Hidden Gems Canada: Dundas, Ontario

Dundas, Ontario is a nature-lover's dream, strewn with hiking and biking trails and spectacular waterfalls. An easy day trip from Toronto or Niagara Falls, Dundas is a true hidden gem in Ontario, Canada.

What we love

  • Stunning natural beauty
  • Hiking trails
  • Quaint downtown with independent shops
  • Awesome summer farmers’ market
  • Vegan-friendly!

Best for

Nature lovers
Couples
Families
Retirees

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by Lauren of Justin Plus Lauren

I might be a bit biased, but Dundas is my favourite place in the world. Even though I no longer live there, I still think of Dundas as home and constantly return to visit friends. Even though I cherish many special memories from my times in Dundas and adore my friends, there are so many other reasons why I’m stopping by my hometown.

Dundas isn’t only a place to be enjoyed by locals.

Dundas is an underrated destination that can be easily visited by anyone traveling to other popular cities in the area, such as Toronto or Niagara Falls. Whether it’s for the beautiful natural spots, the summer farmers’ market, the cute downtown shops, or the numerous local festivals, Dundas has plenty to offer its visitors.

What’s So Great About It?

Dundas is a paradise for those who adore nature.

If you love waterfalls, you’ll want to visit Dundas. Both Webster’s Falls and Tew’s Falls are spectacular and easy to access along the local hiking trails. Tew’s Falls is actually only a few meters shorter than Niagara Falls! Along the trails, you’ll catch glimpses of the stunning gorge and an outlook point that we call “The Peak” where you can enjoy views from the top of the escarpment overlooking the entire town.

justin plus lauren, the peak, dundas ontario, hidden gems canada

Lauren and Justin at The Peak in Dundas, Ontario.

Other great trails can be found at the Dundas Valley Conservation Area where you can hike or bike. This is particularly enjoyable during the fall when leaves begin to change to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. If you’re going for a longer hike in Ontario, Dundas is located along the Bruce Trail, a hiking trail that runs for 800 km across the province.

Once you’ve finished hiking, take your thirst and hunger to the downtown core along King Street.

dundas ontario, hidden gems canada

The charming downtown in Dundas, Ontario.

Some of my favourite spots are Detour Coffee, an independently-owned cafe where you’ll find delicious brewed coffee that they roast themselves. B.Love Conscious Eatery is a vegan, organic, gluten-free, and raw food establishment with yummy meals and delectable desserts. Be sure to try their Thai Noodle Bowl while you’re there (and don’t forget to try some chocolate treats for dessert!). Finally, if you’re looking to enjoy a drink on a patio, check out a favourite in town: the Collins Brewhouse, around since 1841.

Dundas has an annual festival each year called the Cactus Festival, during the third weekend in August. There used to be a prominent cactus grower in Dundas which is how Dundas became known as the “Cactus Capital of Canada”. During the festival, the main road in town is shut down to traffic and there is a giant street party, complete with live music, vendors, buskers, and even a midway. It’s definitely worth checking out!

If you want to see Dundas in action, you can check out a short video that Justin and I made about my love for my hometown.

How to Get There

Dundas is about halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls, an easy day trip from either one. Just search Dundas, Ontario on Google Maps for exact directions! If arriving from Toronto, take the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway going southbound. If traveling from Niagara Falls, take the QEW towards the north.

Recommended by Lauren of Justin Plus Lauren

justin plus lauren, detour coffee, dundas ontario, hidden gems canadaLauren is one-half of Justin Plus Lauren, a travel blog that she writes with her boyfriend, Justin. These two Canadians are part-time travellers who are slowly travelling all over the world. Lauren is passionate about veganism and seeks plant-based meals wherever she goes. She adores nature, animals, outdoor adventures, coffee, and her cat, Chickpea. Find out how to get the most out of Niagara Falls in the winter on their blog.

4 comments

  1. Comment by Dion Lochrie

    Dion Lochrie Reply December 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Wow! I am filled so much emotion. I spent a part of my childhood in Dundas. I am now a 70 yr old woman and went to grade school there. My parents built a beautiful home and saw that home featured on another site. I am frustrated as I’m having trouble contacting company that featured house. I have pictures the present owner may like. The house was built by Ray and Audrey Coffey and my name is Dianne. The house is above Webster’s Falls not many houses along the dirt road to the house at the end of the road.I can’t even imagine how what I remember has changed.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane December 19, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Hi Dianne,
      Thanks so much for commenting and I’m so glad this post helped you take a trip back to your childhood! I did a search for the house but couldn’t find anything online. I hope you manage to find the information you’re looking for.

      All the best, J

  2. Comment by Tourism Hamilton

    Tourism Hamilton Reply June 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for the great post on Dundas. Glad you enjoyed your hometown visit. We’ll be sure to share widely on our channels. Congrats on a great site. Happy trails!

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen June 24, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Tourism Hamilton (and therefore Tourism Dundas!). We appreciate your help in sharing the post, and hope it gets more people to come explore your city. Cheers! -S.

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