Simcoe County

About

Simcoe County is the site of the earliest non-First Nations exploration and settlement in Ontario and is rich with historic attractions depicting the long history of this region. The county lies between Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe and is less than one hour north of Toronto. The area includes seven Provincial Parks, one National Park and the longest fresh water beach in the world.

simcoe-county

Photos: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Discovery Harbour, Orillia Museum of Art and History

Simcoe County is considered by many to be Ontario’s four-season outdoor playground, ideally situated one hour north of Toronto. It offers extensive waterfront access, including Lake Simcoe, Georgian Bay, the Trent-Severn in-land Waterway, and the longest freshwater beach in the world—Wasaga Beach.

There are also over 50 golf courses and 60 marinas, three ski resorts, several cross-country skiing and mountain biking facilities, countless scenic trails, seven provincial parks and one national park.

The Georgian Bay Islands National Park is the world’s largest freshwater archipelago and was an inspiration to the Group of Seven.

Quick Links:
Annual EventsAttractions & EntertainmentOutdoorsEating & DrinkingShoppingRest & RelaxMapsAbout OrilliaKey Locations

Annual Events

The main festivals include:
. Februrary – Barrie Winterfest – Barrie
. April – Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival – Springwater Township
. June – Tottenham Bluegrass Festival – New Tecumseth Township
. July – Mariposa Folk Festival – Orillia; Blue Mountains Chili Cookoff – The Blue Mountains; Collingwood Elvis Festival – Collingwood; Orillia Scottish Festival – Orillia
. August – Kempenfest – Barrie – Civic Holiday weekend; Alliston Potato Festival
. December – First Light – Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, near Midland

Attractions & Entertainment

ORILLIA
ORILLIA MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Museum – Exhibits – Drop in programs – Events
Located in the heart of Orillia’s Peter Street Arts District, The Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) acts as a hub of culture and heritage – the clocktower of the Sir Samuel Memorial Building is a beacon for this historical location. For over ten years OMAH has been inspiring creativity and celebrating history, growing as a hub for local artists and historians. The mission of the museum is to expand awareness and appreciation of art, local history and culture in the Orillia community and surrounding area. They also have a vision to be the anchor for the significant and growing arts, local history and cultural community in Orillia and surrounding area by offering exciting and innovative exhibits, events, programming and activities that reach out and engage all citizens, seasonal residents and visitors.
website / google maps

ORILLIA OPERA HOUSE
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Theatre / Live Music
Operating since 1895, Orillia Opera House produces professional theatre during the summer and presents concerts and educational programming throughout the year. Plus, 200 additional performances are presented by the local community including the Orillia Concert Association, Mariposa Theatre Arts Foundation, Orillia Wind Ensemble, and a number of local dance studio performances. The main stage has seating for 700 and the studio theatre space accommodates 100. Every seat in the house is a good one as they’re all within 75 feet of the stage.
website / google maps

SHAW’S MAPLE SYRUP BUSH
Orillia / Simcoe County
Maple Syrup Tapping
Tapping their forest every year since 1904, and many of those original trees are still producing today. Each year starting February 18 through to April 16, the tradition continues with families visiting for the annual spring celebration. The Pancake House serves up tasty treats to fuel a walk through the bush with 4000 trees all connected with tubing to collect around 160 000 liters of maple sap each season. On weekends horse-drawn wagon rides through the trails recreate the way sap was collected until the late 1960s. If the weather’s been “just right” you will be able to watch and smell the sweet sap boil away through the evaporator. The wagon rides and sap evaporation are weather dependent, so please visit the website or call for updates to see when they are happening.
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GENEVA THEATRE / EVENT CENTRE
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Live Music – Events – Special Events
Once home to the Geneva Theatre, the building was built circa 1939 and it ran as a theatre until 1985. The building was purchased in 2016 and was renovated to be used as a live music, community and special interest event centre.
website / google maps

