Live Small Town Magazine Spring 2017

Page 1

{explore} SPRING 2017

The Best of THE South West top-notch Attractions, Art, entertainment, FOOD, DRINK, history and Outdoor Adventures, All Closer to home THAN YOU THINK!

Long Point Eco-Adventures Awaits you. Don’t miss it!


Live it for a day... Live it for a lifetime!

Your Guide to Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk Counties The Epic Family Road trip / Your Personal Tour Guide Plan Your Next Getaway / Farmin’ Ain’t E-Z Local Heroes / Healing With Horses / Treats 5 Ways

The perfecT pairing of STyle, relaxaTion, local flavour & aTTainabiliTy

Whether you’ve come for a day of relaxation at our spa, to dine at our beautiful lake front restaurant that specializes in local cuisine or to golf on our expansive greens you’ll know you’ve come home! We’ve created an inviting playground for the young at heart and you are all welcome to join in. // // 2 LIVE SMALL TOWN

What’s inside

COVER PHOTO COURTESY Southwest Ontario Tourism, CONTENTS PHOTO BY Nancy Domsic Kings -

Live Small Town / SPRING 2017





Small Town Change Makers Meet some of the people, places and businesses making a difference in your community and learn how you can help.

E-Z Life One of Canada’s most eligible bachelors, meet the man who is revolutionizing the way Canadians farm, while having a ball in the process.

Go Play Outside Ever wanted to sell all your things and go on an epic road trip? We met one family who did just that, and documented their entire journey.

Small Town Sunday The debut entry in our “Ultimate Insider’s Guide”, highlights on what to eat, buy and indulge in around Haldimand County.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 3

What’s inside



Team Magic Every dream begins with a plan, and our debut issue introduces you to the collection of publishing insiders which helped to make Live Small Town possible.

Deep Roots We help bring local history back to life, and tell you where to look for heritage, knowledge and wonderment in your community. Let’s get out and explore!



Food for Thought Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth, a rich palette, or simply enjoy a night out on the town or quiet afternoon to relax, we’ve got the place for you.

Arts & Culture From world-class artists and live theatre to intimate concerts, get introduced to local talent and discover the best places to soak up and enjoy the culture.



Earth to Table We roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, bringing you new farming techniques, local heroes, and creative food/drink options in these entertaining and delicious pages.

Nature Calls When the weather is nice and your agenda is open, there’s nothing like exploring the great outdoors and we want to get you pointed in the right direction.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nancy Domsic Kings -

Live Small Town / SPRING 2017

Documentary Lifestyle Photography

inspired by a wild imagination and documenting the intricacies that define daily life; celebrating the in-betweens, knowing that every moment counts Limited availability for Documentary Lifestyle Photo Sessions in 2017. Email to book your session today!

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 5

SPRING 2017 VOL. 1 NO. 1 Editor Tim Zwart

You’re more than a policyholder.

Art Director Kate Sharrow ILLUSTRATOR Louise Jessup PhotographERS

Georgia Atkinson, Nancy Domasic-Kings, Marc Douglas, Mark Elias, Nancy Howden-Cowell, Mark Haak, Ryan O’Grady, Jay Perry, Carrie Woolley Writers

Elle Bouck, Judy Courtemanche, Stacey Cox-Farrant, Mark Haak, David Hind, Nancy Howden-Cowell, Kerri Kelly-Parkinson, Arjan Lamers, Debbie Matthews, Shana Narciso, Jay Perry, Stephanie Pile, Karen Richardson, Kate Sharrow, Sam Simmons, Steve Smith, Jennifer Villamere, Anne Wynia, Tim Zwart






Georgia Atkinson, Nancy Howden-Cowell, Patricia Howden, Kerri Kelly-Parkinson, Kate Sharrow, Erica Strada Small town Gal/Owner/ ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Kerri Kelly-Parkinson Small town Gal/Owner/ PUBLISHER Kate Sharrow

1400 Northumberland Street, Ayr 519-632-7413 or 1-800-265-8792



Live Small Town Magazine is printed four times a year and distributed throughout Southern Ontario within various tourist associations, related services, retail locations and home distribution. Copyright 2017 Live Small Town Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Opinions and comments reflect those of the writers and are not necessarily those of the editorial and staff. At the time of publication, we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns or corrections you may have.

Your local experienced builder of quality homes. Innovative designs. Neighbourhoods of distinction.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 7


Welcome Home!

Authentic people, engaging stories and a sense of community and fellowship are what make small towns what they are, so it should come as no surprise that these are the pillars upon which the Live Small Town concept are built. We’ve started our own “town” within these very pages, and we’d love to introduce ourselves and invite you inside! KERRI KELLY-PARKINSON With the support of my husband, kids, family and friends, Kate and I have finally been able to realize our dream of publishing our own magazine! The journey from conception to final product has been fun, crazy, busy and chaotic, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have had the best time discovering amazing areas, businesses and people, and hearing the stories of what makes our communities unique and lovable. Thank you to everyone who supported and believed in us, and for everyone who contributed to creating the very first issue of Live Small Town Magazine. I hope all of you enjoy this publication as much as we enjoyed bringing it to life, and I wish you all happiness, laughter and love. KATE SHARROW

Kerri and I have worked together in publishing for years. There is no other person I would want to partner with as she is good and kind with the staying power of a work horse. Last year, we both stood facing each other in our agency’s parking lot and she asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up”? Both our answers were the same, and the conceptual idea of Live Small Town Magazine, began in that moment. We loved what we did, but we wanted it to be more meaningful, more reflective of who we are and what we valued. When we speak to people about what the magazine represents it seems to resinate with them. It seems to touch a nerve of what many are missing today. The wish to connect, support and be supported in community. 8 LIVE SMALL TOWN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nancy Domsic Kings -


Tim Zwart I embrace being a round peg in a square hole. A walking contradiction, I am a single dad of two small children, an American void of ignorance, love poutine but not maple syrup, and love sports but not hockey. A publishing veteran, magazine editor and author. My first book, Reload, is available on Amazon.

Louise Jessup I am a small town, artist gal based in Kitchener and I love the life we have “crafted”. When I am not creating, I am running madly after my four boys... sons William and Clark and a Portuguese Water Dog named Winston and of course my wonderful husband.


Jay Perry Over the last five years, besides working as a photographer being heavily involved in growing my charity, Friends With Heart, I have been spending my Sundays travelling to small pockets of Ontario and documenting my day trips online. Whether it be stories of unique individuals, #delicious #food, or #historic #landmarks, I’ve been detailing every event through photo, video and words. Look for this regular feature in Live Small Town Mag but also please like us on our Facebook​page as well follow my adventures on Instragram. I have some exciting ideas coming up and I can’t wait to show everyone the beauty that resides in our small towns. Besides shining a light on folks doing pretty amazing, change the world stuff in this mag, I also write for ET Canada, Villamere: The Lowbrow Magazine of High-End CanLit and I’ve just released a book: Is Canada Even Real? How a Nation Built on Hobos, Beavers, Weirdos, and Hip-Hop Convinced the World to Beliebe.

SHANA NARCISO I am a sustainable food advocate, small food business owner, mum to a brood of children and a partner to a local organic farmer. Food is part of everything I do. I believe that the foundation of a healthy community is the quality of the food we eat and how it gets to our plate.

NANCY DOMSIC KINGS MARC DOUGLAS I wouldn’t change a thing about growing up in the small town of Paris where I discovered a love for photography. My goal is to show the beauty, strength and enthusiasm of my subjects. As a husband and father of two children, I am a proud supporter of all things involving childhood cancer. I was born with a wild imagination. My mother was naturally creative, so I grew up painting, planting, sewing, baking and creating. The second I picked up my first camera I became obsessed with capturing the small wonders around me. To date, my permanent creative status allows me to be an art director by trade, photographer by fate and remain imaginative by nature. I spend most days in the middle of a creative mess or treading lightly while adventuring with my husband, two funny kids and our little westie pup at our side.


I live in a beautiful small village on the shores of Lake Erie and am surrounded by family, friends, art, local beauty, goodness and of course my sweet dog Mia. I will explore all the hidden gems that our lovely wee towns offer and share those experiences with you on social media and in the pages of Live Small Town Magazine.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 9

Kindness and caring is contagious!... It is the “bug” we should all hope to catch. I am a huge believer in paying it forward... hence my desire to showcase all of these “earth angels” and shine a light on the meaningful ways they help the people in our small town communities. Talk about it, get excited about it and most of all act on it! I will be showcasing acts of kindness in each issue of Live Small Town Magazine. If you have a special story, person or place that you would like me to showcase please reach out. Wishing you all smiles, happiness and love. Kerri

Friends With Heart Hamilton Following a mission trip to Haiti in 2010 Live Small Town Magazine’s very own Jay Perry discovered his passion for serving and has since dedicated his time and talent to charitable efforts including the establishment of Friends With Hearts which has raised $65,465.57 and provided 786 children with Christmas. We thank Jay for his dedication in helping families in need experience the true “Magic of Christmas”!


Change Makers, Having an Impact in a Community Near You! Sometimes it’s the little day-to-day things that go unrecognized in our lives which end up having the biggest impact BY Kerri Kelly-Parkinson

Stedman Community Hospice Brantford More than just a beautiful home-away-from home offering love, dignity, comfort and care to Brantford and area residents since 2004. From the moment of diagnosis of a life limiting illness, until your final breathe, the Hospice is here for you and your family. Constantly expanding its programs and services to meet critical emerging needs, they have become a beacon of hope to thousands of patients seeking pain and symptom management, along with their families in need of emotional support. Because of generous donations, nobody ever receives a bill for the care they need and deserve. We are very proud to be highlighting this community treasure to our readers. I had the sincere pleasure of meeting Olga Consorti, President and CEO of St. Joesph’s Lifecare Foundation. What a “soul fueling” visit. We thank you for your kindness and love.

100 Norfolk Men – Who Give A Damn Simcoe Working together to raise money for local charities and non-profit organizations in the community, four times a year, 100 men or more, give $100 each to support a single local cause. (Approx $10,000) This innovative thinking and commitment to helping others makes a powerful and meaningful difference, and we would like to say thank you to these men for all their efforts. What a great idea! 10 LIVE SMALL TOWN


PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nancy Domsic Kings -

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 11

Matthew Willson Paris With most of his time spent owning and operating multiple business (Lakeview Sand and Gravel, Willson Entertainment Productions), Matthew Willson still manages to stay true to his roots, and knows the importance of giving back to his community. Matt encourages and supports Child Hunger Brantford, donating thousands of dollars annually to ensure children have proper food and nutrition. A man of compassion, his belief is that children are never to blame for being hungry! For these simple acts of kindness, we say a big thank you to my friend Matt, and encourage others to get involved with this great cause.

Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue Hagersville I am choosing to showcase this organization because my Grandfather instilled in me my love for horses as horses embody a special kind of calm and love! Established in 2007, Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue is privately funded and run by Brenda and Dave Thompson and their team of animal loving volunteers. Together, they have saved over 190 horses in need, with many of these animals being adopted into permanent loving homes as a result of their efforts. We at Live Small Town Magazine would like to personally thank these special individuals who help these horses who don’t have a voice of their own! 12 LIVE SMALL TOWN

Let’s be friends! We are not a registered charity; we are a community of friends working together to restore the magic of Christmas for families in need and over the last 7 years we have raised $65,465.57 and provided 786 children with positive Christmas memories! Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 13

Food & Soul

Behind every good person, there has usually been some good food. At Live Small Town, we’d like to celebrate both: highlighting the best local foods and recipes around, while introducing you to the creative and talented people who make them possible. From innovative techniques and ingredients to updated twists on some of our old favorites, this is your one-stop-shop for everything food, family, and fellowship related. After all, every food journey starts with a single bite!


PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nancy Domsic Kings -


It’s in our roots Perhaps no other substance, except for beer and maple syrup, has a richer history in Canada than the versatile herb known as ginseng. Surprised? Well don’t be. Used in everything from teas to cooking to medicinal purposes, ginseng farms and suppliers are literally growing all over Norfolk County. In fact, the area is the largest grower and supplier of ginseng in Canada! Stories and tales revolving around this magical plant are everywhere, from the rich history of First Nation’s folklore to the impact of the imported Asian market. Take the tale of Great Mountain Ginseng Co, for example. Thirty years ago, Chinese immigrants were the first to establish and grow this major ginseng farming operation, and they show no signs of slowing down now. One of the largest growers in the province, Great Mountain supplies ginseng on a huge commercial scale to a variety of outlets around the world…even shipping it back to Asia! Visit to find other great suppliers and retailers, and learn why you should be making this hidden gem a staple in your daily diet.

Step Right Up, Don’t Be Shy! 2017 marks the 177th anniversary of the the Norfolk County Fair Grounds, and over the years it has built quite the reputation. Currently fourth in terms of size among Ontario’s fairs (and one of Canada’s largest), the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show attracts over 120,000 visitors each year, and is the pinnacle of property excitement. But wait, there’s more! These bustling grounds are home to many amazing events throughout the year, including The Wild Life Festival and Adventure show (March), Eat and Drink Norfolk (April), the Knights of Valour (June), complete with chariots and sword fights, Birds of Prey in Flight (October), and A Taste of Norfolk events. So come eat, drink and be merry, while celebrating and embracing the communities you call home

Our Compliments From Vintage Wines to Microbreweries and unique IPAs and Lagers, let us lend a hand with suggestions to accompany your meal or gathering

Bell City Brewing Co. Brantford, Ontario If you’re looking for a brew to pair with just about anything, then Bell City Brewing is the place for you. Featuring an eclectic selection of IPAs and Ales, these local legends make it their business to produce a beer for any palette. They even have one modelled after black coffee!

Frisky Beaver Wine Co. Port Dover, Ontario While typically not known as wine makers, there are quite a collection of busy beavers at work at a certain Port Dover winery. This local icon has a unique and affordable selection of whites, reds, and blends to choose from. Are you ready to get a little frisky?

New Limburg Brewery Simcoe, Ontario Transforming an old and rundown school into a buzzing microbrewery is no easy task, but the Geven Family have accomplished just that. Paying homage to the time-honored tradition of Belgian brewing, the team at New Limburg is obsessed with their craft; in the most beautiful way possible Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 15


Some things are so good, you just have to have more than one (and in this case, five). Like your senses, the Olympic rings, your fingers and toes, or the Jacksons, a solid quintet can electrify, entertain, amaze and fulfill us. So without further ado, here is just a sneak peak at our vast selection of sweet treats. PHOTOS BY MARC DOUGLAS

Bella’s Bakery & Boutique

Elle Bouck - Port Rowan Since I was a small girl, I’ve loved to bake. Whether it be small treats for a local bake sale, desserts for the family or cakes for special occasions, my passion for the kitchen started at a young age and has continued to grow. It was my dream to one day open a bakery of my own, but what I’ve created instead is more of a community hub; Bella’s has become a place where friends, family and neighbours gather to enjoy delicious sweet treats, breakfast or lunch, while also browsing through a boutique of locally made jams, pottery, handmade cards and much more! Come join Port Rowan and I in our ”sweet community”.

Nuts about Donuts! Norfolk County is the only town in Canada to have an official donut. @AppleCiderDonut The Apple Place

Debbie Matthews - Simcoe Upon entering The Apple Place you catch the sweet aroma of locally grown apples, cinnamon, fresh pies, tarts and cookies all hanging in the air, and we pride ourselves on being the go-to place for a community looking for that homemade authenticity. Fresh, local products such as honey, sparkling cider, maple syrup and preserves are also part of our community offerings, and nothing says Norfolk quite like the Apple Cider Donut. Stop in today to find your next new fave! 16 LIVE SMALL TOWN

Tea on the Grand

Judy Courtemanche - Paris I come from a long line of family historians, six generations digging through the dust in search of who had come before us. Twenty-seven years ago, my husband and I decided to recreate some of that history, opening a bed and breakfast/tea house, we called Wolverton Manor. In a classic Greek Manor perched on the edge of the Grand River, we work day and night to bring original recipes from the 1850s back to life. If you’re interested in fresh breads from the hearth, homemade pastries and sweets, and reliving a part of what made this country great, give us call or stop on by!

Sweet Occasions Stacey takes the fear out baking in her TV Show Sweet Occassions on


Chef Dan Megna - Cayuga Since 2009, Twisted Lemon has offered fans, friends and flavour junkies, another reason to drive to Cayuga. We practice not only farm-to-fork dining, but also root-to-rim, all available at our award-winning kitchen and Laurie’s cocktail bar. With over three decades of hospitality experience between us (including North 44 and Sotto Sotto), we cashed our corporate cheques and graduated to small-town life, raising our families while continuing to “rede-fine dining”. Private Chef’s Tables, tasting menus, catering, cooking classes and private dining rooms are all options.

Sweet Bakery

Stacey Cox-Farrant - Brantford I wanted to craft Sweet Bakery into a unique shop, offering nostalgic treats with modern panache. Everything is made from scratch, using only the finest ingredients (including real butter!). At Sweet, we also offer a full Gluten-friendly menu, custom cakes and treats, and a decadent Edible Cookie Dough Counter. Something for everyone! Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 17

PHOTO Courtesy Ontario Tourism


Finders Keepers getting to know THE cornucopia of wild foodS Will create deeper connection with nature AND NourisHment. BY SHANA NARCISO Wild edibles are an adventurous and delicious way to understand the natural world and how our food grows, while doing the one thing we love to do and must do, eat! As a new forager, I am discovering the joy and practicality of the seasonal offerings, that are full of nutrients and cooking inspiration. For many years, I have been committed to growing my small food business, my brood of children and supporting my organic farming partner and like so many, I spent much of my time running in multiple directions. But when I stop and decide to bring my often bored kids on a hike to forage, they come alive with excitement, for not only exploration but for the cooking too!


Arriving in early Spring, ramps (wild leeks) are found in wooded areas and have a garlic-like flavour. Both the leaf and bulb are edible but there are sustainability concerns over harvesting practices. Harvest only one leaf from each plant and even better, plant your own patch.

Not all varieties and parts of these plants/fungi are edible. You need to do your research to make sure a plant is edible and how to safely prepare it.



Stinging Nettle


With the month of May, a wild mushroom considered to be a culinary delicacy with its nutty, steak-like flavour arrives. Morels can be harvested with no worry of endangerment and are tricky to find but will popup amongst trilliums and along river banks each year.

In mid-Spring before they uncurl into tall ferns, fiddleheads can be harvested alongside streams and in shady areas of the forest floor. A grassy, fresh flavoured vegetable that needs to be cleaned and cooked. Our kids love it blanched and then sautĂŠed with ramps, sunflower oil and salt.

An edible perennial that grows abundantly along streams, ditches and the edges of farm fields. In early Spring, harvest the young tender leaves with gloves and steam, sautĂŠ or boil them to lose their sharp stinging hairs and enjoy an earthy, spinach-like vegetable.

Until recently, considered an ugly weed that was poisoned by many is now an ingredient in wild edible feasts. The flower, leaf and root are edible and offer many health benefits and flavour. Our favourite is dandelion flower fritters alongside a dandelion leaf salad.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 19

Food Network’s Top Chef Canada Chef William Thompson fast at work serving up some unforgetable food to a hungry crowd of village loving foodies.

Culinary & Currents

Nestled on the banks of the Grand River, this hidden gem will quickly become a staple on your spring and summer agenda. BY TIM ZWART In food, as in life, finding the perfect balance of setting and substance can be challenging. We are all on the lookout for that perfect atmosphere, scenery and company, and when we happen upon it, the results can be magical. Enter, Stillwater’s Plate and Pour in Paris, ON. The restaurant boasts a perfected and exciting menu, focusing on market fresh, quality ingredients that are sourced as local as possible; while the rooftop patio provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Paris and the Grand River below that is nothing short of picturesque. Imagine sinking your fork into their sinfully delicious Mango Thai Chili Cashew Chicken Stir-fry, listening to the sounds of the lazy river below, then closing your eyes to take it all in with the softness of a warm summer breeze blowing through your hair. The recipe of a perfect evening out is cooking as we speak... Bon appetit!

MEET THEIR NEIGHBOURS Chocolate Sensations The Paris Wincey Mills Co. Pinevest Homes Cobblestone Public House Paris Jewellers Enrapt Boutique & Spa Arlington Hotel Paris Grand Golf and Country Club Juniper Dining Co 20 LIVE SMALL TOWN


Culinary Arts


NORFOLK COUNTY Normandale The Normandale Century Inn and Restaurant

2326 Front Rd, Stay for few nights or for a single meal and enjoy their licensed outdoor patio featuring delicious country cuisine. PORT DOVER David’s Restaurant

168 New Lake Shore Rd, This refined Canadian restaurant with lake view, offers an upstairs lounge with live weekend music. Knechtel’s

15 Walker St, A Port Dover signature beach front destination for over 50 years, serving Lake Erie Perch and Pickerel, burgers, foot-long hot dogs and ice cream cones. The Crepe House

Stop by to watch the game, grab a pint, hunker down and prepare to never want to leave until you’ve eaten your way through our menu. Whether it’s our sinful pizza, our stop-your-heart sandwiches, or our lick-your-figures-clean wings, we take pride in everything we make.

