Cornwall & The Counties
In the furthest reaches of Eastern Ontario, you’ll find Cornwall and SDG Counties. The region, made up of seven unique municipalities, steeps in history, brims with local charm and pours passion into its future.
From the mid-sized city of Cornwall to the most picturesque villages like Williamsburg in the west and Williamstown in the east, there’s a timeless appeal here. Picture this: heritage buildings peppering the landscape, wondrous waterways that beckon boats, fishing rods, and swimsuits, with endless swaths of forests to explore on foot, bike, snowshoes and skis.
All this serves as a beautiful, year-round backdrop for amenities, activities and adventures. Discover restaurants, wineries, breweries, beaches, boutiques, bass tournaments, B&Bs and accommodations, music and theatre venues, cyclotourism routes, county fairs, lavender-picking farms, campgrounds...and more.
Where is Cornwall & The Counties?
Anchored to the south by the mighty St. Lawrence River, our communities are nestled in the easternmost wedge of Southeastern Ontario. A short drive to Ottawa, Montreal and New York State, Cornwall and SDG Counties is easily accessed via the 401 and 417 Highways, as well as US Route 37 and the Three Nations Crossing.
It is important to acknowledge that this region is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee Peoples, specifically the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk). We are grateful to those who have stewarded this land for millennia.
Things to Do in Cornwall & The Counties
Cornwall & The Counties are where heritage and history mingle with vibrant communities and culture.
The stories of the area’s forebears can be found at every turn. Interested in early homesteading? Dive into the lives of early settlers at Upper Canada Village, Cornwall Community Museum, Sir John Johnson Manor, the Glengarry Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum and the Glengarry Pioneer Museum. Want to learn about Indigenous culture in this area? The Native North American Travelling College and Museum in Akwesasne has engaging exhibits and programming. Curious about the now-underwater towns that once dotted the landscape? Head to the Lost Villages Museum.
Surrounded by forest, fields and rivers, nature shapes recreation in Cornwall and SDG Counties. Outdoorsy folk will love the Long Sault Parkway, a picturesque archipelago made up of 11 islands with campgrounds, beaches, trails, birding, watersports, boating and fishing. The 10-kilometre road that takes you through the parkway is also appealing for cyclists, as it ties into one of the most popular sections of the Waterfront Trail. From Morrisburg through the parkway and onto Cornwall and Lancaster, the route travels along the St. Lawrence for approximately 60 kilometres, much of it on traffic-free paths.
The young—and the young at heart—love Cornwall & the Counties. Archie’s is Cornwall’s entertainment hub for both locals and visitors, with its mini-putt, driving range, Par 3 golf course, foot golf AND old fashioned ice cream shop. The roar of the engines, the cacophonous crowds and the thrill of the chase is found at the Cornwall Motor Speedway. The Saunders Hydro Dam Visitors Centre uses interactive exhibits, beautiful murals and super storytelling to explain the impact of the construction of the St Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.
In a backyard forest near Morrisburg, our region’s version of Jurassic Park awaits your family at Prehistoric World. Get up close and personal with fifty life-sized dinosaur reproductions, including the fearson Triceratops to the formidable T-Rex! For four-season adventures, Countryside Adventures is the place to be. What started as a three-kilometre ice skateway through the forest, has grown into a full-blown outdoor destination with a beach, watersports, axe throwing and archery ranges, fishing, walking trails and a food truck.
Everyone likes a good time around here. Music and theatre lovers congregate for shows at the Upper Canada Playhouse, Port Theatre and Aultsville Theatre. Concerts at the Winery are a popular draw, too.
For a friendly gathering and a taste of rosé, whites or reds made with cold-weather grapes, visit the winemakers at Stonehouse Vineyard, StoneCropAcres Winery & Vineyard and Smokie Ridge Vineyard. Craft brewers are also ready to pour you a pint at Humble Beginnings Brewing Co., Wood Brothers Brewing Co. and Rurban Brewing. There’s also the Upper Canada Cider Company that brews its batches from local apples.
Don’t despair foodies. Downtown Cornwall features a lovely list of eateries (not to mention unique boutiques). In the SDG Counties, fan favourites include the intimate gastropub La Buvette du Marché, the riverside Nautica Grill & Wine and the casual Iron Forge Pizza.
Neighbourhoods & Districts in Cornwall & The Counties
Cornwall has lovely neighbourhoods spread across the city, while the SDG Counties are made up of six municipalities.
You may be surprised to learn that Cornwall has two downtown districts. Just north of Lamoureux Park—a sprawling green space on the riverfront—you’ll find the retail-and-restaurant hub of Downtown Cornwall. Go further east, and you’ll arrive at Le Village, our second commercial district, showcasing exciting urban renewal projects and strong ties to the area’s French Canadian history.
Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Discover the six unique municipalities that make up the counties:
South Dundas - progressive and historic all at once. Use their Tourism Pursuit App to discover the best destinations.
North Dundas - where agriculture, feasts, fairs and other fun drive the economy. It’s also the SDG municipality closest to Ottawa.
South Stormont - rolling countryside and charming villages, where rural and urban meet. Home to the Long Sault Parkway.
North Stormont - families, food and fun grow here. The quaint communities have much to share, including delicious agri-tourism destinations.
South Glengarry - a place that capitalizes on its natural spaces and celebrates its history. The self-guided Glengarry Routes Heritage Tour leads to the historical assets in the region.
North Glengarry - imbued with a love for its Highland heritage. Host of the Glengarry Highland Games, the largest games of its kind outside of Scotland.
Things to Know About Visiting Cornwall & The Counties
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Cornwall and The Counties, it’s nice to learn what the locals recommend.
Where to go for a bike ride
Where to eat, drink and explore
Where to go fishing
Last updated: March 23, 2022