PENETANGUISHENE
DISCOVERY HARBOUR
Penetanguishene / Simcoe County
Historical Site – Museum – Restaurant – Gift Shop
Discovery Harbour is a picturesque waterside historic site situated on beautiful Penetanguishene Bay. Experience what life was like at the 19th century outpost that was built to safeguard Upper Canada. Board the replica ships H.M.S. Tecumseth and H.M.S. Bee. Visit the waterside restaurant, Captain Roberts’ Table, and gift shop.
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KINGS WHARF THEATRE
Penetanguishene / Simcoe County
Historical Site – Museum – Restaurant – Gift Shop
Nestled within Discovery Harbour on Georgian Bay, the King’s Wharf Theater is a pleasantly rustic, 385-seat venue that offers all the comforts of a modern facility. Drayton Entertainment is the residing theatre company producing musicals, comedies and dramas in seven unique venues across Ontario.
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SPRINGWATER TOWNSHIP
SIMCOE COUNTY MUSEUM
Minesing / Springwater / Simcoe County
Historical Site – Museum
From May 1 to November 30, explore 5 indoor galleries and 16 outside Heritage and Display Buildings, or take a hike through 327 acres of forested parkland. From December 1st to April 30th, the 16 outside Heritage and Display Buildings are closed but the 5 indoor galleries remain open. While at the Museum, visitors can borrow snowshoes and explore the Museum grounds and trails, grounds conditions and availability permitting.
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RAMARA TOWNSHIP
CASINORAMA
Ramara / Simcoe County
Live Music / Casino
Live music, spa, restaurants, gift shop, accommodations, and a casino, all in one easy to access location.
website / google maps

Outdoors

WYE MARSH WILDLIFE CENTRE
Midland / Simcoe County
Biking / Conservation Area / Hiking / Skiing(nordic)
Located on 3,000 acres of wetlands, fen and forest in Midland, Ontario (in the Heart of Georgian Bay). The Centre includes an amphibian and reptile display hall, hiking, biking and skiing trails, canoeing and kayaking routes, an observation tower and boardwalks, birds of prey display, gift shop and Naturalists on staff.
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TAY TOWNSHIP
HIGHVIEW FARMS AND EQUESTRIAN CENTRE
Waubaushene / Tay / Simcoe County
Horseback Riding
Hunter/jumper equestrian facility with trail rides open all year round, weather permitting. Reservations required.
website / google maps

ORO-MEDONTE TOWNSHIP
HARDWOOD SKI AND BIKE
Oro-Medonte / Simcoe County
Biking / Skiing(nordic) / Snowshoeing / Fat Biking
Over 40 km of beautiful, rolling trails through hardwood and pine forests for nordic skiing. The trail network consists of 8 different loops ranging from 3 km to 22 km, with trails for every level of ability. Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking are all offered during the winter, and mountain biking the rest of the year.
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HORSESHOE RESORT
Oro-Medonte / Simcoe County
Biking / Skiing(alpine) / Skiing(nordic) / Skating / Tubing / Snowshoeing / Snowmobiling
A ski resort with various accommodation styles and four seasons of activity. Winter offering includes 29 alpine ski and snowboard runs and 45 km of nordic skiing trails.
website / google maps

WINDRIFT ADVENTURES
Moonstone, Oro-Medonte / Simcoe County
Horseback Riding / Dog Sledding / Off Road Dune Buggies
Horseback Riding daily April to November. Dog Sledding daily December through March. Off Road Dune Buggies daily June through October.
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SEVEREN TOWNSHIP
MOUNT ST LOUIS MOONSTONE
Coldwater / Severen / Simcoe County
Skiing(alpine)
36 slopes, just north of Barrie
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SNOW VALLEY SKI RESORT
Minesing / Simcoe County
Skiing(alpine) / Tubing / Snowshoeing / Terrain Park
A winter-only alpine ski resort, only 20 minutes from downtown Barrie, named “best Ontario hill for kids” by Ski Canada Magazine in 2001. Activities on the resort also include snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and a terrain park.
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TIFFIN CENTRE FOR CONSERVATION
Utopia / Essa / Simcoe County
Biking / Skiing(Nordic) / Snowshoeing / Maple Syrup Tapping
Walk or bring your gear and bike, cross-country ski or snowshoe on 17 km of looped trails that meander through a mixture of wetlands, forests, open meadows and ancient lake beds. Leashed dogs welcome. Visit our working sugarbush for a late winter treat!
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Eating & Drinking

