Monster Month: A Complete Visitor's Guide to Elora, Ontario [2022]

Few places in Canada celebrate Halloween quite like Elora, Ontario.

Monster Month is a month-long festival celebrating all things monster-related. You'll find unique outdoor lantern sculptures of monsters, ghosts, goblins and even a nine-metre-long Loch Ness Monster.

In the months before the launch of Monster Month, over 70 volunteers and participants do secret work repairing monsters for the start of Monster Month. These creatures are from the imagination of local artist Tim Murton.

Monster Month has become a big deal in Centre Wellington and draws thousands of visitors from across Ontario!

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about visiting Monster Month in Elora, accommodations, important information and resources for visitors for your best visit to "Ontario's Most Beautiful Village!"

Let's take a look!

During October, the quaint village of Elora transforms and comes alive with incredible sights, sounds, tastes and monsters. It's a festival that's grown into neighbouring Aboyne and the Town of Fergus, Ontario.

Halloween-themed events are everywhere in Centre Wellington!

We've assembled a comprehensive guide for hotels, dining, local attractions, and Monster Month essentials. Here's what we'll cover:

Elora & Fergus are located in the Township of Centre Wellington. Here is helpful information and links for your visit:

Let's take a look at Monster Month in Elora!

October in Centre Wellington has grown into a massive celebration that draws thousands from all across Ontario.

Monster Month and the Twilight Zoo have been decorating the streets of Elora for twenty years.

The festival is more than just an exhibition of mysterious lantern monsters that decorate the village. It's exploded into a month-long celebration of events, activities and Halloween fun, including magic shows, monster parades, ghost tours, zombie invasions, plus unforgettable sights of the Elora Gorge, Tooth of Time and Grand River.

Monster Month is a perfect daycation with friends, family, photographers, hikers and adventure seekers! Let's take a look at Monster Month dates and how it all started!

30 Days Of Monsters

Monster Month is an annual celebration in Elora that happens every October. Visitors from near and far come to Monster Month, where they can see the 80+ lantern monsters any time of day or night!

Monster Month takes place in Elora from October 1 - 31 every year.

It's a great way to get out and enjoy Elora's beautiful scenery, Halloween and the beautiful fall colours.

Village of Lantern-Halloween Sculptures

Over 80+ Lantern Halloween Sculptures in Elora, Ontario

Elora's monster tradition began in the late 90s with four monsters in the front yard of creator Tim Murton. Tim is an acclaimed artist and painter. At the time, Tim was working in the Toronto film industry. He has accumulated scenic art credits on more than 45 feature films in Canada, US and England.

A stressful industry and lifestyle.

Tim's doctor suggested he do something creative to deal with the anxiety and pressure of the film industry. Fast-forward twenty years, 80+ lantern monsters haunt Ontario's most beautiful village, attracting thousands of inspired visitors.

The collection of lantern monsters has grown from its creation in the late 90s to attract tens-of-thousands visitors across Ontario. Tim Murton titled his creation the Twilight Zoo.

Read: How a Small Village in Ontario Became Canada's MUST-SEE Halloween Destination

Tim Murton's Twilight Zoo was purchased in 2017 by the Elora non-profit organization Sensational Elora. Sensational Elora is known for year-round events that focus on our five senses.

Is Monster Month free?

Monster Month is absolutely FREE.

You can spend hours in Elora and Fergus walking from window to window without spending a dime. The lantern monsters of Tim Murton's Twilight Zoo are haunting the village all month long.

There are independently run events throughout the month, many are free or low cost. We'll cover a few highlights below.

Events At Monster Month

Monster Month is a celebration of all the things that go bump in the night.

It's a chance for you and your family to get out and enjoy the fall weather with some good, old-fashioned monster-themed fun.

Here are some of the most exciting events at Monster Month. You can also find the complete event list here. Most of the events are FREE with admission to the party!

Next, let's take a look at how to get the most out of your visit to Monster Month!

Monster Month Map

Monster Month isn't quite like your traditional town fair or haunted house—it's an interactive experience all over the city that comes to life in the streets. From pumpkin carving contests to costume contests and magic shows, there's no shortage of events happening during Monster Month.

You can find out what kinds of events are happening and where on the Monster Month Map! It's an interactive Google Map you can access on any device:

Check out the Monster Map here https://monstermonth.ca/map

Every year Monster Month shares the location of all lantern monsters and other helpful features around town on their website and interactive Google Map.

You'll discover:

  • A list of participating businesses and attractions hosting monsters

  • A complete listing of live events

  • Deals and specials by local Centre Wellington businesses during Monster Month

Many businesses hold special events that benefit local organizations, such as food banks and animal shelters.

Elora and Fergus are located in the Township of Centre Wellington and are a short drive from many major cities in Ontario. Here's a look at Elora's location and important driving information.

Where is Elora Ontario

Elora, Ontario, is a charming town in the Township of Centre Wellington.

The Township in southern Ontario is home to the communities of Elora and Fergus. Roughly 30,000 people call this scenic area home. It's about an hour and a half from Toronto and a 20-minute drive from Guelph. The village is known for its picturesque limestone buildings, fantastic food, and unique Halloween celebrations during October!

