Why Everyone Stops in this Small Town Near Barrie

Thornton has nearly as many ice cream shops as it does stop signs

While driving through Thornton one thing that quickly becomes apparent is the number of ice cream signs. For a town with a population of 1,001, four ice cream stops seems like a lot.

Brenda Coletta chalks it up to a few things. Coletta owns Brain Freezz, which has been serving up ice cream in Thornton since 1990. She says all of the shop owners actually get along.

“We’re all in competition, but we are friendly and get along quite well. ” Brain Freezz owner Brenda Coletta.

Stacey Geddes came to Thornton with her mom as a child and now brings her daughters. “We come any chance we can, it’s a tradition for us, we love it.”

A family eating ice cream in Thornton

Stacey Geddes with her daughters outside of Brain Freezz.

Coletta thinks the town thrives for a couple of reasons, including its wide main street. “As you can tell, we have ample parking for all of those cottagers and campers. People looking for the scenic route home on the weekend often come through here to get off of the 400 highway.”

Ice Cream at Brain Freezz

Coletta also thinks the shops survive because they all have something a bit different to offer. “Like the town itself, we are all a bit unique…just like the newest player in the ice cream game that serves up vegan ice cream.”

The oh-so cool retro feeling Thornton Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe

One of four ice cream stops in Thornton

Thornton Ice Cream Parlour and Cafe. One of four ice cream stops in Thornton

The Thornton Ice Cream Parlour and Cafe is one of those spots people love taking selfies in while enjoying a treat. It’s decor and vibe is truly instagram worthy.

Desiree Salis serves up vegan ice cream just next door at Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet. She says they found a niche with non-dairy flavours. “We often see long line-ups of people on the weekends at the other shops. We obviously get some of them to come here when they see the vegan sign outside.”

Try vegan ice cream at Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet

Vegan Ice Cream in Thornton

Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet Restaurant now serves Vegan Ice Cream

Salis says people often talk about how many ice cream shops there are in Thornton. “We’re like the ice cream capital.”

Try the cotton candy burrito at Sweet Tooth Scoops

Sweet Tooth Scoops in Thornton

Sweet Tooth Scoops in Thornton

If you want to try something you won’t soon forget, try the cotton candy burrito at Sweet Tooth Scoops, with two scoops of Kawartha Dairy ice cream, a layer of strawberry marshmallows, with some blue cake sprinkles and pink and blue cotton candy.

 cotton candy burrito at Sweet Tooth Scoops in Thornton

cotton candy burrito at Sweet Tooth Scoops