88 Main St S, HaGERSViLLE 905-768-4040

2012 Park St, Quaint eatery set in an 1880s house features sweet and savoury crepes along with espresso drinks. Urban Parisian Patisserie & Boulangerie

401 Main St, A magnificent French bakery that offers delectable pastries, rich bold coffee, exquisite teas and of course bread baked in-house, every day. Erie Beach Hotel

19 Walker St, Established in 1946, this family-run hotel and restaurant is located just a block from Lake Erie. Enjoy a relaxed pub-style grill, or a refined restaurant with linen-covered tables. SAINT WILLIAMS Burning Kiln Winery

1709 Front Rd, A spectacular winery that honours our agricultural heritage and celebrates the culinary and cultural bounty of Norfolk County. SIMCOE Blue Elephant

Featuring local food, groceries & prepared meals Fresh from local farmers, bakers & chefs; organic produce, eggs, coffee, dressings, meals, treats & more Visit the market or order online for pick-up

1008 King Street West Unit A, Hamilton 289-396-2392

96 Norfolk St S, Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 21

Craft brewpub serving ales, lagers and pilsners, with eclectic grub in a comfy setup, complete with patio seating. The Combine

352 Norfolk St S, Fun, honest food built on local bounty. Handmade brick oven, garden patio and wine menu. Ferrera


Long Point Eco-Adventures provides you with a unique experience. From the moment you arrive on-site, you will feel the relaxing effects of nature, and the warm welcome of our staff. We are a fun-loving, outdoor adventure company, here to provide amazing experiences with our world-class guides, zipline and canopy tours, accommodations and observatory.


Adventure AwAits!

25 Robinson St, Expect a great atmosphere, friendly service, and amazing food, prepared using time-perfected recipes and techniques. (Famous for breakfast!)


CALL 877-743-8687

TURKEY POINT Sandbar On The Beach

45 Cedar Dr, Come for the breathtaking view of Lake Erie from their incredible patio, then stay and enjoy a meal with an assortment of craft beers and a tasteful wine selection to pair. WATERFORD Kerry’s St. James St. Eatery

10 St James St S, A relaxing and nostalgically retro atmosphere with an amazing cup of joe and tantalizing homemade fare!

We invite you to experience our spectacular winery which honours our agricultural heritage and celebrates the culinary and cultural bounty of Norfolk County.

Ride the Bine is Norfolk County’s first beer, wine and cider tour company. Providing locals and visitors flavourful insight into Norfolk County’s emerging beverage scene. Cheers!

Ritzy Cakes & Eatery

20 Alice St, Small family-run bakery also serving coffees, teas, paninis, soups, Belgian Waffles, breakfast and so much more. The Catherwood and The Kiln

1560 Old Brock St, The Catherwood and the Kiln is a family style restaurant famous for homemade pizza, wings, and the Nitehawk sub! Dine in, or take their flavourful feasts to go. HALDIMAND COUNTY CALEDONIA Argyle St. Grill

345 Argyle St S, Upscale eatery at family friendly prices using mainly fresh and local products makes the Argyle a must try. Oasis Drive-In

1709 Front Rd, Saint Williams 519-586-9858


22 Argyle St S, Opened in 1927, Oasis is Canada’s oldest drive-in restaurant. Pop in for their tasty foot-long hot dogs, golden fresh cut fries or a big scoop ice cream cone.

Cayuga Shelly’s Family Dining Restaurant

1192 Kohler Rd, shellysrestaurant This unique restaurant is set in a remodelled old church, and quite often has live music serenading it’s patrons. The home-style fare is also heavenly. Twisted Lemon

3 Norton St W, Always expect a fine dining experience but make a reservation because this place is a hot spot for flavour junkies. Be prepared for gourmet surprises. DUNNVILLE Debb’s Cuisine on Queen

109 Queen St, Boasting a creative approach to flavour and presentation, Debb’s food is divine and the setting is hip with a rustic elegance! Julia’s Bistro

217 Niagara St, Julia’s satisfies anyones craving for homemade Italian cooking while adding her unique style! (Also offering one of the best breakfasts around) Knowles Restaurant

174 Queen St, This charming and homey eatery transports you back in time... not because it is retro, but because its literally never changed since opening in1952! Worth a visit.

Inspired by French Bistros and Lyonnaise Bouchon cuisine, Juniper Dining Co. is a modern fine dining restaurant with a comfortable and casual environment, located in Paris, Ontario. We marry quality local and seasonal ingredients with inventive cocktails, local beers and carefully chosen wines to create memorable experiences, time and time again.

3 Elm St, PariS 519-302-2200

Explore Haldimand! Haldimand County’s spring-summer 2017 Community guide

The Minga

146 Queen St, Serious coffees and sweets, many of their ingredients are organic, and most are sourced locally. You can’t beat their organic, fair-trade coffee for $1.80! HAGERSVILLE Hewitt’s Dairy Bar

4210 Highway 6, Featuring an old-time lunch counter feel that looks right out of the 1950’s, a great selection of ice-cream treats and simple diner fare. A reminder that not everything has to change.

Discover community events & programs, municipal information, tourism destinations, business resources and much more.

Main 88 Pizza Pub

88 Main St S, This place offers the best pizza around, with lots of flavourful toppings on a

View it online at or pick up your free copy from any County office, library or museum.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 23

Be FearLeSS B e B r av e Be BoLD Love yoUrSeLF!

thin crust. The bar is well stocked with beer and spirits, and with three large flat screens, it is the perfect place to watch the game. JARVIS D&D’s Family Dining

2091 Main St, A restaurant that radiates a family atmosphere with great food and personable patrons. Make a reservation! Devine’s Country Restaurant

116 Talbot St E, Famous for their all-day breakfast, savoury lunches and homemade desserts that are nothing short of divine. BRANT COUNTY BRANTFORD Al Dente Fresh Pasta

250 King George Rd, Enjoy a variety of amazing pasta dishes or opt for two local favourites, Mediterranean Chicken and Shrimp Creole.

339a Main St, Port Dover 519-583-0015 1014 Bay St, Port rowan 519-586-8577

Cafe Andreou

104 West St, Fine dining in a 1865 home with Italian and continental cuisine. Enjoy exquisite food with hospitality at its finest. On the Lam

106 Queen st, What a unique restaurant. Gourmet and RAW menus, fine wines, craft beers, old school cocktails all in a really cool location. Check them out! Strodes BBQ & Deli

Discover a wonderful selection of antiques & collectibles located in C-Squared Menswear

Fashions, accessories, home décor, gifts, food & more. Smart casual, great quality... something for everyone. Open year-round with new items arriving daily.

Pickers Antiques Warehouse

334 Main St. Port Dover 519-583-9493

334 Main St. Port Dover 519-583-9493

1021 Bay St. Port rowan 519-586-8181

1021 Bay St. Port rowan 519-586-8181


403 Fairview Drive, Open since 1937, Strodes not only carries a variety of select cuts of chicken, beef, poultry, lamb and other specialty meats, but also serves up homestyle lunch options. BURFORD Cravin a Burger

121 King St, A burger place with a 50s 60s rock and roll atmosphere that brags that their food; is not fast food, it’s just served fast. The Log House

131 King St, With their family, sports bar geared

atmosphere this eatery certainly is a small town gem. Mount Pleasant Devlin’s County Bistro & Catering

704 Mt. Pleasant Rd. This former combined general store, post office and residence, has been an enduring fixture in the community for over 125 years, adding Devlin’s Country Bistro in 1990. Offering contemporary Italian cuisine with a unique and delicious Californian flair.

not just your Mother’s yarn shop anyMore

St George Abigail’s Tea House

2 Main St, Located in an old bank in a picturesque village, they offer an exquisite dining experience in a calm and beautifully antique-inspired environment. Reservations are always recommended. Chef In A Box

181 Brant Rd, This gas station turned gourmet food truck (of sorts), sure is something to see, and the food is not bad either; especially the lobster mac and cheese. Worth the trip and sure to fill you up! 75 scott ave, paris & 1025 Wellington rd, London

25th Annual

presented by

PARIS Juniper Dining Co.

3 Elm St, Inspired by French Bistros and Lyonnaise Bouchon cuisine, this modern restaurant marries quality local and seasonal ingredients with inventive cocktails, local beers and carefully chosen wines to create memorable experiences, time and time again. Stillwaters Plate & Pour

61 Grand River St N, A globally inspired menu created by Chef William Thompson of Food Network’s Top Chef Canada, coupled with a breathtaking rooftop patio, leaves nothing left to the imagination.

Celebrate the magic and wonder of spring in Paris, Ontario, the prettiest town in Canada!


The Cobblestone Pub

111 Grand River St N, This laid-back, old-time watering hole features a menu of gourmet versions of pub favourites, and is a mainstay for neighbours and visitors alike.


JUNE 3rd 10AM – 5PM FREE JUNE 4th 10AM – 4PM



Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 25


E-Z Life

usty Zamecnik is an innovative farmer in Langton, Ontario. I know you have questions. Questions like, What kind of a name is Dusty? Is he a grown man? Yes, he is, but he has the youthful exuberance and proper hair colour required to pull off a name like Dusty. An innovative farmer? Is that a euphemism for factory farming? Does he grind chickens into pink paste like on that YouTube McNugget factory video? Um, no, he just grows nice strawberries. Also: blueberries. And other stuff. No weird chicken soft-serve here. Langton? Yeah, it’s in Norfolk County. You should drive out there on a lazy Sunday past forests and fields and farms. It will change you. I hope. Because those are some crazy questions you’re throwing out there. Like you, I want to mock Dusty for the name of his farming operation, EZ Grow, because it sounds like a K-Tel infomercial product but I can’t because Dusty explains EZ is his grandfather’s initials. Ed Zamecnik, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, founded the family farming operation, EZ Grow, three generations ago in 1950. (K-Tel wasn’t founded until 1962 and its founder also had Eastern European roots but that’s another story and also another kind of roots.) 26 LIVE SMALL TOWN


The Tale of one of Canada’s Hardworking, Innovative and Modern Farmers JC Villamere

