Nestled between Lakes Couchiching and Simcoe on the spectacular Trent-Severn Canal, just 70 minutes north of Toronto, Orillia )offers both natural beauty and city amenities. Access is provided by two major highways. Highway 400 & 11 which connect Toronto (133 km to S) and North Bay (210km to N), and Highway 12 which is the Southern route of the Trans-Canada Highway connecting to Peterborough (1258 km to the SE) and from there, south to Oshawa (100km to S) or east to Ottawa (400km to E via #7). From North Bay, Highway #11 is the Northern Route of the Trans-Canada and takes and arched route through several important northern mining towns to Nipigon and points west.
Orillia is home to a range of professional and community theatre productions and concerts at the 106 year old Orillia Opera House, and is celebrated as the summer home of famed Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock (the Stephen Leacock National Historic Site is just minutes away). He featured the town in many stories including “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.” Other notable residents included Gordon Lightfoot and Group of Seven painter Franklin (Frank) Carmichael. Fine dining opportunities abound and our re-vitalized downtown offers something for every shopper just steps from the beautiful waterfront..
The region around Orillia was inhabited the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) Nation who relied on the resources of the land, Lake Simcoe, and Lake Couchiching.
This community of Indigenous peoples was first visited by Samuel de Champlain, who was exploring a native trade route between what are now called Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, which is commemorated by a monument. A British trading post was established to serve the Ojibway Indians under Chief Yellowhead who settled on the shores of Lake Couchiching following their service in the War of 1812.
The establishment of a military road between Barrie and Orillia in the early 1800s led to increased settlement in the region. In 1867, Orillia was officially incorporated as a village, and it became a town in 1875. The construction of railways further facilitated transportation and economic growth. he Narrows, and Newtown, before the Lieutenant Governor Sir Peegrine Maitland gave its present name in 1822. Orillia derived its name from “orilla,” the Spanish word for “shore.”
In the early 1900s, the community was one of the first in Canada to have electric lights, because of area hydro-electric plants on the Severn River. The Port of Orillia provides the finest docking facilities on the 385 km recreational Trent Severn System, which in 1922 connected Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, and which sets the ambiance for the City’s lesiurely pace.
OPP Headquarters, Shop & Museum
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, Ontario, L3V 7V3
(705) 329-6889 Fax (705) 329-6618
Orillia is proud to be the home of the Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters. The Lincoln Alexander Building also has a unique museum, gift shop and Steakout Cafeteria which are open to the general public. Explore the OPP’s fascinating heritage through engaging displays of specialized law enforcement equipment, uniforms past and present, insignia, investigative techniques, vintage vehicles, police photographs and more! Enjoy the interactive children’s area, check out the educational tools or try on a uniform in the “dress-up” area. Free Admission Open Year-Round Open Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
5897 Rama Road, (Hwy 12 South to Rama Road)
PO Box 178, Rama, Ontario L0K 1T0
(705) 329-3325 Fax (705) 329-3329 1-888-817-RAMA (7262)
Open 365 days of the year, 24 hours per day. Take in world-class live entertainment, off-track betting, valet parking, superb dining and resort facilities that include 2,300 slot machines and 120 table games including Big Six, Baccarat and Let It Ride Pokere. The 5,000 seat state-of-the-art entertainment centre which has featured many big-name stars like Faith Hill, Jay Leno, Ringo Starr and Tony Bennett. Nine fabulous restaurants are ready to tempt your palate with everything from fine Italian dining at Rinaldo’s to the friendly, casual fare at The Weirs. There’s a 300-room luxury hotel with all the amenities, including a spa, indoor pool and meeting and conference space.
Orillia Boat Cruises
Box 2207, Orillia, ON Canada L3V 6S1
Orillia’s Island Princess is a riverboat styled vessel, which can accommodate 200 passengers on its two decks, and offers sightseeing, lunch, dinner and special occasion excursions on Lakes Simcoe & Couchiching. This comfortable vessel is wheelchair-accessible, has a heated main deck, enclosed upper viewing deck and licensed snack bar. Departures once daily between mid-May until mid-October. Jazz night and dinner cruises are an option.Every afternoon see Lake Simcoe (weather permitting) through the Atherley Narrows and see Strawberry Island (visited by the Pope). All day fall tours, including lockage at Trent Severn Lock 42, are available the 2 last weekends of September and first 2 weekends of October. Reservations are required for lunch/dinner + Fall Tours.
Orillia Museum of Art & History
30 Peter Street S.
Mailing: 11 Peter St. S., Orillia, ON, L3V 5A8
(705) 326-2159 fax : (705)-326-7828
Located in the Sir Samuel Steele Memorial Building the Orillia Museum of Art and History and open to the public seven days a week. The museum has art exhibits through out the year, including a collection of work by the Group of Seven. Regular scheduled art classes, a gallery shop and a range of programmes and events.