The area has many year-round trails and hiking opportunities through the towns of Elora and Fergus. It's a great place to take a walk or ride your bike.

Here is a list of typical driving distances and driving times for many of the cities and towns in Ontario.

Driving Times to Elora from Major Ontario Cities & Towns

City / Town

​Distance

Drive Time

Map

​Toronto

115 km

1 hr 15 min

​Kitchener-Waterloo

​30 km

​30 min

Hamilton

73 km

1 hr

London

137 km

1 hr 35 min

Barrie

130 km

1 hr 40 min

Windsor

315 km

3 hr 15 min

Owen Sound

118 km

1 hr 30 min

Niagara Falls

148 km

1 hr 45 min

Wellington County Museum & Archives

Public Parking in Elora

The village can get very busy on weekends.

There are plenty of municipal parking lots around Elora for your vehicle, but we recommend coming early to make sure you get a good spot.

The village closes the two main downtown streets for pedestrian access only on weekends.

There are four Municipal parking lots in downtown Elora.

  • Geddes Street at East Mill Street

  • MacDonald Square at the Centre Wellington Civic Centre

  • Metcalfe Street

  • Carlton Street at Metcalfe Street

Downtown Elora Parking Lots

Street Closures

The village of Elora and the Township of Centre Wellington close off the downtown streets entirely for pedestrian street traffic. You can walk around the historic downtown during the summer and autumn months. Street closures begin Saturday at 9 am and re-open at 7 pm Sunday.

The following streets will be affected by the closure:

  • West Mill St. from Price St. to Metcalfe St.

  • East Mill St. from Metcalfe St. to Karger Gallery

  • Metcalfe St. from West Mill St. to Geddes St.

Public Washrooms

Public washrooms are available downtown at the visitors centre (10 East Mill) or Bissel Park (127 E Mill St).

There are also portable washrooms located in Victoria Park.

Visit the Elora Information Centre

Stop in and visit the Elora Information Centre located downtown Elora for maps, local restaurant guides, information, etc.

The Elora Info Cente is open from 11–4 pm.

​Elora Information Centre 10 East Mill Street, Elora, ON

N0B 1S0 Open seven days a week. Toll-free: 1.877.242.6353 Email: tourism@centrewellington.ca Map of this Location



Free WiFi

Free WiFi is now available throughout downtown Elora and Fergus!

Dining in Elora & Fergus

Here is a list of local downtown Elora restaurants.

​Restaurant Name

Address

Site

Map

Open

The Cellar's Pub & Grill

13 Mill Street East

Wed - Sun

The Evelyn

130 Metcalfe St

Fri - Mon

The Elora Mill

77 Mill St W

Daily

​The Friendly Society

8 Mill St W

Daily

Shepard's Pub

5 Mill St E

Tue - Sun

Elora Brewing Company

107 Geddes St

Daily

The Wild Tart

61 Metcalfe St

Daily

Box Social

103 Geddes St

Tue - Sun

​Elora Distilling Company

​102 Metcalfe St

Daily

Accommodations & Hotels

Hotels Near Elora

Hotel Name

City

KM

Map

Price

Elora Mill & Spa

Elora

0

Map

​$400 - 700

The Village Inn

​Elora

​>1 km

​$100 - 150

​Best Western Plus Fergus Hotel

Fergus

6 km

Map

​$170 - 200

Comfort Inn Guelph

​Guelph

21 km

$​120 - 150

​Super 8 by Wyndham Guelph

​Guelph

18 km

Map

$​75 - 120

Hampton Inn & Suites Guelph

Guelph

​22 km

$150 - 200

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Guelph

​Guelph

​20 km

$​170 -200

We've gathered all the essential local accommodations and hotel information here.

Things to Do in Elora During Monster Month

Here is a list of tips and suggestions for your visit to Elora this fall.

Local Must-See Attractions

If you are coming to Elora & Fergus for the first time, these are the things we highly recommend you see during your visit.

  1. Elora Gorge Lookout & Trails

  2. Tooth of Time & Elora Gorge Waterfalls

  3. Wellington County Museum & Archives

  4. Templin Gardens (Fergus)

  5. Elora Centre for the Arts

  6. Trestle Trail Bridge

Be sure and visit the neighbouring Town of Fergus, filled with even more Halloween shopping and displays.

Self-Guided Monster Month Map

Take a self-guided Monster Tour through the village and meet our monsters, businesses and local attractions.

See a map https://monstermonth.ca/map.

Monster QR Codes: Learn and Interact!

You'll find Monster QR Codes located throughout the Township.

We filmed several videos with Sensational Elora's, Elora & Fergus Tourism and included clips from Tim Murton and MonsterMentary.

Monster QR codes can be scanned at many locations—a fun way to learn fascinating stories about the Monsters, the village and other Secrets.

Monster March

Monster March is a Halloween parade in downtown Elora, the second last Saturday evening in October. It's like a regular parade, but it's all monsters instead of vehicles, floats and candy!

Bring the whole family to Monster March—it's a safe and fun event that you won't want to miss!

Learn more about the Monster March here.

Magic Festival

The magic isn't just in the Halloween costumes this month—it's everywhere!

In addition to the usual spooky fun, during Monster Month, you can also catch world-class magicians, and magic shows throughout October.