Welcome to Tobermory
Bruce Peninsula Tobermory offers visitors fresh, clean air, gorgeous scenery, tranquil waters, and the darkest sky's in southern Ontario. Tobermory is almost surrounded by water - Lake Huron on one side and Georgian Bay on the other. It is a naturalist haven, having 2 national parks - Fathom Five National Marine Park and the Bruce Peninsula National Park - close by.
Tobermory is renown for its natural setting, it is a photographers paradise. There are miles of forest - with tall pines and cedars. The majestic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment carve its way into Tobermory along the Georgian Bay coast - there is nothing more breath-taking than standing on a rock outcropping - towering 200' above the sea green waters of Georgian Bay!
Tobermory boasts the highest concentration of native orchids in North America - take a hike along the trails, and you may be lucky enough to spot a rare Calypso Orchid - or a gorgeous Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid. The cliff faces in the Bruce Peninsula National Park contains some of Eastern North America's oldest living trees - the "cliff dwelling" white cedar. Tobermory is the epicenter of the Unesco Biosphere Designation.
Flowerpot Island is located 6.5 kilometers northwest of Tobermory, and can only be accessed by boat. Flowerpot Island the destination of several of our tour boats.
It is well worth a visit if time allows. Two hours is sufficient for a quick walk around the Island, but three to four hours is required if you want to see it all.
Paid parking has come to Tobermory to help pay for required visitor infrastructure upgrades and development.
- Short term fee is $3 per 2 hours in designated areas within the Village of Tobermory.
- A longterm daily fee of $15 dollars is available in the outer areas of the village.
- Cruise boats have free parking for their clients, check with the various ticket booths for the lots available
- Peacocks Foodland has free short term parking behind the store.
- Leeside restaurant has free parking behind the restaurant.
- Crowsnest has free parking behind the restaurant.
- There is also free parking on the outskirts of town, see the map and legend below.
- IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOWED CONTACT: MIKES TOWING @ 519.596.8100
Parking Info for
The Bruce Peninsula National Park
Grotto parking - Reservations online or by phone The Grotto is a very popular attraction.
Parking space is limited and quickly fills up.
The time slot parking limits help to ensure there is access to enjoy a Grotto experience. Reservations allow you to plan your trip in advance.
Dates: May 10, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. (EST) to October 31, 2019.
You are able to reserve your time slot for Grotto parking beginning May 10, 2019 at 8 a.m. EST – subject to availability.
When Grotto parking is fully booked, there is no more Grotto access at that time.
What are the time slots?
1) 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2) 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
3) 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
4) 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
5) 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
6) 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
How to book: Reserve online at www.reservation.pc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RESERVE.
Note - the reservation service requires that you set up an account. Cost: The fee to park is $11.70 per vehicle plus applicable reservation fee ($6.00 online, $8.50 by phone).
How to get to
Flowerpot Island is 6.5km from Tobermory harbour and reached only by boat. Two private tour boat companies operate return trips from Tobermory to the island from mid-May to mid-October, weather permitting.
Check with them for schedules and rates:
Kayaking or canoeing to the island is recommended for experienced paddlers only.
How long to spend on the island?
- 1.5 Hours: see the flowerpots and cave
- 3 Hours: see the flowerpots, cave & light station
- 4-5 Hours: see the flowerpots, cave, light station, picnic, hike the entire loop trail
- hiking trail (loop)
- picnic shelter
- composting toilets at Beachy Cove (main dock) and the light station
- historic light station maintained by the Friends of Bruce District Parks
What to bring?
- sturdy footwear (hiking shoes or boots)
- sunscreen & hat
- carry water; no tap water is available
- during summer, drinks & snacks may be available at the light station
There are no garbage facilities on the island. Please take back everything you brought with you.
Month by month guide to the Bruce Peninsula
December, January, February & March is winter on the Bruce Peninsula
After the holiday's winter sets in and the ice begins to form along the shoreline of the Bruce Peninsula making for some amazing shoreline vistas. The snow has started to collect on the trails in the national and provincial parks, we truly are a Winter Wonderland.
The Bruce Peninsula is a fantastic place in the winter. Miles of fresh snow awaits hikers, snowshoers, cross country skiers, snowmobilers & ATV riders. There are plenty of accommodations open in winter, as well as a few local restaurants & the Tobermory Brewing Company. Many shops do close for the winter, and our villages are very quiet. Most visitors in winter come up for the quiet of the area. The waters surrounding the Bruce freeze in the winter, and the waves & currents push ice onto the shore - building huge ice mountains that are breath-taking to view and open a new world to explore.
April, May & June is spring on the Bruce Peninsula
The snow is melting and the temperature is climbing as the sun warms the land and the waters of the Bruce Peninsula. The birds are migrating back to their northern home, the wildflowers are breaking ground, spring has arrived. What are - you doing?
As the first wildflowers and ferns reach for the warm sun the Alvars and forests come to life, Trilliums, Lakeside Daisy, Wood lily, and Orchids, Indian Paint Brushes and Columbines are abundant, growing along the sides of roads in huge numbers. Spring is also low season for cottage rentals, most offer 3 day weekends. Access to all we have to offer is great this time of year and spring weather is amazing on the Bruce Peninsula. The trails are clearing of snow and the tour boats are running without the crowds that come with summer vacation. What are you waiting for?
Summer is the season for outdoor adventures.
Summer on the Bruce Peninsula is fun for your entire family and friends, with hiking the Bruce Trail, fishing, camping, boat tours to Flowerpot Island & sunset cruises, sandy beaches for swimming, Helicopter tours, shopping, restaurants, biking, Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and boating around the many islands of Fathom Five National Marine Park. The weather is perfect on the Bruce Peninsula there are fun and challenging events and family festivals during the spring and summer on the Bruce. Come, relax and rejuvenate your soul, get away from work and city life!
Summer - the kids are out of school pack up the family and head north to the Bruce Peninsula we are all about getting outdoors spending time with the family, friends and being close to nature. Summer means hiking, camping, kayaking or canoeing, fishing & diving, boating, ATV riding, biking, beaching, swimming, golfing, really there is no end to what you can do while visiting the Bruce Peninsula - we really do have it all!
September, October, November - fall on the Bruce Peninsula
Septemeber can be the most temperate time on the Bruce, the water is at its warmest, the crowds have gone back to the grind of life, school and home, which means you'll have all the activities we have to offer mostly to yourselves and fall is approaching which is an experience of color unto itself.
September like late spring is warm and quiet, the kids are back in school and the many summer visitors are back to work. This is the time to visit if you can make the escape from the city and work. The weather is beautiful, the water is at its warmest for the year, and fall is just around the corner. October brings a world of color as the foliage begins to change. Hiking the Niagara Escarpments Bruce Trail and one of the boat tours will give you the best vantage points to see the colors of fall against the towering limestone cliffs on the peninsula. The famous Pumpkin Toss & tractor races are also in October and that is a sight to be seen. Thanksgiving in November is time to get the family together one more time before the holidays of December & the snow begins to fall. Winter is near November is the last chance to get everyone out one more time before you need to get the winter gear on.