This post guides you through Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, and the fun things you should do while visiting this city.
Woodstock is the seat of Oxford County and is situated near the mouth of the Thames River. It is a small city in southwestern Ontario, Canada, with only 40,902 people.
In 1834, the British admiral Henry Vansittart came to the town and named it in honour of his education, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
With a population of 2,112, Woodstock became the seat of Oxford County in 1839 and was formally named a town in 1851.
The majority of the structures date back more than a century. Fanshawe College has a campus in Woodstock.
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, also refers to itself as “The Friendly City.”
Though small, Woodstock has everything from quality food to entertainment.
known as the “Dairy Capital of Canada.” The Dairy Capital Run, Stampede, Cowapolooza, and the Dairy Capital Cheese Fest are all held in Woodstock, MN.
The city of Woodstock Ontario, which serves as the political and social hub of Oxford County, is home to opulent residences, revered churches, lovely tree-lined streets, and a thriving neighbourhood. As you explore, have fun, shop, and take a vacation from work, take in the historic Woodstock.
Woodstock’s summer festivals contribute to its travel and tourist sector. The majority of the attendees at the three-day Woodstock music festival were young folks embracing the hippie lifestyle. At the time of the event, a lot of young people were actively opposed to the divisive Vietnam War and wanted to preach the word of peace and love.
If you are planning a visit, here are some fun and relaxing things you can do in Woodstock, Ontario.
1. Southside Park
Fun Things to Do in Southside Park
Southside Park is a fantastic area to relax or read while sitting by the lake. The park is ideal for families who want to picnic with their children because there is plenty of space to run around and play.
A volleyball court, a skate park, three baseball diamonds, a soccer field, a gazebo, two covered pavilions, three playgrounds, and a splash pad are available in Southside Park.
Recreational Activities Area
A saucer swing, swing set, and toddler swing set are located near the Tip O’Neil baseball diamond, while a sandbox, a rope climbing structure, two play structures, and a rock-climbing structure are located near the Sea Cadet Hall.
The Southside Aquatic Centre’s boundary is the last playground, a play structure, and saucer swings.
2. Upper Thames Brewing Company
The Upper Thames Brewing Company is Oxford County’s first and only brewery, and it’s known for its great craft beer, live music, and charcuterie platter.
The brewery won the “Best Ale” category at the 2019 Forks and Barrels Tour and a bronze in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout category at the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards.
They make their beer with high-quality, locally obtained ingredients.
Some must-haves and popular drinks from the Upper Thames Brewing Company include:
- Backpaddle Blonde Ale
- Ontario Pale Ale
- India Pale Ale
- Brown Ale
You can keep up with their latest releases and people’s reviews of the place through their Facebook page. They post some cool content.
3. Pittock Conservation Area
The Upper Thames River watershed’s Pittock Conservation Area is a multi-use conservation area.
Fun Things to Do in Pittock Conservation Area
If anyone is interested in renting a canoe or kayak, casting a line, or taking a ride in the boat, Pittock Conservation Area in Woodstock, Ontario got you covered. It also gives you options to visit the playground and splash pad or play a round of disc golf.
Fishing, boating, camping, swimming, hiking, picnics, mountain biking, and bird watching are popular activities on the 2,000-acre natural playground.
For more information, you can visit their website.
4. Woodstock Museum National Historic Site
Experience the historic 1879 Council Chambers and the Victorian architecture of the 1889 Grand Hall at the nationally designated Old Town Hall.
The structure, which was built in 1853 as the Woodstock Town Hall and Market House, was entirely restored in 1993-1995 and now houses a variety of events and services.
Why visit the Woodstock Museum?
The Woodstock Museum is a great place to study the history of the place.
You can take a tour of the galleries that depict Woodstock’s history from the 1790s to the present day.
The earliest municipal structure, the Town Hall, served as a venue for council meetings, an early farmers’ market, and a public gathering hall. The town hall in Woodstock served as the inspiration for Antoine Grobl’s design. It has also functioned as a police station, a fire hall, and a museum for many years.
5. Woodstock Art Gallery
The Woodstock Art Gallery honours artwork created by local, regional, and national artists.
About The Woodstock Art Gallery
The first floor houses work by Florence Carlyle and her contemporaries and historical items from the renowned Florence Carlyle Collection.
The Main Gallery and second-floor Community Gallery present touring and guest-curated shows throughout the year, showcasing emerging and recognized artists.
Works by local, regional, and national artists are shown in the Gallery’s permanent collection, with a special emphasis on the creations of Woodstock artist Florence Carlyle. For the residents of Woodstock and Oxford County, the gallery is devoted to the presentation and interpretation of work that has local, regional, national, and international relevance.
The historic John White Building houses the Woodstock Art Gallery on three levels in the centre of Woodstock, directly across from Museum Square.
What does it Offer?
The WAG has the largest municipal public gallery in Oxford County and houses a permanent collection of more than 1,900 pieces. The Woodstock Art Gallery offers volunteer opportunities, membership perks, facility rentals, and running seminars, workshops, and programs for adults, teenagers, and kids.
