Get your sugar rush at these cottage-country candy stores

Wall of candy Photo by Ranta Images/Shutterstock

When you’re stocking up on treats for the cottage, is candy on your list? Because we think it should be. After all, life is pretty sweet at the cottage, and your snacks should reflect that. Here are some of our favourite candy stores in Ontario to grab some sugary goodness.

The Candy Shoppe, Orillia

There used to be bright, colourful outlets of this popular spot on both sides of Highway 11, but the shop reduced its footprint to the southbound side only. (If you’re heading north but still want a sugar fix, there’s a turnaround just past the Tim Horton’s on the north side of 11 and another turnaround just south of the store to get going north again.) The Candy Shoppe sells candy, of course, and lots of it, but they also have collectibles of all shapes, sizes and materials. And really, who doesn’t want to combine a pit stop with candy and toys?

The Rideau Candy Shoppe, Perth

This popular spot in downtown Perth has something for everyone: British candies, Japanese candies, Easter baskets, gummies galore—not to mention cotton candy and ice cream. Many of the treats are made in-house, including custom-designed candy bars and favours for all sorts of special days. And for those who like the sweet without the sugar, there’s a generous selection of sugar-free candies as well.

Boo-Bah-Lou Candy Corner, Kagawong, Manitoulin Island

Candies from all over the world—think tons of flavours of KitKat bars—and a generous helping of nostalgia make Boo-Bah-Lou a popular place on the Island. In case you don’t feel like hyping your kids up on sugar, the shop also has a nice selection of toys. Stymied by all the choices? Let the friendly, helpful staff make some recommendations—after all, they’re candy experts.

The Nutty Chocolatier, Huntsville (and other locations)

Handmade truffles, candies, and fudge are the Nutty Chocolatier’s stock-in-trade, but there’s lots more to this Huntsville spot. Feel like jelly beans? They have pretty much every flavour available by the scoop. Have a craving for nostalgic candies like Nerds? They’ve got you covered. If the sugar isn’t enough to pep you up, they also serve coffee and other hot drinks.

Sweet Retro-Spect, Dunnville

Being a kid in a candy store is easy at Sweet Retro-Spect—even if you’re, ahem, on the older side. Maybe it’s the pink popcorn—one of 34 different popcorn flavours on offer. Maybe it’s the selection of candies from the age of ’80s neon, like Pop Rocks, WarHeads, and Laffy Taffy. Or maybe it’s the selection of Peeps—everything from classic yellow to chocolate-dipped. Regardless, you’re pretty much guaranteed to come out of Sweet Retro-Spect feeling several years younger. And sweeter.

Tastely Box, Apsley

Tastely Box has a storefront in Apsley where you can browse their wares in person (although it may be limited to curbside pick-up as pandemic restrictions change), but they also shine online, creating curated boxes of candy from Japan, Mexico, the UK, and other spots around the world. Feeling adventurous? Try one of their Mystery Boxes—you may not know what you’re going to get, but you can bet it will be sweet.

The Tobermory Sweet Shop, Tobermory

When you open the Tobermory Sweet Shop’s website, the first thing you see is an enormous, close-up picture of what looks like the most delectable caramel corn ever. Go, now. This spot specializes in handmade brittle, caramel corn, fudge and chocolate—so whether you’re feeling like something chocolatey or just sweet, you’ll find it. They’ve also got ice cream—a perfect treat to enjoy as you watch the boats in Little Tub Harbour.

Candy Safari, Port Colborne

Located with a great view of the Welland Canal, Candy Safari is the perfect place to pick up some sweet treats and watch the ships as they make their way up or down the canal. Kids born in the ’80s will appreciate the selection of nostalgic toys and candy, including Strawberry Shortcake dolls, AirHeads, and Big League Chew. And since Candy Safari was named Niagara’s number one spot for ice cream, it would also be a shame to stop by and not indulge in one of their Kawartha Dairy flavours.

Out-of-province special mention:

Anne of Green Gables Chocolates, Charlottetown, PEI

A little further afield is the lovely Anne of Green Gables Chocolates in, you guessed it, Charlottetown, PEI. There are many treats with an Anne twist to choose from here, including Cow Chips (chocolate-covered potato chips), chocolate-covered gummy lobsters, and, of course, raspberry cordial. Add to those a whole selection of handmade chocolates, and all your sweet needs will be met—even if your name isn’t Anne.

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