What to Do in The Town of Perth, Ontario
Stewart Park is a beautiful park and gardens, great for a stroll, photo stop or picnic. Located behind the Town Hall, the park is home to the Big Ben statue, and views of the Tay River. Spot the water tower in the background. Grab some takeout from downtown and wander to enjoy this serene space.
The park hosts the Stewart Park Festival, an annual free event. Cancelled July 2020 due to Covid-19 related concerns.
Treats to Go
The Perth Cheese Shop is not your ordinary cheese shop! Offering a large selection of cheeses, as well as jams, other preserves and kitchen goods, this is a must stop in Perth. Create your own charcuterie & borrow a wooden board for a nearby picnic in Stewart park.
Artizen Kombucha is steeped in tradition, love, community and deliciousness. Co-owners Sebastien and Dasha use their knowledge and passion to create some seriously good kombucha. Available in re-fillable bottles or individual sizes. Create your own Bubbles and Bites box with other local goodies and have it delivered.
Perth Pie Co is a local bakery, with all pies and treats made completely from scratch. Of course, you’ll find tasty pies, as well as crumbles, tarts, cookies and squares. Order a frozen pie to bake at home or some local Fluid Solar Roasted Coffee. Pre-order online!
Perth Chocolate Works is a family-owned specialty chocolatier. If you’re a chocolate lover you’ll have a tough time choosing a favourite from the artisan chocolates, barks, confections, and more. They offer hot and cold drinks; personally, I’d go for the hot or iced chocolate. All treats are small batch, made on site including local ingredients when possible.
Blackfly Grub Hub create fresh donuts and hot dogs – what a combo! Donuts are fresh daily with weekly specials. Flavours often change but you can typically find some classics such as chocolate dipped, boston cream and fritters. Hotdogs range from ‘naked’ to creative toppings such as Pickled Peach.
Weatherhead Brew Co has an outdoor patio around back, with a view of the water. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a reservation is required. You can also pre-order food. Purchase beer or merch to-go Tuesday through Thursday, including wine! Read the story of the brewery’s name sake Samuel Weatherhead on their website.
Perth Brewery – Wet Your Thistle! Their Last Duel Lager is an ode to Canada’s last fatal duel, which happened in Perth. They also have some deliciously unique flavours. I personally favour their Canada Maple Ale and Honey Lager. Try their refreshing Grapefruit Radler if you’re not a beer fan. Currently open for pick up only.
Top Shelf Distillers offers classic spirits, and with each bottle sold they plant a tree, #MoreTrees! They have a range of unique moonshine and cocktail bitters flavours, and fun cocktail kits. Top Shelf began making sanitizer once Covid-19 hit, and you’ll find it at the doorway of many Perth shops.
Enjoy a Meal
The Locks Perth boasts a unique food experience that focuses on steak, seafood and wine. Their spacious patio is the typical location for the Concerts for Kids fundraiser events. This live music fundraiser is dedicated to raising money for CHEO and SickKids children’s hospitals.
North Folk Café is run by the same entrepreneurial couple who are behind Artizen Kombucha. You’ll find this sold in the café among so many other tasty local treats beyond the usual coffee and baked goods. Local coffee beans, ketchup, maple syrup, artwork, scrunchies, popcorn… I could go on. It’s such a feel-good atmosphere you won’t want to leave.
The Stone Cellar should be your stop if you’re in the mood for fine dining. This family run restaurant has a concise quality menu, outdoor patio and ‘Loft’ event space.
Mex and Co arguably has the best patio in the area. Views of the canal, with three levels of outdoor seating, flower beds and umbrellas. It was raining the last time I tried to catch a spot on their patio, but one look at the menu tells me I need to eat here.
The Crossroads Tea Room is a family run tea room specializing in High Tea. Elegantly decorated with fine china and tea accents, they provide much more than tea. They have savoury meals, soups, sandwiches and salads to choose from. Coffee and alcoholic beverages available; Pimms anyone?
