Charming Canada

10 of the most charming cities in Canada that will give you European vibes

There are so many towns and cities with tremendous amounts of carefully preserved history, centuries-old buildings and strong European influence, it’s not hard to experience some European charm right here in Canada.

Any one of these incredibly enchanting communities will make you feel like you’ve just been transported to Europe.

Merrickville, Ontario 

This adorable small village is one of Ontario's best preserved and boasts an abundance of stone masonry buildings from the 1800s - As well as a Londonesque red phone booth perfect for a photo op. Rideau Canal, is only one of over 100 heritage sites in the area. 

St. John’s, Newfoundland

You’ll feel yourself instantly transported to an Irish fishing village when you visit the vibrant provincial capital of St. John’s. Sitting on the coast of the Atlantic for over 500 years, it is one of the oldest cities in Canada.

The brightly coloured low-rise buildings that line the downtown are home to quaint boutiques, antique shops and unique art galleries.

Stratford, Ontario

This picturesque town is a cultural haven. Found along southwestern Ontario’s Avon River, Stratford is easily Canada’s leading arts town and is renowned for its Shakespearean influence. Grand Victorian architecture and acres of lush parks and gardens add to its European charm.

Quebec City, Quebec

Sitting atop Cape Diamond, Quebec city’s Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest walled city in Canada – is truly reminiscent of a classic European town. You’ll fall in love with its lavish cathedrals, cobblestone streets and sidewalk cafés.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Surrounded by exceptional wineries and thriving vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake is comparable to something out of a postcard. The old-time Victorian main street is complete with lush foliage, specialized boutiques, traditional grand homes and sophisticated restaurants.

Victoria, B.C.

You could say that Victoria is more British than Britain. Originally named after British monarch Queen Victoria in the 1800s, Victoria retains much of its British influence and attracts visitors year-round for its rich history.

In the summer you’ll find lush lawns and vibrant flowerbeds. There’s also many horse-drawn carriages around the city, so catch a ride for the full European experience.

Galt, Ontario

The old town of Galt is arguably one of the most scenic neighbourhoods part of Cambridge. You’ll be transported back in time walking along the main street bridge, with the historic buildings lining the river’s edge, much like you’ll find overseas.

Galt is also home to one of Canada’s oldest markets, with their farmers’ market dating back to 1830.

Kingston, Ontario

Kingston has no shortage of national historic sites, including the impressive home and gardens to Canada’s first prime minister, and Fort Henry – this fortress, which was around during the War of 1812 is definitely worth checking out.

Elora, Ontario

The enchanting village of Elora is perched on the edge of the Elora Gorge and the banks of the Grand and Irvine River. Elora’s old-world charm will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook!

Downtown you can spot the beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture that make up the village centre.

Montreal, Quebec

This electric city, littered with greystone architecture, adorable little French bistros and medieval cathedrals, is a little slice of Paris right here in Canada. The old port also boasts some of the city’s oldest buildings dating as far back as the 1600s.

Lead photo by

explore.ontario at Galt 

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