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Picturesque Towns & Tours


We do not want for picturesque places in Upper Canada. Many of our towns feature historic stone architecture set in wild beauty. Below is but a sampling of settlements to visit, selected for their heritage buildings, natural situation and pre-planned walking tours – it is by no means comprehensive:


The town of Perth is situated on the Tay River and features much by way of historic stone architecture. The town was established as a military settlement in 1816, following the War of 1812. Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay. Perth also boasts the home of the last known duel fought in Canada.


William Merrick founded the village of Merrickville in 1794. After the War of 1812, the Rideau Canal was planned and constructed as a precaution should Americans invade Upper Canada again. The canal was opened in 1832 and runs through Merrickville. The village is a bustling crossroads of traffic by road and water, offering visitors much by way of a day’s entertainment.


First settled by europeans in the late 17th century, Kingston has thrived due to its strategic location at the intersection of Lake Ontario and the Cataraqui and St. Lawrence rivers. Briefly named the first capital of Canada in 1841, Kingston is also often referred to as the “Limestone City” due to its prevalence of historic buildings made of locally sourced limestone. 


The word Gananoque is First Nations in origin and means town on two rivers, namely the St. Lawrence and Gananoque. Settled by Colonel Joel Stone in 1789, Gananoque was raided by the Americans during the War of 1812. Gananoque’s waterfront was recently revitalized in commemoration of the conflict’s bicentennial. The town features lovely stone architecture, as well as a stately town hall. 


Peleg Spencer first built a mill on this site adjacent the South Nation River in 1811. The village of Spencerville sprang up around it. While quaint, Spencerville is home to many historic buildings and annually hosts the Heritage Fair.