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Perth (Ontario)

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Perth (Ontario)

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Perth [1] is a town in Ontario, in Canada. The population of Perth is about 7,000.

Get in[edit]

Perth is 45 minutes southwest of Ottawa on Highway 7. The fast food strip on the main highway gives way to the main downtown. Look for the "Business Section" signs and take a left on Wilson Street. Traveling from Kingston, take County Road 10 north from Highway 401 through Westport.

The two century-old downtown huddles around the Tay Basin, the end point of the Tay Canal that connects Perth into the Rideau Canal system, which in turn connects Ottawa to the Great Lakes at Kingston. Many of the downtown buildings have been preserved in their original condition - others have been carefully restored.

The downtown parking lots are $4 to park all day. There is "2 hour free parking" on the street, but the rules are complex (you can park once up to 2 hours, but cannot repark anywhere within a 5 hour window). The entire downtown core is within walking distance of any of these lots.

Get around[edit]

The entire Heritage Downtown Core is situated on a few square blocks. Every store and restaurant is within easy walking distance of any of the downtown parking lots.

Many of the stores are wheelchair friendly, and a new program to provide portable wheelchair ramps for older style stores has been initiated.

The "big box stores", "strip mall" and most motels are situated up on Highway #7. Generally you will need a car to get to any of these places.

The Downtown Core can be reached from the Rideau Canal system via the Tay Canal - teminating at the Tay Basin in downtown Perth. Large boats will find they can get no further than the Last Duel Campground due to very low bridges between the campground and the Tay Basin. Smaller boats, canoes and kayaks should be able to navigate under these bridges.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Perth Museum, 11 Gore Street East

(Phone: (613)267-1947 Fax: (613) 267-5635 E-mail: [email protected] ), Museum Website.

Hours: M to F 10AM - 5PM; Sa and Su 1PM - 5PM. The Perth Museum is open year round.

The Perth Museum is housed in Matheson House, c1840, on the main street of Downtown Heritage Perth. Matheson House is named after the well-to-do Scottish merchant, the Honourable Roderick Matheson, who lived in this house with his family for over 90 years. This nationally designated historic stone dwelling features 4 period rooms restored to depict the life of a wealthy 19th century family plus two galleries where changing exhibitions are displayed. Displays include the last fatal duel fought in Canada, the Mammoth Cheese, and the famous Marks Brothers (the most remarkable theatrical family in Canadian history - definitely NOT the Marx Brothers).

The museum is air-conditioned and municipal parking is available. Group tours are welcome. Admission is by donation.

  • Stewart Park, behind City Hall

Stewart Park was deeded to the Town in 1947 by Mrs. Jessie Stewart, in memory of her late husband, John A. Stewart. The park, right in the middle of Downtown Heritage Perth, is a cool oasis during hot summer months. The Tay River meanders through the park providing soothing background sounds while you enjoy the large maple trees, gardens, or perhaps on a warm Thursday evening the sound of the Perth Citizen's Band playing in the band stand behind city hall. This Citizen's band has been in existence since 1852 and is the oldest operating Citizen's Band in Canada.

The annual Stewart Park Music Festival held in this park provides a free, 3-day summer musical event for citizens and visitors alike. You might also experience Sunday night church services, or watch a wedding as young couples start out on life's journey. The Park is not to be missed.

From the park you can see Code's Park across the river where a life sized statue of equestrian Olympians Ian Millar and his mount, Big Ben has been erected.

  • Tay River Trail

The Tay River Trail is a new attraction built around the historic pathway and portage site that dates back to the military settlement of Perth-upon-Tay in 1816, when the waterways were the major means of transportation. Six information plaques have been erected along this waterway along with "navigational trail markers" that will help you navigate the trail. Each marker has a circular viewfinder, through which you can sight the next trail marker and chart your course along the trail. Starting at the Tay basin you can navigate either upstream and downstream.

  • Festivals

Perth is famous for its year round Festivals. A few of these are:

April - Festival of the Maples Perth's welcome to spring with Maple Syrup and street festival

July - Stewart Park Festival Three days of free music in Stewart Park behind city hall.

August - Perth Garlic Festival "It's Chic to reek"

September - Perth Fair an agricultural fair that showcases the past, present and future

October - Perth Autumn Studio Tour a very special showcase for contemporary fine crafts

November - Eastern Ontario Drama League - 1 Act Play Festival at the Studio Theatre, Perth {}.

