First settled in the 1780's by loyalists from the original 13 colonies, Picton was incorporated in 1837. The town was named after General Sir Thomas Picton. He served in the Peninsular War before going on to serve as the Duke of Wellington's second-in-command during the battle of Waterloo, during which time Picton was struck down in action. Prior to its incorporation, Picton was comprised of two separate communities that lay on opposite sides of Picton Bay.
Truly a small town both then and now, a census taken in 1841 counted 1,200 residents. In the 2016 census, that number is still a shade under 5,000 residents. In spite of its relatively small population, Picton has its share of history. It was in Picton that Sir John Macdonald worked as the manager of a law office owned by his uncle, Lowther P. MacPherson. Macdonald would go on to serve as Canada's first Prime Minister and enjoy a career in politics that spanned over 50 years.
In 1998, the town of Picton was dissolved and became a Ward 1 of the Corporation of the County of Prince Edward.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Picton, ON?
Experience Picton states that "any time is the right time to experience Picton," and they're not wrong. The small town offers a series of events and parades that run throughout the year. Prince Edward County has designated a week in February as "Flashback February" and features workshops, films, talks, demonstrations, and stories about the county's rich culture and history.
The Picton Art Crawl runs from June through September and is held on the fourth Thursday of each month. Picton hosts eight separate art galleries, and the Art Crawl affords visitors with the chance to explore each at their own pace and meet up with various artists and curators.
While Picton, offers entertainment and activities year-round, the winter weather can be quite frigid. Scheduling a trip around Canada Day, celebrated on July 1, can be a great way to immerse oneself in Canadian culture. On this day, celebrates the anniversary of the passing of the Constitution Act of 1867. This historic act united three separate colonies, the province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into the single dominion of Canada, then a portion of the greater British Empire.
Picton's Canada Day celebration is a classic street fair where traffic is redirected from downtown and the streets are filled with vendors and stages for demonstrations and music. A number of bands play throughout the day, and past celebrations have featured a one-man circus and Thai Chi demonstrations. For the kids and kids at heart, Picton's Canada Day event features a full-size maze, party train, balloon animals, face painting, and more. Because summers in Picton can get warm, there are also shade tents and hydration stations.
A Firelight Lantern Festival sponsored by the Department of Illumination Artistic Company is held in early mid-November and in early December, the Picton Santa Claus Parade runs through downtown Picton between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m.
While events are held year-round in Picton, weather is something to take into consideration. Summers in Picton are mild, while winters can be cold, dry, and windy. For visitors interested in warm weather activities, the best months to visit Picton are between late June and early September.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Picton, ON:
Picton by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Picton, ON. You can use these charts to determine the cheapest months to book a room in Picton during the year.
What Are Some Luxury Hotel Options in Picton, ON?
4 Star Average Prices: $314.20
If you're in the mood for staying in luxury, Picton affords a few high-end hotels.
Built in 1878 for Edwards Merrill, Merrill House is a fully restored Victorian house teeming with gorgeous artwork and furniture. To stay in one of the 14 individually decorated historic rooms in the Merrill House is to immerse oneself in culture and magnificence. In addition to first-class amenities, the Merrill House features a kitchen run by head chef Michael Sullivan that specializes in French cuisine, a fully stocked wine cellar curated by wine director Astrid Young, and a staff ready to cater to whatever extravagance your heart may desire.
The Merrill House also hosts a number of different on-site attractions including: a conservatory bar, a sculpture and photography gallery, a cocktail parlor, beautifully manicured gardens, and even a virtual reality lounge. Each of the 14 available rooms comes fitted with its own brand-new bathroom, an iPad, a smart TV, a library, and a fully stocked mini bar.
The Manse Boutique Inn Bed, Breakfast and Spa, provides luxury and comfort in the heart of downtown Picton. With an eye toward ecology and health, the seven unique rooms on the second and third floor of this majestic estate house are furnished with 100% Toronto-made Simply Natural queen-size bed mattresses, topped with hypoallergenic bamboo soy foam, and latex pillowtops. The Manse's dining room is open to guests for private meals. The chef works closely with local farmers to source produce and seasonal ingredients. The Manse prides itself on offering quality, intimate, home cooked meals for its guests.
What Are Some Budget Hotels Near Picton, ON?
3 Star Average Prices: $145.00
Hotel and motel accommodations in Picton are varied, ranging from quaint antique bed and breakfasts to more conventional lodges and inns. As tourism is one of Picton's primary enterprises, there are a handful of options close to town and a variety of hotel options within a 20 mile radius of Picton.
The Merland Park Cottages offer 17 affordable detached units. Located close to the beach and only minutes away from downtown Picton, the Merland Cottages have a number of different sized units and beds, ranging from a three-bedroom cottage to single bedroom units. The number and size of beds varies depending on the cottage. Each unit comes with its own fenced deck, and there is also a seasonal pool, playground, free parking, and Wi-Fi.
The Picton Harbor Inn is another affordable option for the would-be visitor. The inn features 32 units overlooking the water and is only a short distance from downtown Picton; the Regent Theater is a four minute walk away. The Picton Harbor Inn also features a restaurant, a picnic area, free wi-fi and parking.