Friday, 4 December 2015

John Tschirhart is the 2015 Elgin County Ambassador of the Year!

Elgin County is pleased to announce that John Tschirhart, owner of Tschirhart’s Fine Custom Furniture in Vienna, is Elgin County’s Ambassador of the Year for 2015.

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 the County’s Economic Development staff about new businesses and those looking to relocate within the area.
Tschirhart has over 30 years of experience in the billiard industry which he used to expand into designing and producing quality home furnishings. Tschirhart provides his customers with fine furnishings of timeless design and classic craftsmanship and has developed a reputation for high quality and dedicated service.
In 2015, Tschirhart worked to bring new Ambassadors into the fold from within our community. He also helped spread the word about Elgin County across Canada and internationally as well. Whether it is taking Elgin County Visitor’s Guides with him to international trade shows, attracting the attention of the CBC to the village of Vienna, or working with international investors to get them to invest in our community, Tschirhart has been a dedicated member of the program.
"Although relatively new to the Ambassador Program, Tschirhart has taken on the role with enthusiasm and is a prime example of what it means to be an Elgin County Ambassador," said Economic Development General Manager Alan Smith. "The County would like to thank him for his continuing efforts to fuel tourism and economic development in the region."

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

Alan Smith, General Manager Economic Development, John Tschirhart, Tschirhart's Fine Custom Furniture

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Santa Claus Parades and Festive Events in Elgin County!


         Dutton - Sat Nov 21, 3pm                        Rodney - Sat Dec 5, 5:30pm      
         Port Stanley - Fri Nov 27, 7pm                Port Burwell - Sat Dec 5, 6:00pm
         West Lorne - Fri Nov 27, 7pm                 Fingal - Sun Dec 6, 2pm
         Aylmer - Sat Nov 28, 2pm                        Belmont - Sun Dec 6, 6:00pm
         Springfield - Sat Dec 5, 1pm                   Straffordville - Sat Dec 12, 10:30am


Canadale Christmas Open Houses - Sat & Sun from Nov 7 - Nov 29

Village Collective Sparta Christmas Open House - Nov 13 - Sun 15 

Family Flowers Parade of Poinsettias - Nov 19 - Nov 21

Sparta Country Christmas - Nov 21 - Nov 22

Arts & Cookery Bank 12 Days of Christmas - Nov 20 - Dec 3 

Western Elgin Home for Christmas Shopping Event - Nov 20 - Dec 5 

Steed & Co. Lavender Christmas - Nov 28 & Nov 29

Seasons Greetings at Longwoods Conservation Area - Nov 29 

Christmas Spirit Walk at Springwater Conservation Area - Dec 5

Port Stanley Terminal Rail Santa Treats Train Rides - Sat & Sun from Dec 5 - Dec 20 

Home for the Holidays at Backus-Page House - Dec 7 to Dec 11 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Enterprise Elgin Finale!

You are Invited!
The County of Elgin and the Elgin Business Resource Centre (EBRC) are pleased to invite you to the Enterprise Elgin Business Plan Competition Finale on October 22, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the New Sarum Diner.

Join us as the top six finalists pitch their business plans to our panel of judges in a "Dragon's Den" style competition.  Grand Prize Winner takes all - over $10,000 in cash & services awarded. Networking and light refreshments will follow the competition.

We are pleased to announce that the following businesses have been selected as our finalists:

•    Astute Studios – Curtis Van Kasteren
•    Groovy Moon – Jill Bond
•    Head Case Hair Co. – Jami Jacklyn
•    Metamorphosis – Denise Lauzon
•    Smart Dental Hygiene – Sarah Foshay
•    Tubee Fit – Vera Needham

Finalists will have a 15 minute presentation then Judges have five minutes to ask questions.

Please RSVP at the following link by October 19, 2015: 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Artastic Elgin Continues Celebration of Local Arts and Culture

Elgin County is pleased to announce the return of the Artastic Elgin Studio Tour for 2015. The event that is now in its third year, will run from September 26 – 27 at participating Elgin Arts Trail members. 

“We are really excited to give visitors and residents alike the opportunity to witness first hand the incredible wealth of artistic talent in our area,” said Lindsey Duncan, Tourism Services Coordinator.

The artists of the Elgin Arts Trail invite you to take part in a two-day interactive event throughout Elgin County that will provide you with an experiential adventure like no other. With workshops, studio tours, speakers and other gallery events, each stop will leave your creative side wanting more. 

New this year is a passport that will allow visitors to get a stamp at each location they visit. After collecting at least four stamps, visitors will be eligible to enter into a draw to win dinner for four in Elgin County. 

