Renfrew, Ontario is a small town with big charm located in Eastern Ontario, Canada. Renfrew’s population is roughly 8,223 and slowly growing with it’s expansion of medical buildings and recent doctor recruitments making the town an inviting option for potential new homeowners and job seekers. Renfrew boasts a large modern hospital, medical offices and a hospice building for terminally ill patients who are given the opportunity to die with dignity under the constant care of dedicated and caring nursing staff and doctors. Renfrew Victoria Hospital is a fully accredited facility, offering surgical, medical, and complex continuing care services. In-patient services include a Special Care Unit, a Palliative Care Unit, as well as Pastoral Care services. Renfrew Victoria Hospital has been designated by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as the Regional Centre for Renfrew County Nephrology Services with a 20-station hemodialysis unit also located on site.
Besides Renfrew’s great medical facilities, it also offers a beautiful downtown core that is full of little gems of stores, restaurants and coffee shops that are sure to keep you busy for hours just browsing and checking out all that the main street has to offer. Such as:
- Sense of County – 169 Raglan Street South – a tranquil, little shop where you can find unique gift ideas for any occasion.
- Picket Fence – 190 Raglan Street South – a gift shop offering unique home decor ideas and one of a kind household knickknacks.
- Keeping Company – 187 Raglan Street South – a unique and trendy gifts and home decor shop situated along the main street of town.
- Ella’s Boutique – 187 Raglan Street South – a beautiful, fashionable and one-of-a-kind fashion and accessories store with convenient main street parking and an accessible rear parking area.
- A Dash Of Fab – 289 Raglan Street South – located on the main street in Renfrew, A Dash of Fab is a women’s clothing store where you can find brand name clothing that is best suited for teenagers and young adults who are into the latest styles in fashion trends.
- Scott & Son’s Hardware – 150 Raglan Street South – a local downtown hardware store that was founded in 1917 by Lorne C. Scott and was managed for many years by his sons Murray and Earl Scott. The store is now in it’s third generation of management by Murray’s sons Jeff and Paul Scott. We have expanded many times over the years to suit the needs of the Ottawa Valley and surrounding area. In the fall of 1995, they added industrial supplies and a vast line of hardware products. The store’s most recent major expansion was in the summer of 2006. With the added division of Scott Wholesale, they are now a major supplier of paper products, and event supplies. Scott’s Hardware always provides quality customer service, and are on top of all your hardware needs, they also have a great selection of unique seasonal finds such as backyard décor, or holiday decorations, so make sure to check them out on your visit to Renfrew. You can also find them online at:
Renfrew’s Favorite Restaurants
After a long day of shopping, you will probably have worked up a good appetite so be sure to check out some of Renfrew’s favorite restaurants which include:
- Finnigan’s Roadhouse – 302 Raglan Street South – serves a great selection of Canadian and Italian dishes, conveniently located on Renfrew’s main street. Finnigan’s sometimes hosts local bands on the week-ends as well.
- Shanloon Chinese Restaurant – 41 Raglan Street South – offers a great selection of authentic Chinese food at a reasonable price. Conveniently located on the main street and features an eat in or take out menu.
- Domino’s Pizza – 248 Raglan Street South – the best choice in town for pizza and fast food delivery right to your front door or pick up and take to the park for a pizza picnic.
- The Rocky Mountain House – 409 Stewart Street – a nice sit in restaurant that specializes in schnitzel and Canadian menu choices.
- Step ‘n Back Diner – 240 Hall Avenue – go back in time and enjoy a song or two on the jukebox as you dine in a 60’s themed restaurant with slide in booths and fluorescent green walls lined with old pictures of Elvis Presley and records. They serve a great selection of Canadian food and desserts and are liquor licensed.
- Karras’ Way Restaurant – 194 Raglan Street South – offers a nice selection of Canadian foods and is also located in the downtown core of Renfrew.
- Poppa Ray’s Pizza – located at 220 Carswell Street – just a few blocks from the main street, Papa Ray’s offers a great selection of feel good junk foods like juicy hamburgers, chicken wings, and yummy cheesecake for dessert.
- Coco Jerry’s – 314 Raglan Street South – an Italian restaurant located on the main street of Renfrew. Coco Jerry’s has good food and an outdoor patio that plays music in the summer months and is also liquor licensed.
Renfrew Coffee Shops
Renfrew also has a great selection of coffee shops and fast food restaurants to choose from if fine dining is just not your thing. Check them out at the selections below:
- Tim Horton’s – 383 Stewart Street
- McDonald’s – 413 O’Brien Road
- Wendy’s – 383 Stewart Street
- A & W – 1040 O’Brien Road
- Kentucky Fried Chicken – 70 Raglan Street South
- Subway – 372 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
- Renfrew Pizzeria – 98 Raglan Street South
- Odi’s Kingburger – 546 Stewart Street
- Dairy Queen – 401 O’Brien Road
- Tammi Tator’s – 41 Wrangler Street
- Bonnechere Bakery & Bistro – 258 Raglan Street South
- Kung Po House – 32 Duke Avenue
- Sandy’s Diner – 630 O’Brien Road
- Zio Nichols Pizza – 230 Raglan Street South
- Ottawa Valley Coffee – 239 Raglan Street South
- Sweet Tooth’s – 166 Raglan Street South
Renfrew Thrift Stores
You have taken time to fill your belly, and you’ve reenergized yourself, now get ready to do some more shopping in Renfrew’s large selection of thrift stores that are conveniently located on the main street and sprinkled throughout the town of Renfrew. Here is a list of thrift stores that are a must to check out:
- The Helping Hands – 90 Veteran’s Way
- Valley Thrift Store – 176 Raglan Street South
- TSA Thrift Store – 291 Plaunt Street
- In Style Consignment – 3 Arthur Avenue
- The Renfrew Flea Market – 220 Carswell Street
- Renfrew Buy-Sell-Trade – 350 Raglan Street South
Renfrew Tourist Attractions
All shopped out, it’s time to relax at some of Renfrew’s famous tourist attractions that have helped sculpture Renfrew into the beautiful and scenic town that it is today.
