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Goderich "Canada's Prettiest Town"

Goderich is steeped in history. It proudly calls itself the "Canada's Prettiest Town" with good reason since great care is taken to keep the town attractive. From its beginning as a colonial town, Goderich was a microcosm of the former British Empire. Its octagonal traffic circle at the centre of town actually resembles the pattern of the Union Jack flag. The town is situated high on the bluffs that provide panoramic views of the lake and harbour. The sunsets are spectacular from Lighthouse Park on Cobourg St. just off West St.; there stands the lighthouse built in 1847. One can actually see the sunset twice by watching from the base of the bluff and then quickly climbing to the top to see the sun sink below the lake again. The town square welcomes visitors to pleasant shopping and dining. It provides a splendid setting in summer for a Saturday morning Farmers' Market and a Sunday Flea Market. The town's tidy, landscaped waterfront is perfect for swimming, water sports and picnics; 1.5-km. boardwalks connect three lovely beaches that have playgrounds, snack booths and lifeguards. Tourist information is available at 1-800-280-7637.

The Marine Heritage Walkway features signs that describe hidden points of interest along the waterfront. Reuben Sallows Gallery displays intriguing, historical photographs in the sumptuously furnished Carnegie Library at 52-A Montreal St. Two beautifully restored railway stations are now used for art exhibits and concert halls: East Street Station is located at the end of East St. and the former CPR Station overlooks the beach.

The Livery Theatre is an historic stable that has been converted into a cabaret stage at 35 South Street. It hosts live theatre productions, musical performances and a film series.

At the north end of Goderich, Centennial Samuel Platt Park has historic plaques in a scenic picnic area and gazebo. The site overlooks the Maitland River’s expansive valley where many an angler has a favourite spot to fish for salmon or rainbow trout. Just past the bridge, turn left at the Tiger Dunlop memorial and follow Mill Rd. to the parking lot. From there you can walk or bicycle the Tiger Dunlop Trail, the Menesetung Bridge that crosses the old railway trestle, or continue onto the Heritage Tree Trail that leads to the lake past a massive 200-year old oak tree. The view from the bridge above the harbour is spectacular . The walkway can also be accessed from North Harbour Road, and it continues east as the Goderich-Auburn Rail Trail. The Maitland Trail hugs the valley, providing challenging hiking and scenic lookouts along the river between Goderich and Auburn, including the lovely Falls Reserve Conservation Area.

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