Museums & Tours

On this page: Leacock Museum, Orillia Museum of Art & History, Ontario Provincial Police Museum, Orillia Opera House, Free self-guided tours, points of interest.

First founded as a village in 1867, Orillia's charming heritage-themed downtown, lively neighbourhoods and parks are rich with beauty and history. Start your journey here with our historic sites, architecture and walking tours. 

Exterior of the Leacock MuseumLeacock Museum National Historic Site

50 Museum Drive.

It was Canada’s beloved literary humourist, Stephen Leacock who first coined Orillia’s moniker as the Sunshine City in his internationally acclaimed novel, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Today, the author’s treasured Orillia summer home is protected and upheld as a National Historic Site, meticulously well-kept true to Leacock’s life. Visitors are invited year-round to explore the museum’s exciting interchanging exhibits, inspired by Leacock’s love for the arts and his famous friends, as well as pop into historical and literature-inspired festivals and events.

Current exhibitsUpcoming eventsTours

Orillia Museum of Art and History building

Orillia Museum of Art & History

30 Peter Street South.

Recognized by its historic, eye-catching clock tower, the Orillia Museum of Art and History sits on the cornerstone of the Orillia Arts District in downtown Orillia. First erected in 1894, the designated heritage site is a fitting location to celebrate the stories of Orillia’s cultural life and early beginnings. The museum is organized with both history and art exhibits showcased evenly throughout the year, along with all-ages workshops, youth camps, and special events open to the public. The Orillia Museum of Art & History also offers private historical tours around the City.

Current exhibitsUpcoming eventsTours

OPP Museum exhibit displaying vintage uniformsOntario Provincial Police Museum

777 Memorial Avenue.

Funded by the Ontario government and administered by the Ontario Provincial Police, The OPP Museum preserves, documents, and interprets artifacts and archival materials that help to build an understanding of the history of policing in Ontario since the formation of Upper Canada in 1791, specializing in the material culture of the Ontario Provincial Police from 1909. Admission to the O.P.P. Museum is free.

Current exhibits

Orillia Opera House building

Orillia Opera House

1 West Street North.

Since its opening in 1895, the Orillia Opera House has been a focal point for the cultural life of the City of Orillia. The only professional quality performing arts venue in the town, the historic theatre has also previously been the home to Council Chambers, City Hall offices, market stalls, and most famously, the town's lock-up. Today, the Orillia Opera House features performances by a wide variety of internationally renowned artists.

Upcoming eventsGuided tours

Free self-guided toursCouple taking a cycling tour of the Millennium Trail

Download for free on your app store.

Tripvia Tours is a free app offering three guided mobile tours of some of Orillia's main attractions. Discover history along the Millennium Trail as waterfront views, heritage sites, and historic tales guide your way, explore the Leacock Museum's historic gardens and grounds, or, discover the secrets behind downtown Orillia's most prominent heritage sites, including the Orillia Opera House, The Old Fire Hall, and more.

Millennium TrailHistorical DowntownLeacock Museum

Historic points of interest

Mnjikaning Fish WeirsThe Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site

The City of Orillia is situated on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabeg, specifically the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, a member of the Chippewa Tri-Council and Three Fires Confederacy. For over 5000 years, this land existed as a gathering place for Indigenous Peoples. At the bottom of The Atherley Narrows, joining Lake Simcoe and Couchiching, the remains of one of North America's oldest human developments remain. Ancient fish weirs were used and cared for by the Huron-Wendat, and today the Chippewas. The Mnjikaning Fish Weirs are now a protected National Historic Site. 

We encourage you to visit our Indigenous Initiatives webpage to learn more about this land's extensive heritage, as well as discover ways to further honour and reflect upon the lives of Indigenous Peoples throughout history and today. 

Indigenous InitiativesVisit Rama First NationThe Mnjikaning Fish Weirs

Historical photo of downtown OrilliaHeritage Designated Properties

Orillia was founded as a village in 1867 and incorporated as a town in 1875. Due to logging and rail links with Toronto and Georgian Bay, Orillia quickly became a commercial centre and summer resort in the mid 1800's. 

Through the efforts of many public figures and organizations, including the Municipal Heritage Committee, many of Orillia's earliest builds still stand today as protected sites.

Many of these sites are featured during our above free self-guided routes, as well as the Orillia Museum of Art & History's guided walking tours. To learn more about the significance and location of each property, visit the buttons below.

Heritage Designated Properties Properties of Interest

historic plaque on the trailStories Along the Trail 

Encompassing the Millennium Trail, a 9.5 km paved route which borders the City's main waterfronts, The Lightfoot Trail Network connects to the Uhthoff Trail in the north, the Oro-Medonte Rail Trail in the south-west and the Ramara Trail in the east.

Those who begin their journey from the Uhthoff Trail in the north and head towards the Ramara Trail in the east will discover all 14 of Orillia's heritage stories along the way. These plaques detail some of Orillia's most interesting landmarks and periods in history.

A map showcasing the route can be found on the City's Trails webpage, or by clicking the button below.

Trail map

Founding of Orillia plaque outside the Opera HouseProvincial Plaques

Orillia and area is home to four Provincial Plaques as a part of the Provincial Plaque Program, an effort to share stories of the people, places and events that have helped to shape the province.

The plaques can be found below:

Provincial Plaque Program

Looking for help? 

Facebook: @VisitOrillia
Instagram: @VisitOrillia

Visitor Information: (705) 238-8761
Orillia Opera House, 1 West St. N. Orillia, ON. L3V 3A6
Current hours: Thursday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Can't get through during these times? Leave a message and one of our Tourism Ambassadors will get back to you as soon as possible.

© City of Orillia, 50 Andrew Street South, Suite 300, Orillia, Ontario, L3V 7T5, Tel: (705) 325-1311, Fax: (705) 325-5178, Email:

By GHD Digital