Here’s a few reasons why one of the prettiest villages in Ontario is Elora.

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In Elora, life unravels a bit slower

It’s worth saying again: One of the prettiest villages in Ontario is Elora. It’s so nice very time I visit this village of 5, 500 I want to move here. A lot of people have done just that. Elora is a place that grows on you from the minute you arrive. Over dinner at a local favourite eatery, The Shepherd’s PubI struck up a conversation with Nadine McEwen and Stan Winegard who told me they moved here about two and a half years ago from Timmons. Stan said, “It’s a real pretty place and a very welcoming community with an active artistic community. Since Nadine is a sculptor, it fits perfectly into our life style”. Even the owners of this authentic British pub had moved to Elora from Guelph just a few months ago. Throughout the weekend I bumped into others who made the move. Well now, let me think more about this moving thing.

Known for its unique limestone architecture, Elora was founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkison, a British officer recently returned from India.

Shopping
Elora is an artists’ community specializing in handcrafted and one-of-kind items. The two main streets to stroll are Mills and Metcalfe.
One stand out worth finding on Mill Street, near The Shepherd’s Pub, is The Village Olive Grove (it was the free olive oil tastings sign outside the store that first caught my eye). I met one of the owners, David Medeiros (He’s from Toronto). Medeiros believes their shop is the only one in Canada selling exceptional olive oils and vinegars from around the world.  A few other shops that caught my eye were; Sante’s it’s a natural grocery store with organic and fair-trade foods and gifts. A Weed Bit Natural features hemp products and organic clothing. Jammed Lovely is filled with unique one of a kind gift items. Sweet Trash has clothing and accessories from the 1920’s and onwards. At Grand Gourmet KitchenwareI had to have some of the items explained to me as to what they were. You can tell how much time I spend in the kitchen.

The Village Olive Grove occassionally has free olive oil tastings.

Culinary Walking Tour
If you arrive on a Saturday sign up at the Village Olive Grove for the $10.00 walking tour between 1 and 3 pm. During the tour, you’ll sample specially created dishes from eight restaurants while learning about the history and architecture of the area.

One of the prettiest villages in Ontario-

Holiday Happenings
-Santa Claus Parade, Saturday, November 26 and Parade of Lights begin at 6pm.There’s another parade in nearby Fergus on December 3rd at 1:30 pm.
-Starlight Shopping November 24-25 until 9pm.
-Elora Centre for the Arts Show and Sale, December 8-22.
-The annual Elora Festivals Singers’ Christmas Concert series in December is an annual rite of winter.

The Elora Gorge
Here’s the gorge part. Elora is located on the Grand River where the Elora Gorge begins. The gorge has a waterfall that forms behind the Elora Innand continues for 4 kilometres. The Elora Inn is currently closed for renovations. In the middle of the falls is the, “Tooth of Time”. This is a huge rock that has become the symbol of the village of Elora.

The Elora gorge on the Grand River has a waterfall that forms behind the Elora Inn and continues for 4kms.

Where to Stay
I picked the Tynavon Bed and Breakfast (Tynavon means House by-the-River in Scots Gaelic) to be home for the weekend. This quaint circa 1856 home at 84 Mill Street is a short walk from downtown. It has a gracious verandah overlooking the Grand River. Expect to pay around $125.00 a night for one of the best sleeps you’ll ever have and a scrumptious breakfast. (Silo Direct Link to Tynavon Bed and Breakfastor 1-866-334-3305).

Welcoming gate post- the Tynavon B and B

Here’s the goat part.
When you force yourself to leave Elora take a 10 minute trip on Highway 6 north to Arthur, Ontario. That’s where you’ll find River’s Edge Goat Dairy.(Silo Direct Link to Goat Milk Products Website or 1-800-209-7330) at 8102 Wellington Road 109, Arthur. If you have children with you they’ll love it. Chances are you’ll find owners Katie Kormet or Will Makxam tending to their herd of 120 mature does. The farm produces, with hard work, milk as well as cheese, yogurt and even soap.

Will told me- “We are a small goat dairy, and we process all of our own milk but we also raise the male goats for meat. In general, we tell our frequent customers, if our chain is down, come on in we are open. However, if our chain is up, we are unavailable  but not necessarily closed or away. Not only are we artisan cheese makers, we are farmstead cheese makers. Not many farmers who do it all. We feed and milk  our animals and make cheese on the farm. We are a provincially licensed dairy plant, like all other commercial dairy plants in the province. Our advantage: we use the freshest milk and process it into milk yogurt or cheese sooner than  our competitors.

Visitors are welcome to visit the farm (no charge) and you might see the goats being milked. River’s Edge Goat Dairy hours of operation vary. Katie said, “Call us ahead of time to see if we’ll be home”.

Delicious goat dairy products

For More information
Elora and Fergus Tourism Silo Direct Link to Elora and Furgus Tourism Website or 519-846-9841.GPS users can punch in 9 Mill street East, Elora.

Travel and tourism writer, Silo contributor George Bailey

Written and photographed By George Bailey Niagara Falls,Ontario  e-mail: wonderful.life@sympatico.ca.

3 Comments to Here’s a few reasons why one of the prettiest villages in Ontario is Elora.

  1. Hi Sharon, The Village Olive Grove does exist- you can contact them directly at 226-384-7000. As for the culinary walking tour, it too exists although not in the same form as prior years. Make a point of visiting Elora- you won’t be disappointed.

  2. Sharon Medieros

    I think you need to yank this forum. The Village Olive Grove, a weed bit natural and tynavon don’t exist any more. There is no longer a culinary walkin tour!

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