At EZ Grow, they run every single blueberry through an automated grading and packing procedure that uses infrared x-rays like we’re on a space agriculture-themed episode of ‘The Jetsons.’ When stuff evokes ‘The Jetsons,’ you know that’s innovation. And this is just one of EZ Grow’s many pioneering systems built to get the best fruit from the field to your table super-fast. At the hilt, EZG (whoa, Dusty should use that acronym and make his farm sound like a hip-hop star instead of a Veg-O-MaticTM) is able to process seven tonnes of blueberries a day. If your image of a farmer wears denim overalls and chews a stem of grain, then Dusty does not look like a farmer. He looks exactly like the separation and

harvesting manager for one of Canada’s leading strawberry plant propagators because that’s who he is. He wears chinos. He rocks out #FarmFactFriday on Instagram. His face looks like a mix of (and excuse me here because I may have buried the lead) Justin Trudeau and Ryan Gosling. Further to this point, Dusty laments that while his beloved Norfolk is ‘Ontario’s Garden’ and it’s just two hours from ‘Canada’s Downtown,’ his rural locale still seems removed sometimes. Poor Dusty. Don’t worry about Dusty, though. Dusty is doing OK. In fact, if a person can over-achieve, then Dusty has. He was the student council president in high school and valedictorian of his graduating class StFX where he earned a Bachelor of Business Admin. When his life-long dream of becoming a fruit

buyer for Loblaws was dashed, he turned to beer (not like that) and worked at Labatt as a sales rep before returning to the family farm. And with him he brought his beer industry knowledge, which he used to help launch Hometown Brew Co., a beer brand that produces fruit-forward brews like Blueberry Saison, which boasts crisp notes of clover, white pepper, and blueberry blossom and is — naturally — made with EZ Grow blueberries. Its counterpart, Hometown Brew Co.’s Southern Ale Canadian 2-Row Malt, has a subtle sweetness. Both reflect the tastes of Dusty’s home slice, a place he loves, and a place that inspired the brew’s “Hometown” moniker. Dusty has a delightful energy that might be better described as joie de vivre. I think he’s earned it by achieving what is — for lack of better term —the Canadian Dream. He works hard, acknowledges luck, and yet is wide-eyed in disbelieving delight at his resulting successes. He has an optimism that comes from repeatedly having been able to achieve goals he set for himself. It’s marvelous to be around and I’m not just saying that because he gifted me a 12 of his beer, which was delicious.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 27

On the Map

Farm Fresh

Getting back to our roots greatly benefits our environment, health and minds. Fresh and local is the way to go! BY NANCY HOWDEN-COWELL Brantford Farmers’ Market Brantford Whether you are German, Irish, First Nations, Latin or just a goulash-esk mixture, this market reflects the ethnic mosaic that is our community. Inside you will find forty-nine stalls filled with a wide range of scrumptious foods. What better way to celebrate the diversity, that is our country’s greatest asset and fill your belly at the same time.

YU Ranch Tillsonburg Located in a Carolinian Life Zone, YU Ranch values the ecological importance of this region and continuously reviews, modifies and improves upon their practises to ensure sustainability while raising their cattle. Once out of favour due to its leanness, Texas Long Horn beef has made a come back for the very same reason.







Jensen Cheese Simcoe The resurgence of small farmhouse cheese artisans is something these third generation cheese makers believe strongly in. Making food with old fashioned techniques instead of mass produced, tasteless food. By using an old world curing process they continue the tradition of full bodied and flavourful cheese.


Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. Caledonia Travelling extensively in her twenties, Hanna’s love for nature has fuelled a passion for sustainable farming. Contributing to the environment is also at core of her organic 1.5 acre seed, plants, and veg farm just outside Caledonia. She believes that your meal is only as good as your raw ingredients.

Bountiful Brant County of Brant This team of volunteers is dedicated to promoting Brant County farmers and encourage consumers to choose local first for the health and enjoyment of their families. They also celebrate and inspire pride in the variety of fresh products that are grown regionally by sharing the recipes of local celebrity chefs. Bon appetit!

Richardson’s Farm and Market Dunnville Although renowned for their maple syrup, the farm also offers a full range of experiences. In the summer they are busy with pickyour-own strawberry lovers and market-goers in search of local veggies, fruit, honey, sweets and preserves. I plan on getting my share of their juicy Ontario cantaloupes.

Carrie Had Some Little Lambs And why you should too!


Sometimes nursery rhymes and fairytales can come true, and perhaps nobody knows this better than Carrie Woolley. She has found her Prince Charming, owns a multitude of lambs (who’s fleeces were white as Canadian snow), is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, and can run a farm better than Old MacDonald. A generational farmer who is helping to modernize the industry, Carrie and her husband Brett own and operate Woolley’s Lamb in Norfolk County, and are quite literally changing the way lamb farming is done. Their army of livestock have free range on their expansive acreage, doubling as both a meat source and a free landscaping service! They provide natural manure for their crops, keep the orchard floor tidy, and counting them is a natural sedative on those long, sleepless nights; the lambs even have their own Instagram page! To learn more about Woolley and their techniques, visit them at

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 29

Soul Spa

How the practice of farm therapy and healing through nature is changing lives Where do you turn when you’ve reached the end of your rope, are pulling out your hair, are at your wit’s end and simply feel out of options? To most of us seeking help, whether for ourselves or for our loved ones, that is a difficult place to be and one leaving most of us more dazed and confused. But what if there was a simple way to find the relief you seek? Well, Susanne Currie and her team at Amani Acres have devised just that. With decades of experience in the


counselling and therapy industry, the Amani team leverages a love and appreciation for nature to find that calming, healing touch we all crave. Their belief lies in a simple foundation: to make one’s self whole again, one must first become whole with nature and one’s surroundings. Opening yourself up to experiences beyond your normal comfort zone can help to gain a deeper understanding of one’s self, and Amani utilizes everything from yoga to equine services to help you gain that perspective. Amani offers everything from traditional counselling services, to ESM teen programs, to teen summer retreats, and everything in between; all from the peaceful and serene setting of a day on the farm. Whether you are looking to ease stress, fear, anxiety, anger, depression, or finally close the book on a past drama, Currie and her team offers a relaxing and peaceful environment with which to be introspective. They can even help your body and mind to be more flexible, and to make healthier choices in your everyday life! So if you’re looking for that mental refuge and lighthouse in the sea of inner turmoil, contact Amani Acres today. The first step on your path to healing starts today!


Spring is in the air

Whether it be for beer and wings, steak and wine or a night out with the family, come experience casual dining the way it was meant to be.

CuStom deSiGnS at

111 Grand River St N, Paris 519-442-1820

54 Grand river St. n. 519-442-2176


31 Mechanic St. Paris Paris, Ontario. Wincey Mills 519-123-4567

unforGettable food unforGettable atmoSPhere!

Casual dining with a breathtaking panoramic view of the grand river.


Mike Manes

1 Grand River St. N, Paris 519-761-3591 mikmon.manes@sympatico.c

19 WILLIAm ST, pARIS 519-442-2287 61 Grand river St n, PariS


Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 31


Outside! Written & Photographed by MARK HAAK Today, I wake up early, the sun slowly cresting the horizon and replacing an evanescent night sky. I blink several times and wipe the sleep from my eyes, my vision slowly coming into focus, and I groggily scan across the room. For a moment, I’ve forgotten everything; where I am, what day it is, what town I’m in, what province—or country, for that matter. One day I was witnessing the vast ocean surf, watching gulls dive along breaching whales; another, an armadillo busily scattering across the tropical undergrowth of a palm tree forest catches my eye; and on yet another occasion, the call of a bird that I don’t readily recognize piercing the morning silence and begins my day along a still mountain lake.

Reaching over, I slide the curtain aside and wipe cool condensation off the window, revealing answers in the scene before me. I quietly open the trailer door and step out, my feet reconnecting


“Some people say life moves too quickly or kids grow up too fast. But when you invest time and energy into your family - you travel, cook, build, draw, explore, learn together or just relax and enjoy each other’s company, the world moves slower and your life becomes richer.” Mark

with the earth. The crisp, fresh air intoxicates my lungs as I inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. I look up to the sky and smile. What adventure will reveal itself today? We are the Haak family, and a short time ago, we decided to chase our happiness and quench our thirst for adventure on an unusual family journey. Our background is not unlike yours: we live in Brant county and lead an active lifestyle full of daily adventures - paddling the Grand River, cycling the Paris rail trails or snowshoeing lonely country fields behind our home in Cainsville. Each year, like most of you, we venture out to some warm, foreign destination to experience new cultures. But this time, we wanted

“I like being able to share all of this with my family; seeing their faces, hearing their laughter, tasting unexpected new foods, feeling how all of ourselves are tested, expanded and enriched together. Testing out new experiences like pushing our limits while hiking, or indulging in a favorite pastime like horseback riding. Being able to explore wildlife in their natural environment: whales breaching off the coastline, seals sliding off an iceberg, a caribou running along the tundra, alligators sunning themselves at the edge of the riverbanks, river otters playing in shallows or wild horses and buffalo grazing in the prairies.� Kelly

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 33

something different, more than just a few weeks dedicated to travel. We wanted to immerse ourselves, to greet each day with childlike wonder, to experience long-term travel without worrying about who will cut the grass or feed the chickens at home. We wanted to explore, grow, learn and connect, both with each

and let the road unfold before us. Now as spontaneous and random as this may seem, believe me when I tell you that this was not an easy decision to make. We had just spent eight years renovating a beautiful century home and building gardens to help us live off the land; we had great neighbours, friends and family nearby; we had our health, careers, finan“One of the many things I learned cial stability and were from this trip is that it’s not about already living a life that most people were workstuff. It’s about experiencing life ing towards. So why and everything it has to offer.” did we do it? Really, the Sydney, 14-year-old answer was because we could. We had invested a great deal of time, money, and other and the world we live in. In effort into building a life that order to do this, we felt the need ultimately all lead to this – from to truly free ourselves from anyhomeschooling with our chilthing that was currently tying us dren, to building a graphic design down. So, we sold our house, our business that I could do entirely brand-new Subaru, and everyonline. Everything we could do thing that wouldn’t fit into a storat home could be done remotely, age pod, and we threw caution so why limit the locations of to the wind! We built ourselves a our offices and schoolrooms? small home on wheels, loaded up (That, and our twins had become our kayaks and bikes (and one teenagers earlier in the year so unicycle), pointed the GPS east 34 LIVE SMALL TOWN

we knew we’d better act on our impulses soon or there would be part-time jobs, relationships, etc that would get in our way). First came the exhilarating task of picking a destination. Our minds quickly flooded with possibilities, but the kid’s logic ultimately won the day: we hadn’t come close to seeing all of North America yet... so wouldn’t that be the logical place to start? We’ve now been on the road since June of 2016, and have not regretted our decision for a second. Throughout our journey we have cycled cobblestone roads through historic towns,

chased melting icebergs, had intimate encounters with bears, counted dolphin fins and whale tails, kayaked with manatees and alligators, swam in clear springs, forged metal in ancient Viking villages, rode horses through thick forests, climbed windy mountain peaks, zip lined through tree tops, hiked alongside wild horses and buffalo, watched cannons explode from historic forts, ex-

plored hurricane ravaged shores, eaten alligator and frog legs, and met some amazing people along the way. Now not every day was great. We had our share of camping in sub-freezing temperatures, of battling swarms of blood thirsty mosquitoes in the swamps of Louisiana, relentless sand flies and no-see-ums, break downs on the side of the road and sleeping in mall parking lots. None of this

“There is a freedom that comes with full-time travel that makes the experience much more enjoyable, not worrying if things are ok back home. You can focus all your energy on the now.� Mark

particularly fun at the time, but each part of the adventure had it’s own impact, and ultimately, helped in bringing us all closer together. Working on the road is not without its challenges either. Thankfully, we managed to keep a pretty stable internet connection throughout (except for the more remote parts of Labrador and some valleys in Texas). I participated in more than one conference call while standing on a picnic table with my phone in my hand, raised as high as I could, as hikers walked by and greeted me with bizarre looks. But those were quickly forgotten when taking a crystal-clear call from my kayak, harbor seals playing peeka-boo just meters away. We have always been a very close-knit family, and working from home and homeschooling our kids brings a lot of rewarding time together. Conversely, living in such close quarters was not without its share of adjustment, but, to my surprise, we never really had any major arguments

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 35

Mark Haak is a ‘born and raised’ small town (Simcoe) 40-something relentless wanderer who’s always ready for adventure. He’s a doodler, a dreamer, an open-minded-creative-glass-half-full-kinda-guy who takes the term “play outside” very seriously. When he’s not outside or spending time with his family (ideally both at the same time) he’s busy helping non-profits and eco-minded businesses around the world with their creative design needs in branding and web design from his rural studio. 36 LIVE SMALL TOWN

or confrontations. We all shared tasks like budgeting, researching and planning the next route, and everyone did their share of setup and cleanup. The twins seemed to work better together out on the road, much more so than when loading the dishwasher back home. And we constantly learned along the way, not only about history and geography, but about the value of family time, about how we grow when we step outside of our comfort zone, about discovering who we are as individuals and about seeing the world and understanding our place in it. Travel provides a different perspective, diversity and awareness that can’t be learned from books. Now we’re back in Paris, Ontario to enjoy some time with old friends and family while contemplating what is next. Each of us is on the fence, torn between the love of travel and the comforts of home. But we all know, whatever direction our next chapter in life takes, it will surely add to life’s adventure.

