Ride the rails, relax and unwind.
When visiting Tottenham, Ontario, you’ll likely get the sense that something is different here. With a mixture of friendly faces, strong roots, and beautiful scenery, the village seems to inspire a relaxed, slower pace of life, inviting one to slow down, enjoy the view and appreciate the simple and most important things that life has to offer.
To those who live in the area, these important things include nature, heritage, and community. A tight-knit and caring group, residents are always ready to lend a hand and support one another, even holding a group hug event dubbed the ‘Totten-hug’ in downtown Tottenham - the heart of the village.
The natural beauty of the outdoors is another important piece of Tottenham’s unique composition. The Tottenham Conservation Area provides residents and visitors with a picturesque getaway and an opportunity to explore and appreciate the great outdoors. Offering camping facilities, fishing, canoeing and nature trails, it’s also home to an abundance of wildlife that includes blue heron, red foxes, groundhogs, and many different species of birds.
Heritage is also important and Tottenham certainly has deep historical roots. Incorporated in 1884, records show that there were settlements in this area as early as the 1800’s.
Railway enthusiasts will be interested to know that much of Tottenham’s history was influenced by trains and railways. In fact, the construction of a railway by the Hamilton and North-Western company through the village was responsible for increasing the population of the area to approximately 700. Not only did the railway create growth in the village, it also helped to encourage industrial growth with the establishment of the foundry and the Coleman Fare-Box Company.
Amalgamating with the Town of Alliston, the Village of Beeton and the Township of Tecumseth in 1991 to form the Town of New Tecumseth, the influence of trains and railways is still evident in modern day Tottenham. In Tottenham is even home to Ontario’s First Steam Heritage Railway, the South Simcoe Railway, a historic tourist attraction offering the opportunity to experience travel in a vintage locomotive. With a guided round trip from Tottenham to Beeton taking approximately one hour, it provides riders with a unique chance to enjoy the beautiful scenic views, as well as learn more about steam trains, the history of the area and the history of the railway.
In addition to the South Simcoe Steam Train, there are also many other ‘not to be missed’ attractions located within the village of Tottenham. Named one of Ontario’s Top Family Festivals, the Tottenham Bluegrass Festival is one such attraction. Held at the Tottenham Conservation Area, it’s a three day festival featuring award-winning bluegrass musical acts. In addition to the soulful sounds of the performers, the festival also includes talent contests, workshops and food and craft vendors.
If you’re feeling a little peckish, Tottenham is also home to many great pubs and restaurants that will surely satiate your hunger. Housed in a beautiful old century home, A Taste of Freedom County Inn and Restaurant is a local treasure, offering a unique, gourmet dining experience in the heart of the village. From lamb shank with red wine and root vegetables to cajun crab cakes, the restaurant is a great place to enjoy a casual dining experience with a unique and delicious French twist.
Ryan’s Rusty Nail Restaurant is another local gem. Offering comfort food in a relaxed, comfortable and friendly atmosphere, it’s well-known for its famous chicken wings. There’s also often a lively crowd and live entertainment featured at this favourite local hangout.
Whether enjoying the historic charm of the downtown, experiencing a ride on a vintage locomotive, or listening to the rustic sounds of a banjo being artfully plucked, you’ll find Tottenham to be a place where you can slow down and relax. Visit today and take a moment to unwind, to experience and to appreciate.