Orillia and Lake Country
Orillia and Lake Country brings together the best of the region for visitors to enjoy. Orillia radiates with sunshine and enthusiasm, while Lake Country has a relaxed lifestyle giving you time and space for whatever moves you. If you’re looking for balance in your life, you’ll find it in Orillia and Lake Country.
Once famous for its lumber production and shipbuilding, Orillia and Lake Country is now known for its blend of nature, history, culture, and outdoor adventures. Families love to enjoy the water, visitors appreciate the relaxed atmosphere, and retirees ease into their ‘second lives’ with comfort. Across every group is the same sense of peace: take a few days to explore the beauty and serenity of this forested, watery region.
Where is Orillia & Lake Country?
Orillia sits at the northern tip of Lake Simcoe, at the point where it pours into Lake Couchiching. Both are significant stops along the Trent-Severn Waterway, making it ideal for river holidays and lake cruising. You will often see sails and motorboats fill the Port of Orillia, just a short distance from the Couchiching Beach Park. There is also a small nearby airport in Muskoka which supports flights to and from Toronto; however, Orillia and Lake Country are best with the luxury of your own private car. It’s a short drive 145 km north of Toronto and a quick gateway to more lakes and waterways in Ontario.
Things to Do in Orillia & Lake Country
Orillia and Lake Country have a range of highlights worth visiting again and again. Nestled by forests and waterways, the natural environment has shaped the region into an outdoor wonderland with indoor cultural sites to showcase its unique character. Once you visit Orillia and Lake Country, you will discover why people keep coming back again and again.
Water is a key feature of Orillia and the Lake Country; it is, after all, in the name. The glorious lakes and waterways bring visitors to their shores year after year. For a glimpse into the lakes’ historical significance, check out the Mnjikaning Fish Weirs located at the Narrows of Lake Couchiching. Also known as ‘Fish Fences,’ they are a complex system of underwater fences used for harvesting fish. The Mnjikaning Fish Weirs are one of Canada’s oldest human developments, unique in both historical and spiritual significance. Experienced paddlers can take their kayaks up close to the Fish Weirs before continuing along the shores to either Lake Simcoe or Lake Couchiching.
If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, take to the trails and explore the hiking wonderland surrounding Orillia and Lake Country. Close to town is the Scouts Valley Loop Trail, three looped trails, each 2 km long. The area was formerly a Scout Camp and is now a spectacular recreational and educational resource filled with picturesque lookouts and majestic pine trees.
When you are ready to venture indoors, there are plenty of cultural sites to lure you in. Halfway between Orillia and Midland is the Coldwater Canadiana Heritage Museum, with its charming collection of exhibits detailing the history of riverside folk and village life from 1830 to 1950. This slice of time overlaps with the Orillia Opera House, another favourite for history buffs and fans of live performances. The Orillia Opera House has been the heart of Orillia for over 120 years (both physically and culturally). It was originally completed in 1895, but a fire destroyed most of the building in 1915. It took two years before the Opera House was rebuilt, albeit a slightly different version to the original. It is still the home for live performances today, including regular benefit concerts with Orillia’s most famous homegrown talent, Gordon Lightfoot.
Orillia & Lake Country Neighbourhoods & Districts
Orillia is a fantastic home base before you go out and explore the rest of the Lake Country region. Resting between two great lakes, the region is blessed with adventure and entertainment in every season.
A must-see/do destination for any trail enthusiast. Winter snow brings cross-country skiing with a broad network of ski trails and snowshoe routes. As the weather warms, hiking trails reconnect with local farms and ecotourism opportunities to turn your journey into a delightful experience. No matter the season, Oro-Medonte has an adventure waiting for you.
Rama First Nation
Located on the eastern side of Lake Couchiching, is home to the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Known for the fantastic live performances at The Great Indoors Casino Rama, the Chippewas Territory has traditionally been held as a ‘meeting place’ for all visitors. It is a beautiful and vibrant community, filled with cultural displays to share Indigenous history in Ontario’s Lake Country.
In the center of Lake Country and part of the famous Trent-Severn Waterway. Grab a paddle and discover dozens of lakes, rivers, and waterways connecting with this active township. Many enthusiasts recommend Coldwater River and Matchedash Bay for the best kayaking.
Located on the northeastern shores of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, balanced between the urban community and relaxed waterside living. Lake Simcoe is also a hotspot for fishing, with many public beaches and holiday cottages to throw out a line and enjoy the peace.
Things to Know About Visiting Orillia & Lake Country
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a more extended vacation, Orillia and Lake Country has just the thing for you.
Where to go fishing
Nottawasaga Mouth in Ramara is incredibly productive for shoreline fishing. Find your spot near the dunes area of the park and ready yourself for some fresh Salmon.