Take a step back in time as you tour through the very heart of Old Order Mennonite Country in the Township of Woolwich. Experience the quaint Village of St. Jacobs with its boutique shops and restaurants. Taste the freshly baked goods in the Mennonite-run bakery or watch as hand-made corn brooms are constructed in one of the last shops of its kind in Canada. Woolwich Township is also home to the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario, the West Montrose Covered Bridge, built in 1881 and known locally as the Kissing Bridge.
Travel along quiet country roads that lead through lush farmland and industrious Mennonite settlements. Pull your car over and experience a quieter, gentler way of life as a horse and buggy trundle by. Stop to purchase honey or sausage at the end of a laneway of an Amish farm, or an exquisite handmade Mennonite quilt at a village store. Unravel the rich tapestry of Mennonite history and tradition through the multi-media presentation of “The Mennonite Story” in the Village of St. Jacobs, and learn why this part of Ontario is so special.
At Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market — the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market — immerse yourself in the excitement as hundreds of vendors come together in a frenzy of sights and sounds, tastes and colours. Let the buskers and the musicians entertain you, watch a livestock auction, see Mennonites pull boxes of fresh produce off the back of their buggies, and take in the endless array of homemade foods, crafts and antiques to browse and explore.
If you are visiting in the spring, the town of Elmira offers up the largest one-day Maple Syrup Festival in the world. With visitors coming from all over, the festival is an exciting celebration of spring with steaming plates of pancakes and fresh maple syrup the star attraction.
With the old-world charm that permeates the Township of Woolwich, it’s almost dizzying to find the bustle of the Waterloo Region International Airport only minutes away. But before you hop on board an airplane, make sure to climb aboard the Waterloo Central Railway and experience the excitement as one of only three operational steam engines in Canada chugs along the pastoral landscape between the St. Jacobs and Elmira.