The Best General Stores in Cottage Country

No trip to cottage country is complete without a visit to a country store. These unique shops where you can buy anything from fresh fiddleheads (in season) to cosy cashmere sweaters and moccasins; smoked fish and maple syrup to geocaching supplies, should not be missed.

We’ve travelled the length and breadth of Ontario’s cottage country regions to bring the pick of the crop of general stores. They are all worth a visit!

Agnews General Store – Wilberforce (Haliburton Highlands)

Fred Agnew purchased the Wilberforce general store in 1921 on a handshake and the store remained in the family until 2018. It has everything you’d expect to find in a traditional country store from what they describe as ‘thing-a-ma-jigs’ (better known as nails, screws and other more obscure hardware), to the biggest geocaching supplies centre outside the city. Also home to Eileens Ice Cream Shop that stocks a range of fudge and Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.

Robinson’s General Store – Dorset (Haliburton Highlands)

Robinsons is technically in Haliburton but the adjacent overflow car park is in Muskoka, across the road so you get to cover two regions in one! Regularly voted The Best General Store in Canada, it meets all our criteria for a must-do visit.

“Shoppers can find gifts, souvenirs, housewares, clothing, footwear (where moccasins are a specialty); a true “browser’s paradise”. Robinson’s also includes a Food Town supermarket, a Home Hardware, and “The Red Onion”, our upstairs Ladies’ Boutique.”

Robinson’s General Store

Rosseau General Store (Muskoka)

Take a step back in time in one of Ontario’s original general stores. Opened in 1874, the Rosseau Store has been central to local cottagers for generations and shouldn’t be missed on a tour in this area.

Open daily throughout the year, the store has fresh baked goods and veg, meats, souvenirs, household supplies, and locally made provisions.

“The Rosseau General Storage is a historical landmark in Rosseau, Ontario…. This is a must stop while travelling through the beautiful village of Rosseau.

Trip Advisor Review

Trousdale’s General Store – Sydenham (Eastern Ontario)

Laying claim to being the oldest general store in Ontario (1863) and in the same family for generations this Rideau Lakes gem is a great spot to stop on a day trip or when you want a getaway outing from the cottage.

There’s some great history of the Trousdale family here.

“The walls are adorned with history: black and white pictures of the storefront from decades past, old containers of cleaners and miscellaneous housewares…a history lesson contained.”

Trip Advisor Review