The Swinging Bridge – 65 Arthur Street, Renfrew, Ontario
Constructed in 1885 by the W.H Kearney family, the swinging bridge in Renfrew was the first ever suspension bridge across the Bonnechere River. Back in the day, it was actually used frequently by locals as a main road throughout the downtown.
This modern reconstruction in wood and cable, as pictured below, was completed in 1983 by the Town of Renfrew and updated again in 2015. This is one of only three swinging bridges in Canada and provides an excellent view of the Bonnechere River below, the McDougall Mill Museum and the Renfrew Power Generation Plant.
The McDougall Mill Museum – 65 Arthur Street, Renfrew, Ontario
This beautiful stone building was built in 1855 by John Lorne McDougall. Originally the building had been used as a grist mill. It was renovated and reopened as a museum in 1969. Situated in picturesque O’Brien Park the mill overlooks the second chute of the Bonnechere River and the town of Renfrew’s historic Swinging Bridge.
The McDougall Mill Museum holds three floors of artifacts from Renfrew’s early industrial days when the town was home to: Renfrew Electric, makers of Canadian Beauty Appliances, Renfrew Refrigerator Company, Renfrew Machinery Acorn stoves, Renfrew Flour Mills and the Renfrew Creamery. Throughout the museum, you can also find old military items, Victorian clothing, old doll collections, farming equipment, and pioneer tools.
Though the majority of the museum’s artifacts celebrate local history, they also take pride in exhibiting items donated by valley natives from travels around Canada and exotic locales abroad. A six foot long narwhal tusk, polar bear skin, African wood carvings and Japanese kimonos to name just a few.
Birthplace NHA/NHL Museum – 249 Raglan Street South, Renfrew, Ontario
The Birthplace NHA/NHL Museum showcases hockey history from Renfrew County, including the fact that M.J. O’Brien and his son Ambrose started the National Hockey Association (NHA) from Renfrew in 1909. The NHA was later renamed the National Hockey League in 1917 due to the settlement of ongoing litigation. The Museum features pictures and artifacts showcasing the early days of hockey in the NHA and NHL especially as it was represented in Renfrew County.
Ma-te-way Activity Centre – 41 – 53 Ma-te-way Park Drive, Renfrew, Ontario
The Ma-te-Way Activity Centre is a huge 76, 500 ft2 facility located in the town of Renfrew. Included in the park is a large indoor arena as well as an outdoor skating rink, a splash park, an outdoor exercise park, play structures, tennis courts, baseball fields and an outdoor running track. I was also pleasantly surprised to find an outdoor book tree on my last visit to the park. Ma-te-way is currently in the phase of expansion. This expansion includes an Indigenous Cultural Centre, an NHL size ice surface, an elevated walking track, fitness centre, regulation sized gymnasium, multipurpose rooms, Parks, Recreation and Facilities administrative offices and lease space. It will also soon be the new home of the NHL Museum. Definitely worth checking it out on your visit to town.
Renfrew Boat Launch – Renfrew, Ontario
If you’re looking to take a canoe or kayak ride over the Bonnechere River, make sure to check out the Renfrew Boat Launch that’s located just off highway 132 as you’re entering town. You’ll know you’re on the right road when you see the County of Renfrew K&P Trail sign. Take that short dirt road to the dead end and make a right turn to the boat launch. I have no idea what the road is actually called now but back in my day, it was called Boat Launch Road. I fondly remember my father bringing me here to swim while he fished off the end of the pier. Great childhood memories.
K&P Trail – Renfrew, Ontario
The K&P Trail is a recreational trail that runs along the old Kingston and Pembroke Railway(K&P) bed in Ontario, Canada. The K&P was abandoned by its owner, Canadian Pacific Railway, between 1962 and 1986, and ran from Kingston to Renfrew. Now the trails that run throughout the town of Renfrew and surrounding towns are used for walking, biking or riding all terrain vehicles on. Take a scenic walk or jog down the trails and enjoy the picturesque views of running streams, wildlife and nature as you stroll.
Renfrew Public Library – 13 Railway Avenue, Renfrew, Ontario
No town would be complete without access to a public library. Renfrew has one of the nicest libraries around with two floors, the bottom for children and the top floor for adult’s. It also provides access to computer stations, dvd rentals and viewing old newspapers. Take a break away from the heat and relax in their air conditioned rooms while browsing the latest books of your favorite genre. They also have an outdoor book tree where you can take a book of your choice. There is always a decent selection to choose from. So what are you waiting for, go check it out!
Town of Renfrew Cenotaph – Railway Avenue, Renfrew, Ontario
The town of Renfrew is honored to proudly display the beautiful grey granite monolith. This memorial was a gift from the Honorable Thomas Andrew Low, a local businessman who was elected to Parliament three times. He was also appointed to the cabinet in 1921 and in 1923 he was made Minister of Trade and Commerce.
Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival – downtown Renfrew, Ontario
The Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival is held in Renfrew’s Low Square. Downtown Renfrew sometime during the month of October. A popular attraction for town folks as well as visitors.
So if you’re looking for your next vacation spot, look no further. Come to Renfrew, where the beer is always cold and the hospitality is warm and friendly. Create memories of my beautiful hometown proud, Renfrew, Ontario. If accommodations are needed during your stay, please check out the link below.