“When we were out traveling, the earth is our home. It’s so freeing to know that there’s nothing tying you down, no pets, no family in urgent need, not even a house! When you’re that free you can do anything. And that, is awesome.” Aidan, 14-year-old

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 37

Local artist, Louise Jessup uses her love for design and creating to bring local neighbourhoods to life in her typographic neighbourhood, county and country maps. They can be also purchased on

Our totally insider, Town-by-town, hidden-gem-by-hidden-gem, guide to what’s new, hot, and legendary in Haldimand COunty. All the stuff you absolutely must eat, do, buy and indulge in to make the most of your time off the sofa and loving our county! Written & Photographed by Jay Perry

Over the past five years, it’s become something of a tradition of mine to spend my free time traveling to small pockets of Ontario, documenting my day trips online. Whether it be stories of unique individuals, delicious food, historic landmarks, 38 LIVE SMALL TOWN

or local history, I detail every event through photo, video, words and my own unique perspective. These towns, and the people housed within them, hold such a huge place in my heart, because they embody the true definition of what it is to be a neighbour. Sometimes my trips are planned well in advance, and sometimes

I simply let spontaneity take the wheel; but on this occasion, rumor and curiosity were the fuel that powered me to my destination. I had been hearing local chatter about a massive burger lurking in Dunnville, at a greasy spoon area residents knew as Julia’s Bistro. This mythical creation was said to contain a full beef patty, a full pork patty, three

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 39

secret ingredients, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and back bacon. If that wasn’t enough, it was then supposedly crowned by a deepfried pickle! Sounds like the stuff of legend, right? How could I resist checking it out! When I arrived, I sat at the bar, found this monstrosity on the menu, and added fries and a milkshake to my order, just for good measure. After ten minutes of saying my prayers and getting my affairs in order (just in case), the kitchen door opened and out came Julia herself, carrying what looked to be a cross section of a mountain on a plate. To say it was massive would be an understatement, but I dove in with reckless abandon, a cheering squad of regulars rooting me on. It was a lot of food, but I actually managed to finish it…and it was delicious! And, coincidentally, I was also extremely impressed with how Julia and her husband Paul treated their staff: kind, caring, and supportive, the stuff of true small town values. After dinner, I thought about doing something I’ve never tried on any of 40 LIVE SMALL TOWN

my previous excursions, and after some internal debate, I decided to spend the night. I had also never stayed at a bed and breakfast in Canada (my lone experience being a bad one in Norway), so I decided to roll the dice, settling on The Reeve Bed and Breakfast to hunker down for the night. As I pulled up to the entry, I was pleasantly surprised by its architecture, which was quite im-

pressive. More old-time castle than house, my “room” actually turned out to be multiples, something more akin to a guest house than a hotel room. It was massive, and decorated like something out of a fairy tale. The intricate wood work was incredible, and the high ceilings and many other details has survived intact from 1869, the year it was built. The owners, Lisa and Luke Rossi, welcomed me into their home and treated me like royalty. If I needed anything, all I had to do was ask. Once I settled in, I somehow began to feel hungry again (and a bit thirsty). Luke recommended I walk down to Queen’s Merritt Room Pub. The place consisted of two small rooms, and tin tiles lined the ceiling. Three older gentlemen sat at the bar, and a bartender warmly welcomed me to the pub. I ordered a plate of perogies and a cold pint. The food was delicious, the beer was cold, and the three gentlemen were great company for the next hour. I felt at home. Returning to The Reeve a short

time later, I climbed into the king size bed and had an incredibly restful sleep, spent dreaming about the mouth-watering breakfast that awaited me the next day. I leapt out of bed and bounded downstairs like a newborn fawn, a fresh fruit appetizer of sliced strawberries with Greek vanilla yogurt and topped with Chantilly cream and lime zest, greeting me as my first course. Next, I was served seeded (sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, and date) bread, served with a peach and lavender jam from Purple Haven Lavender Farm. My meal was then capped with a locally-sourced sausage and egg breakfast sandwich, barbecued and topped with Brie cheese, sliced avocado and a fried, free-run egg from Lauray Farms; this was paired with a side arugula and tomato salad, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The food was heavenly, and I could

honestly write an entire book about my experience at The Reeve. I can’t wait to return. In the morning, before heading to my next location, I popped over to a candy store that I had seen the night before, affectionately known as Sweet Retreats. I was greeted by walls and walls of treats, candy in sizes, flavours and styles that I hadn’t seen since I was a kid; candy I couldn’t possibly leave town without! I also made a quick stop around the corner at The Minga, for a quick tea, and ended up talking to the manager for half an hour about their philosophy of sourcing locally, organic and fair-trade products. Next up was Richardson’s Farm and Market, where I was about to embark on a serious maple syrup tour, in the form of a guided wagon ride around the property, educating you on the process of making syrup and

followed by a pancake feast. I wasn’t sure if I could eat anymore after my giant breakfast at the B&B, but who could ever turn down pancakes, especially when they’re covered in locally-sourced, organic syrup? A group of us hopped in the back of the hay filled wagon, and the tractor pulled us on our way. The tour was quite educational and our guide, John, was so much fun. He joked with the children in our group, and was somehow able to convey all the detailed intricacies of syrup to them, as well as to the adults. I really had no idea the amount of time that goes into making a single bottle of maple syrup! After the great wagon ride and tour, we ended up back in the farmhouse, where we all got to taste their famous maple syrup on top of the fluffiest pancakes ever, where a side of sausage and a glass of orange juice accompanied my second breakfast of the day, And the best part... you could buy some of their syrup on your way out. So, as you may already have guessed, my fridge is host to a large jug of Richardson’s syrup sitting quietly waiting for my weekend breakfasts.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 41


After a great morning, I decided to drive west and explore. I ended up on Haldimand Road 17, which eventually brought me to a town I’ve driven through many times but never actually stopped in: Caledonia, where I parked my van and took a quick walk along the Grand River. It was a bit windy but a cluster of fishermen lined the river, all equipped with smiles and hellos as I walked by. I asked one of them if Caledonia had any antique shops, and he chuckled and said, “You’ve never heard of the Haldimand House?” I looked it up online and the summary read: “Haldimand House is a consortium of independently owned boutiques, shoppes, and stores operating under one roof! Visit our indoor boutiques and our outside market stalls to experience Caledonia’s finest!”, so I promptly made my way over to check it out. It was an incredible place to do some shopping, and I learned that it also dated back to 1834! If you love antiques and history, you’ll want to check it out. What I’m about to say next, might come as a bit of a shock (because it did for me): I got hungry again. I had heard of a cool place close by, so I called up my friend Gord, drove up number 6, and met him at Main 88 Pizza Pub in Hagersville. Again, another place I’ve driven by a bunch of times but never thought to stop and check it out. Boy was I glad I did! I ordered the Breakaway Pizza, a medium 6-slice pie, topped with ham, mushrooms, green pepper, bacon, and onion. The food was great, and the entire decor was perfect. Daily specials written on a chalk board, tv’s

for sports fans, and a staff that’s as nice as they come. It was heart warming to see Main 88’s owner, Paul, come out and talk with us at our table. He was genuinely interested in how we were and where we were from, which is probably one of the reasons this small town pub thrives. It was almost time to head home after 24 hours in Haldimand County. Still digesting the previous night’s late dinner, two pints, the best sleep ever, two breakfasts, a candy filled sugar high, warm tea, a wagon ride, shopping, fishermen encounters, and a late lunch,the only thing missing and the best way to conclude my visit would be a stop at Hewitt’s Dairy Bar. Their motto is “Meet your friends at Hewitt’s Dairy Bar”, and that’s exactly what I did. I called up my friend Christina, who was in the area, and lickety split we were eagerly standing in line waiting for a cone. Ironically this was my first time at Hewitt’s, and I had grown up in Stoney Creek, a ten minute walk from Stoney Creek Dairy, which was my go-to place for iced dessert. But since it’s demolition a few years

back (insert sad face), I’ve yet to find a place that feels the same. Sure, I could find a delicious tasting ice cream anywhere, but not the charm. Not the bar style seating. Not the waiting in line. I felt like a kid again. I drove home, I reflected on what it is about small towns that draws me. It is most definitely the people that truly make each town unique and a joy to visit. The world needs more people who are caring, compassionate, friendly, unique and community minded, like our small town friends. It is also important to recognize that we can all live the small town lifestyle, because it’s not the size of the community we call home, it’s the neighborly mentality that we can all bring to them.

