Fill your summer with real fun, real close
Ditch the five hour crawl to cottage country, the ear-busting patios and microwaved entrees. This summer, Headwaters invites you to play and recharge in unspoiled nature, remind your tastebuds what fresh, local food tastes like, and fill your day trips and weekend getaways with rural enjoyment and authentic living, less than an hour from Toronto.
Get Fun & Festive
There’s something about a fresh-air country festival that really says summer, and we’ve got plenty.
- Celebrate Canada Day (July 1) with old-fashioned festivals and fireworks in Shelburne and Orangeville, natural fun at the Albion Hills Conservation Area in Caledon, and Canada Day Strawberry Festivals in Caledon, featuring pancake breakfasts, craft and car shows, and of course… Elvis!
- The equestrian events of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games are in Headwaters this July, and they also include the cultural celebration Pan Am in the Park (July 16 & 23), flights at the Brampton Flight Centre, and the Headwaters Parade of Horses, featuring 26 full-size horse statues painted by local artists, on display all over
- The John Deere Show (July 24 to 26) is as country as it gets, a showcase and parade of farming machine history
- The Delphinium Festival and Art in the Garden (July 4 to 5) at Plant Paradise Country Gardens offers you free guided talks & tours of a stunning botanical garden
- From flower shows, to car (and tractor) shows, to community celebrations like Orangeville’s Founders Day (July 4th), there’s always something down-to-earth up here
Eat Fresh & Local
Farm country is food country, and our bounteous local fare is celebrated all summer long.
- The Pan Am Taste Trail (July 13 to August 15) invites you to taste your way through Headwaters restaurants and shops, many which have whipped up Pan Am recipes for your vote!
- A Rotary Ribfest is about as messy and delicious as festivals come and we’ve got two: Bolton (July 10 to 12) and Orangeville (July 17 to 19)
- A new foodie favourite, Savour Fair (August 16) brings together local artisan food and drink producers with art and tunes
But great local food isn’t just for festivals!
- Stroll our farmers’ markets for seasonal produce, and meet the folks behind your food
- Shop for local wares at our authentic general stores, tea rooms, diners, roadside stands and artisanal shops
- And of course, our restaurants, pubs and bars, from rustic to refined (but never stuffy) feature food and drink that make the most of our local ingredients
Enjoy Nature & Leisure
Filled with conservation areas, green pastures and too many hilly roads to count, Headwaters is an outdoor playground for activities of all kinds.
- Golfers of all strokes and budgets can play our courses, many which resemble classic Scottish courses
- Cyclists love our trails, roads and towns like Erin, where a coffee near the bike shop is a tradition
- Hike or stroll Canada’s longest footpath, the Bruce Trail, which contains the rocky wonder, the Niagara Escarpment
- Try fly fishing at Glen Haffy, cave exploring at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park, birding at Luther Marsh, camping and canoeing at our full-service provincial parks
- A scenic drive (take the sideroads!) reveals many charms like our cozy hamlets, or old mills and waterfalls. Or see it all on the Credit Valley Explorer train tour.
- Of course, our country towns are a delight to wander about in, and appreciate their well-kept architecture and history
Discover Arts & Heritage
- Home to numerous artists and self-made historians, Headwaters offers a wide palette of artistic and cultural events and attractions.
- BizBaz (July 25 to 26) is a Kenyan-inspired, hands-on arts festival (on a beautiful golf course) where you can eat crickets, pat an alpaca, and eat and shop from 70 artisans
- The Dufferin County Museum and Archives is a modern barn that literally houses our past, with a full-size home and train station inside
- Our music festivals mix tradition, old-time hospitality and great cooking: August 5 to 9, Shelburne hosts the 65th Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship in a toe-tapping music hall; An 1837 church vibrates to wonderful music at the Belfountain Music Festival, July 30 to August 9
- You can also visit artists in their home studios, as well as in the Alton Mill Arts Centre, a restored waterfall mill with galleries, events and a cafe
- A day antiquing, a night at the theatre, an afternoon in our town galleries… summer is inspiring up here!
Horse & Country
Headwaters is one of Canada’s largest equestrian regions, where a day or a weekend can be as relaxing or as rousing as you choose.
- Join 14,000 global equestrian fans in a breathtaking setting for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games equestrian events, and enjoy dozens of added attractions
- Get a rare insider’s view of the region’s finest stables at the Headwaters Stable Tour, July 11-16
- If you’re inspired to ride, we’ve got 110 kilometres of rideable trails, ranches, riding centres, cattle drives and lots more here
- Take in hair-raising horse entertainment with Horsepower Live! and the RAM Rodeo, July 11 and 12 in Orangeville and August 15 – 16 in Grand Valley.
- Just take a long drive through horse country anytime; there’s 23,000 horses and some 2,200 boarding and breeding farms, all in picture-postcard settings.
This summer, when you’re itching to get up and out for an easy day trip, or a weekend of natural enjoyment and pure, fresh tastes, think Headwaters first. In less than an hour, you’ll start to meet your real summer you. For even more summer ideas, read our complete 2015 Visitors’ Guide.