Iowa's Toronto may be much smaller than Canada's, but it does have HeineeJo's and Walnut Grove Park

Toronto, Iowa, with a population of around 125, is the second smallest incorporated community in Clinton County.


Toronto, Canada, with a population easily exceeding 2.5 million, is the largest city in Canada.


Yet, despite the massive differences, the Clinton County community, which got it's name because the town's founder grew up in the Canadian city, is quaint community that is home to some nice people, a great restaurant, and a beautiful county park that lies along the Wapsipinicon River.

Iowa Adventurer visited this small town one Saturday last Fall and enjoyed lunch at HeineeJo's, the town's popular restaurant and bar, that doubles as both a pool hall and pseudo-museum.

HeineeJo's is the only restaurant in town and it's right on Mill Street, the main north/south blacktop running through town.

Walking in to the main entrance, you instantly realize the place is definitely a bit more partisan towards the Hawkeyes. As a Cyclone, I've just come to (sadly) expect that in Eastern Iowa.

The inside of the place is quite spacious and full of seating options. There's a variety of tables and even a few stools at the bar.

There are a couple of pool (billiards) tables set up and I noticed that one of the walls had a bunch of information about pool leagues and past champions.

I don't know whether COVID-19 has affected things, but there were sheets up with information about the current leagues.

One of the walls is full of old pictures and information about Toronto. It serves as a bit of a museum of sorts for the town.

There's other unique decor that give the place the sort of small town character and charm that you would expect at a place like this. For example, there's a naked mannequin woman behind the bar. I'm guessing there must be a good story behind that.

There's also a TouchTunes machine on the wall and a couple of video type games in a corner.

The menu at HeineeJo's looks pretty similar to what you would find at a lot of small town bars and grills with burgers, tenderloins, fries, and appetizers. However, they have Tuesday night chicken wings, seafood Saturdays, tacos on Wednesday nights, and chicken on Sundays.

There's even a calendar of specials on a marker board. Who says meal prepping is hard?

You can also find a bulletin bard with to-go menus, a monthly calendar, city business, and business cards. As I always say, you know you are in a popular place in rural Iowa when you find the bulletin board of event notices, job postings, and business cards.

I decided to try the unbreaded pork tenderloin sandwich and I should have gotten the basket which included the fries. I saw a few other guys order a basket AFTER me and it looked spectacular. Rookie mistake. Instead, I ordered an appetizer of corn nuggets as a side. It was all delicious, however.

The nice woman who was working even brought me out some condiments and containers of pickles and onion. I'm not a ranch consumer (am I really Iowan?), but many who do love ranch would probably appreciate that they bring out an entire bottle.

If you are more thirsty than hungry, they do have a fully stocked bar with a television behind it.

You can even buy a pack of smokes. That's something that used to be quite commonplace in small town bars but I see less of these days.

During nicer weather, you can enjoy a nice patio area behind the building. There's a set of doors that leads you right out there.

After I finished my meal, which was very delicious, promptly served, and quite reasonably priced, I headed out to check out the rest of Toronto. Next door to HeineeJo's is a beautiful, stately old house.

There are a couple of other buildings in the downtown area, too.

A couple of these old buildings look like they are in tougher shape but I'm sure could be very neat if they could be brought back to life and repurposed.

This particular building has the remnants of an old advertising mural on the side. I would love to see that restored.

Toronto is home to a couple of churches, both of which are very similar in their architecture. The Catholic Church is on the south end of town on the highway.

There's also the Community Church of Toronto. However, I looked online and on Facebook and could not find any information about the services or the congregation. I'm wondering if it is still an active church?

Elsewhere in town, I found an emergency services garage that houses the fire department.

The town has a number of single family dwellings of varying size.

On the north side of town, right along the banks of the Wapsipinicon River, is Walnut Grove Park. It is a nice county park that is managed by the Clinton County Conservation Board.