Orillia Opera House
20 Mississaga Street West,
Orillia, ON, L3V 6K8
(Corner of West St. N. & Mississaga St. E.)
(705) 326-8011 Fax (705) 329-1088
Originally built in 1895, the Orillia Opera House has served as a theatre, municipal office, police station, a jail and a market. Though a 1915 fire destroyed the interior and roof of the building, these were reconstructed with 2 years. In 1978 the Opera House and its Studio Theatre was designated as historically and architecturally significant to the community, and in 1997 the 680 seat auditorium was named the “Gordon Lightfoot” auditorium. Home of the Sunshine Festival Theatre Company which presents classic plays and musicals from June to December. A Farmers Market is held each Saturday morning in the adjacent parking lot.
Orillia Public Library
36 Mississaga Street West,
Orillia, ON, L3V 3A6
(705) 325-2338 fax: (705)-325-2153
As with most communities the public library serves a very integral part of our community. The Orillia Public Library offers a wide range of services to it’s patrons including web access and a fully computerized and searchable collection catalogue. The Orillia Public Library is located at 36 Mississaga Street West. To find out more about the Orillia Public Library please visit their web site.
South Simcoe Railway
South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corp.,
South Simcoe Railway Station, Tottenham
(20 km west of Hwy 400 on Hwy 9)
P.O. Box 186, Tottenham
Enjoy an exciting one-hour journey through the scenic Beeton Creek Valley aboard a historic steam train. Travel in restored 1920’s open-window coaches over the rails of a century-old branch line that once connected Hamilton with Barrie and Collingwood, with highlights and commentary by the conductor.
Stephen Leacock Museum
50 Museum Dr., Box 625,
Orillia, ON, L3V 6K5
(705) 329-1908 FAX : (705)-326-5578
Discover a charming place on 9.5 acres of Lake Couchiching shoreline was once the summer home of Orillia’s most famous humourist, Stephen Leacock. This national historic site hosts the original waterfront home & grounds of the famous writer. Explore the gardens and trails, waterfront café and unique gift shop. Play in our Children’s Discovery Place. Open 10AM – 5 PM, daily June-August, and weekdays in May and September. Admission $5 adults, $ seniors, $3 studetns, $2 children over 3 years. Family rante $12.
Ontario Falconry Centre
P.O. Box 6800, Tottenham
(20 km west of Hwy 400 on Hwy 9)
(905) 936-1033 1-888-7-TALONS (82-5667)
Medieval courtyard housing over 200 falcons, hawks, eagles, owls and vultures. The centre was designed for the breeding and research of rare and endangered raptors, while allowing visitors the closest possible viewing of various birds of prey. Open to visitors daily from June 15 to September 5 (Labour day) 12 noon to 3 pm. The spectacular, “Raptors in Flight” falconry demonstration is daily at 1 pm. Please note that No Pets are allowed in the Centre Admission.
Mariposa Folk Festival
mailing: Box 383, Orillia, Ontario, L3V 6J8
Established in 1961, the festival celebrates folk music, arts, and culture. It has become one of Canada’s longest-running folk festivals (first held 1961) , drawing visitors and performers from across the country.
Couchiching Beach Park
On the west shore of Lake Couchiching at the intersection of Bay St. and Jarvis St., and adjoining Centennial Park.
This 14.5-acre park is home to many special events and features the historic Champlain Monument.
Features : Aqua Theatre, ball diamond, beach – swimming, concession, flower gardens, outdoor rink, picnic shelter, picnic tables, a playground, walking path, washroom facilities, water fountain, change rooms.
J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park
Intersection of Atherley Rd. and Highway 12 and is bordered on the north by the south shore of Lake Couchiching.
Features: Lighted ball diamonds, curling ice, flower gardens, meeting room, Picnic tables, walking path, washroom facilities, and beautiful shoreline. This is also the location of the Barnfield Point Recreation Centre.
At southwest of the intersection of West St. S and Kitchener St. The park extends south to the north shore of Lake Simcoe.
Lighted ball diamonds, concession, flower gardens, horseshoe pits, outdoor rink, picnic tables, a playground, lighted soccer pitches, lighted tennis courts, washroom facilities. Beautiful Lake Simcoe shoreline.
Lion’s Oval is located at the southeast corner of Brant St W and Patrick St. and is a nice open green space.
Moose Beach Park
Adjacent to J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park between Atherley Rd. and Lake Couciching at the intersection of Atherley Rd. and Highway 12.
Features : Beach – swimming, beach – volleyball, flower gardens, picnic tables, a playground, walking path, washroom and change room facilities.