Getting to Paris, France can be lengthy in travel time and expensive to visit. Luckily, Paris, Ontario is only a quick car ride away. Voted “the prettiest town in Ontario” by Harrowsmith Magazine, Paris is only an hour and a half drive from Toronto. This adorable town is the County of Brant’s largest urban centre, and home to many specialty shops, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Paris is actually indirectly named after the European city, as they used some of the same minerals in plaster to construct their buildings.
1. Buy Fresh Fruit & Vegetables From The Farmers Market
Year-round, open every weekend, Elberta Farms Country Market sells the freshest produce in the area. This local favourite market sells eggs, vegetables, fruits, flowers, baked goods and more.
2. Walk Along The Grand River
Downtown Paris is lined with bakeries, candy shops, open-air cafes, along with a variety of restaurants. Take a stroll along the bridge and watch the Grand River flow down the canal. Get the best glimpse of the boxy shops and restaurants overlooking the water from this angle.
3. Take A Trip To Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area
If you’re looking for a nice hike, Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area is only a 9-minute drive away. This four-season park is also a great place to bring your dog. There are canoes, kayaks and paddleboats you are able to rent to adventure out on the peaceful lake. Choose between one of the few hiking trails, or sit back and relax on the sandy beach. There are even fun things to do there in the winter, like cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
4. Have Lunch And Browse The Paris Wincey Mills Co.
Paris Wincey Mills Co. is a historic building from the late 1800s, that has been revamped to become a multi-purpose space. Spend some time checking out the different vendors on the main level. offering everything from fresh produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, baked goods to household items, vintage and handmade jewellery and clothes. It also can be rented out for public or private events like cooking classes, book signings, workshops, networking or parties. Open Thursday to Sunday (9am-5pm).
Some vendors that stood out to me were: Bird & Bee, Paris Apothecary, Original Gourmet Popcorn, Sugar & Spice Bakery, The Grilled Cheese Effect, and Link Street Sausage House (they had the best smoked bacon and freshest sourdough bread).
5. Find Funky Vintage Stores
Probably not what you’d expect, but there are a ton of vintage stores in this tiny town that have some amazing steals. If vintage shopping is your thing, make sure to check out Bird & Bee Vintage, Flashback, From The Attic Interiors, Green Heron Books and Paris Thrift Shoppe for one of a kind clothing, books, and home decor.