Elora, Ontario, Canada – Art Galleries, Architecture, Beach, Camping, Restaurants, Casino, Hiking, Horse Racing and More

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The quaint village of Elora, Ontario, Canada has so much to offer including Art Galleries, Parks, Tubing, Hiking, Fishing, Canoeing, Ziplining, Limestone Architecture, Casino, Horse Racing, Restaurants, Pubs, Cafes and even a beach! This small town is a perfect tourist attraction; no matter what kind of tourist you are, there really is something for everyone.

Beautiful Church Street. Elora, Ontario, Canada
The Beautiful Church Street. Elora, Ontario, Canada

Although a small town of approximately 4000 inhabitants, Elora shines when it comes to entertainment. Known for it’s Limestone Architecture, the Quarry boasts a strong drawing power, and we saw why on a hike of the area. Under control of the Grand River Conservation Authority, the Elora Quarryswimming hole” offers sunbathing, swimming, camping and picnicking. Now prohibited, in days gone by young adults used to cliff dive and jump off the 12 meter sheer walls, but liability issues led to banning the extreme sport. Still, people flock to this beautiful alcohol free area to enjoy the magnificent nature.

Lilacs, Beach, and Turquoise Green Water. Elora Quarry, Ontario, Canada
Lilacs, Beach, and Turquoise Green Water. Elora Quarry, Ontario, Canada

Fascinating limestone cliffs created during the ice age engulf the Grand River which flows through her walls. This 280 kilometer river which runs through the Elora Gorge provides fun tubing, canoeing, fishing, ziplining and hiking along the trail system. Hundreds of people come every weekend in the summer months to camp and participate in the water and land activities. I have included links below for your convenience. We visited in June, and found everything to still be peaceful and quiet, so for those who like to avoid crowds, May, June, and September are good months to go. Victoria Park was a wonderful area with some nice Elora Gorge views, picnic tables and little paths.

Grand River in Elora Ontario, Canada
Grand River in Elora Ontario, Canada

When we weren’t hiking, we found ourselves wandering lazily through the quaint streets of artistic Elora. Art galleries and studios offering everything from sculptures, glass blowing/art, and iron works, to oil paintings, charcoals and water colors. Shops with handcrafted wood products, clothing, jewellery, and other unique specialties display their fanciful wares to shopping enthusiasts. Little cafes dot the streets and we really enjoyed just sitting, sipping an iced green tea and watching the world go by.

Wall of Doors. Elora, Ontario, Canada
Wall of Doors. Elora, Ontario, Canada

Beautiful limestone buildings, old, decrepit and falling down (great photo opportunities) as well as some which have been renovated create an eclectic mix with log cabins and whimsical cottages of many colors. This little town incredibly has more than 25 restaurants, pubs and cafes to satisfy the senses with everything from fine dining to gelato in hand rolled cones. Traditional Canadian cuisine is definitely worth trying – heavy, satisfying, delicious!

Victoria Street Bridge Remains. Elora, Ontario, Canada
Victoria Street Bridge Remains. Elora, Ontario, Canada

Some folks prefer the excitement of horse racing or casino some like both! Elora, Ontario has a first rate Racetrack as well as a Slots casino. The Grand River Racetrack and OLG Slots offer tons of activities, such as hilarious weiner dog races, Murder Mystery dinner theatre, truck and tractor pulls, the incredibly exciting Industry Day, 3 restaurants, live horse racing and 252 clanging ringing whistling slot machines! The atmosphere is always exciting and the action is fast! Although we are not casino fans, we quickly became addicted to the horse races and the thrilling buzz which surrounds it! Check the schedules to see events and opening times before heading out (below).

Grand River Racetrack and OLG Slots. Elora, Ontario, Canada
Grand River Racetrack and OLG Slots. Elora, Ontario, Canada

Sadly, our time in Elora is quickly coming to an end, but we know we will return to this exquisite rural village in beautiful Ontario, Canada. Whether you are looking to quench your artistic side perusing art galleries, an enthusiastic photographer, an adventure seeker ready to go hiking, tubing, ziplining and canoeing, or looking to excite your senses with adrenalin packed horse racing followed by some slots and a great meal, Elora is sure to please you as much as it did us! And I haven’t even started to tell you about the surrounding area 😉

Mennonite Couple Strolling by an Abandoned Factory. Elora, Ontario, Canada
Mennonite Couple Strolling by an Abandoned Factory. Elora, Ontario, Canada

Info, Interest and Links:
Elora, Ontario, Canada – Photo Album / Sites to see
One Axe Pursuits – Zipline Contact
OLG Slots and Casino – Info, Map
Grand River Raceway – Info, Events, Map, Schedule
Elora Gorge – Info
Elora Quarry – Info
Elora, Ontario, Canada – YouTube
Gorge Country Kitchen – Restaurant Review
Foreign Travel Advice – UK Government
Alerts and Warnings – USA Government

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Diane Misol

Canadian living in Germany - Enjoying Travel & Documenting as I go! My goal is to bring you honest reporting based on my experience. As blogging took over the internet, so did glossy photos and life is perfect mentality. The world is now officially viewed through rose coloured glasses. I aim to bring you a truer, more realistic version. Hope you enjoy and please share if you do.

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