November - Festival of Good Cheer. Experience a shopping trip back to 1840

  • Ian Millar and Big Ben Bronze Memorial, located on the banks of the Tay River across from Codes Mill. Big Ben Website

This life size bronze honours one of Canada's most successful partnerships in Canadian sport and arguably the greatest team in equestrian history. Ian Millar and Big Ben, the 17.3hh Belgian Warmblood who died in December 1999 at age 23, won the hearts of a nation and made their mark in the equestrian world. As a lasting tribute, the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce erected this arresting bronze statue in Downtown Heritage Perth not far from Millar's home and Ben's final resting place. The life-size statue depicts Ian and Ben in full flight over a 5 and-a-half foot jump.

  • Local Theatre and Arts Activities

Perth is home to a large number or writers, performers, artists and artisans. A local newspaper The Humm keeps an extensive list of ongoing activities of arts in Perth and surrounding district.

You can keep up with the events and productions at the downtown Perth Studio Theatre via their monthly Studio Theatre Newsletter. Or {}.

There is a long and unique history of theatre in Perth dating back to the mid 19th century. The era of the fabulous Marks Brothers is one of the most exciting stories in the town's colourful past. They have been called (Maclean’s Magazine, 1958.) "the most remarkable theatrical family in Canadian history. The dazzling Marks Brothers were the greatest impresario performers of our small town stage in the era before the nickelodeon." They truly earned the title of "The Canadian Kings of Repertoire".

The Balderson Theatre building at 12 Gore Street East in which they performed in Perth still stands today (now a Home Furniture store). In it's time the Balderson Theatre was the largest theatre between Montreal and Toronto.

If you are interested in all the theatre and festival events in town, then check out Whats Happening in Perth. or { Perth's complete entertainment Listing}.

  • The Round Garden - A Garden for the Blind

A Garden for the Blind has been constructed that caters to the Blind. It features smells, sounds and taste. A round walkway lets the visitor move from raised bed to raised bed. Signs in English, French and Braille let you discover the various garder plots. Garden fountains and surrounding woods add to the sounds. There are plenty of seating areas around the garden to let you enjoy the various senses. During the summer, the Perth Farmers' Market operates on the same property.

  • Perth Downtown Pharmasave, 57 Foster St.

Perth is home to Canada's oldest drug store. Entrances can be found on Foster and North streets, as the store has since been expanded through. The location is currently owned and operated by Pamela and Robin Newton

  • Last Duel Park

The Last Fatal Duel in Canada took place in Last Duel Park on June 13, 1833, and Robert Lyon's body lies in the Old Burying Grounds on Cole Street.

  • Mammoth Cheese, Behind the Perth Soap Factory

At the back of a parking lot, hidden in the long grass near some old train tracks, is an exact replica of Perth's famous Mammoth Cheese. The Mammoth Cheese was created in 1893 for the Chicago World's Fair, and weighed 22,000 pounds. The cheese was talked about more than anything else at the fair, principally because it had crashed through the floor when they unloaded it. [2]

  • The Perth Town Crier - an official Perth Tradition!

Perth has a long history of official Town Criers that can be traced back to its founding in 1816. At one time there were are as many as three Criers active in the community. The current Town Crier is Brent McLaren and information on him can be found at his website: [3]. Brent welcomes any opportunity to meet with visitors to this Heritage Town.

Do[edit][add listing]

An EXCELLENT DAY TRIP destination, you'll enjoy your trip to Adventure Agent as much as you'll enjoy your kayak adventure. First class roadways wind through scenic hills, valleys and waterways within the watershed of the 200 kilometer Mississippi River.

Located AT THE HUB of the vast wilds of the Land O' Lakes, Madawaska Highlands and Lanark Highlands. Snow Road Station is situated where a geological shear line crosses the 200 kilometer Mississippi River, creating excellent kayak country with falls, rapids, cliffs and escarpments hosting a variety of legged and winged wildlife and fish. This charmingly rugged area boasts several Provincial Parks: Silver Lake, Sharbot Lake Provincial Park and Bon Echo Provincial Park.


Kayak instruction and tours will enhance your day trip, whether cycling, hiking, motor touring.


Take kayak lessons and a kayak tour, and extend the fun a few more days. Distinctive BED & BREAKFAST (B&B) is available to Adventure Agent guests. Camping is within 6 miles. Before or after your kayak adventure you can enjoy world-class, 5-star cuisine, just minutes away. Add a kayak lesson and tour when you visit nearby golf courses. Bike trails and road routes thread the hills, and a kayak adventure will fit in perfectly, adding refreshing water recreation to the trip.