The Gallery’s gift shop offers distinctive goods created by regional makers. Free parking is available nearby, and the WAG is completely accessible.
The Upper Canada Treaties apply to the Woodstock Art Gallery since it is located on Indigenous Peoples’ traditional lands. We respect the legacy of the native land on which the Woodstock Art Gallery is located.
They honour the long-standing ties between the Haudenosaunee, Lenape, and Anishinaabek Indigenous peoples of this territory in southwest Ontario.
The Woodstock Art Gallery offers volunteer opportunities, membership perks, and facility rentals to adults, teens, and children, as well as adult, teen, and children’s classes, workshops, and activities.
6. Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese
A small artisan cheese factory called Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese is located in Oxford County, Ontario, and will always be among the gently sloping hills of Gunn’s Hill Road.
They are a specialty cheese producer with deep roots in Oxford County.
Their cheese is unlike anything else on the market. Shep Ysselstein, the cheesemaker, has taken the time to grasp the subtleties of high-quality cheese production.
What makes Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese special?
He has received thorough training in various cheese-making activities and has spent time in the world’s most prominent cheese-making nation, Switzerland, honing his skills.
Although Shep learned how to make cheese in the Swiss Alps village of Handeck, the cheeses made at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese are absolutely distinctive, and you can taste the Swiss influence. A team of employees and two full-time cheesemakers are working hard to create some of Canada’s best award-winning cheeses.
Only a short drive from downtown Woodstock, the cheese factory is situated in the centre of Canada’s dairy region. The cheeses are made with milk that is produced by the nearby Friesvale Farms family dairy farm, which is known for producing the best milk in Canada.
Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese has a distinct Swiss flavour that sets it apart from other cheeses created in the area. Can you wait until you give it a shot?
7. One-of-a-kind-Antique Mall
At One-of-a-Kind Antique Mall in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, more than 500 booths provide a wonderful assortment of antiques, collectibles, top-quality furniture, toys, old electronics, paintings, and more.
This mall is built over three-story with over 80,000 square feet of shopping area and is conveniently located near the 401 in Woodstock and most major communities in Southwestern Ontario, Toronto.
The mall is the biggest of the many antique malls in southern Ontario, Canada.
Exclusive Items to find here:
- Numerous souvenirs
- Vintage goods
- Genuine antiques
- Handmade art
- A billion or so teacups
- Definitely more of a “dig for deal” type of experience
- Artisan soap
- Upcycled goods
- Treasures at a reasonable price
While it’s entertaining to poke around, some booths are so jam-packed with clutter that entering them might actually be dangerous. Some vendors are more specialized and have seasonal themes. Additionally, there were booths for selling records, comics, etc. Everyone can find something to match their style and taste.
8. Springbank Snow Countess Monument
This popular monument is for anyone looking for a little history and a roadside photo opportunity for their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
What is The Springbank Snow Countess monument?
The Springbank Snow Countess monument is a life-size statue of a famous Holstein-Friesian cow who set the world record for butterfat production in 1933 and held it for the next 21 years.
In 1937, the figure was unveiled. You can find more information about Springbank public school.
What is it Known For?
The original location of the Snow Countess’ residence, Springbank Farm, which was well-known for its cow breeding programme, now has a statue honouring her. The Holstein milking cow, which was and still is for many in the Woodstock-Oxford County area, is immortalized as Woodstock’s iconic cow, illuminating their legacy.
The cow, Snow Princess, was portrayed as among the best butter producers. It can be challenging to understand what it is all about because it is located at the intersection of two busy streets with little parking. It’s situated on a memorial plot that had belonged to the farm where the cow used to reside.
It was a record-breaking cow’s first-ever permanent memorial in Canada. The statue continues to represent the vital agricultural interests of Oxford County and Woodstock.
9. Old St. Paul’s Church
The Old St. Paul’s Church is considered one of the historic buildings in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.
The red-brick church, built in 1834, was designed with features of the Gothic and Classical architectural styles.
Why visit the Old St. Paul’s Church?
Concerning its construction and architecture, Old St. Paul’s is an early example of Gothic Revival church architecture in Woodstock.
All of the facades have a mix of lancet and pointed-arch windows. The lancet windows and dichromatic brickwork are Gothic elements. Vernacular brick hoods cover the window and door apertures.
Old St. Paul’s Church has gotten significant recognition in all of Canada.
- A hexagonal cupola with louvred
- The interior’s remaining box pews
- The stained-glass window
- pointed-arch apertures adorns the tower
The sanctuary is surrounded by:
- crown moulding
- hardwood floors
10. Woodstock’s Farmers’ Market
Are you the least bit health conscious? This farmer’s market is the go-to place to shop for fresh, high-quality products.
The first farmers’ market in Woodstock was hosted at the Old Town Hall. The market was moved from downtown to the Woodstock Fairgrounds in 1993.
The market, which is in its 40th year, is situated on Historic Woodstock Square, a site recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2007 as a distinctive attraction and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
What does it Offer?
