely forest.
Trail Hub – On the property of the former Skyloft Ski Club, Trail Hub boasts the highest elevation in southern Ontario and the views to back it! A friend of this website and a member of our Facebook group, Eric, mentioned that the trails on the property are open to hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. In addition, they have a chalet where you’ll find Annina’s cafe and bake shop!
Visit The Thomas Foster Memorial
Thomas Foster Memorial, a stunning monument dedicated to the memory of the former Mayor of Toronto, Thomas Foster, was unveiled in 1935. It cost $250,000 and was constructed with only marble and 22-karat gold mosaics, making it a truly one-of-a-kind structure.
Inside are four grand arches held up by marble columns and three crypts that house Thomas, his wife, and his daughter. The temple is a powerful reminder of Foster’s remarkable journeys across the globe.
Edward Brooks decided to bring his family to Canada from London in the mid-1800s.
Alvin and Brenda Brooks, both fourth-generation farmers, ran their family farm with tremendous dedication and pride. They farmed crops such as corn, wheat, barley, turnips, and potatoes and raised various animals. In 1990, they found a creative way to fund their children’s education: growing pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries.
In 1998, Brooks Farms expanded its business to include pick-your-own pumpkins and created the Fall Fun Festival. It’s been over 125 years, and Brooks Farms is still “Growing Fun”!
Visit The Home of Lucy Maud Montgomery | Leaskdale Manse
The Leaskdale Manse is a historic site and home of acclaimed author Lucy Maud Montgomery. This was where Montgomery wrote 11 of her novels, including the classic Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. The site includes the original residence, an adjacent gravesite and a visitor centre with exhibits on Montgomery’s life.
The manse was built in 1889 and was the first of three homes Montgomery occupied during her writing career. Situated on over 45 acres of land, it remained the family’s home until 1911, when they moved to Norval, Ontario.
Visitors can tour through the manse, set up as it might have been in Montgomery’s time, with its traditional furniture and her personal items. These items include the Royal typewriter that Montgomery used for much of her writing, original editions of her books, scrapbooks and photographs. Outside the house, visitors can explore a nearby garden dedicated to Montgomery.
Goodwood (Schitt’s Creek)
If you’re like us and a fan of the hit show Schitt’s Creek, head over to the nearby town of Goodwood. While the hotel from the show is near Orangeville, locations such as Bob’s Garage, Rose Apothecary, Cafe Tropical, City Hall and the Mayor’s House are all within the Goodwood area.
Wooden Sticks – Wooden Sticks’ championship golf courses were designed by renowned golf architect Tom Fazio, giving golfers a unique and challenging experience. Wooden Sticks offers a selection of replica holes from some of the most renowned courses worldwide. You can play the famed 12th and 13th at Augusta, the Island Green 17th at TPC Sawgrass, the Postage Stamp from Troon, and the 17th and 18th from St. Andrews.
Richters Herbs is a family-owned herb farm and garden retail founded in 1974. Richters Herbs carries a variety of herbs, vegetables, and spices, as well as flowers, trees, and shrubs.
In addition to its retail center, Richters Herbs offers educational courses on herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes. These courses are offered at their farm and throughout the Uxbridge area, and range from beginner to advanced level.
Where to Eat in Uxbridge, ON
Uxbridge, Ontario, offers various dining options, from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants catering to various tastes and budgets. Savour locally sourced ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine, or enjoy classic Canadian dishes with a modern twist.
Little Thief Bakery Co.
Like Road Trip Ontario, Little Theif Bakery Co. began amid the pandemic.
After making and selling doughnuts from their house in Seagrave, Ontario, Greg & Lauren and Myles (sous and pastry chef) followed their dreams of owning a bakery and opened Little Thief Bakery Co. on January 2023. Little Thief Bakery makes artisanal sourdough bread, doughnuts, and more!
Urban Pantry is a prime destination for adventurous foodies looking to savour the flavours of Canada. They embody the best of Ontario’s farm-to-table cuisine with a menu built around locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients.
They bring their guests a unique taste of the province through collaborations with farms, breweries, and cideries. As a FeastOn™ certified restaurant, they are committed to putting local ingredients on the table. Enjoy a delicious, authentic meal at Urban Pantry!
TIN Restaurant is a local favourite in Uxbridge, Ontario, that has become famous for its traditional and contemporary cuisine mix. It’s an elegant space perfect for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or a night out with friends.
TIN is located in a historic building, making it the perfect place to experience a unique atmosphere.
Slabtown Cider Co.
Slabtown Cidery & Orchard was established in 2017 on the Oak Ridges Moraine near Uxbridge to preserve the region’s history. The land, originally part of the Siloam hamlet of Randallville and was established in 1870, was known as “Slab Town” due to the piles of wood slabs stored around the lumber mill.
Their diverse selection offers something for everyone, from sweet to dry. Our personal favourites:
Honey Habanero – Combining honey from 3 Boyz Bees and Habanero peppers from Grattons Greatest, it has a delicious balance of summer sweetness and warmth.
Mojito de Manzana – Spanish-inspired apple mojito cider is a crisp, off-dry beverage infused with mint leaves and freshly-squeezed limes.
Raspberry Tea – This semi-sweet cider is the ideal combination of tart raspberry and the silky flavor of earl grey tea. Its off-dry taste is especially noticeable on the nose and finish, making it the perfect way to bid farewell to summer and welcome the start of fall.
Pineapple Mimosa – IInfused with the sweetness of fresh pineapples its a perfect pairing of tart pineapple and citrus flavours balanced with champagne-style bubbles.
Peach Bellini – A delicious semi-sweet cider crafted with freshly sliced peaches. Subtle notes of peach complement the crisp apple flavour. This small-batch cider is a special treat available only in the Niagara peach season.
Uxbridge, ON, Accommodation
Uxbridge, Ontario, Map
Find a Uxbridge, Ontario map to help you navigate the town.
Best Time to Visit Uxbridge, ON
The best time to visit Uxbridge, Ontario, depends on your preferences and interests. However, most visitors agree that the months between May and October are ideal for enjoying the town’s many outdoor activities and events.
The weather is typically mild and pleasant during this time, making it perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring the trails and natural attractions.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Uxbridge, Ontario
The village of Uxbridge, in Ontario, is known for its rich history, picturesque natural beauty, and vibrant arts and culture scene. There is plenty to see and do and abundant beauty while here.
In addition to its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural offerings, Uxbridge is known for its warm and welcoming community. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, you’ll find that Uxbridge has a small-town charm and a friendly atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.