MARIPOSA MARKET
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Cafe – Dessert – Lighter Fare / Cooking – Home Decor
Take a stroll through 5 historic shops that include a bakeshop, a quaint café, a fudge & candy shop, a home decorating store, and a shop for handmade soaps & candles. In downtown Orillia.
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THE BOATHOUSE EATERY
Midland / Simcoe County
Lunch – Dinner
A unique casual fine dining restaurant on Midland’s beautiful Town Dock with a majestic view overlooking the stunning shores of Georgian Bay. A four seasons desintation to celebrate your special occasions or to grab a quick lunch or enjoy a nice dinner on the Bay.
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THE QUEEN’S QUAY BRITISH PUB AND RESTAURANT
Victoria Harbour / Tay / Simcoe County
Lunch – Dinner
Situated in Victoria Harbour on beautiful Georgian Bay aside Queen’s Cove Marina, the Queen’s Quay British Pub and Restaurant offers authentic British and Canadian Food as well as a wide variety of import and craft beers. Relax on the quaint outdoor patio, or inside the warm and inviting atmosphere of a proper British Pub while taking in the magnificent view of the harbour. With a bar and a lounge area there is a place where everyone will feel at ease.
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THE GRAPE & OLIVE
Orillia / Simcoe County
Breakfast – Diner – Bar – Cooking Classes – Interactive Dining
The Grape & Olive is the perfect breakfast and dinner spot when you want more than the average fair. Daily breakfast is available early and throughout the morning with a variety of options and generous portions. An earlier breakfast is still offered on Sundays with an add on Sunday Brunch that runs after breakfast until just after lunch. Dinner includes a variety of options for both the traditionalist and the adventurer. Along with the‘GrapeVine’ bar which offers a martini menu and an extensive wine selections from around the world, Chef Derek Mayes offers cooking classes and interactive dining experiences. You can also expect special day brunch and dinner menus.
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SHINE JUICE BAR & CAFE
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Cafe – Lighter Fare – Specialty
Most items are gluten free and vegan, and 90% of the ingredients are organic or sourced locally. In downtown Orillia.
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BREWERY BAY
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Pub – Restaurant – Patio
Sit on the restaurant side with your family, or enjoy the pub, where they serve 12 different draught on tap, wine, scotch, cocktails and martinis. In downtown Orillia, with a seasonal patio.
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KENZINGTON BURGER BAR
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Faster Food
Burgers are the focus, but other entrees and salads to choose from. Four Locations in Simcoe County. Live Music in Orillia Thursday through Sunday.
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THE BROWNSTONE CAFE
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Lounge Bar
A Cafe and Lounge Bar, with a wide variety of hot and cold specialty beverages, and featuring regular live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.
website / google maps

DUCKWORTH’S FISH & CHIPS
Orillia / Simcoe County
Faster Food – Specialty
Great fish with various selections, all day lunch special and deep fried ice cream for dessert.
(705) 327-7064 / google maps

KAWARTHA DAIRY
Orillia / Simcoe County
Ice Cream
Great scooped ice cream or tubs to take out. Wider variety than available in grocers. Banana and Mango are a must try. Nine locations in Ontario.
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WHITE LIONS TEA HOUSE
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Cafe – Dessert – Lighter Fare / Cooking – Home Decor
A wonderful selection of loose leaf teas, home baking (including gluten-free options), healthy breakfasts, homemade soups & light lunches. Retail teas and giftware are available for the “tea lovers” in your life. Also host an art exhibit by members of the Orillia Fine Arts Association with a new collection every three months. All paintings are available for sale.
website / google maps

