The Most Magical Christmas Town-Almonte, Ontario

Things to do in Almonte, Ontario—the perfect Hallmark Christmas town!

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Year Visited: 2023

Time of Year: December

The Quintessential Christmas Town

Browsing through Pinterest, I randomly came across an article about all the magical Christmas towns in Ontario, Canada (a place that’s not too far from home!). I also discovered that they film A LOT of Christmas and holiday movies in Canada. I mean A LOT.

Apparently Canada has less taxes and restrictions and rules and all that about filming movies (Yay Canada!), so most (not all, but most!) of those cheesy Hallmark, Netflix, etc. Christmas movies that I love are filmed in Canada.

And the majority of those are filmed in a small town close to Ottawa called Almonte.

When I found out that Almonte, Ontario was (unofficially) the Christmas movie filming capital of the world, AND it was under a 7 hour drive away… well, naturally I planned a trip to visit this Christmas town in Canada!


About Almonte, Ontario

Almonte, Ontario is a small town of about 6,000 people, just a 40 minute drive west of Ottawa. It is thought to be named after the Mexican general Juan N. Almonte in 1855, and is pronounced “Al-Mont.”

The town was established around the water source of the Mississippi River (not that Mississippi River), where several textile mills were set up. The town was one of Ontario’s leading woolen cloth manufacturing centers in the late 1800’s.

Today, the charming small town of Almonte is featured as a Christmas town setting in many holiday movies, on networks including Hallmark, Lifetime, Netflix, and Great American Family.

Weather in Almonte

Almonte is in Canada, which means it can get cold and snowy! It’s a northeastern climate, with the warmest weather usually being in July and the coldest in January.

When we visited Almonte at Christmastime, the weather was mild, and it was not too cold to be outside and wander around the town square. But the next day it snowed and was very cold!

Here are some of the average temperatures to expect in Almonte, ON:

  • July- 79F (26C).

  • January- 21F (-6C)

  • December(Christmastime)- 30F (-1C).

There was no snow when we were there at the beginning of December, but there was snow the next day.

Where to Park in Almonte

It can be hard to find a parking spot in downtown Almonte, especially during the Christmas season.

There is free street parking available along Mill Street, but get there early to get a spot. You can also find free street parking by the town hall, but you can only park for an hour.

Eventually we found a parking lot with free public parking spaces available. Pay attention to any posted signs, because a lot of Almonte parking lots have reserved spots for people who live in the downtown apartments. The parking lot we used is right next to the Almonte Dental Centre.

There is also a parking lot (and public bathrooms!) available at the Metcalf Geoheritage park.

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum has their own parking lot.

Best Time of Year to Visit Almonte

Like the outfit? Hat and boots from Amazon, sweater from Maurices, coat from Macy’s.


Christmastime is definitely the best time of year to visit this magical little Christmas town in Canada! Especially if you are a Hallmark fan and are coming to feel like you are starring in your very own Hallmark movie (I cannot guarantee you will run into any secret princes in disguise from a country no one’s ever heard of though).

What I can guarantee is that you will find lots of holiday magic in this little town! When we visited they were playing a town-wide “elf on the shelf” game. We had a card with all the participating stores and cafes, and had to find the hidden elf on the shelf in each one!

They were also hosting a Christmas tree lighting festival, complete with fireworks that evening! It doesn’t get any more Hallmark than that! Plus, Christmastime is the best time to visit the nearby Christmas tree farm.


If snow and cold are not your thing, then consider visiting Almonte is summertime. The weather will be beautiful, and you can enjoy more of the outdoor activities in the area, like exploring the Mill of Kintail, or walking along the river walk.


If you want better weather, but you still want to do some of the iconic Hallmark activities, like visiting the Christmas tree farm (although at this time of year, it’s a pumpkin patch!), then October would be your best time to visit Almonte.

In addition to the milder fall weather, you should have beautiful foliage, which will make a great backdrop to the charming small town.

Things to Do in Almonte, Ontario

There are a lot of things to do in Almonte, Ontario and in the surrounding areas, especially at Christmas time!

Go Shopping on Mill Street

Mill Street is the main street that runs through the center of this small Christmas town. There are plenty of shops (and restaurants) to wander in and out of and pretend you are in a Hallmark Christmas movie (or hunt for elves!).

There are lots of gift shops and clothing stores, a children’s store, a bookstore, and so much more!

See the James Naismith Statue

Who is James Naismith???

Well, perhaps the basket and the… volleyball? will give it away.

