Best small towns in Ontario in 2020


Ontario is the most populated region of Canada and has plenty of big cities such as Ottawa and Toronto. These large cosmopolitan cities are filled with attractions and buzzing with activities. However, the urban lifestyle is not attractive to everybody. In fact, small towns in Ontario are scenic, captivating and offer attractions and charm that no big city can provide.

There has been increased interest in small town living in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people to small towns to avoid crowded city living. Rising house prices in the big cities have also pushed people to the small towns. Small towns in Ontario often offer peaceful, healthy, quieter and safer living conditions characterized by less traffic and friendly residents.

It should be noted that small-town living is not being small-minded. What attracts people to the small town is a simple lifestyle that is combined with progressiveness. Paradise Developments features one of the small Ontario cities in this article. To help you identify the best small town to live in Ontario, we compiled the list below:


Picton is located in the wine-producing regions of Ontario and has been listed as one of the top places to live in the province. Picton is the gastronomic capital of Ontario due to the exciting wine-making industry.

Being a farming and strong arts town, it is filled with colorful shops, artisan boutiques and large markets. Thriving sports communities and easy access to healthcare make the town attractive to people who want to buy homes and settle here. Sandbanks Provincial Park offers plenty of recreational activities including beaches on the shores of Lake Ontario.

You will enjoy a fresh breeze from Lake Ontario, a pleasant countryside, and one of the best adult lifestyle communities of any small town in Ontario in Picton.


Found in southwestern Ontario, Paris is a beautiful town situated on a steep hill with expansive views of the Grand River valley. The peaceful town has small shops and restaurants, historic buildings and cobblestone walkways which have the town ranked as one of the prettiest in Canada.

The Grand River winds through the centre of town and with plenty of trails, Paris offers residents and visitors the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities and interact with nature.

Paris is not stuck back in time, which is one of the small-town Ontario problems. There are many development and subdivisions happening across town and on the edges of the town. Good adult lifestyle communities, the small-town charm and affordable quality of life make it ideal for people buying homes in Paris.


Top small towns in Ontario

A destination for wine lovers and tourists, Niagara-on-the-Lake is yet another small town in Ontario that has a bustling and growing population. It is located on the southernmost point of Ontario. It is a good investment destination compared to other small towns in Ontario due to increasing real estate prices.

The town has favorable weather, big sports and arts communities, numerous wineries, and is the international destination for tourists visiting Niagara Falls. People are attracted to settle in Niagara-on-the-Lake, since you can find a little of everything, including beaches and plenty of tranquility.


Napanee is a small town and retirement destination that flies under people’s radars. Real estate has been on the rise in Napanee as people invest in cottages on the shores of Charleston Lake.

Napanee is also an excellent destination due to its proximity to Prince Edward County and Lake Ontario. It is ranked as one of the best places to live in eastern Ontario and in Canada.


One of the small towns in Ontario with a population of about 8,000 people. Goderich has been described as the prettiest town in Canada having been designed and built on a hub model. All streets in the town flow outward from downtown.

The centre of town is beautifully landscaped during summer. Lake Huron is just a walking distance from town and is one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world. The historic buildings, pleasant and welcoming people, and peaceful nature of the town add to the charm of Goderich.


Newcastle is a small town just outside of the Greater Toronto Area and on the shores of Lake Ontario. It is another of the underrated small towns in Ontario, but offers excellent real estate investment options,y as well as small town appeal.

Newcastle is known for healthy growth rates, low crime and high average family income. You can enjoy the laidback lifestyle of the town as well as the friendly nature of its residents.


Collingwood is sometimes referred to as Ontario’s playground, due to the endless appeal of the beautiful Wasaga beach during summer and the Blue Mountain in winter. There are plenty of activities to indulge in all year-round, including skiing, snowboarding, cruises on the Georgian Bay, zip lining and plenty of trails.

The small-town Ontario charm of the town makes it attractive for people who want to settle here. Communities around Collingwood are progressive-minded, and you can enjoy idyllic views out to the lake or up the mountain. Real estate is affordable and has continued to expand, making it easy to find a perfect home.


Gravenhurst is considered the best small town in Ontario and is situated in the Muskoka region. The town is lively and offers breathtaking views of lakes and sprawling landscapes.

The communities in Gravenhurst are closely knit and welcoming. Plenty of opportunities exist in the vibrant arts scene where you can visit galleries and antiques shops to see and buy specialty items. Gravenhurst’s unique and diverse history can be revisited at the Muskoka Wharf.

In general, small towns in Ontario offer a quiet charm away from the pace and buzz of the large cities. Beyond some of the small-town Ontario problems such as lack of reliable public transport and poorly developed nightlife scene, the small towns are surprisingly the beating heart of Ontario.

All of these locations are ideal for people looking for peaceful, scenic and healthy lifestyles.

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