R COTTAGE
Washago /Severn / Simcoe County
Lunch – Dinner – Restaurant – Patio
R Cottage’s inviting ambience allows you to dress and feel the same as you would at your own cottage. Sit back, relax, play some board games off the shelves, read a magazine or book, all while enjoying the sights and sounds of authentic cottage living. Ian and Sarah have designed R Cottage with their own ideas of a Sun Room, a small Family Room, Kitchen and even Outhouses!
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AL AND JAN’S OLDIES DINER
Orillia / Simcoe County
Breakfast – Diner – Lunch
Retro diner open for breakfast and lunch. Usually a small line for breakfast but tables open up regularly.
website / google maps

Shopping

MANTICORE BOOKS
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Bookstore
Cozy bookstore with a good selection, knowledgeable staff and sofas to encourage you to stay awhile.
website / google maps

MANTICORE BOOKS
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Bookstore
Cozy bookstore with a good selection, knowledgeable staff and sofas to encourage you to stay awhile.
website / google maps

NEWTON STREET ART BARN
Victoria Harbour / Tay / Simcoe County
Art – Crafts – Clothing – Home Decor
Showcasing the work of over 150 artisans in a variety of disciplines – featuring handmade items and original artwork with a focus on recycling, reusing and re-purposing. Workshops and events are also held as advertised.
website / google maps

HUDSON’S KITCHEN & HOMEWARES
Downtown Orillia / Simcoe County
Cooking – Gifts
Fine cooking and kitchen supplies and unique items ideal for gifts.
705-326-5461 / google maps

WYLEY GRAY & CO
Downtown Coldwater / Simcoe County
Antiques – Vintage – Home Decor
Wyley Gray & Co. is a retail store featuring antiques, vintage finds, upcycled/repurposed items, original artwork, gifts and a selection of imported and local products. Unique one-of-a-kind pieces as well as pieces designed by the owner and other local artisans.
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TANGER OUTLETS
Cookstown / Innisfil / Simcoe County
Outlet
Cozy bookstore with a good selection, knowledgeable staff and sofas to encourage you to stay awhile.
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HORSESHOE VALLEY TRADING COMPANY
Craighurst / Simcoe County
Dessert – Sweets – Ice Cream – Gifts – Home Decor – Baby – Clothing
Housed within an authentic log cabin dating back to the mid 1800’s, this unique gift store also has a great selection of fresh fudge, homemade pies and a seasonal Kawartha ice cream parlour. Their assortment of products include home décor and products, baby items, and select clothing and accessories.
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CHELSEA CHOCOLATES
Craighurst / Oro-Medonte / Simcoe County
Sweets
Chelsea Chocolates is proud to make their complete line of quality chocolates, truffles and specialty items by hand in the village of Craighurst. The manufacturing facility also includes a retail store, open to the public. They believe in making chocolates to order and in small batches to maintain quality and freshness. A few of their popular pieces include caramel turtles and butter creams.
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HEWITTS FARM MARKET
Coldwater / Simcoe County
Farmers Market/Fun Farm/Bakery/em>
Year-round market with fresh Ontario produce, home baked goods produced in their on site scratch bakery, home made preserves, meat, dairy products, crafts, gift baskets and seasonal decorations. Check website for fun farm hours and seasonal events.
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Rest & Relax

CREIGHTON MANOR INN BED & BREAKFAST
Orillia / Simcoe County
Inn / B&B
Creighton Manor was built at the turn of the nineteen century on the shores of Lake Simcoe. This exquisitely renovated Victorian Inn will provide you the ultimate B&B experience. Guests have free range of the front parlor and dining room, wrap-around porch and the large gazebo over-looking Lake Simcoe. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast in the dining room or in warmer weather, on the wrap-around porch overlooking the lake. The Manor hosts also offer local Marina & port pick up for that special night off the boat.
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STONE GATE INN
Orillia / Simcoe County
Inn
Featuring 48 spacious and elegantly decorated suites, guests may choose from Studio, Executive and Luxury options, some featuring a gas fireplace or Jacuzzi. Amenities include a complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast and complimentary wireless high-speed internet. On Friday evenings from 5pm to 8pm enjoy an evening reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Keep your workout routine at the fitness center, or relax in the indoor pool and hot tub. The intimate restaurant Fireside Lounge offers a variety of beverages, home-style dining choices as well as room service.
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THE INN AT HORSESHOE – HORSESHOE RESORT
Oro-Medonte / Simcoe County
Inn – Resort
The inn accommodations are one of three options available at the resort, and include benefits & services provided by the resort within the fee (a complete list is provided on the site). The resort is also pet friendly, with rooms that are convenient to outside areas.
website / google maps

