Goderich is a town of 7600 people (2016) in Huron County, by the shore of Lake Huron. It is a service centre for the surrounding agricultural communities, and has one of the oldest salt mines in Ontario, dating to 1866. Also a beach community.
The town was founded by John Galt and William "Tiger" Dunlop of the Canada Company in 1827. The town is named after Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich who was the British prime minister at the time. The town was incorporated in 1850.
It is on the eastern shore of Lake Huron at the mouth of the Maitland River, and faces the lake to the west. It is celebrated for its sunsets.
The town participates yearly in the Communities in Bloom competition; and has won awards in many categories. In 2012, Goderich was a National Finalist in the competition, and was also part of the Circle of excellence.
The Sifto salt mine is 530 m (1,750 feet) below surface, extending 7 km² (2.7 sq mi) under Lake Huron – roughly the size of the town. It is the largest underground salt mine in the world.
Goderich is on highway 21 (Bluewater Highway), which runs by the shore, and at the end of highway 8 from the south-east.
The biggest town in West Ontario, London, with rail link, is some 100 km to the southsoutheast.
The nearest major airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport. A shuttle service can be booked for travel to Goderich.
- Goderich Airport (2.5 km north of Goderich). No commercial flights.
- Shoreline Transfer, ☏ +1 519-524-3459.
- Goderich Taxi & Delivery, ☏ +1 519-524-6594.
- Goderich's downtown has an octagonal traffic circle known as 'The Square'. The county courthouse stands in the middle of The Square. The Square was designed and developed between 1840 and the mid-1890s. The design of the square - a "radial composition" - is attributed to John Galt, inspired by ancient Roman city plans.
- 1 Huron County Museum, Goderich. The Huron County Museum is surprisingly good for a local museum, and contains thousands of artifacts including antique farm machinery, regimental badges, and entire steam train, and Victorian bone china. Permanent exhibits depict the early settlement and development of Huron County, including a full-size locomotive, A World War II Sherman tank, an extensive military collection, and an exhibit related to salt mining in the area.
- 2 Huron County Historic Gaol. Apr-Oct. This octagonal building served as the town jail from its opening in 1842 until 1972, and was the sight of the last hanging in Canada. It is now a museum and a National Historic Site.
- Goderich Lighthouse, 1 Harbour Lane. The oldest Canadian light station on Lake Huron, completed in 1846. A great place to watch the sunset.
- Goderich's 3 public use beaches can be reached by car following signage in town to the beach hill, also known as West Street. After parking, beach users can also walk along a wooden boardwalk over a mile in length. The main beach, at the north end of the walkway is a sand and fine gravel beach where swimmers and sunbathers can watch lake freighters loading up with salt on the other side of the pier. Further south is St. Christopher's beach and at the far end of the boardwalk is "Rotary Cove", a family-friendly sand beach with lifeguards and playground equipment. Of interest as well, are the man-made groynes along the beach, put in place to control sand migration from the action of water currents. Due to poor signage, it is easy to be misled, but parking anywhere along the beach is not free! Pay at the machines or via mobile app.
- 3 Menesetung Bridge (take the steps down from Caledonia Terrace). The old railway bridge have been converted so that you can safely walk across and enjoy a splendid view of the nature surrounding Goderich. free.
- Point Farms Provincial Park and Cove Beach, 82491 Bluewater Highway, ☏ +1 519-524-7124. A large sandy beach with good swimming; 6 km of hiking trails, playgrounds and playing fields. Camping available.
- [www.mvca.on.ca/camping/falls-reserve-conservation-area/ Falls Reserve Conservation Area], 80900 Falls Reserve Line, Benmiller, ☏ +1 519-524-6429. Set along the Maitland River is a 230-acre outdoor playground with camping. Falls Reserve is nearly enclosed by the winding Maitland River. Over thousands of years the river has carved its way through rock, leaving behind a rugged river valley. Wide and shallow, the river cascades over a series of low waterfalls creating a swimming area.
- Goderich BIA Farmers’ Market, Courthouse Square. May-Oct: Sa 8AM-1PM. Baked goods, fruits, vegetables, plants, homemade jellies and jam, fresh meat.
- 1 West Street Willy's Eatery, 42 West Street, ☏ +1 519-524-7777. Tu-Th 8AM-8PM; F Sa 7AM-9PM; Su 7AM-8PM. A cozy restaurant with a good, varied menu at reasonable prices. $15-28 mains.
- Flippin' Eggs, 81643 Bluewater Hwy (Just past Airport Road on Hwy 21, north of Goderich). Daily 7AM-3PM. Breakfast and lunch spot.
- Cait's Café, 168 Courthouse Sq, ☏ +1 519-612-2268. Coffee, pastries, sandwiches, soups, salads.
- 2 Thyme On 21 Casual Dining, 80 Hamilton Street, ☏ +1 519-524-4171. W-Su 4:30-7:30PM. Excellent food and service in a restored Victorian house.
- Paddy O'Neil's, 92 Courthouse Sq. M-Sa 10AM-1AM Su 10AM-1AM. Pub and restaurant.
- Cornerfield Wine, 74444 Bluewater Highway, Bayfield (20 km south of Goderich), ☏ +1 519-955-1780. M-Sa noon-6PM, Su noon-4PM. A family-owned and -operated winery specializing in expertly-crafted wine.
- Cedar Lodge Motel, 157 Huron Road, ☏ +519-524-8379, toll-free: +1-866-522-8379. Free WiFi, air conditioning, satellite channels, indoor pool, fitness centre. From $100.
- Benmiller Inn & Spa, Benmiller Inn & Spa, toll-free: +1-800-265-1711. Spa, indoor swimming pool and hot tub. CAA four-diamond restaurant overlooking the Maitland River. From $125.
- Samuels Boutique Hotel, 34031 Saltford Road, ☏ +1 519-524-1371. Every room has a private terrace and a fireplace. It overlooks the Maitland River, and there are hiking trails and fishing from their backyard. Continental breakfast included. Bistro on site. From $120.
- 4 Point Clark Lighthouse. an historic lighthouse, built in 1850. it is constructed in the "imperial style", a style not seen anywhere else in Ontario. The lighthouse is open at as a museum, and you can climb to the top to take in the (not so great) view