Thank you for reading. Next issue you will find me exploring Norfolk County. If you have a place that you think I should check out, please feel free to send me a message. Follow me on Instagram at @smalltownsundays to view stories and additional photos that you might not see in the magazine.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 43

History in Motion

As our nation prepares to celebrate its historic 150-year-Anniversary, we should all take a moment to reflect on the numerous stories, places, memories and people that have truly made us one of the greatest places on earth to call home. Each of our communities, counties and towns have contributed their own unique piece to the tapestry that can collectively be called Canada; and there is no better way to chart a course towards the future, than by glancing back to honor the past. 44 LIVE SMALL TOWN


Deep Roots

ENCHANTED FOREST REBOUNDS Canada’s First Forestry Station was established in 1908 as the first government operated tree nursery to supply tree seedlings for reforestation of Norfolk County and other parts of Ontario following the over harvesting of trees and the clearing of unsuitable farm land. Canada’s First Forestry Station Interpretive Centre has designed a new exhibit, “Sawmills of Yesteryear – A Cut in Time” to commemorate their history in conjunction with Canada’s 150th birthday. This new exhibit will augment their permanent exhibit and will illustrate the lumbering business of the past 150 years in Norfolk County. Artifacts, display cases, maps and information panels will tell the story of how and why sawmills were built as a necessity for pioneers. Then increased to become a thriving business, which plateaued and declined. It will also inform the public of the devastating effect it had on the land and how the Forestry Station, established in 1908, rehabilitated the land so that Norfolk is now known as “Ontario’s Garden”. Anne Wynia

THE powerful force of a mothers love

Keep Calm & Carry On

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless (or “Addie”) was born on February 27, 1857 and raised on a farm in rural St George, Ontario. Far from her humble beginnings, Adelaide became an internationally renowned advocate for education reform in the areas of agriculture, home economics and domestic sciences. Her public life began after the tragic death of her fourth child at the age of 14 months. Adelaide was devastated, and began a lifelong campaign to raise the level of education for girls and women, particularly those living in rural communities. Her legacy is far-reaching. Her words inspired the founding of the first branch of the Women’s Institutes, sparking the international WI moment ongoing to this day. She was an author, spoke nationally, and was a powerful force behind the formation of three faculties of Household Science in Canada, the National Council of Women, and the Victorian Order of Nurses. She died in 1910, one day short of her 53rd birthday, while delivering a speech at St. Margaret’s College in Toronto. Stephanie Pile

In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain approached Canadian Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King with a proposal for Canada to be the site for a training plan for Commonwealth airmen. In 1940 the first of the 28 Service Flying Training Schools (SFTS) constructed under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan began opening in Canada. No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School, RCAF was the first of 11 schools constructed in Canada during World War II. In addition to the main aerodrome on the 600 acre site, the school also operated 5 bombing ranges, a marine section and 2 gunnery ranges in an area extending from Turkey Point to South Cayuga. Between August 18, 1940 and February 17, 1945, more than 6,500 observers, bomb aimers and air gunners from across Canada and the British Commonwealth graduated. At the RCAF bombing and gunnery school in Jarvis, trainees would go through 24 weeks of instruction and then go through 4 weeks of machine gun practice and shooting at drogue targets before receiving their wings. 39 men lost their lives serving at Jarvis. Karen Richardson

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 45



Aging Gracefully

In this fast-paced age of instant gratification, it’s often easy to overlook and underappreciate the value of a hard day’s work. Sometimes the best results come from patience, process and purpose; after all, good things come to those who wait. BY KATE SHARROW “Out with the old, in with the new”, is a time-honored ideology that has always confounded me; a quest that often leads the nearly new down the road to being obsolete soon after it’s out of the box. In keeping with our celebration of contemporary bric-brac and trinkets, we often forgo 46 LIVE SMALL TOWN

the folks in generational businesses in favor of the shiny new store on the block, choosing newness and convenience over longevity and community pillars. But there is something to say about those poor souls who are doggedly plodding along decade after decade through the muck of entrepreneurial bliss, and at Live Small Town,

we believe each one of them has a story to be heard. That’s why we’ve decided to introduce you to a few of these mad hatters every issue, in a feature we’d like to call: Aging Gracefully. 1 FERNLEA FLOWERS

Delhi Located in Southwestern Ontario in the heart of Canada’s agricultural

belt, Fernlea produces over 100 million plants each season, including more than 62 species, several color combinations deep. In fact, they sell more then 2 million flowering hanging baskets to garden centres and large retailers annually! Most impressively,



Dairee Delite Brantford Dairee Delite has served ice cream treats for 64 years. From ice cream cones to banana splits, strawberry shortcakes to frozen cakes, Dairee Delite is a must-visit landmark site in Brantford, ON.


foundation, Haldimand Motors has grown to be Canada’s largest volume used car dealer, enjoying 33 years of success and counting, utilizing 130 shop bays, a full parts and service department, 55 acres of property and 100 staff. 3 JOHN M. HALL HOUSE OF QUALITY LINENS

at the spry age of 78 and with a focus on innovation and growth, Fernlea is one of the largest greenhouse operators in North America. 2 HALDIMAND MOTORS

Cayuga In 1984 John and Arda Edelman decided to purchase an old two bay gas station and start a small used car lot. They were committed to the idea of customer service and competitive pricing on quality late model

used vehicles as their business model, while also basing their customer interactions on the traditional Christian values of honesty and integrity. A sign displayed on the wall of the lobby reads, “Christ is the head of this company; the unseen partner in every transaction; the silent listener at every conversation; the final judge of all decisions. In His love this company is kept, and to His glory this company is dedicated.” Upon this

Paris People come from all over to visit this old-fashioned linen shop, located along the magnificent Grand River in the picturesque town of Paris, Ontario. With beautiful old wooden floors that creek as if you were stepping back in time 120 years to when they first opened their doors, this charming boutique boasts a unique selection of linens…and always seems to have what you’re looking for. Reasonably priced with excellent quality and old-fashioned charm.

Hewitt’s Dairy Hagersville In 1887 James Hewitt, began delivering milk to the people of Hagersville with a horse-drawn Democrat but it wasn’t until 1962 that they opened up their beloved Dairy Bar. Still today the tradition of quality remain beyond reproach.

Andy’s Drive-In Restaurant Langton In 1947, the Taffeiren’s opened Andy’s sandwich counter. Back then there were only a few paved roads and not a lot going on, but in 1960, as car ownership became vogue, Andy’s was converted to a drive-in style eatery, serving hot dogs, french fries and other classic diner chow.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 47

The Grand Syl Apps Born in Paris, raised in Ontario, and beloved by Norfolk, meet Canada’s Swiss Army Knife of athletics and public service BY J.C. Villamere The Syl Apps Community Centre is across from the Grand River in Paris, Ontario. I went there to get outfitted for a tubing excursion down the river, which you should totally do because it’s amazing. You know what else is amazing? The story of Syl Apps. The community centre name only stood out to me because I had just written briefly about Syl Apps for my new book in a section about NHLers who have gone on to careers in the public service. Apps, born in Paris in 1915, was one of them. At six feet tall and 185 pounds, Apps was a natural athlete. He captured the gold medal at the 1934 British Empire Games in the pole vault competition. Two years later he represented Canada at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin where he placed sixth. He played football, too, and after legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe saw Apps play football at McMaster, he signed him. Apps played centre for the Leafs from 1936 to 1948. After hanging up his skates, Apps represented the riding of Kingston/Kingston and the Islands from 1963 to 1974 and served as the Minister of Correctional Services from 1971 to 1974. There were six prisons in Kingston at the time, so this was a dossier of utmost importance to his constituents. It’s an incredible career when you think about it. It’d be

Track and Field star, like if current Leafs centre Nazem Olympian, football Kadri of London, Ontario, winner of the 2013 Cam Needly Award for break- player and former out player, competed in the Olympics Toronto Maple Leaf, Syl Apps played an in track and field, then played in the integral role in esNHL for more than a decade before tablishing Canadian heading off to Toronto to represent athletics globally. his riding at Queen’s Park for over Constantly giving ten years. And then an arena was named after him and 50 years later no back and serving his community, his one really remembered his story so is a legacy that we much, it wasn’t common knowledge should all be truly or top-of-mind folklore even. Big Joe proud of. Mufferaw has nothing on Syl Apps. There’s a lot of buildings named after people who have accomplished unimaginable feats. As you go through daily life in your hometown, make a point of looking at the names on the buildings. If it’s named after a person, look them up. You’ll see your town is filled not just with buildings, but with builders, the people who came before, who did great things, who established great towns, whose stories are here to inspire you, whose stories are here for you to build on. Do it.

J.C. Villamere knew how to drive a Ski-Doo by age 8, her body is 90 per cent maple syrup, and among her prized possessions is a signed 8x10 glossy of Shelagh Rogers. She is the most Canadian woman in the world. Her new book, Is Canada Even Real? How a Nation Built on Hobos, Beavers, Weirdos, and Hip-Hop Convinced the World to Beliebe, is a fun history lesson, a blast from-the-past, and a quirky ode to a quirky land. She’s an alumna of the Banff Centre for the Arts who earned two National Magazine Awards for her work as a senior editor at Canadian Living. Villamere’s writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Style at Home, Elle, and more. 48 LIVE SMALL TOWN


Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 49


A homegrown musician from charming Mount Pleasant, Benjamin Dakota Rogers can best be described as a swiss army knife of musical talent. An accomplished singer, song-writer and composer, Rogers utilizes a beguiling voice with explosive fiddle and guitar riffs as weapons against an otherwise boring and mundane musical scene. His work on the strings has been described as hard driving and powerful, creating a unique blend of contemporary folk compatible with all ages. His third album, entitled Whisky and Pine, was released in 2016, and has risen to 6th on the Folk Roots Radio albums of the year. To learn and hear more, visit his website at

Sanderson Centre Established in 1919, the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts has been providing the residents of Brantford, ON with endless amounts of entertainment for over nine decades. This year’s performances are no exception, with exciting concerts, family programming, holiday classics and much more. Visit and download their full show brochure!

Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum With the goal of re-creating some of the region’s theatrical history for a younger audience, the team at Wilson MacDonald has established a unique Haldimand attractions. Step back in time and catch a flick in a period viewing room replica, complete with a working antique projector. This exhibit is gone in July, so get your tickets and popcorn while they last!


