Rally of the Tall Pines 2023: Your Weekend Guide to Canada's Largest Car Rally

It's that time of year again in Bancroft, Ontario! Here's everything you need to know to enjoy an epic couple of days.

The Rally of the Tall Pines is entering its 26th year here in Bancroft, Ontario. Held on November 24-25, 2023, Canada's largest rally is a favourite end-of-the-year event for a lot of drivers. The winding, uneven and often aggressive backroads of Bancroft offer a technical stage for even the best of the best—and it's a lot of fun to watch! 

A true shoulder season event, winter roads and summer ditches are what the rally is known for. The regional rally has 113 km of stage while the full national event has 180 km, according to organizers. Its challenging route is a badge of honour for organizers, contestants and locals alike.

Crowd watching car racing
Spectators line the route to watch the thrilling Rally of the Pines—now in its 26th year. 

There are few events that draw such a crowd of people on a historically chilly weekend, but rally fans are second to none. Once you’re there, rally fan or not, it's hard to tear yourself away from the sound of roaring engines and the sight of the cars floating around corners or appearing out of thin air over a knoll.

While there’s lots to watch during the rally itself—both during the Friday night Shakedown and stages all day Saturday—there are a lot of other attractions and entertainment to check out in Bancroft over the weekend.  After all, it’s a long drive for a lot of you rally fans, why not make the most of it? Here's our guide to making the most of your rally weekend in Bancroft. 

Where to Eat in Bancroft

Bancroft has no shortage of restaurants, diners, cafes and bistros. There is something for everyone's tastes without having to resort to fast food. It'd be a shame to come all the way to Bancroft and not try out some local hotspots.


Cafe BC
This is a local favourite—it’ll be hard to find a seat here during peak hours, but an early breakfast or brunch would be doable! Fast service, big portions and great service.

Pine Star Restaurant
This establishment may be very busy the weekend of the rally as it is incredibly close to the rally headquarters in L’Amble, but it's worth it!


The Granite
Friendly staff and excellent, consistent food. A favourite dish amongst locals is their sesame ginger chicken on noodles. If you come into town a day early for Thursday, call ahead and see if you can get in on a trivia night. 

Eagles Nest Restaurant
A small place close to Millennium Park that's often overlooked as Tim Horton’s is nearby. You’re doing yourself a disservice by not having a meal of any nature here. Portion sizes, friendliness, and quality are all great.


Hamburger and fries on a plate at Bancroft Brew Pub

Bancroft Brew Pub
Another local favourite, often hosting live music, karaoke or open mic nights this is a great place to transition from dinner into the nightlife Bancroft has to offer.

The Curry House
A relatively new addition to our restaurant roster here in Bancroft and we’re all happier for it! My go-to dish is Chicken Korma. Get the garlic naan to go with it, you won’t be disappointed. 

Where to Shop in Bancroft on Saturday

A lot of stores in Bancroft are indeed closed on Sundays. That is the nature of a small town, but it adds to its charm. Once you’re good and cold after a few hours of stages of the rally, it's time to hit the town! 

Mack Attack Outdoors  
There's something for everyone at Mack Attack Outdoors. Is this an outdoors enthusiasts store? Absolutely. Will others find something they’ll like too? You bet! 

Lakeside Gems
A delightful little shop full of, you guessed it, gems! A unique spot to check off your list in Bancroft, the mineral capital of Canada!

Ashlie’s Books  
This bookstore has been a staple for many locals who grew up here and is not to be missed by any fellow bookworms.

Handcrafted Sweetness 
Exactly as the title sounds, this tiny little storefront boasts some pretty impressive handmade items including clay jewelry by the owner herself.

Cedar & Co. Botanicals
An adorable boutique full of handmade finds from clothing to serums.

West Wind Gallery and Gifts
Another local staple. The store owner does a fantastic job of bringing new stock in and there will be a gift you can find in there for anyone!

Where to Explore in Bancroft on Sunday

If you'd like to explore to stretch your legs before you make the trek home, we recommend some of these picturesque locations. There's even more to explore in the spring and summer months, so be sure to visit again.

Silent Lake Provincial Park
Some folks who come to the rally stay at Silent Lake in their Yurts and permanent cabins. However, accommodations at this location fill up quickly, up to six months in advance. Accommodations or not, there are scenic trails to use in this quiet park, a no-motor lake to enjoy some peacefulness on

High Falls in Bird’s Creek
You can drive directly into this scenic stop, or you can hike yourself in. The hike will take around an hour, both in, and out, so make sure you plan accordingly with the fading daylight.

A brunette woman in a jacket on the bridge at High Falls Birds Creek

High Falls in Highland Grove

A mini hike that takes 30 minutes to reach your destination on a well-beaten path. You’ll enjoy the peek-a-boo sights of the river along the way, and when you make it to the waterfall that many enjoy swimming in the summer, you’ll see it was worth the detour.

Rally of the Tall Pines Resources and Key Info

When is the Rally of the Tall Pines?

November 24-25, 2023

Where is the Rally of the Tall Pines?

Bancroft, Ontario

When does the Rally of the Tall Pines start?

The rally begins at 9 am and goes until roughly 10:30 in the evening. 

There is an awards podium at 11:15 pm at the rally headquarters—Dungannon Recreation Centre.

Where can I find information about watching the Rally of the Tall Pines? 

Spectator information including a schedule of events and parking areas can be found here: https://www.tallpinesrally.com/spectate/

This spectator schedule offers a more detailed look at when/where you’ll want to be to plan your day.

Be Safe and Have Fun!

Please respect rally officials and volunteers. There are boundaries and blocks in place for your safety. This is a true rally and with that comes significant risk to spectators and drivers alike.

About Alyssa Lloyd

Alyssa Lloyd is a photojournalist based out of Kenora working with Ontario's Sunset Country. The outdoors has been the center of her work and personal life for as long as she can remember. As an angler, Alyssa spends most of her time time chasing multiple species on both conventional and fly gear. 

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