On the shores of the Couchiching and Simcoe Lakes, Orillia is a great destination for outdoor activities and festivals amid natural beauty.
In the summer months, the city of 30,000 congregates around its large waterfront. It's appropriate, given that the name Orillia is likely derived from the Spanish word "orilla," meaning the shore of a lake or river.
Many of the city's festivals, like the Mariposa Folk Festival, Perch Fishing Festival, Leacock Festival, Scottish Festival and Christmas in June, operate near the water's edge, which includes a boardwalk, outdoor theatre, beaches and playgrounds. Away from the shore, a major attraction and the city's largest employer is Casino Rama, located in the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Reserve. The casino provides world-class entertainment and hosts hundreds of musical acts each year. Other economic sectors in the city include manufacturing, customer service, tourism and government services.
As you sit down for a meal in one of Orillia's restaurants or cafés, you might just hear a local legend over the radio. Gordon Lightfoot was born in Orillia and sang in the choir of St. Paul's United Church before moving to California to pursue his music career.