Instruction, moonlight and evening paddling trips, eco-tours, trips for seniors, First Nation/historical tour, and nature tours. Pricing starts at $40/per person for a two hour nature tour, all equipment, guide, taxes in. For further information, visit the Adventure Agent website at


The Perth United Soccer Club provides opportunities to play both recreational and competitive soccer.

Maple Key Day Camp offers exciting summer programming for ages 5 - 12. Campers aged 8 and up have the unique opportunity to choose either a sports or fine arts major. Activities include sports, arts & crafts, cooperative games, mad science, nature, special events and more. Also offers a leadership program for ages 13 - 15.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The Crystal Palace (or Under Glass Building) is situated on the Tay Basin across from City Hall. The structure is manufactured from the remnants of the glass street enclosures that used to cover Rideau street in nearby Ottawa. From the Mother's Day Weekend to the Thanksgiving Day Weekend, the building will house the new Crystal Palace Market run by the Town of Perth. The market features local artisans and craftspeople as well as local produce. The market is open Saturday mornings and may include Wednesdays in the near future. Come on in and meet some great people and see some exciting local talent.

In addition, the local Perth Farmers' Market operates outside the Crystal Palace providing local organic food products. Come for the Freshness - Stay for the Fun!

The downtown area features 1800 era buildings housing more than 80 specialty boutiques, shops, antique stores, restaurants and flea markets. Visitors can expect a shopping experience as far away as you can get from the global multinational mall experience. Come back in time to experience the future of shopping.

These downtown stores provide the visitor with an impressive line up of products. Giftware, souvenirs, high tech kitchen gear, clothing, linens, inflatable kayaks, scrapbooking supplies, antiques and so much more can be found within a couple of block radius. For a list of many of the downtown merchants you can visit [Downtown Heritage Perth].

A popular shopping destination for local art is [Riverguild Fine Crafts]. This artist cooperative features the works of many local artists and artisans. Everything from fine arts, to the most wonderful kaleidoscope you will ever see, to cooperative games are available in this shop.

A great deal of local arts and crafts can be found throughout the town. For example, the paintings, prints and art cards of internationally known Nostalgic Realism artist - Craig Campbell - is available at many downtown stores. Craig's nostalgic portrayal of the steam train era is particularly attractive to visitors.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Perth Ontario boasts over 20 eating establishments in the downtown heritage core.

Drink[edit][add listing]

O'reilly's, 43 Gore Street East, Probably the favorite pub in Perth, located in the the former Apothecary shop. They offer lunch specials and 12 draught beers on tap, in addition to wireless internet access.

Imperial Tavern, 27 Wilson Street West, +1-613-267-6655 The Imperial Tavern is a no-frills dive bar that has a few pool tables and a shuffleboard. Beer on tap, a decent selction of bottle beer and a few beers available in tall cans.

Fiddleheads Bar and Grill, 53 Herriott Street, +1-613-267-1304.

Shark & Bull,41A North St.,613-264-4445" The only pool hall in Perth-Carleton Place-Smithsfalls, has been renovated into the "New Pool Hall/Nightclub. It serves hot soup and Chili everyday, along with crepes and fresh made to order sandwiches.</drink>

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There a number of ways to get some sleep in Perth:

1) Bed and Breakfast

2) Boutique Hotel and Motels

3) Campgrounds

Perth Manor [4] is just a short walk from Downtown Heritage Perth at 23 Drummond Street West. This Boutique Hotel and reception Facility is housed in what was originally known as the "Thurreson Place". J.T. Henderson constructed this family home at a cost of 12,000 Pounds in 1878. This building was put to many uses over time. In 2002 it was purchased by Michael Dwyer & David Marshall who decided to restore and renovate the Manor into a Boutique Hotel & Reception Facility with on-site Event Planning for Corporate and Special Events. The Manor has 6 suites available, named after historical figures.

Code's Mill Inn & Spa[5] is a major newly opened downtown inn adjoining peaceful Stewart Park. With two very unique buildings, Code's Mill Inn & Spa offers the best of two worlds. The main inn offers the latest in modern design in its 55 rooms. Adjacent to the inn is the White House. Bordering on the tranquil Stewart Park, the White House offers 7 deluxe suites each with a boutique Bed & Breakfast feel. Each suite is decorated with a mix of antique and contempory furniture, with internet access, LCD TV's, oversized spa tubs and more. Prices start at $159 CDN per night.

Get out[edit]

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