Fergus Ontario is rich with culture and natural beauty that's worth exploring
The small town of Fergus, Ontario is the perfect destination for a quick getaway out of the city, with its rich history and breathtaking natural surroundings. It's also known for a number of annual festivals steeped in tradition, attracting visitors from near and far.
Just a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto, Fergus is a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Wellington County. While it's often synonymous with the lovely town of Elora that's just a short drive away, Fergus has its own distinct character.
Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for a nearby escape, the town has a ton to offer. Here are some of the best things to do in Fergus.
Founded by Scottish settlers in the 1830s, Fergus was named after a Scottish nobleman Sir Adam Fergusson. The town continues to honour its heritage in many ways, with one of the most popular events being the annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games.
Every August, the town comes together to host the games, which attract visitors from around the world. The festival features traditional Scottish music, dancing, and athletics, and is an incredible showcase of history and culture.
The Templin Gardens in Fergus is an idyllic sanctuary carved into the limestone banks of the gorge. The heritage riverfront space has a dreamy garden and is often a natural stage for performances in the summer months.
James Square in Fergus is home to a large granite stone affectionately known as the Kissing Stane. The story goes back to Victorian times when it was reported to be the only location in Fergus where public displays of affection were tolerated. Today, the legend states that receiving a kiss while seated on the stone will bring good luck.
Located between the duo cities of Elora and Fergus, The Wellington County Museum and Archives is a 53-acre National Historic Site sitting along the Grand River right across from the stunning Elora Gorge.
Hike the museum’s trails with epic views, or visit the historic cemetery where over 200 residents of the 1877 former poor house rest.
Fergus' downtown core is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, offering a wide range of cuisine options to suit every palate. Tapavino Wine & Tapas has great - you guessed it - wine and small shareable plates with a Scottish twist.
For a meal with a view, head to The Brew House on the Grand, offering pub fare with a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the river in the warmer months. You can also stay overnight upstairs in one of their charming B&B rooms.
Fergus was originally called "Little Falls" due to the small cascades in town. While not nearly as impressive as those found in nearby Elora, the Fergus Cascade in downtown Fergus is still a picturesque sight to see.
You can cross a footbridge over the Grand River, with views of the low gorge and flowing waterfall.
Besides the annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games, Fergus has a number of other festivals throughout the summer to enjoy. Every July, catch the town's Medieval Fair, with a fun show of knights and ladies, vikings, battles, magicians and wizards, and more.
In September, check out the Fergus Fall Fair, one of the oldest in Ontario showcasing local agriculture. The event has truck and tractor pulls, handicraft and food exhibits, a midway, entertainment and so more.
Extend your stay in the area by spending the night in the historic Breadalbane Inn. The Scottish-style stay features seven charming suites, each with its own unique charm and character. Some even include in-room fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs.
If you get hungry, there is also an Italian-inspired restaurant onsite Scozia, as well as Fergusson Room, a gastropub serving casual fare.
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