O’Reilly’s Ale House is a great pub to grab a meal and a pint. Considered a hidden gem, they have a range of local beers available from breweries such as Crooked Mile, Perth, Beau’s, Whitewater and Ashton. The patio is now open Tuesday – Saturday.
Rocky River Café is worth a visit for their patio alone. The patio is hidden around back with wooden tables and trees. They have daily soups and desserts made from scratch, plus homemade coconut cream pie (my favourite).
Coutts Coffee roasts fair trade, organic coffee, in house and in small batches. Their back deck-style patio overlooks the water and has a convenient back entrance toward the Crystal Palace.
Red Fox Restaurant & Tavern is a historic building with an old-school pub atmosphere. Enjoy picnic table seating out front, or sit at a round rustic table indoors. Check the chalk board for daily specials, their Buffalo Chicken Poutine was just what I need to curb my hunger when I visited.
The Hungry 7 appears to be a simple diner from the outside, yet is the creation of 2 respected chefs from Ottawa. Hearty meals, locally sourced and made from scratch. It happens to be closed on Tuesdays which is when I tried to eat there – will be returning!
Chipmunk Chippery is a seasonal outdoor chip truck, with patio-style seating. They have a lengthly menu, including some tasty poutine. Cash only!
CC’s on the Rideau is a great restaurant stop if you are headed South after visiting Perth. Just 10 minutes from downtown Perth, CC’s has a spacious patio and views over the canal. It boasts a diverse menu and a variety of drink options.
Home and Gift Shops
Perth has different shops offering home décor, accents, gift ideas, clothing and much more. Here are some of my favourites:
Kelly’s Flowers and Gift Boutique is one of the establishments located inside the historic building of Code’s Mill. Beyond flowers and plants, Kelly’s sells bath and body products, quality gifts, jewelry and clothing.
Ground Waves gift shop sells unique home goods, stationary, and décor. I picked up a scrunchie by Indigo Lily Designs, as well as a Canadian made candle. Kitchen items including novelty glasses, dip mixes, and preserves also for sale.
Flint and Honey has fashionable clothing for women and children. You can see and feel the quality in each item. There is also local jewelry, Canadian made candles and natural body products.
Red Brick Emporium is a boutique with a twist. Located in the ‘Old Mill’ along with the Perth Cheese Shop, you can browse unique finds in this historic building. They offer everything from home décor and hardware to personal accessories, bath and body products and stationary. Ask about crafting supplies and workshops!
More to Explore
Perth Museum; Learn the history of Perth and transport back to the 1840’s. This historic stone building was once the home of a wealthy merchant and senator. Wander through the restored rooms, read through archives and records or book a tour. Make sure to check out the quaint courtyard.
Mammoth Cheese photo stop! Next to Crystal palace, where the Saturday farmer’s market takes place, is a replica of the 22,000-pound cheese that was part of Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. It was the most talked about exhibit of the year.
Perth ‘Major’ Outfitters has over 100 boats to rent off the dock or off-site. Explore the Tay Canal, the Locks to the Rideau Lakes or downtown Perth. They also have a mini-putt golf course and GoKarting. Outdoor ice rink in the winter months!
Heritage Bikes and Rentals offers personalized cycling tours. Ask them about self-guided tours and routes, or bring your own bike for a tune up. For a list of trails in the area and an interactive map CLICK HERE.
The Perth Wildlife Reserve is a large and wild nature reserve on the Tay Marsh. The walking trail is 3.5 KM in length, including a lookout and abundant wildlife. The Rideau Trail crosses through Perth as part of the 387 KM trail between Kingston and Ottawa. Purdon Conservation Area is nearby with two hiking trails, as is Murphy’s Point. The Baird Trail is also within half an hour of downtown Perth, including multiple trail loops.
If you’re interested in a walking tour around Perth, CLICK HERE for available tours.
Gore street is Perth’s main street, with shops and restaurants filling the stretch, as well as the many side streets. There’s always more to discover in the charming town of Perth.
Stay tuned for a new curry restaurant, Kothu Labs opening soon on Foster St.