Ahh Burlington Village Square… what can I say except for, wow what an unexpected find! Growing up in the Greater Toronto Area, I’ve had my fair share of discovering locations reminiscent of European towns like:
So imagine my surprise when I recently discovered this tiny and hidden nook in Burlington! While it is certainly much smaller in size than all the other locations listed above, the Burlington Village Square is a great place to visit if you’re looking for:
- summer night aesthetic vibes
- a less crowded and smaller version of Distillery District
- a space that looks like it came straight out of a Christmas Postcard in the winter
- somewhere to spend some time after enjoying Burlington’s lakeside boulevard
- a space to appreciate historical building preservations
- a space to browse cute specialty stores in a quiet space
- or somewhere to shop at that supports small local businesses and restaurants
About Burlington Village Square
Developed in the late 1970’s and opened to the public in 1977, the Burlington Village Square is a shopping center located in the heart of downtown Burlington. This place is reminiscent of historical European town squares. Much like its larger cousin, the Distillery District, the shopping center contains a mix of:
- commercial use
- specialty retail use
- restaurant use
- cultural use
This small nook is actually home to over thirty diverse businesses – many of which are small businesses found only in the square. Some of the businesses that call this space home include: photographers, specialty chocolate stores, counselling services, student travel services, and dining services.
Is Burlington Village Square Dog-Friendly?
Yes, but outdoors only. The entire outdoor space, including the gazebo in the center of the square, is pet-friendly. However, like most other places, most indoor businesses do not welcome pets indoors. Based on some inquires to the management office, I have also confirmed that the dining patios are indeed dog-friendly, so you can definitely spend some time here eating and enjoying the great outdoors with your pooch!
Best Times to Visit Burlington Village Square
The outdoor area of Village Square is open to the public year-round 24 hours a day. While beautiful at any point in time, I’ve listed out three of the best times to visit Village Square depending on what type of experience you’re looking for:
1. For Shopping Local Crafts – Visit in the Summer Time
Burlington Village Square transforms into a bustling nook during the summer as it is a popular location for many summer pop up series. Each month the outdoor space is transformed as it features a rotating selection of local craft goods, live music, and many kid-friendly activities.
2. For Night Time Aesthetics – Visit in the Spring/Summer Nights
Lately Angelo has been really into capturing summer night aesthetics. So one spring evening, we decided to explore somewhere new and fortunately, we decided to head West of Toronto.
During the late evening, Burlington Village Square transforms in a romantic nook perfect for a couples to enjoy a short, romantic stroll. When we arrived at around 9 PM, there was no, of course, nobody there. With just two of us exploring the space, it really felt like we were transported to a small European town with the streets all to ourselves. With the romantic fairy lights lit up all over the square, the empty space felt cozy, warm, and inviting.
*Note* for formal photo shoots, you will need to obtain a photo permit to shoot onsite.
3. For Christmas Postcard Vibes – Visit with Winter Snow
With a layer of winter snow and carolling events hosted at the square, this small corner really transforms into a place that looks straight out of a Christmas Card!
Activities Near Burlington Village Square
Unless you’re looking to spend some time shopping and eating at the square, your visit can range from a short 15-minute stroll to several hours. However, if you’re looking to extend your stay in Burlington, here are some additional activities nearby that you can do while you’re around the area:
- Walk South to enjoy the Burlington Waterfront Trail
- Enjoy the lakeside view at the nearby Brant Street Pier
- Follow a bit of Terry Fox’s Marathon route by heading over to view the Burlington Terry Fox Monument
- Cool off at the waterjet parks with the kids at the Spencer Smith Park
- from November to January the waterfront space and the park side is transformed with light displays for the Burlington Festival of Lights event
- Visit the Art Gallery of Burlington (temporarily closed due to COVID restrictions)
- Enjoy the rich blooming flowers at the Royal Botanical Gardens Burlington
- Take a 3.5km walk at the nearby trail and waterfall by visiting Smokey Hollow Waterfall
Did you visit Burlington Village Square? I really hope you give visiting the space at the night a try! It’s just so romantic! Let me know about your visit in the comments below!