Worth the Drive


The Tay River bisects the incredibly beautiful town of Perth, where history and enchantment collide. It’s named after the City of Perth and the Tay River in Scotland and its settlement dates back to 1816.

e Tay Basin. Photo: Perth Tourism

You’ll be drawn to this community by the fascinating number of unusual attractions and businesses, the artists and artisans who take their inspiration from the land, and the history buffs who have worked long and hard to preserve the magnificent edifices that dominate the town, along with their stories and memorabilia.

The unique and inspired Round Garden for the Blind at the Lanark County Administration Building, 99 Christie Lake Road, is a garden of the senses with labels in braille on waist-high plant boxes full of wonderfully delightful smells, shapes and textures. Specially designed to accommodate the needs of the blind, the elderly and the developmentally challenged, this garden encourages visitors to feel the leaves and flowers, smell the fragrances, taste the herbs and listen to the birds. A circular stone walkway takes you around the garden. The surrounding woods and bird chirps add relaxing sounds.

The Crystal Palace. Photo: Perth Tourism

There are various seating areas around the perimeter to sit and enjoy the sensory pleasures of this outdoor summer garden. Signs in English, French and Braille let you discover the various garden plots. Many small trees line the edge of the circle, with one tree in the middle where you can sit on a bench and be completely shaded while surrounded by beautiful plants and butterflies. Built and maintained by Friends of the Garden for the Blind, the Round Garden is visited by more than 5,000 people each year. The garden is beside a large free parking lot, with plenty of accessible spots.

Photo: Perth Tourism

The sheets of glass that previously covered the Rideau Street Mall in Ottawa have been wonderfully transformed into the Crystal Palace at the Tay Basin off Colbourne Street. The structure is currently home to the Perth Farmers’ Market on Saturdays throughout the summer. From the Crystal Palace, you’ll have a great view of the International Friendship Fountains. The centre fountain represents the Town of Perth while the fountain on the left represents Perth’s Twin City of Perth, Scotland. The fountain on the right represents Perth’s Sister City, Asago, Japan.

The brilliant Festival of Lights begins in the third week of November when the perimeter of the Crystal Palace is filled with decorated Christmas trees. Often there’s an evening of fireworks and live music.

Festival of the Maples. Photo: Perth and District Chamber of Commerce

The Festival of the Maples on the last Saturday in April offers all things maple, along with activities for the whole family. The Stewart Park Festival, slated for July 19-21, 2024,  in the beautiful downtown park, offers three full days of music. Mid-August brings Perth’s Glorious Garlic Festival to the Perth Fairgrounds for two days of garlic delights, artisans, cooking demonstrations and entertainment. The Perth Night Market brings the streets to life in September.

There are loads of other ways to see, explore and enjoy this pretty town. Start by checking out You can download the Self-Guided Walking Tour app or print your own tour guide. The different thematic tours include Perth Downtown Walking Tour; Heritage Perth Tavern and Brewery Tour; Vintage Signs and Murals Walking Tour; Elmwood Cemetery Walking Tour and 13 Bridges of Perth Tour. There’s even a geology tour and a ghost walk. Whether or not you encounter any apparitions, you’ll certainly discover an enticing mix of restaurants and shops along the way.