He is, as it turns out, the inventor of basketball! And he is from the little tiny town of Almonte! He is proudly immortalized as a statue in the town square, complete with a modern basketball hoop to really complete the look.

It’s a fun spot to learn a little about the history of the sport and grab a selfie, especially at Christmastime when the square (and the statue) is decorated for Christmas!

Walk Along the River

This is not necessarily one of the best things to do in Almonte in the winter… but it’s still beautiful no matter what season it is.

Since the town was built up around the river, the river runs right through the downtown area. You can walk all along the river and see the many little waterfalls along the way. You can also read the historical plaques and imagine what life was like in this small town when the textile mills ruled the day.

One of many waterfall overlook points in Almonte.

Get Hot Chocolate at Baker Bob’s

Baker Bob’s is an Almonte institution (and a well-known Hallmark filming location). You can go inside and browse their rows of candy and freshly baked cookies, or go up to the counter to order a pie, a sausage roll, or maybe some hot choccy!

What better way to spend your time in this Hallmark Christmas town than to warm up with a local hot chocolate while you browse around the local shops for that perfect Christmas gift?

Hang Out in the Gazebo

No small Christmas town would be complete with a little gazebo in the town square. Situated right along the riverwalk, it’s the perfect spot to bring your hot chocolate and just relax for a while, enjoying the view, and the small town vibes.

Almonte Old Town Hall

The Almonte Old Town Hall is the most recognizable landmark in the whole town. Not only is it a popular filming (and photography) location, they also host events inside.

The inside boasts a beautiful, historic auditorium where you can attend a local theater production, hear a concert, see an art show, and much more! Check out these local companies to see what events are happening at the Almonte Old Town Hall:

Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

Situated on its own little island, just across the river from the main downtown area, is the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. The museum tells the story of the original mill workers that made the town of Almonte, as well as hosting rotating exhibits of incredible woven artwork!

The museum is free to enter, and is open from 1-4 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Tour the Hummingbird Chocolate Factory

Just outside of the main downtown area, you will find a lot of other unique shops and restaurants (and a Tim Hortons or two). One of the best things to do in Almonte is to take a tour of the Hummingbird Chocolate Factory. Tours are available on Saturdays at10:30 am, and are $10 a person.

If you are not there on a Saturday to tour, still come visit the factory! You can watch the chocolate making process through the large windows, see the chocolate sculptures, try free samples, and spend lots of money on…erm… “Christmas presents.”

Tour the VODKOW Dairy Distillery

Another unique factory tour you can take in Almonte is the VODKOW Dairy Distillery, turning milk by-products into alcohol! Tours also run on Saturdays for $10 a person. The tours take place every 30 minutes, from 11am-4:30pm.

You can also visit the store during the week and do a tasting on your own, browse their gift shop, or get a drink at the bar.

Attend a Festival

One of the best things to do in Almonte if you’re looking for the small Christmas town vibe is to attend a festival! We happened to be here on the night of Light Up the Night, a festival featuring music, food trucks, craft vendors, and fireworks!

Unfortunately we were staying in Ottawa, and headed back to the city for dinner, and missed the festival we had just found out about! So plan ahead, and visit this Christmas town during the most wonderful time of the year! They have other festivals going on at Christmastime as well, like the Winter Street Market.

You could also plan around one of the other festivals that take place in Almonte during the year, like the Fibrefest at the Textile Museum, or even the winter ice festival in nearby Ottawa (reminiscent of a Hallmark movie that was filmed in Almonte!).

Places to Eat in Almonte

There are so many great places to eat in Almonte; some of them are even filming locations for Hallmark movies!

Superior Restaurant

Superior Restaurant is right in the downtown area of Almonte, and was used as a filming location for the Christmas Festival of Ice movie. It has a small town diner vibe, with dishes such as pizza and fried chicken.

Cafe Postino

A little fancier of a place to eat in Almonte is Cafe Postino, an elegant Italian restaurant housed in the gorgeous old post office building! This venue was also shown off in the Hallmark movie Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

The Barley Mow

Also housed in a historic building, the old mill building in fact, The Barley Mow is in an ideal location right along the river, with a picture-perfect view of the waterfalls. This delicious pub style restaurant would be especially fun to eat at in the warmer months, when you can sit out on the patio and enjoy the scenery.

Smash-N-Dash Burgers

Smash-N-Dash Burgers is a food truck that is open seasonally during the warmer months, and for special events, like Light Up the Night.