Fruits and vegetables that are seasonal, organic, and homegrown are available. Delicious baked items, sweet honey, soft natural beef, pig, chicken, eggs, and tasty cheeses are all available.
Along with all of these delicious treats to tickle your taste buds, you can also find knife sharpening, woollen goods, fleece, lovely soaps, and other crafts.
In addition, there are lovely perennials, bedding, heritage, and decorative plants, hanging baskets, and fresh-cut flowers.
Other fun things to do in Woodstock’s Farmers’ Market
After buying at the market, explore the many interesting stores and top-notch eateries positioned nearby. Come visit the Farmers Market in Woodstock since there are so many unique and fascinating things to see and do there.
The Woodstock Farmer’s Market is currently administered by the Woodstock Agricultural Society and has fresh local vegetables, honey, bakeries, butchers, maple syrup, fish and shellfish, dairy and cheese sellers, chocolates, artisans, and florists.
11. Woodstock Public Library
The public library in Woodstock, Ontario, is a huge place for book lovers.
Thousands of Woodstock residents are members of this library.
If you are an avid reader, this is the perfect place to spend your weekends.
This library opens its door for getting all the knowledge you desire. The library’s mission is to celebrate the rich history of the colony of the arts of Woodstock.
People have free access to all the information available in this library in the form of printable books.
12. Church of Epiphany
The 1880s saw the construction of Epiphany, which was once known as New St. Paul’s. A church in the heart of the city still maintains a lot of its original slate roofing, a set of functional bells, and a gorgeously restored rose window. The majority of services have an organist and chorus.
Activities to do in the Chursh of Epiphany
The church is active, hosting an active ACW, several youth and children’s programmes, weekly Bible study groups, monthly breakfasts with speakers, numerous yearly church suppers and fund-raising bazaars, concerts, as well as a number of self-help groups and outreach initiatives.
A small, welcoming community, stunning stained-glass windows, and a rather typical building.
The Church of Epiphany in Woodstock, Ontario, resides downtown and maintains much of its slate roofing, a working set of bells, and a wonderfully restored rose window.
These were all the fun and educational things you could do and visit at Woodstock. Visiting Woodstock, Ontario, will always be a memorable trip.
Take as many pictures and videos as possible because every site is worth that. You can visit Woodstock, Ontario, in the middle of the year in months like September, October, or November; the weather is very comfortable then.
Before you go, here are a few suggested reads:
- Top 6 Best Things To Do In New Brunswick Canada
- Your Best Guide to Waterton Lakes in Canada – 7 Fun Things To Do
- Kingston Ontario: 14 Amazing Things To Do Out There
List of Historic Buildings in Woodstock, Ontario, one can visit.
- The Old Town Hall, now known as the Woodstock museum: Built-in 1853
- The Woodstock Market Building: Built-in 1895
- The Woodstock Jail/Gaol: The old jail was erected in 1854 in the Italianate style by Hamilton architects Clark and Murray, with several arches and an octagonal 2+12-story tower.
- Perry Street fire hall: Since 1989, the outdated fire hall on Perry Street was replaced since Woodstock had outgrown it. The existing front windows of this former office were once the fire hall doors and it used as storage for two horse-drawn carts. The tower bell, which rang in response to fires, kidnappings, and curfew, is now located next to City Hall.
- Woodstock Public Library: Since 1909
- Oxford County Court House: Since 1892
- Woodstock City Hall or the Old Post Office: During Alexander McClenaghan’s presidency, the current City Hall was established as a post office in 1901. It was converted to municipal offices for when upcoming municipal election after being built of warm sandstone with artistic trim in the gables and a prominent corner tower with four clocks.
- It has a square tower with intricate brickwork at the top and a tiny tower to the right, built-in 1899. The tower bell used to sound for fires, curfews, and kidnappings are displayed at Southside Park in Woodstock, Ontario.
- Woodstock Armoury: Since 1904
- In the early twentieth century, Paulo’s Fountain: Andrew Pattulo, the Woodstock Sentinel Review newspaper founder, was honoured with a fountain in 1916.
- Captain Andrew drew house: Admiral Henry VanSittart, the man who founded Woodstock, sent Capt. Drew to this area in 1832 to act as his representative, and he built this home. He commanded the Canadian troops that overpowered the American steamboat “Caroline” during the American Rebellion of 1837–1838.
- Standing tall since 1876: The Old Registry Building.
- The original town council chamber: The Town Hall was the first public structure in Woodstock. The development of this structure since 1853 has been a reflection of the municipality’s shifting duties and authority. Over the years, it has functioned as the town’s first market, public assembly hall, fire hall, police lock-up, permanent council meeting location, municipal offices, and mayor’s office.
- In 1880, the Oxford Hotel was built.
- Hawkin’s Chapel was built in 1888 due to a push to build a church for black people. It was closed when the church was sold for a house in 1985.
- “House of the Valley”: It was erected in 1819 by Dr. Perry, the first doctor and teacher in Woodstock, Ontario, and is the oldest residence in the town.
Pro Tip: Highway 401 runs along the southern edge of the city, Find the detour routes, bus stop closures and temporary bus stop locations on the city’s website.
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