Tobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula in the municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. It is 300 km northwest of Toronto. The community is known as the “fresh water SCUBA diving capital of the world”, because of the numerous shipwrecks that lie in the surrounding waters, especially in Fathom Five National Park. Tobermory and the surrounding area are popular vacation destinations. People come here for the beaches, the diving, the unspoilt countryside and the relaxed pace of life. The town lies north of the Bruce Peninsula National Park. The best time to visit Tobermory is between May and October since most of the businesses are closed in winter. It’s a great place to enjoy nightlife if you are one of those party people.
It’s a small town, no lavish 5 star hotels are present but small lodges, cottages, and motels are available for your stay. We had an opportunity to visit it in the month of August while visiting a famous beach of Ontario, “Wasaga beach”. Canada offers separate beach areas for dog lovers, Ronnie had so much fun in the water but I noticed, he looked a bit scared at times. We suddenly planned to discover Tobermory that same evening, without any clothes, no arrangement, we decided to turn our wheels towards Tobermory as it seemed so exhilarating.
Some Tip here:- Keep a bag with clothes ready in the car if you’re one of those enthusiastic travelers, along with mat, water bottles and folding chairs.
As we departed Wasaga Beach, it was already 6pm, our navigation displayed it was around 430Kms to Tobermory. We were so thrilled; we were visiting a new magnificent place but didn’t have any knowledge about the area and surroundings. The Sun started disappearing and daylight faded around7:30pm, it began to get dark. The two ways highway didn’t have any street lights; it was completely dark except the bright light coming from the dividers to show us the way. We couldn’t see much traffic going towards our destination, and there was a time when there were no cars on road except ours. We felt isolated in the dead of night.
We reached Tobermory around 10pm and started to look for a place to get some shut-eye. To add to our misery “Visitor Center” was already closed, we stopped by each and every place where we could stay for that night but everything was so full. Receptionist at one of the motels advised us to go back again towards Toronto at least 100Kms off Tobermory since there was nothing else available nearby which we could get.
We were so exhausted after our busy day filled with adventures and was longing for a bed to relax. Since all the motels said, “No Vacancy”, we decided to go back and stay somewhere else to come back again next morning and visit the town. As we left, we suddenly spotted a turn which we didn’t visit before, to check for a motel/lodge/cottage. It was actually a dead end, actually nerve-racking with giant trees surrounding us from all the sides. We stopped our car in the middle of the road to check our navigation and for the next stop. I recall our dog came closer to my son, we were all so frightened. Instead of traveling another 100Kms in that dingy night and spooky roads, we gave it another chance and decided to once again visit the town and see if we’d missed any lodges.
Some Tip here:- Always book your hotel/cottage from 2-3 weeks back in advance when planning to travel to Tobermory as it gets booked pretty fast.
We had a good fortune; another receptionist at a busy motel gave us an address where we could find at least 1 room, we no longer thought about the luxuries of the hotel, we just wanted to sleep over. Could you believe a room that’s sold for 56$ a night on normal days, was sold to us for 165$?? We had no choice, it was 11:30pm, with a pregnant wife, a 7 year old child and a dog, my husband just took the keys and we headed to our room. Luckily a clean and spacious room was waiting for us, we retired for the night.
Some Tip here:- Try to avoid public holidays, the hotels/cottages are expensive and a lot of rush.
Our elation woke us up around 6:30 am in the morning; I needed to eat as I was carrying a baby. The lodge we stayed in didn’t offer any breakfast but there were some cafes which offer breakfast. After having a delightful morning meal, we started to explore the town and discovered a quiet beach across the cottage street. We placed our folding chairs on sand and made some sand castles, it definitely made a young boy so happy.
Crystal clear blue water, brown clean sands and a bright sunny day gave a spectacular sight. Boat rides are the must while you are in Tobermory. While we waited for our boat, I witnessed some young boys jumping from the rocks along with their siblings and dad; I believe the water at the shore was not that deep. They seemed so joyful, seeing that our boy made a wish to try it as well. We couldn’t support him with that as we didn’t carry the necessary stuff for swimming and diving. For me, I have some kind of water phobia, seems like I died in water in my previous birth, lol, it seemed exciting though. Anyways, any which way I couldn’t have tried it during pregnancy.
Some Tip here:-Make the best use of your 2nd Trimester during pregnancy, make a lot of memories with your loved ones before the little one arrives.
We spent our late morning in a beautiful glass bottom boat which took us to show the “shipwrecks” and around the beautiful islands. Flower Island is one of the most famous islands in Bruce Peninsula, dogs are allowed on the boat too. My cutie pie was sitting under my legs, wondering what’s happening and where’s he going?? There’s an option to get down on any of those islands but we didn’t choose it as we wanted to leave early and visit another famous destination” Sauble Beach” on the way home.
Some Tip here:-I’d suggest keeping at least 2 nights to be in Tobermory, you could experience one of the nights in islands and in the wild.
My pregnancy memories will always include a visit to this magnificent destination of Bruce Peninsula and will advise to book earlier when you plan to visit here. This space is so busy and occupied, it’ll be hard to find something if you don’t have booking from before. Our journey was suddenly planned but was surely an adventurous one. I was 5months plus pregnant then with my 2nd boy. This is the time when you can travel and enjoy before the baby arrives.
We were all exhausted by the time we reached home, took this picture on our way back.