Friday, 24 February 2012

New Bed and Breakfast Opens in Aylmer!

Elgin County is pleased to announce the grand opening of Sweet Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast in Aylmer.
The grand opening will be held on Saturday March 3rd from 1 pm-4 pm and will include a wine and cheese reception, the chance to win a one-night stay, and tours of the facility.

Owner Brenda Lawson, a retired nurse from Newmarket, moved to the area to be closer to family and to experience the tranquility of small town life. She soon fell in love with the 1870 heritage home located at 236 Talbot St. East, and with the gorgeous Magnolia tree in the front yard.

Fulfilling her life long dream of opening a bed and breakfast, Lawson spent six months restoring the home while maintaining its original integrity. The Sweet Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast boasts three tastefully decorated suites and offers guests the option of a continental breakfast or a heartier home- cooked meal made with locally sourced ingredients.

Lawson encourages others to pursue their goals of opening a small business saying, "If you believe in your dreams they will come true."

"Increasing the length of time visitors stay in our area, and thus the amount of money they spend, will generate significant economic benefits for Elgin County and St. Thomas," said Economic Development General Manager Alan Smith. "Sweet Magnolia House will encourage longer stays by offering visitors attractive and comfortable accommodations."

For more information regarding the Sweet Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast please call (519) 765-3038 or visit

Sweet Magnolia House, 236 Talbot St. East, Aylmer ON

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Elgin Tourism Exhibits at the London Boat, Fishing and Leisure Show

Each year over 20,000 people attend the London Boat Fishing & Leisure show to see the latest and greatest in the worlds of boating, fishing and leisure. This year Elgin-St. Thomas Tourism will participate in the show to promote their Ports of Elgin Campaign.

Elgin County is home to over 120km of breathtaking Lake Erie shoreline and four ports: Port Glasgow, Port Stanley, Port Bruce and Port Burwell. Whether visitors enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy portside village, or a more tranquil atmosphere, Elgin County's four Ports have something to please everyone. Visitors can take in the sun, surf and sand at some of the best stretches of sandy beach along Lake Erie's North shore, take a ride on a tourist railway or chartered sailboat, visit the theatre, hike the trails at Port Burwell Provincial Park, spend an afternoon on the golf course or shop in numerous stylish boutiques.

The show runs from February 24th-26th at the Western Fair Progress Building.

Boaters in Port Glasgow, Elgin County

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

McGartland Wins County Award

Elgin County is pleased to announce that Grace McGartland, Chair of the Arts & Cookery Bank, is Elgin County's Ambassador of the Year for 2011. 

Elgin County Ambassadors are people who volunteer their time to help promote business throughout Elgin County and actively participate in the growth and development of the County. The Ambassador of the Year is awarded based on points that are given to ambassadors for a variety of items including attendance at quarterly meetings, recruiting new members, promoting Elgin County at events, and informing Economic Development staff about new business in the area.

McGartland has represented the County at numerous events over the past year, has spoken about Elgin’s Creative Economy at several conferences and organized the Western Elgin Interactive Showcase in October 2011. She sits on the County of Elgin’s Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee and represents Elgin County on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation.

"We would like to thank Grace for her commitment, creativity and enthusiasm," said Elgin County Warden Bill Walters. "Her involvement and contribution has been an immeasurable asset to our Economic Development program."

The Elgin County Ambassador program is open to entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. For more information on the program please call 519-631-1460 ext. 168 or email

Friday, 3 February 2012

Elgin County Earns Provincial Nod!

The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) on February 2nd, presented Elgin County with two awards in recognition of its Economic Development Strategy and Action plan for 2011-2014, and its Elgin Arts Trail website promoting visual arts attractions throughout the County.

"We are pleased and proud of the Economic Development Strategy and Elgin Arts Trail website." said Elgin County Warden Bill Walters. "They are testaments to the great work done by the Economic Development and Tourism Services Department in the growth and support of the business community in the County."

Elgin County’s Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2011-2014, developed in conjunction with marketing firms Millier Dickenson Blais and Yfactor, is a four-year strategy that builds on the County’s identified economic strengths and provides a new direction in the context of the creative rural economy. Developing talent and innovation is the basis for this strategy that focuses on creative people and knowledge as economic generators.

Recognizing the potential of arts as a driver of tourism, Elgin County Economic Development in partnership with the Elgin Business Resource Centre and the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre developed and launched an Arts Trail to connect artists, artisans, and art galleries throughout the County and the city of St. Thomas. The Elgin Arts Trail website invites tourists as well as residents to visit these attractions and features each member of the Elgin Arts Trail program. The site also incorporates the interactive Tourism Ytool which makes it easy for website visitors to find out about events, restaurants or hotels and to quickly create individual itineraries for their upcoming visit to Elgin County and St. Thomas. Interactive maps make locating the destinations effortless for prospective tourists.

Visit to see the Elgin County Economic Development Strategy and visit to get more information about Elgin’s vibrant arts community!