While we usually send you to relaxing, rural settings in our Perfect Weekends recommendations, we felt as though it was time to chuck an urban locale into the mix. Sitting within an hour’s drive of Toronto, Hamilton, Oakville, Guelph, K-W, Barrie, and more, Brampton is an ideal spot for a perfect weekend day trip.
1. We highly recommend visiting on a Saturday between June and October, when the Brampton Farmers’ Market is in full swing. Now in its 30th year, the market is a fantastic place to spend a few hours. The city’s festivals and events team have done a great job making the market a destination in and of itself, with a diverse array of produce, prepared food, and other vendors, as well as monthly live cooking demos with local celeb chef Jason Rosso of J. Red & Co. Local city legends such as the Pie Guyz and T by Daniel have stalls at the market, and there’s an abundance of seasonal produce from farms within about 150km of the city.
Split along two blocks of Main Street (at Queen Street) the market takes over the area, including Garden Square, creating a buzzing, lively atmosphere that’s perfect for all types of visitors. Summer produce is at its peak in late July, with September ushering in apple and root vegetable season along with the changing of the leaves.
2. While at the market, be sure to pop over to Beaux-Arts Brampton, a non-profit visual artists’ cooperative situated right in the middle of the market. They have a street stall featuring local art, plus two spacious galleries indoors that are open to the public. Brampton is a city dedicated to its arts and culture, and a visit to Beaux-Arts is a great introduction to the local arts scene.
3. If you want to truly feel like a local Bramptonian, picnic it up! Grab your goods at the farmers’ market and head over to Chinguacousy Park, a massive park east of the farmers’ market that plays host to local families throughout the week. Family picnics are the norm here, with some locals even hosting family reunions in the park. Find a spot, set up your blanket, sit back, relax, and watch the world go by.
4. Speaking of picnics, when the farmers’ market wraps up, Garden Square plays to all sorts of activities — including movies under the stars. Grab some kettle corn, a blanket and a lawn chair and hunker down for a movie on the big screen. Garden Square will be showing throwback films on Tuesdays and new movies on Saturdays all summer long. Check out the lineup here.
5. You can also bring your bike and cycle the Chinguacousy Trail, an 8km trail that meanders its way through Chinguacousy Park and several other parks. If you head a little further east, Professor’s Lake Trail has 11km for your biking glory.