Jukasa Media Group Looking to take up a new hobby this summer? Why not try your hand at making records! Whether you’re an amateur interested in recording your own jam sessions or a serious player trying to break into the audio industry, Jukasa Media has a 10-week class that can put your studio aspirations on autotune. Start rocking now at

Lighthouse Festival Theatre If you’re in Norfolk County during the summer, then the Lighthouse Festival Theatre is an absolute must experience. Featuring shows for all ages, a passionate staff, and an atmosphere that oozes performance arts with every step, this theatre has been entertaining folks for decades, with no signs of slowing down. Plan your visit at

Into the Woods

Canadian carvers have long been coaxing life from the wood and stone of Canada’s landscape and these artists are a part of that proud history. BY TIM ZWART

Studio 50

Looking for that innovative or original piece to perfectly compliment your home décor? Then Studio 50 just outside of Brantford should be at the top of your list. Crafted with purpose and inspired by sustainability, Studio 50 creates custom Nordic furniture and housewares using concrete, hardwood, steel and glass. To find your perfect accent piece visit

Jim Lashbrook

If quirky and original sculptures are your thing, then look no further than Brantford’s own, Jim Lashbrook. This local artisan creates incredible works of art out of some of the most beautiful wood around, chipping away at the unneeded portions to reveal the true beauty within. To view his work, check out his official Facebook page lashbrook.50

Second Nature Wood Design

If you’ve spent months of precious time looking for that perfect piece of furniture, only to find disappointment behind every door, then maybe it’s time for a fresh approach. Second Nature Wood Design specializes in designing and crafting custom wooden furniture, with an attention to detail that is second to none. Start your project now at

Brian Jlaplante

Sometimes, the hills really are alive with the sounds of music…and that music can often be heard in the heart of the Carolinian forest in nearby Norfolk County, coming from a custom guitar maker’s workshop. Creating, playing, repairing and discussing stringed instruments is Jlaplante’s calling, and his passion is as infectious as nature itself. Learn more about what makes his guitars unique at

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 51

Arjan Lamers

Simcoe I think the most common question I get about my painting is “why paint cows?”. I’ve tried to think of a deep rooted meaning behind my paintings, something really artsy, something that would have made my art instructors proud at University, but I’ve never been able to find one, other than; I like the way they look when I paint them, so I do. When I was studying art history, I was never attracted to the high brow art, riddled with symbolism, meaning or some deep seeded political message. I appreciated the work of Jeff Koons and his inflated balloon sculptures, Takashi Murakami and his brightly coloured Anime styled paintings and Jackson Pollock for his general lack of concern of what art should be. I generally don’t consider myself a ‘good painter’, in the technical sense of the definition. I spent very


little time training with painters, and chose to focus on my drawing skills instead. Every time I try to stay true to the colours, I tend to stray. The bright ones always pull me in. I find myself constantly trying to limit my colour choices, to avoid the temptation of colouring the whole cow red. I look at colours, not as a hue but more as a value, much like when I am drawing and looking for the lights and darks in an image. I don’t know how much longer I will paint this way. I’m guessing it will probably change soon. Not because I don’t love the work I do, but more so because I find change to be a great motivator in my work. I tried to paint a frog for the first time. It looks pretty good, so maybe I’ll stick with that.

Sam Simmons

Steve Smith


Port Dover As a leather worker, jewellery designer and entrepreneur, it takes guts and determination to continue to create one of kind pieces in a mass produced world. Since 2009 I have really focused on evolving LOKA, my art gallery/vintage/consignment shop into a gallery that hosts re-purposed leather garments, handbags and accessories all from whole leather hides. I am constantly changing while trying to stay true to a minimalist approach on design. My goal is simple, make quality products while treading lightly on the earth. I strive to better my skills and hone my craft each day. I do not run with the herd but choose my own path.

Hagersville Making pottery is the most enjoyable career I could have imagined. The challenges and hard work are over powered by the passion for creating. There are days when I can’t wait to go to work! My wife Leigh and I trained at the Old Mohawk Pottery under the guidance of my mother Elda Smith and Master Italian Potter Rinaldo Shennelly-Scianella but in 1975 we opened Talking Earth Pottery. Starting with designs that were based on the ancient Iroquois, which my mother had researched. We could not make a living on these alone and decided to experimented with coloured clays, textures and flowing designs of the sgraffito technique, always keeping our culture and nature close.

Brantford Brantford, Ontario Graduating from London’s art school in 1993, I have always had an eye for the creative. What makes my work unique are the materials and processes that go into every project. Several years ago, I stumbled across what I call my box of color, that lead to a Dorothy moment where my world was turned upside down and I started to see everything differently. I use recycled materials (mostly metals), that already contain a unique hue or tone, and I allow them to tell me a story. I am also currently heading up a large and exciting community artistic project for the Hamilton Farmer’s Market, that I hope to share very soon.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 53

Events & Activities MUSIC VENUES


In each issue, Live Small Town will highlight a few of the diverse entertainment venues that our counties offer, and what makes each one unique and worth attending. New shows and events are being added all the time, so be sure to check your local listings and news sources for updates, and spread the word! The DT Concert Series

Join our amazing team selling fashionable, quality leggings or host your own party! Contact Sharon Gingras 519.717.6886 You’ll be in great company!

97 Grand River St N, Paris This seven-part music series housed in the historic Dominion Telegraph Event Centre in downtown Paris, Ontario, is presented by Arlington Hotel and Noisemaker Management. It is an intimate venue, offering an up-close-and-personal musical experience with some of Canada’s most talented live performers. Brando’s on Market

Stress does not just go accumulates. Make hot stone massage therapy a regular part of your personal health plan. CONTACT PATRICIA HOWDEN PORT RYERSE 226-206-1372

135 Market St, Brantford When the sun goes down on Market Street, the party is not far behind and you’ll find festivities aplenty every night. A hot spot for local bands and talent, including rock, funk, soul, blues and live DJs every week, you can tell right away this isn’t your average bar! David’s Restaurant

168 New Lakeshore Rd, Port Dover Every weekend this beautiful, waterfront venue pairs live music with the best martini and wine selection around, adding a delicious menu that boasts the bounty and spoils of Norfolk County. Flyers Bakery and Cafe

144 Queen St, Dunnville Here at Flyers you’ll find a crazy combination of sweet treats, savoury soups, local history, art and concerts. Whether your jam is folk music, rock or jazz, there is always something to rock out to. They are also billed as one of our great breakfast joints, so come 54 LIVE SMALL TOWN

for a visit, stay for the night, catch a show and enjoy our beautiful county for the day. You won’t regret it! La Salette Historic Church and Hall

88 LaSalette Rd, LaSalette Nestled in the scenic rural hamlet of LaSalette Ontario, this magnificent Gothic Revival style church now acts as a community owned and operated venue for local concerts and theatre. Feel free to reach out to rent this location for your event, or check out their website for booked performances. Manny’s Place Live Entertainment

125 Stanley St unit #2, Brantford Manny’s has all the elements of a great concert venue. A clean lounge setting, pub style seating with flat screen TV’s for the sports enthusiast, weekly events and live entertainment on a huge stage that is fully loaded for sound and lighting.

Focused on life, work and play – Brant County is close to major highways, natural resources while fostering a healthy small town lifestyle and tradition – all are key reasons that businesses and people are choosing to call the County of Brant home!

OLG Casino Brantford

40 Icomm Drive, Brantford 519-752-5004 Besides the obvious entertainment, there is always something going on at OLG Casino Brantford. From comedy, to Elvis tribute bands, to a wide array of current musical celebs, check out their web calendar for exciting lineups.

Shared Harvest Community Farm & Educational Centre (and music)

834 North Shore Dr, Dunnville A certified organic vegetable farm that also is host to live music, music festival Turnip the Beets, harmonica retreats, music dinner nights and open mics. PLUS tons of workshops and educational opportunities for all ages. They focus on community support that focuses on working together to make a healthier, happier more engaging life for all.

• Is Everyone Canoeing Without Me? • Why’d they put Drake in a wheelchair? • How do you get #JustinTrudeauHair? Available from your favourite bookseller

Whistling Gardens

698 Concession 3 Townsend, Wilsonville Truly a match made in heaven... Waterford Old Town Hall has teamed up with Whistling Gardens to offer some pretty signature concerts of Juno award winning talent, such as Sarah Harmer and Ron Sexsmith. More to come, so stay tuned.



Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 55

Get Outside

The arrival of spring brings with it an almost overwhelming urge to get outside. The long, cold winter months are now behind us, and fun in the sun awaits! And there is no better way to celebrate the birth of a new season than to head outside and explore the beauty of Ontario’s southwest trails. From peaceful moments with nature to rugged hillside adventures, here are some of our outdoor favorites. 56 LIVE SMALL TOWN



Adventure Awaits!

Every journey starts with a first step, and we’ve collected some of the most interesting and scenic places around to get steppin’! Long Point Eco-Adventures

Photos Courtesy Southwest Ontario Tourism and Ontario Tourism

Saint Williams Uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel seems to be top of mind for many folks these days. Add a bit of adventure and you have a winning combination. That’s exactly what Long Point Eco-Adventure has done! Offering unique and affordable family vacations in picturesque Norfolk County with luxury camping, wine pairings, zip line and canopy tours, mushroom foraging, kayaking, Zodiac boat tours, mountain biking and so much more.

tion of the land and historical resources. The park consists of Canada’s rare Carolinian forest life zone. A fertile ecozone and home to many species of plants and animals that are found nowhere else

Ruthven Park

Cayuga Tucked away in the rural countryside of Cayuga along the beautiful Grand River, sits Ruthven Park. 1500 acres of mixed agricultural and natural lands. All situated on the former 1847 estate of Thompson family. This Greek Revival mansion was once occupied by five generations of the family but in 1995 was passed to The Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc who are dedicated to the conserva-

in Canada, making its preservation even more important. The five walking trails boast unique opportunities to discover nature along with an unforgettable escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Grand River Rafting

Paris If you are looking for a unique Canadian paddling experience look no further. Grand River Rafting has such

No matter what your interests or activity level, there is always something to do outside when the motivation strikes. Why not take up a new hobby this year, try something new, and get out there and explore!

a diverse portfolio from guided river tours, Algonquin trips, edible hikes, Six Nation and Iroquois cultural experiences, school trips and corporate team building, kayaking, rafting, camping... actually the options are so vast you need to check out their website. Besides having an amazing array of adventure options, these folks are all about having fun, building up their community and supporting their neighbours.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 57

For my kids, and for myself, I believe in ecotherapy. Connecting with nature always makes us happy, guaranteed. We’re fortunate to have quite an endless selection of green areas to find adventure, from the neighbourhood trails behind our home to the incredible conservation areas that are just a short drive away. Nancy Domsic Kings

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nancy Domsic Kings -

“If happiness is the goal, and it should be, then adventure should be a top priority” Richard Branson


On the Map

Flower Power Getting out and about to celebrate the beauty of nature in creative ways enhances our home, body and spirit. BY NANCY HOWDEN-COWELL Brantford Garden Club Brantford php/brantford Ontario’s oldest horticultural society, founded in 1852, was established to encourage an interest in horticulture and to promote the protection of the environment. This July they will be hosting their 165th flower and garden show at Tranquillity Hall in Brantford. Be sure to stop by and peruse vendors, flower displays and plant sales. Or take one of their educational workshops.


Apple Hill Lavender Windham Centre Apples, Lavender and Pottery! After three generations in the orchard, the family decided to diversify into lavender. In the century old carriage house boutique you will find lavender products, pottery and apples when is season. Be sure to join them along with Bonnieheath in mid July for the Norfolk Lavender Festival.

Whistling Gardens Wilsonville Indulge your senses and lose yourself in this 20 acre, internationally acclaimed, botanical garden with over 4,000 varieties. A sweet-scented haven of relaxation and inspiration with aviaries, musical fountains, art displays, horticulture workshops and therapies. There is something for all ages to enjoy.






Bonnieheath Estate Lavender & Winery Waterford Whether it’s a stroll around the lavender gardens, vineyard, orchards, prairie grasses, or natural wetlands you will be charmed and inspired by the breathtaking bounty of Norfolk County. Make sure to pop in for a glass of “Don’t Count Your Chickens” wine or sneak away for a quick nap on the gazebo!

