Why life in Ontario's Lake Country could be exactly what you've been searching for

Apr 9 2018, 4:54 pm

Let’s be real, the big city vibes that come with living in The 6ix are great… but sometimes, you might feel like something is missing. You may be looking to swap the bustle of the city for somewhere beyond the sound of GO Trains and traffic… and we’ve found just the place.

Orillia is just 90 minutes north of the city, nestled in Simcoe County between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, and it has the perfect balance of outdoor adventures, beaches, arts, and culture.

Visit the main strip and you’ll be amazed by the stunning early 20th-century architecture that’s still standing in pristine condition. Think St. Lawrence Market meets Port Carling with brick and beam buildings overlooking the lake, making Orillia one of the most incredible places to live in Ontario.

Last year, we gave you a reason to visit Orillia, now we’re giving you reasons to stay. But you don’t have to take our word for it; here’s a breakdown of some of the things that have been happening in the historic downtown city over the past year.

Image: Shine Juice Bar


Downtown Orillia is filled with new restaurants you’d think were stolen from your favorite neighbourhood in Toronto. You’ll find everything from Italian, to Mediterranean, Thai, cafes, vegan options like Shine Juice Bar, as well as pubs.

For the foodie-at-heart, the Flavours of Lake Country and Farm to Table are annual events you really don’t want to miss.

Image: Orillia restaurant


Orillia is also going to have a brand new tap house soon: Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. The brewery is set to open this summer where you’ll be able to enjoy local craft brews and deliciously good pub grub.


Image: Champlain Waterfront Hotel

Whether you’re planning on visiting Orillia for a weekend or a little longer, you’ll want to check out the fully-renovated Champlain Waterfront Hotel.

And in 2019, a new spa will be added to the Champlain; can you say “Treat yo’ self?”

Image: Rooftop view Orillia


The Matchedash Lofts are now under construction in the historic downtown core. The mixed-use condo building was designed to look like two century-old factories connected by glass to keep that red brick charm, coupled with an incredible terrace looking over the lake.

Image: Matchedash Lofts

It’s no surprise that the lofts are almost sold out, so if you want one, time is of the essence. Next up is Matchedash Mews, a small collection of brownstone townhomes across from the Lofts coming later this year.


Image: Orillia boardwalk

Infrastructure may not be the most thrilling conversation but it does matter, and that’s why the city has been investing in the future of Orillia. The award-winning Orillia Public Library was built in the heart of the downtown in 2012, and now there’s a $55 million recreation facility under construction.

Orillia is now home to OPP Provincial Headquarters, Lakehead University, Georgian College, Costco, and HydroOne is coming soon. This all boils down to one simple truth: job growth.

Image: Downtown Orillia

The city is also a huge patron of the arts. If you take a stroll down Peter Street you can see the depth of artists that call Orillia home. In fact, the famed Charles Pachter is building an incredible artist compound and gallery downtown. And with 25 festivals taking place here annually, you know there’s no shortage of creativity.

You don’t have to wait for a big life-changing moment to sweep you off your feet and into the life you’ve always wanted. Take control, make the first move, and head to Orillia. Your next chapter is waiting to be written.

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