Along South Eastern Ontario’s northern edge, two small towns pack the punch when it comes to sweetness. Gananoque and Merrickville are both charming towns to explore and their small shops, bakeries and stunning scenery make them well worth a visit.
With downtowns that look like they’re straight out of an episode of Gilmore Girls, it’s the perfect day trip for friends and older families.
Discover Small Towns with Big Flavour
With tasty bites galore, you’re not going to want to miss these hidden gems. Read on to see what we mean.
Where: 2 King St. E. Gananoque, ON. (View Map)
Pumphouse Creamery is (and we’re not exaggerating here), home to some of Ontario’s best ice cream and gelato. Made with milk and cream from Upper Canada Creamery, pumphouse churns out delicious and inventive flavours in their small and charming storefront.
Pop it atop a freshly made waffle cone or enjoy it in a bowl; whatever your style, the ice cream will shine. We loved their Kahlua Coffee Toffee crunch for its pop of espresso and the brown butter specula which had crushed up chunks of actual specula cookies.
Prefer gelato? Their lemon curd gelato has all the bright, citrusy flavours you hope for on a warm summer day. After you have your cones, head down to the river and enjoy them with a view of the water. Sounds like a great day to us!
Violets On Main
Where: 318 Main St. W. Merrickville, ON. (View Map)
Where are our baked goods lovers at? Violets on Main in Merrickville is the perfect welcome to this charming town. Tucked in an adorable little building, the baked goods here are no joke.
Head inside to grab a cup of coffee and a selection of their delicious treats. From pecan butter tarts in the prettiest pastry to cinnamon donuts, it’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. We also couldn’t help but enjoy their cheddar, chive and bacon scones for a savoury side.
Grab a seat on their patio which is surrounded by hydrangea and other seasonal foliage and you’ll feel like you have the whole town to yourself!
Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shop
Where: 311 St. Lawrence St. Merrickville, ON. (View Map)
Chefs and aspiring chefs (or just food-lovers in general) will love a visit to Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shop. As you wander the streets of this delightfully charming town, pop into all the little shops and make sure that this one is one you certainly don’t miss.
With two floors packed to the brim, Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shop is filled with goodness. British ex-pats will love the selection of candies, snacks and more imported from the United Kingdom.
Love to cook? No problem! You’re sure to find a mighty fine selection of utensils, cooking tools and gadgets here, many of which you probably haven’t seen before! From aprons and big, beautiful bowls to trivets and teapots, you’re sure to find a beautiful addition to your home.
Then, of course, there are the hot sauces, dip mixes and mustards. Oh, the mustards. Mrs. McGarrigle’s is slightly famous for their mustard selection and one step inside explains that no problem! The selection is pretty unreal.
Finally, when you’re finished and ready to pay, pop up to the counter and perhaps treat yourself to some handmade chocolates while you’re there! You’re on vacation after all.
Pickle & Myrrh
Where: 110 Main St. E. Merrickville-Wolford, ON. (View Map)
All the charm of this small town really comes to a peak at Pickle & Myrrh where owner and caramel maker Erin sells her sweet, uniquely flavoured caramels in addition to other locally crafted goods.
With one of the highest populations of artisans-per-capita in Ontario, Merrickville is full of treasures and Pickle & Myrrh aims to showcase just that.
We recommend grabbing a bag (or ten) of her caramels which go perfectly with your morning coffee and come in flavours like waffle cone, coffee, salted caramel and seasonal flavours like mini egg and pumpkin spice throughout the year.
While you’re there, discover some of the artisans that Erin loves including paintings by Mary Loos Originals, pottery bowls and mugs, hand-drawn cards and so much more. It’s the perfect place to grab a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person.
Ready to plan your trip to South Eastern Ontario? Great idea! Merrickville and Gananoque are just the tips of the iceberg! You can extend your visit by checking our Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry or Brockville and Maitland.