Purple Haven Lavender Farm Canfield Purple Haven Farm has a great selection to meet all your culinary lavender needs, as well as those for your home and your body. A love of nature and a dream has turned into a reality with the hard work and determination of the three generations. This family is proof that what you dream you can achieve.

Glenhyrst Gardens Brantford Spend a day reminiscent of a simpler, more gentle time. Stroll through the gardens, take in a current exhibit at The Art Gallery of Brant and enjoy a high tea at the Golden Teapot. Reap the many cultural and artistic events offered through out the year. All this at Glenhyrst Gardens, perched on the Grand River in Brantford.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 59

Life’s a BEACH A new vacation oasis at Long Point

Beach Club Photo by Mark Elias - Moxie Media & Design, Long Point photo by Ryan O’Grady - Fotaflo, Right Hand Page Photo COURTESY Southwest Ontario Tourism

Visitors to Long Point are very curious about the elegant, two-story building standing where two motels and a small trailer park used to be. For more than 80 years, families have come to the corner of Highway #59 and Erie Boulevard every summer – to vacation and make memories. This was a main motivator for the Bouck Family, who say the history of the property and how much it was loved served as inspiration to design and build Long Point Beach Club on the half-hectare site. The building has 18 fully-furnished seasonal vacation condominiums, each with a private terrace or balcony and an unobstructed view of Lake Erie. If that weren’t incentive enough to buy your own piece

of beach heaven, owners will be able to see an immediate return on investment: when not in use, suites can be rented out by Long Point Beach Club management. At the heart of the concept for the vacation condos was to ensure people had the relaxing time away they deserve. “There is no grass to cut or leaves to rake, no roofs to repair or windows to replace,” explains Jeff Bouck. “We wanted a fresh take on the old cottage-style family vacation yet never wanted to lose sight of the main goal: making it a friendly, welcoming place where families and friends come to spend quality time together at the lake.” Besides the many like-minded family cottagers and coastal businesses, other neighbours include Bird Studies Canada, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy Canada, and the Ministry of Natural Resources. This is because The Long Point Beach Club sits peacefully within the boundaries of the Long Point UNESCO World Biosphere. Adds Bouck: “Whether you enjoy birding, fishing, boating, golfing, horseback riding or simply enjoying the beach; nothing compares to the natural beauty of Long Point.” For more information call Jeff Bouck at 519-865-3030 or visit


Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 61



How bringing a little piece of America north of the border can have a positive impact on conservation and the environment BY JOANNE McDONALD Flourishing landscapes and eco zones are created by many people working together for the common goal, with even the smallest conservation action having a positive impact. Comprised of wetlands, forests, meadows, savanna and prairie, Southern Ontario’s Carolinian Life Zone is home to a sundry of incredible plants and animals. In

fact, over 2,200 plants, 70 native trees and more than half of all Canadian birds call it home! 95% of this land is privately owned, and landowners and businesses can play a significant role in its safeguarding and conservation. Fortunately, you don’t need a vast acreage to do your part and make a difference. Planting any amount of native species

Deer photo courtesy Ontario Parks

White-tailed Deer

The graceful and adaptable White-tailed Deer is a strictly North American beauty. Preferring a combo of forest and open areas, they are often seen grazing in meadows, woodlands and farms land. White-tailed deer are named for the bright white underside of their tail, which they lift when anxious. A gesture that signals to their mates that there is a threat near. Moreover the tail provides a guide for the others to follow away from danger. Please Note: If you find a fawn, please leave and do not touch it. Momma is most likely off looking for food and your scent may cause the doe to abandon her fawn.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

I was thrilled to see this fella in the garden this spring. He is one of the rarest of Ontario woodpeckers, preferring mature deciduous forests, like our Carolinian. I’ve noticed an increase in my feathered friends this year, since adding more trees and feeders. Thankfully!

Fowler’s Toad

This gentleman is one of only two toad species in Ontario. He enjoys our sandy shorelines but with our incessant use of pesticides and increased development, his breeding grounds are depleting and leaving him endangered. Don’t worry people don’t get warts from touching toads! When a species disappears, it can start a huge domino effect. Everything from plants to animals to food cycles can be impacted, and it’s important to respect and appreciate the role we play in conservation. It doesn’t take a big individual commitment; all you must do is educate yourself on your surroundings, and do your part to ensure nature stays beautiful and intact

can offer welcomed food sources, support native wildlife and pollinators, build the soil and control erosion, while also boosting biodiversity. Not to mention, each and every species you plant contributes towards cleaner air and mitigates the impact of climate change. Simply learning about nesting and reproductive patterns or choosing eco-friendly products can go a long way!. For more information, and ideas on how you can get more involved, contact

Tulip Tree

This distinct Carolinian lovely only graces the most southern parts of Ontario but can be also found in southern United States. She can live up to 300 years and can grow to 50 meters. Her name comes from tulipshaped spring blooms that are a rich source of food for small animals and birds. Spicebush Swallowtail

Southern Canada is host to much of the butterfly diversity in this vast country and these habitats need protection. Backyards planted with larval food plants and nectar sources will help ensure that there are always butterflies to be enjoyed.

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 63

The Impossible is only the Untried

W. Ross Macdonald school was founded in 1872 in Brantford and is the only school in Ontario for blind and deafblind students and the only such school in Canada serving academic students. Our school community is very important to us and our doors are always open to share resources, give tours and help in any way we can! Please give us a call.

350 BRant ave, BRantfoRd 519-759-0730

Brant, Haldimand & norfolk Community information dataBase

search for information on • Housing • Health Services • Children & Youth Services • Seniors’ Services • Home Care • Government Programs • Libraries • Recreation • Service Clubs • Mental Health Services • Counselling • Financial & Social Assistance • Disability Support Programs • Newcomer Services • Food Banks • Parenting & Family Programs • Employment Services • Transportation Services

Recreation & Adventure GOLF Brant County • Arrowdale Public Golf Course • Brantford Golf & Country Club • Brantford Indoor Golf Club • Brant Valley Golf Club • Burford Golf Links • GolfNorth Properties • Heron Point Golf Links • Northfield Golf Centre • Northridge Public Golf Course • Mystic Golf Club • Paris Grand Golf Course • The Oaks of St George Golf Club Haldimand County • Cayuga Golf Club • Coral Creek Golf & Country Club • Dunnville Golf & Country Club • Freedom Oaks Golf Club • Highland Mini-Golf • MontHill Golf and Country Club • Sandusk Golf Club • The Dunnville Golf and Country Club Norfolk County • Fescue’s Edge Golf Club • Greens At Renton • Lynn Meadows Golf Club • Norfolk Golf & Country Club • Pine Valley Golf Club • Sandusk Golf Club • Springview Farm Golf Course • The Links at Dover Coast • Woodside Greens Golf Park TRAILS Brant County

Brant has a trail system that is envied the world over, and our network of trails and pathways is used by walkers, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders alike. Check out some of the most popular trails below, as well as some of the lesser-known gems (our personal favorites). For more information, visit • Apps Mill Trail (GRCA) • Burford Lion’s Way • Grand Valley Trail (GVTA) • Green Lane Park


• Hamilton to Brantford Trail (GRCA) • LE & N Rail Trail • Mt.Pleasant Walking Tour • Mt.Pleasant Nature Park • Nith River Trail • Paris to Cambridge • S.C. Johnson Trail (GRCA) • TH & B Rail Trail Haldimand County

Haldimand is home to some of the most spectacular and scenic hiking trails around, many found along the Grand River and in our local parks and conservation areas. For more information, visit


March Break, Summer, Christmas priv ate Lessons

• Blue Heron Way • Chippewa Trail • Kinsmen Park Walkway • Patterson Walkway • Ramsay Walkway • Rotary Riverside Trail • Thistlemoor Park Pathway • Thompson Creek Restoration • Townsend Recreation Trail

Small Groups - Limited Skaters, Team Practices, Skills, Power Skating off iCe training

Individual & Small Groups foLLow us on faCebook

Videos, Events, Contests

Justyn Martin 519-209-8824

Norfolk County

Norfolk has a stunning selection of trails that takes you through an array of wetlands, grasslands, forests and farmer’s fields. Come visit us and explore landscapes that you have never been to before, while experiencing all the amazing adventures this county has to offer! For more information, visit • Andy and Helen Spriet Trail • Backus Woods • Big Creek National Wildlife Area • Brook Conservation Area • Delhi Rail Trail • Hay Creek Conservation Area • Lynn Valley Trail • Long Point Eco-Adventures and

InspIre Create MotIvate Kids & adult Classes Birthday parties Day camps

Burning Kiln Winery • Long Point Provincial Park • Norfolk Sunrise Trail • Port Rowan Wetlands • St Williams Conservation Reserve • Sutton Conservation Area • Turkey Point Provincial Park • Woodlots in Norfolk County • Waterford Heritage Trail

518 Main Street, Port Dover


308 Grand River St N, Paris •

Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 65

Sometimes a perfect getaway is a lot closer (and cheaper), than you think. Paradise is only a drive away! BY GRAHAM FERGUSON I remember seeing Southwestern Ontario for the first time as a young 8 year old boy. My grandparents had driven us down to a cottage at Long Point Ontario. My first real memory of this unique sand spit jutting into Lake Erie is a simple walk from my grand parents car to the cabin. Feeling the cool sand between my toes and then swiftly, the corn broom on the tops and backs of my feet, being swept off by Gramma before I could carry the mess in.

The smell of sand, old leaves and pine was so soothing. This scent, coupled with the sounds of the lake pounding wave after wave upon the beach would lull me to sleep. I have travelled most of Canada but I’ve always returned to Norfolk. It has become my center and those memories on the beach that summer long ago will always be magical, almost mystical moments for me. Besides being rich in memories for me the region has a grand and varied history in forestry, agriculture, fishing and has also embraced the local food market. There is so much to do and enjoy here and what better way to discover it then to jump in the car and set out in our direction. Whether you are visitors to the area or explorers in your own back yard, this magazine offers many suggestions to make your time with us as magically and memorable as it was for me so many years ago.

GRAHAM FERGUSON is the owner, captain and interpretive guide at Long Point Island Hugger Tours in Long Point Ontario. Graham has a boundless passion for speaking about our natural world and loves to show his guests the unique places which makes Long Point an unforgettable experience each time you visit. Long Point Island Hugger Tours will provide on-water Natural and Local history tours and specialty charters in the inner and outer bay areas of Lake Erie commencing May 2017. Contact us at 519-718-9608 66 LIVE SMALL TOWN

Photo Courtesy Southwest Ontario Tourism

Backyard Paradise

The shores of Norfolk County may not be the first place that comes to mind for summer, sand and sun, but they should definitely be higher up on your list. Check out some of the hidden gems waiting for you in your own backyard! •


Live it for a day. Live it for a lifetime. SPRING 2017 67

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.