Tobermory is a small community in Southwestern Ontario at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula on Georgian Bay. It is the northern terminus point of the Bruce Trail and a popular diving destination.
Tobermory is a beautiful small harbour town among some of the best hiking and freshwater diving spots around. There are beautiful forests with miles of trails. In the summer time, this small town is buzzing with people everyday, and the nearby national parks offer breathtaking scenic views and are popular swimming areas.
The community was named after Tobermory, the capital of the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.
The temperature in Tobermory is typically a few degrees colder than in Toronto.
Tobermory is a summer spot: shops are generally open from May until the mid-October, and are closed for the rest of the year.
From the south, Tobermory can be reached using Highway 6, which goes all the way up Bruce Peninsula from Owen Sound. From the North, you can reach Tobermory by going on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.
- Chi-Cheemaun ferry, ☏ . From early May to mid-October, the ferry makes round trips each day between Tobermory and the South Baymouth terminal on Manitoulin Island. The trip is about 2 hours. Reservations are recommended if vehicle transport is required. Vehicle fares (each way: cars $28-39, motorcycles $18.50-24.50, bicycles $7 Return trip: adults $38, children 5-11 $14, seniors $23.25.
There are two airports nearby, neither had scheduled flights::
- Tobermoryirport, +1 519 596-2430.
- Wiarton/Keppel District Airport, #501262 Grey Rd. 1, +1 519-534-0140.
The nearest taxi is 1hr 20min away in Owen Sound, so you'd better have your own transportation.
Tobermory is perhaps best known as the northern terminal point of the Bruce Trail, a 845-km long hiking trail along the Niagara Escarpment (the other terminus point is in Queenston, in Niagara Falls, Ontario). [The Peninsula Bruce Trail Club http://www.pbtc.ca] offers group hikes around the Peninsula, from easy 2-hour walks to strenuous hikes.
Bruce Peninsula National Park, +1 519-596-2233. Guided hikes are offered in July and August.
Fathom Five National Marine Park. Divers must register with the Park Visitor Centre prior to diving.
Blue Heron, 24 Carlton Street, +1 519-596-2999. Glass-bottom boat tours to Fathom Five Marine Park and Flowerpot Island, and a sunset cruise along the north coast of the Bruce Peninsula.
The Chi-Cheemaun ferry offers sunset dinner cruises on Georgian Bay from early May to mid–October, usually on Friday nights, and on M W Th and Sa nights from mid-June to the end of August. Check website for times. $52.50 per adult and $44 per child, round-trip.
Tobermory is considered to be a scuba diving haven, and there are two excellent dive shops in town.
- 1 Diver's Den, 3 Bay Street South, ☏ . Offers dive trips usually twice per day, departing in the morning and the afternoon. They include two dives from their dive boats, which are well stocked and large enough to suit up even when full. Booking your spots is recommended on weekends during the summer, and the staff is very friendly.
G+S Watersports offers dive trips, and generally the two shops go to the same locations.
Finally, there are a few shore dives that can be done. The Tugs is a series of 4 tugboats in shallow water, and The Lighthouse is an interesting wall dive with geological features to look at.
- Peacocks Foodland, 9 Bay St, ☏ . Daily 8AM-8PM. Groceries.
- 1 The Fish & Chip Place, 24 Bay Street S., ☏ . $14.
- 2 Crowsnest Pub, 5 Bay Street, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 11AM-10PM daily (high season, until mid-Oct). Burgers and other pub food. $12.
- 3 The Tobermory Brewing Co & Grill, 28 Bay Street South, ☏ . noon-11PM. Restaurant and microbrewery. $20 entrees.
- Leeside Restaurant, 3 Eliza Street (across from the Chi Cheemaun Ferry Terminal), ☏ . Spring, autumn 7AM-8PM; summer 5AM-9PM. A great view of the entrance to Little Tub Harbour and the Chi Cheemaun dockings. In summer, they open 2 hours before the first ferry departure. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains $17-18.
- 4 Shipwreck Lee's Pirate Bistro, 2 Bay Street, ☏ . 11AM–8:30PM. Moderately priced patio restaurant with a wide assortment of fish and chip dishes made with fish straight from the lake. Expect friendly staff and phenomenal dishes. anywhere between $20 to $30 for two people.
- Private waterfront cottages at Tobermory Private Cottage Rentals
- Bruce Anchor Motel, 7468 Highway #6, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean and modern, there are 16 standard motel units, 12 waterview motel units, and 8 luxury units. Each unit has a balcony or terrace. Most rooms are furnished with two beds. The two-bedroom luxury suite, has a fully equipped kitchen, dining room table, living room and one full-size bathroom can easily accommodate up to six adults. Most rooms have mini fridges. A pavilion behind the motel has microwaves, toasters, kettles, bbqs, and picnic tables. Pets and smoking are not allowed in the motel units. Summer only, Wi-fi free, wheelchair accesible rooms, air conditioning, coffee/tea in rooms. Jul-Aug: rooms from $182, cottages from $400; shoulder season $108/$205.
- 1 Cyprus Lake Campground, 469 Cyprus Lake Road (about 10 minutes by car from Tobermory). Offers trails to the shores of Georgian Bay. The campsites can be booked online. Reservations are a great idea on long weekends, and the campground can get pretty crowded. But this campground offers an easy walk to points of interest such as the Grotto, a rock cavern on the shores of Georgian Bay.
- Big Tub Harbour Resort, 236 Big Tub Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Family-owned and -operated resort with large waterfront motel units overlooking Big Tub Harbour, large non-waterfront units with air conditioning, smaller waterfront units with air conditioning, on-site dining at Bootlegger’s Cove Pub, personal watercraft rentals. Jul-Aug from $167, off-season from $96.
- Blue Bay Motel, 32 Bay Street, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Close to the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry in the village. You can walk to restaurants, dive shops, tour boats, ferry docks and the head of the Bruce Trail in minutes. Summer only,, Wi-fi available, wheelchair accesible rooms, accessibility equipped bathrooms, coffee/tea in rooms, refrigerator in room. Jul-Aug from $202, shoulder season from $136.