A smash burger is basically the same thing as a normal burger…except that it’s been smashed flat on the grill, which apparently helps retain the juicy flavor of the meat during grilling.

Here you can get your fix of greasy delicious food truck foods and poutine! These came highly recommended to us by a local (though she suggested getting two patties, as they are pretty thin).

Hummingbird Chocolate

Hummingbird Chocolate is not just a chocolate shop. You can also get your fill of gelato! Or if you’re not one of those people who operates on 90% sugar (like me…), you can eat at their cafe. This eatery also came recommended to us by locals.

Baker Bob’s

While they have mostly pie and cookies at Baker Bob’s, you can also get some savory tarts and sausage rolls here for a quick bite to eat.

Donuts from Healthy Food Technologies

Forget Tim Hortons, and treat yourself to a donut (or two!) from Healthy Food Technologies! They created an innovative donut making process that (supposedly) makes the donuts a lot healthier than your average fried pastry.

And speaking as an avid donut connoisseur, they taste just as good as an unhealthy donut. So go ahead and indulge in a few!

Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm

Since we had (healthy!) donuts (and hot chocolate) (and cookies), we were not hungry for lunch after we finished exploring downtown Almonte, so we headed off for Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm without getting lunch.

And we were glad we did, because they had a delicious cafe there, with pulled pork sandwiches, chili, butternut squash soup, hot apple cider and more! This is definitely a good place to eat lunch near Almonte.

Things to Do Near Almonte

There are so many fun things to do in Almonte, but there are also a lot of special things to do near the small town. Here are some suggestions of activities to add to your Canada Christmas trip:

Mill of Kintail

Just past the town limits of Almonte is the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. Set on 380 acres (or 154 hectares), the area boasts multiple beautiful hiking trails, as well as a museum dedicated to two famous locals: James Naismith (inventor of basketball) and R. Tait McKenzie (an athlete, artist, and physician).

This is one of the better things to do in the fall or summertime, as the museum is only open seasonally, and walking trails are always more fun when you’re not in danger of freezing your toes off… Although you can also snowshoe through the trails.

The grounds are open sunrise to sunset all year. There is a small parking/entrance fee that you pay at the kiosk when you first enter the grounds.

Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm

One of the best things to do near Almonte at Christmastime is to visit Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm! This is a popular filming location for almost every Christmas movie that is filmed in Almonte. And there is so much to do here!

They have multiple fire pits, a small playground, a cozy Christmas store (that also has a delicious cafe), rows of Christmas trees for sale, AND daily wagon rides to the Christmas tree fields where you can go and cut down your own tree. Even if you’re not cutting down a tree (have fun with that one at the border…), you can ride the wagon and enjoy the views.

The farm is open on weekends in October and early November, and then 7 days a week starting in mid-November until Christmas Eve.

  • Pro Tip: This is an actual farm, so it will be muddy; you might want to wear good boots or old shoes.


Ottawa is the nearest big city to the small town of Almonte, and also happens to be the filming location of many of its own Christmas movies! It’s definitely a good place to visit if you’re looking to plan a Hallmark Christmas town vacation.

Here are some good Hallmark Christmas things to do in Ottawa:

  • Afternoon tea at the castle-You can have afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, the luxury hotel in downtown Ottawa that looks like a castle, and has been used in Christmas movies. Or just visit the lobby to see ALL the Christmas trees!

  • Go ice skating-In the winter, you can skate on the Rideau Canal, the longest natural ice skating rink in the world! It’s usually not frozen at Christmastime yet though, so get your outdoor skating fix at the Ottawa Christmas Market rink.

  • Ottawa Christmas Market-Modeled after the magical European Christmas markets, the Ottawa Christmas Market has tons of little wooden booths selling local food and products, lots of fun Christmas decorations, and an outdoor ice rink.

  • Visit the ByWard Market-This covered market is right in downtown, and is also a popular filming location. In addition to the covered market, there are lots of shops and restaurants in the area around it, which is also known as the ByWard Market neighbohood.

  • Sparks Street-Sparks Street is a pedestrian only street with lots of shops and restaurants, and those same fun giant Christmas decorations that you will also see at the Christmas market.

  • See other Christmas movie filming locations-There are lots of Christmas movies filmed all over the area! The Ottawa Tourism site has a list of all the Christmas movie filming locations you can visit, in the city and the nearby small towns.

Christmas Movies Filmed in Almonte

The Almonte town website has a list of movies filmed in Almonte. Most (but not all!) of them are Christmas movies.

