St. Thomas, Ontario, is a charming city with a rich history and several attractions to explore. Here are some of the best places and things to do in St. Thomas:
1. Elgin County Railway Museum
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For train enthusiasts or anyone interested in the history of railways, the Elgin County Railway Museum is a must-visit. The museum showcases a fascinating collection of vintage locomotives and rail cars, offering a glimpse into the region’s railway heritage.
2. Jumbo the Elephant Monument
St. Thomas is famous for its connection to Jumbo the Elephant, a beloved circus animal in the late 1800s. You can visit the Jumbo monument, erected in memory of this iconic elephant, located in the city’s downtown area.
3. Pinafore Park
Pinafore Park is a beautiful green space perfect for picnics, walking, and enjoying the outdoors. The park features walking trails, a splash pad, playgrounds, and sports facilities, making it a great spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Canada Southern Railway Station
This historic train station, built in the late 1800s, now serves as a community center and museum. The beautifully restored building is worth a visit to learn more about the city’s past and its importance as a railway hub.
5. Horton Farmers’ Market
For a taste of local produce and artisanal goods, head to the Horton Farmers’ Market. This market is open year-round and offers a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, crafts, and more.
6. Railway City Brewing Company
Beer aficionados should visit the Railway City Brewing Company, a local brewery that produces a range of craft beers. Take a tour, sample some brews, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
7. Art Galleries
St. Thomas boasts several art galleries featuring the works of local and regional artists. Explore the artistic talents of the area by visiting places like the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre and other local galleries.
8. Explore the Downtown
St. Thomas’ downtown area has many charming shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets to experience the city’s unique character and architecture.
9. Horton Street’s Murals
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St. Thomas is known for its impressive collection of outdoor murals that adorn various buildings around the city. Take a stroll along Horton Street to admire these captivating artworks that depict the city’s history and culture.
10. St. Thomas Dragway
Motorsport enthusiasts will appreciate the St. Thomas Dragway, where you can witness thrilling drag races and car events. Check their schedule for upcoming races and enjoy an adrenaline-pumping day at the track.
11. Southwestern Ontario Bird Observatory
Nature lovers and birdwatchers should visit the Southwestern Ontario Bird Observatory, located within the vicinity of St. Thomas. This bird sanctuary is a perfect spot for observing migratory birds and learning about local avian species.
12. Participate in Local Events
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Throughout the year, St. Thomas hosts various events and festivals that showcase the city’s vibrant community spirit. Keep an eye on the local event calendar to join in on seasonal celebrations, arts and crafts fairs, and cultural festivals.
13. Visit Nearby Attractions
St. Thomas is conveniently located near other interesting destinations in Ontario. Consider taking short day trips to nearby locations such as Port Stanley, a charming lakeside town known for its sandy beaches, boutique shops, and art galleries.
14. Great Lakes Farms
During the apple-picking season (typically in the fall), a visit to Great Lakes Farms is highly recommended. This family-owned farm offers apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, and a delightful country store selling fresh produce and homemade treats.
15. Quai Du Vin Estate Winery
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Just a short drive from St. Thomas, you can explore the Quai Du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County. Enjoy wine tastings, learn about the winemaking process, and bask in the picturesque vineyard setting.
16. St. Thomas Elevated Park
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One of the newer attractions in the city is the Elevated Park, which was created on a former railway bridge. This elevated green space offers stunning views of the surrounding area and provides a unique and scenic spot for walking, jogging, or simply relaxing.
17. Centennial Sports Club Arena
If you’re a hockey fan or enjoy ice-skating, head to the Centennial Sports Club Arena. You can catch local hockey games or public skating sessions depending on the schedule.
18. St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
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The city’s public art center is a great place to explore local and regional artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and other artistic expressions. They often host rotating exhibitions and educational programs.
19. Explore Historic Sites
St. Thomas has a rich history, and there are several historic sites to discover. Consider visiting the Elgin Military Museum, which exhibits artifacts and memorabilia related to military history, or the Moore Water Gardens, a site with historic significance and beautifully maintained gardens.
20. St. Thomas Public Library
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If you’re looking for a quiet spot to read or want to catch up on some local history, visit the St. Thomas Public Library. It’s a serene place to spend some time and explore a wide range of books and resources.
21. Local Eateries
St. Thomas has a diverse culinary scene, with various restaurants and eateries offering a mix of international cuisines and traditional Canadian dishes. Don’t miss the chance to try some local specialties or enjoy a meal at one of the cozy cafes.
22. Attend Performing Arts Events
Keep an eye on the local events calendar for performances by local theater groups, concerts, or other cultural events happening in St. Thomas. Supporting the local arts scene can be a rewarding experience.
23. Paddle the Thames River
The Thames River flows through St. Thomas, offering opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding. Enjoy a peaceful day on the water and take in the picturesque landscapes along the riverbanks.
24. Attend Festivals and Events
St. Thomas hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Keep an eye on the local event calendar for occasions like the Iron Horse Festival, which celebrates the city’s railway heritage with live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities.
25. Explore Dalewood Conservation Area
Just a short drive from St. Thomas, the Dalewood Conservation Area offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying nature. The park features scenic trails, a lake, and peaceful picnic spots.
26. St. Thomas Dog Park
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If you’re traveling with a furry friend, head to the St. Thomas Dog Park. This off-leash park provides a safe and fun environment for dogs to socialize and play.
27. Play a Round of Golf
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at the numerous golf courses in and around St. Thomas. Courses like the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club offer challenging layouts and beautiful green surroundings.
28. Antique Shopping
St. Thomas is known for its antique shops and flea markets. Spend some time exploring these unique stores and find hidden treasures, vintage collectibles, and charming decor pieces.
29. Elgin County Wine Route
Embark on a delightful wine-tasting journey through the Elgin County Wine Route, which includes several local wineries. Savor locally-produced wines and experience the beauty of the countryside.
30. Try Fishing
If you enjoy fishing, there are several spots along the Thames River and nearby lakes where you can cast your line and try your luck at catching various fish species.
Join the global treasure hunt by trying geocaching in St. Thomas. Geocaching involves using GPS coordinates to locate hidden containers (geocaches) outdoors, adding a fun and adventurous element to your exploration of the city.
32. St. Thomas Elevated Park Sunset Viewing
The Elevated Park offers a spectacular spot to watch the sunset over the city. Grab your camera and capture the breathtaking views of the sky as it paints the landscape with vibrant colors.
33. Visit the Elgin County Pioneer Museum
Located nearby in the town of Aylmer, the Elgin County Pioneer Museum showcases the history and heritage of the region through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.
34. Attend a Live Performance
Image Source: https://www.saintthomaschurch.org/music/concerts/
Check out the schedule for live performances at the Princess Avenue Playhouse or other local venues. From theater to live music, there’s often something entertaining happening in St. Thomas.
Places and Things To Do