GODERICH, at the mouth of the Maitland River 20km north of Bayfield, is a delightful country town, whose pleasant centre perches on a bluff behind and above its working harbour. It began life in 1825, when the British-owned Canada Company bought two and a half million acres of southern Ontario – the Huron Tract – from the government at the ridiculously low rate of twelve cents an acre, amid rumours of bribery and corruption. Eager to profit on their investment, the company pushed the Huron Road through from Stratford in the east to Goderich in the west, an extraordinary effort chronicled by a certain Mr Moffat – “The trees were so tall, the forest was eternally dark and with the constant rains it was endlessly damp… Since each man was responsible for cooking his own food after a hard day’s work, the men sometimes ate the fattest pork practically raw… To make up for such fare, a barrel of whisky with a cup attached always stood at the roadside.” Completed in 1828, the road attracted the settlers the company needed. Indeed, within thirty years the Huron Tract had two flourishing towns, Stratford and Goderich, and was producing large surpluses of grain for export, as it continues to do today. Perfect for an overnight stay, Goderich has several good B&Bs, two intriguing museums and several well-attended festivals throughout the year.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada has much to explore and enjoy. Driving gives you freedom to travel at your own pace, allowing you to pull over and appreciate scenery al…

05 Dec 2016 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month