These are two of the movies that I watched before coming to visit Almonte at Christmastime, that I think really show off the area well:

Christmas Festival of Ice

This is one of the Christmas movies filmed in Almonte that I think best shows off the local town. You see spots like Baker Bob’s, the old town hall, Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm, and Superior Restaurant. You also get a good view of the storefronts all along Mill St. in the background of many scenes.

This movie made me debate between coming at Christmastime and coming in February for Ottawa’s own ice festival, Winterlude.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Christmas Scavenger Hunt is one of the best movies to watch before coming to Almonte, because the scavenger hunt literally takes you to all of the iconic locations in the area. From the Christmas tree farm, to the textile mill, to the old town hall where the scavenger hunt finale takes place, this is a perfect movie to get you excited to visit this magical Christmas town!

Christmas Movie Filming Locations in Almonte

Here are some of the most popular and recognizable filming locations in Almonte and the nearby area:

Baker Bob’s

The inside of the local bakery Baker Bob’s is featured in multiple Christmas movies, including Christmas Festival of Ice, when Emma tries to recruit help from the town business owners.

Almonte Old Town Hall

The Almonte Old Town Hall is one of the most popular and recognizable filming locations in Almonte. It is featured in many Christmas movies, including both Christmas Festival of Ice and Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

Superior Restaurant

The inside of Superior Restaurant is seen multiple time in Christmas Festival of Ice as the location of Emma’s friend’s restaurant. Plus they have amazing window decorations. So bonus points for them.

Cafe Postino

Another local restaurant, Cafe Postino was featured in Christmas Scavenger Hunt, where the teams take a break for lunch.

Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

Not only is the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum featured in Christmas Scavenger Hunt, it also takes a starring role in the story, when the town needs to save it from being torn down for condos.

Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm

After seeing an adorable bridge in Christmas Scavenger Hunt, I Googled covered bridges in Ontario, because I desperately wanted to photograph it!!! And I came up with nothing…

But then I got to Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm and saw the bridge featured on their pamphlet!! I ran up to the counter and asked where the bridge was. “It’s right there,” the woman at the counter pointed out the window for me.

Oh. Yes, sorry. I didn’t look out the window!

There are a lot of filming locations at the Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm that you might recognize from your favorite Hallmark movies, including the rows of Christmas trees for sale, the cozy barn where you can meet Santa, and the beautiful covered bridge! The farm is prominently featured in both Christmas Scavenger Hunt and Christmas Festival of Ice (would it really be a Hallmark movie without a Christmas tree farm?).

Where to Stay

When we visited, we stayed in Ottawa and just visited Almonte as a day trip. If I did it again, I think I would stay in Almonte, to get the full small town Christmas experience.

If you choose to stay in the small town of Almonte, there are several good places to stay:

The Monte

The Monte (formerly Almonte Riverside Inn) is the best place to stay in Almonte. They have rooms overlooking the river, just a short walk to the main downtown streets.

Menzies House B&B

The Menzies House B&B is another great place to stay in Almonte, with several charming rooms just across the river from downtown Almonte.

If you want to stay in Ottawa, like we did, here are some good places to stay close to downtown Ottawa:

Sonder Rideau

We stayed at the Sonder Rideau. It was a perfect location, with easy walking distance to Ottawa’s main attractions, and a great price! I would definitely recommend this location if you’re staying in Ottawa.

There are two other Sonder locations in Ottawa where you can also stay:


Sheraton Ottawa Hotel is another downtown location that is within walking distance of many great things. It is close to a subway station and bus stops, and we walked past it several times while we were exploring Sparks Street (a pedestrian only street in Ottawa).

Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market

If you want to stay right in the historic ByWard Market area (and close to lots of good restaurants!), the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market is a great place to stay.

ByWard Blue Inn

ByWard Blue Inn is another spot you can stay right in the ByWard Market, but for a more budget friendly choice.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

If you really want to feel like a fairy tale (or Hallmark Channel) princess, treat yourself at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, This beautiful castle-like hotel is just steps away from Parliament Hill and the ByWard Market.

Or (to save money) just book yourself an afternoon tea. Or just… walk through the lobby. Either way, make sure you stop by this hotel when you’re in Ottawa.

I hope you find this information helpful for planning your own trip to the magical Christmas town of Almonte, Ontario. Whether you visit in the summer, fall or at Christmas, this perfect little town will charm you, just like it’s done for countless movie location scouts in the past.

Any more questions?

If you have any questions about visiting, or any suggestions of things to do in Almonte, feel free to email me or comment below!

Planning a trip?

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