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The Most Charming Small Towns in Canada

Aerial Panoramic of Skaneateles Lake and Village

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Pretty much the epitome of quaint East Coast townhood is Lunenburg. Approximately 70% of the town's original 18th and 19th century buildings remain intact and are painted in the vibrant colors that are emblematic of the town, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunenburg is also brimming with the quintessential hospitality of Nova Scotia, as well as interesting stores and eateries specializing in seafood chowder and fresh lobster meals.

Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino, which is on Vancouver Island's west coast, has long drawn surfers and storm watchers who want to feel as though they are perched on the edge of the earth because of its large ocean waves. The neighborhood does, however, have a surprisingly large number of excellent amenities in spite of its relative isolation. Air Canada's enRoute magazine awarded the local restaurant Wolf in The Fog Canada's Best New Restaurant in 2014, and the Wickaninnish Inn is one of the country's most cozy luxury hotels.

Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island

Victoria-by-the-Sea | Tourism PEI

Tiny Victoria-by-the-Sea is a fishing community in Prince Edward Island that exudes a charming nautical atmosphere. It should not be mistaken with the much bigger west coast city of Victoria, British Columbia. The town was spared from the Trans-Canada Highway's construction in the 1950s, allowing it to preserve its historic charm. It's a well-liked spot to unwind and take in the ocean these days, or to savor oysters and other freshly caught seafood.

Shediac, New Brunswick

Shediac, well-known as the "lobster capital of the world" and the location of a renowned enormous lobster monument, is rich in Acadian culture in addition to being a hub for lobster fishing. The majority of people who live in Shediac are still of Acadian descent; their ancestors came in the middle of the eighteenth century. Nowadays, the town is especially well-liked by tourists because of its sand beaches and renowned warm seas.

Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador

Situated north of the main island of the province, Twillingate is a settlement sprawled across the two land masses that make up the Twillingate Islands in Newfoundland. The region is well known for its marine life, with large icebergs resting right off the coast of Notre Dame Bay and an abundance of seals, whales, and dolphins calling the area home. Numerous museums in the town are devoted to the history of the region's fishing industry and the individuals who have chosen to live in this isolated region of Newfoundland.

Percé, Québec

Percé Rock - Wikipedia

The main attraction of Percé, which is situated in the coastal area of Québec close to the Gaspé Peninsula's tip, is the Percé Rock, a massive offshore rock formation with a naturally occurring arch at the bottom. The village of Percé is a quaint coastal town with plenty of historic buildings, artisan stores, and outdoor activity options. Additionally, it's not too far from Bonaventure Island, a haven for dedicated birdwatchers, home to over 200 different species of birds that either visit or reside on the small, rocky island.

Chester, Nova Scotia

With free access to the Atlantic Ocean, this community on Mahone Bay's east coast of Nova Scotia is a popular destination for boaters. In addition to being home to the biggest keel racing regatta in Canada, it's a charming location with many of B&Bs, bicycling and hiking paths along the shore. The Big Tancook and Little Tancook islands are also easily accessible by ferry from Chester.

St Andrews, New Brunswick

Situated on the protected waters of Passamaquoddy Bay on the southern shore of the province, the town of St Andrews, also known as St Andrews-by-the-Sea, is one of the most scenic villages in New Brunswick. British loyalists fleeing the American Revolution arrived in the town in the late 1700s. A national historic monument, St Andrews is such a perfect example of a British hamlet in Canada.

Nanaimo, British Columbia

COMPLETE Guide to Visiting Nanaimo, BC + 25 Things to do!

Nanaimo, which is actually a tiny city on the Strait of Georgia, which runs down the east coast of Vancouver Island, is far larger than many other towns on our list, yet it still has a distinct small-town feel. Nanaimo boasts one of the longest municipal waterfronts in Canada, along with all the conveniences of a bigger city, including access to nature from both the ocean and the land. It is also credited for creating the Nanaimo bar, one of Canada's most popular sweets.

Gibsons, British Columbia

The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia is the part of the west coast of the mainland north of Vancouver that is inaccessible by vehicle. A cool and relatively short boat voyage from Vancouver takes you to the village of Gibsons, which is a great place to escape the big metropolis. Gibsons gained notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s as the site of filming for the well watched Canadian television series The Beachcombers. A big component of the show was the Molly's Reach café, which will be familiar to many Canadians.

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