Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine
WHERE PASTORAL PLEASURES MATCH URBAN DELIGHTS
Ontario’s Waterloo Region packs a two-for-one experience.
If you’re yearning for a peaceful country atmosphere interspersed with city sophistication, look no further than rural St. Jacobs and adjacent Kitchener-waterloo, Ontario, for a two-for-one experience. Not only will you travel through pristine farmland and enjoy the bounty, but all ages will also savour the sophistication of a “top-tech” urban hub.
ST. JACOBS MARKET DISTRICT
Arrive early at the renowned St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market & Flea Market. Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor farmers’ market attracts thousands each week. Look for apple fritters, handmade pretzels, authentic tamales, jerk chicken and more Waterloo Region treats. Take a horse-drawn trolley ride or hop onto a historical steam locomotive to see the countryside.
Stroll down memory lane at Market Road Antiques located in the Market District where aisles of vendors sell thousands of treasures. Don’t miss the nearby historical Village of St. Jacobs where unique shops sell pottery, handmade brooms, ladies’ fashions, gifts and
decor. There are also many places to enjoy a bite to eat. To learn about the first Mennonite settlers, visit The Mennonite Story.
Thirsty folks can enjoy a brew at the Block Three Brewing Company. Or, book a unique coffee-tasting session at Ecocafe.
Explore this picturesque region on a guided two-day Mennonite bike and paddle adventure. Begin your path-less-travelled excursion with a behind-the-scenes tour of the St. Jacobs Market. Then hop on a modern touring bike to cycle along scenic back roads and pastoral byways.
On day two, paddle a canoe or kayak along the famous Grand River where highlights might include a visit to an Old Order Mennonite farm or a sampling of the region’s renowned craft beer. Enjoy a final picnic by the West Montrose Covered Bridge— Canada’s oldest intact covered bridge.
Chefs at Marbles Restaurant serve locally sourced ingredients in a historical livery stable where you can savour soups, vegan delights or Thursday seafood nights. For cheerful family feasts, Taco Farm delivers Mexican-inspired cuisine. Their tasty tacos were recently featured on the kids’ edition of TV’S You Gotta Eat Here. Chef Dan Mccowan at Red House bistro creates award-winning dishes such as lamb spaghetti.
At the unique Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, delight in artistic ceramics and stained-glass crafts. Examine a series of dioramas that tell the story of glass. Be sure to visit the gallery’s superb gift shop where more than 100 Canadian artists contribute ceramics, stained-glass items and jewellery for sale.
The area is known for its festivals. In mid-august the TD Kitchener Blues Festival presents rollicking rhythm-and-blues performances on multiple stages. The most popular celebration of all, however, is the annual Kitchener-waterloo Oktoberfest extravaganza in mid-october—the world’s second-largest Oktoberfest celebration after Germany. As they say, Willkommen. Or even better, Prosit!