Ontario’s Fall Art Studio Tour Road Trips
On select weekends during the season, local artists and craftspeople welcome visitors into their studios to view and purchase their work.
Original paintings, fine jewellery, glass art, sculptures, quilts and pottery are just some of the treasures you will find. Plus, you’ll have the unique and rare opportunity to meet the artists, discover new talent and chat about their creative process.
With the kaleidoscope of colourful red, gold and amber foliage as a backdrop, set out on an inspiring studio tour road trip to some of Ontario’s prettiest and most artistic communities this fall.
Some locations may not accept debit or credit card payments.
Many of these routes are perfect for motorcycle touring, just consider the need for shipping the art you may be inspired to purchase.
Come for the art, stay for the hospitality, food, drink and sightseeing. Explore forests, farmlands and historic downtown Uxbridge during the height of the gorgeous fall season. Artists and artisans along this tour have been opening their doors to visitors for more than 35 years, check the map for artists’ studio locations.
When: Third weekend of September (September 17–18, 2022)
Where: In and around the Township of Uxbridge, in Durham Region, 1.5 hour drive northeast of Toronto.
While here: Known as the ‘Trail Capital of Canada’, Uxbridge welcomes you to explore local food and drink, unique accommodations, local attractions and nature trails.
Celebrating its 30th year, artists and artisans in North Hastings once again welcome you to tour their gorgeous area, visit their working studios and view a wide variety of creative pieces of art, much of which is available for purchase.
When: Two weekends in September, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sept 17–18 & 24–25, 2022)
Where: In and around the town of Bancroft, located on the York River in Hastings Country, approximately a 2.5 hour drive west of Ottawa.
While here: Soak in the fall season by experiencing some of the rural highlights, stay at a bed and breakfast and visit local farms and farmers’ markets.
Meet emerging and established craftspeople (including a canoe craftsman), makers and artists in the community and countryside around the historic town of Perth. Check the site for updated maps and details.
When: Usually on or just before Thanksgiving weekend (Sept 24–25, 2022)
Where: Centrally located between Ottawa and Kingston, in eastern Ontario, Perth is just over an hour drive from Ottawa.
While here: Located on the Tay River, Perth is a scenic village with historic architecture and boutique shops, galleries and cafes. In between studio visits, follow a self-guided walking tour. There are a few options for places to stay in town and two local breweries and a distillery worth visiting.
One of Ontario’s favourite recreation destinations, the Kawartha area is beautiful any time of year, but really shines in fall. Hosted by the Art Gallery of Peterborough, self-drive to a variety of artists working in different media.
When: Last weekend in September (Sept 24–25, 2022)
Where: In the city and county of Peterborough-Kawartha region,
While here: Check out the area’s vibrant arts and culture and food and drink scene, and plan your studio tour itinerary with one of these fall colour drives.
Over 35 artists, artisans, craftspeople and designers will be participating this this year’s studio tour through the City of Kawartha Lakes. Enjoy the colourful autumn leaves, welcoming lakeside communities and innovative art.
When: Two weekends in late September and early October, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sept 24–25 & Oct 1–2, 2022)
Where: Approximately 1.5 hours drive northeast of Toronto, the area of Kawartha Lakes incorporates several communities, including Lindsay and connected lakes and waterways.
While here: Find traditional accommodations, as well as unique ways to stay, like on a houseboat. Bring along your binoculars, as the region is home to several birdwatching hotspots.
Over 30 participating artists and craftspeople in Elora and Fergus invite you to look behind the scenes and learn what goes into the creation of their art. Besides opportunities to visit their individual studios, there will be a show and sale at the Elora Centre for the Arts.
When: Two consecutive fall weekends, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sept 24–25 & Oct 1–2, 2022)
Where: Elora and Fergus are two neighbouring towns in Wellington County located along the Grand River. Check the studio maps to plot your route.
While here: Historic limestone architecture in the villages, the picturesque Grand River and the unique natural geological features of Elora Gorge are even more scenic with the dramatic fall colour. Treat yourself to country elegancy at the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa, enjoy a local brew at the Elora Brewing Company and explore Scottish traditions in Fergus.
For three days each fall, you’re invited into the art studios of some of Grey County’s finest local artist and artisans working in paint, pottery, photographer, wood and metal. Download the tour map and look for studio signs along the country roads.
When: The weekend before Thanksgiving (Sept 30–Oct 2, 2022)
Where: Across Grey County from Hanover, Mount Forest and Dundalk up towards the southern shore of Georgian Bay, approximately two hours drive north of Toronto.
While here: Add culinary, drink and outdoor experiences from the Apple Pie Trail to your weekend road trip and book a country inn, cottage or boutique motel with maximum views of the fall foliage.
Discover the work of 36 county artists plus 16 guest artists during the PEC Studio Tour weekend. Use the online map or pick up a copy of the tour guide and look for the PEC studio tour signs as you explore the county.
When: End of September, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (Sept 30–Oct 2, 2022)
Where: Prince Edward County is located along the Lake Ontario shoreline between Ottawa and Toronto, approximately an hour’s drive west of Kingston.
While here: Enjoy the tranquility and solitude of the beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park after the summer throngs, tour vineyards and enjoy tasting flights at one of the many local wineries. Stop in at Mad Dog Gallery, Oeno Gallery or Armstrong Glassworks. From country inns and boutique hotels to renovated motels and chic farmhouse B&B’s there’s a wide variety of bespoke accommodations.
Now in its 14th year, the Bay Studio Tours takes place along the shores of Georgian Bay with 36 artists displaying work including painting, sculpture, woodwork, glasswork, jewellery and mixed media at 23 locations. Print or use the interactive mobile-friendly map.
When: Early October (Oct 1–2, 2022)
Where: In and around the towns of Penetanguishene and Tiny, about a 45-minute drive north of Barrie.
While here: An accommodation in Midland would make a great home base. Explore local restaurants and food shops with Midland Food Tours and visit one of the many lovely beaches.
Another long-running tradition, this studio tour showcases the breadth of creativity and innovation in the area. Discover one-of-a-kind art and explore Ontario’s highlands lit up with fall colour. Plan your route with the studio map, which identifies the various artists’ mediums.
When: First two weekends in October (Oct 1–2 & 8–9, 2022)
Where: Haliburton Highlands includes the communities of Minden, Carnarvon, Haliburton and Eagle Lake.
While here: Find a cottage or resort, savour local eats and brews and explore your inner artists with creative, hands-on experiences.
From exceptional painting and photography to three-dimensional art, explore 18 studios over four days during this artist-run, juried event. Use the tour map to chart your route.
When: Thanksgiving weekend, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (October 7–10, 2022)
Where: Simcoe County, the self-guided tour covers Moonstone, Horseshoe Valley, the shores of Lake Simcoe and Orillia.
While here: Choose from inviting country inns and BnB’s, a downtown Barrie hotel or a full service resort like Horseshoe Resort. Look out for the colourful designs along Simcoe’s Barn Quilt Trail and stop for a craft beer or a bottle of wine.
Last updated: December 1, 2022