NOTTAWASAGA INN RESORT
Alliston / New Tecumseth / Simcoe County
Inn / Resort / Spa
The Nottawasaga Resort is an all season resort hotel nestled within the quiet countryside of the Nottawasaga Valley. Amenities include, restaurants, spa, and various recreational activities.
website / google maps

Maps

Simcoe County and surrounding regions

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The following google maps show the Simcoe County area, the Cities, Towns and Townships within, as well as instructions on how to use these maps for planning purposes

. The orange markers signify the region. To view Simcoe County overlaid on the existing map, click on the orange marker, and select View in Google Maps on the left hand panel
. To have fewer markers to view, click on the top right hand corner to view larger map and turn off the groupings you do not want to consider at this time
. Click on a marker for the location name and additional information. In the left hand panel, click on view in google maps to see an overlay of the location on the existing map, where available.

About Orillia

Orillia, known as the “Sunshine City”, is situated between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Originally incorporated as a village in 1867, the history of what is today the City of Orillia dates back at least several thousand years. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of fishing by the Huron and Iroquois peoples in the area over 4,000 years ago as well as sites used by Native Americans for hundreds of years for trading, hunting, and fishing.

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Photos: Orillia Opera House, Mariposa Market, Stephen Leacock Museum

The city’s large waterfront attracts many tourists to the area every year, as do a good number of annual festivals and other cultural attractions.

Key Locations

Cities
. Barrie
. Orillia

Towns
. Bradford West Gwillimbury
. Collingwood
. Innisfil (includes Cookstown)
. Midland
. New Tecumseth (includes Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham)
. Penetanguishene
. Wasaga Beach

Townships
. Adjala – Tosorontio
. Clearview (includes the communities of Avening, Batteaux, Brentwood, Cashtown Corners, Creemore, Dunedin, Duntroon, Glen Huron, Maple Valley, New Lowell, Nottawa, Pretty River Valley, Smithdale, Stayner, Sunnidale, Sunnidale Corners and Websterville)
. Essa (includes the communities of this township are Angus, Thornton, and Baxter. Other small hamlets are Cedargrove, Colwell, Egbert, Elmgrove, Hoe Doe Valley, Ivy, Utopia and West Essa)
. Oro-Medonte
. Ramara
. Severn (includes the communities of Amigo Beach, Ardtrea, Buckskin, Buena Vista Park, Burnside, Carlyon, Coldwater, Cumberland Beach, Fesserton, Hamlet, Hampshire Mills, Happyland, Hawkins Corner, Hydro Glen, Lovering, Maple Valley, Marchmont, Medonte, Menoke Beach, Mordolphin, Mount Stephen, Port Severn, Port Stanton, Scarlet Park, Severn Falls, Swift Rapids, Uhthoff, the Uhthoff Hunt Camp, Wilson Point and Washago)
. Springwater (includes Anten Mills, Crown Hill, Elmvale, Hillsdale, Midhurst, Minesing, Allenwood, Apto, Craighurst, Crossland, Dalston, Edenvale, Fergusonvale, Grenfel, Hendrie, Langman, Midhurst, New Flos, Orr Lake, Phelpston, Sandy Beach, Saurin, Snow Valley, Vespra Village, Strongville and Vigo)
. Tay
. Tiny

Visit the Official Regional Site of Simcoe County

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