St. Marys is a small town that is always in season. Its location by the Thames River makes it a classic destination year-round. Part of Perth County, Ontario, the southwestern city is also known as “The Stone Town.” The limestone that helped shape most of the town’s historic buildings have been quarried from St. Marys’ rocky formations. The river winds gracefully through more than 30 hectares of country roads, parklands, and scenic trails, which set the tone for a truly memorable experience.
When to Visit
Join the residents in remembering the brave homesteads who fought during St. Marys’ times of conflict. During the second week of November each year, the town celebrates Remembrance Day through a special exhibit at the St. Marys Museum. November is also home to the Black Angus Up Close and Personal Series Concert, which offers dinners and dances with a Latin Spanish flair. Soon after the town celebrates the Old Man Winter Exhibit, which offers exploration of transportation, warming, games, weddings, and pastimes during the winter. Hot chocolate comes free with every visit. Avail of Horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the city every weekends of December. Welcome the New Year with the annual New Year’s Eve family Celebration, which includes festive balloons, and opportunities to swim and skate.
Restaurants and Dining
For modern and innovative cooking, Woolfy’s at Wildwood will surely surprise. The restaurant highlights St. Marys’ meat and local produce throughout the year. Contemporary cuisine takes the main seat at the Wildstone Bar & Grill, which just like the latter also utilizes local ingredients. Gourmet lovers will swoon over the 50 varieties of cheese at the Towne & Country Cheese Shoppe, which offers a lot of picnic specials. Sample the city’s unpretentious and casual riverside dining at either Pathway Fish & Chips or The Parkview Creamery Bar, both of which have elegant views of the lovely Thames River. Switch gears and sample Szechuan and Cantonese Cuisine offered by Lai King Restaurant, which also offers access to a salad bar and Chinese buffets.
A collection of 19th century buildings can be seen throughout the city. Most of these were built using limestone quarried locally. The most notable of which are the 1880 Opera House, 1904 Public Library, and the 1891 spired Municipal Town Hall. More than a decade old, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame relocated to the city from Toronto. Dedicated in preserving the country’s baseball heritage, the hall has collections from honorary members, builders, amateurs, and professional ball players who have shaped Canada’s baseball scene. A beautifully landscaped baseball field can be found within the facility. The Grand Trunk Trail is adjacent to the railway, and features panoramic views of St. Marys and the restored Sarnia bridge. Located on Trout Creek, the upstream Wildwood Town is another tourist attraction. The quarries have been rehabilitated into outdoor swimming pools, and have been serving for years as a public recreation facility.
The St. Marys Museum can be found on a hill top park as a lovely old home. Located at 177 Church Street South, the local “Castle in the Bush” was purely constructed from limestone quarried in 1854. It was once the largest home among a collection of shanties. The quaint museum features wings dedicated for research and genealogy, which are completely accessible to the public. Microfilm archives, materials, and artifacts can be found in the museum’s exhibits.