Bayfield was once a popular port in the mid-19th century, thanks to its proximity to the Bayfield River’s mouth, a naturally sheltered harbour. With its stunning coastlines, quaint downtown, and lakeside vistas, Bayfield has flourished into a popular summer hotspot, attracting visitors from all over the country.
Founded in 1832 by a Dutch baron, Bayfield started out as a small community with only two mills. By 1869, the town had established itself as a popular port and trading route, leading to the establishment of a harbour. Since then, Bayfield has continued to flourish but has kept much of its quiet, small-town charm.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Bayfield, scroll down or visit the town's tourism website.
Where is Bayfield?
Bayfield is nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Huron in southern Ontario. The quaint village is a short drive from Goderich on the Bluewater Highway (Highway 21), approximately 80 km from London and 200 km from Toronto.
Things to Do in Bayfield
Take in the natural scenery of Bayfield by heading to Pioneer Park, which is located on the edge of a bluff overlooking splendid Lake Huron. A staircase leads visitors to the sparkling blue waters.
Beach lovers will find themselves feeling like they’re near the ocean on Bayfield’s three beaches: Popular Pier Beach with its sandy shores, Howard Beach, and secluded, family-friendly Houston Heights Beach.
Sailors and boating enthusiasts will want to drop by Bayfield’s marinas, Harbour Lights. Visitors can rent a canoe or take a boat for a spin for the day. Those looking for a slower pace may enjoy a leisurely stroll along Bayfield Pier. Its location between the marina and beaches make it a prime spot for watching the day go by. Anglers can also find a spot on the pier to reel in bass and trout.
Get to know more of Bayfield by touring its historic downtown area. The streets are lined with quaint buildings, local restaurants, boutique shops and elegant trees. Bask in the sun at nearby Clan Gregor Square, which comes equipped with a playground, splash pad and vast, grassy space. The park is also where many of Bayfield’s events are hosted, such as the Bayfield Fair (one of Bayfield’s oldest traditions) and Christmas in Bayfield. Gourmands and lovers of organic fare can also drop by the square on Friday afternoons to peruse the many fresh local goods and artisan crafts such as maple syrup or hard ciders sold at the Bayfield Farmers’ Market.
Visitors interested in the town's history can go on the Bayfield Archives & Historical Society’s walking tour. The tour takes visitors through the old village of Bayfield, featuring its most famous heritage homes, shops and inns, as well as shipwrecks and infamous village ghost stories.
Passionate about food and drink? Bayfield is also a hotspot for foodies. Visit in May to catch the Beer, Wine, and Food Festival at the Bayfield Arena to sample local craft beer and foods while enjoying some local tunes. Take in a quiet view of the lake with your meal at the Docks Restaurant and Bar, famous for its wide selection of burgers. Looking to have a trendy cocktail within a refurbished 19th-century building? Drop by Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro and sample their massive selection of beers and cocktails, or try a bite of haggis during their annual Robert Burns Supper.
Bayfield Neighbourhoods & Districts
A very walkable town, Bayfield invites you to explore its neighbourhoods at your own pace.
This neighbourhood lies close to the shores of Huron Lake and to the marina, and is lined with heritage homes.
Heritage Conservation District
Located on Main Street, north of Clan Gregor Square, and south of Elgin Place, visitors can find Bayfield’s historical center of commerce. Many of the commercial and residential structures here were built around the mid-to-late 1880s and have been carefully maintained and adapted for everyday use.
Things to Know About Visiting Bayfield
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Bayfield, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around town.
Where to get a great cup of coffee
Favourite local gem
Windmill Lake Eco Park is nestled within 80 hectares of forest, offers an opportunity to sustainably explore the outdoors in Ontario through wakeboarding, paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking and pedal boating.