The event is held in conjunction with Culture Days a national celebration each September where artists and cultural organizations across the country come together to promote awareness, participation and engagement in arts and culture activities. 

Artastic Elgin will be held at participating Elgin Arts Trail member locations on Saturday September 26 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday September 27 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Passports that include maps of the route can be picked up at each member location or downloaded from the Elgin Arts Trail website. Search the hashtag #ArtasticElgin on Twitter and Facebook to follow the activities of venues and participants. 

For more information about the Artastic Elgin event call (519) 631-1460 ext.168, e-mail or visit

Artastic Elgin Studio Tour Locations/Activities

Portside Gallery, 187 ½ Main St., Port Stanley
Artists will be on-site with live painting demonstrations. The “Portside Goes Big” exhibit will be on display during this time. 

Peter Robson Gallery, 46340 Main St., Sparta
The Peter Robson Gallery will be offering computerized mat cuttings. Bring a 4x6 picture and have it created on an 8 x 10 mat free of charge! While in Sparta, visit the Sparta Scarecrow Festival on Saturday September 26 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

The Art Emporium, 177 Main St., Port Stanley 
Using various materials and techniques, participants will have the opportunity to create a mixed media collage of their own. Materials are supplied but participants are encouraged to bring papers, fabric, mementos and photos to incorporate into their work.

Concreations, 7579 Yarmouth Centre Rd., St. Thomas
See how Andy casts concrete and uses stains and varnishes to create delightful garden ornaments with an antique, weathered look. Goodies and refreshments available. Live demonstrations on the hour. 

Village Crier Gallery, 194 Currie Rd., Dutton 
Meet Dutton Artist Jenny Phillips and her husband Town Crier Dave at Village Crier Gallery. Enjoy refreshments while you browse their gallery or observe Jenny begin a new major acrylic on canvas “Previewing Quilts”. Saturday: Jenny painting 10 – 11 a.m. & 2-4 p.m. Sunday Jenny painting noon – 4 p.m. 

Rubyeyes Kraftwerks, 235 Colborne St., Port Stanley
Experience the art of fusing glass by creating a 4” suncatcher/coaster or a glass trading card. 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Saturday & Sunday. 

Port Stanley Festival Theatre, 6-302 Bridge St., Port Stanley
Join the Port Stanley Festival Theatre for TWO FREE public readings followed by open discussion of “Quebec Cowboy” by Grant Tilly and “The Birds and The Bees” by Mark Crawford as part of the 4th Annual Playwright’s Festival. 8:00 p.m. Tickets must be reserved in advance.

St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre, 301 Talbot St., St. Thomas
The Art Centre will be offering a full-day event on Saturday September 26 called the “West End Arts Mingle” FREE Children’s art activities. Poetry Slam at 7:00 p.m. DRINK & DRAW, an event designed to rally the creative “spirits”. Finish the evening with live music from “Regal Reeb”. For Ticket info please contact the Art Centre. 

Pinecroft Ceramic Art Studio, 8122 Rogers Rd., South, Aylmer
Visit the pottery studio for ongoing demonstrations 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Stop at the gift shop for a selection of finished pottery for purchase or relax and dine in the Tearoom . Reservations recommended but not necessary for lunch.

Minerva Art Gallery & Custom Framing, 11078 Springwater Rd. North, Aylmer 
Minerva Art Gallery presents Art Restoration, and Preserving Your Piece of Art. On display and being framed are: Pieces of Roman Chariot 200 A.D., Horse bridle and Bits 1400 AD., First Nations Head Dress 1900 AD.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Jump-Start Your Business with the Enterprise Elgin Business Plan Competition

The County of Elgin and the Elgin Business Resource Centre (EBRC) are proud to announce the launch of “Enterprise Elgin”. 

Enterprise Elgin is a business plan competition designed to foster business development in the County of Elgin through new business initiatives as well as business expansions.

Contestants may submit business ideas in any field, including services, manufacturing, distribution, health care, Internet, consumer products, retail, technology, and other fields of commercial endeavor. Every submission will be reviewed by the selection committee and five finalists will be selected. These finalists will be asked to present their business plan before a panel of judges on October 22, 2015. From these five contestants, the judges will select one winner who will receive a prize package worth over $10,000. These prizes that will help take the winner’s business to the next level.  The package includes over $3000 in cash, graphic design and website services, free banking, one-year of rent-free office space and memberships in local business organizations. 

The Competition is directed at for-profit businesses including start-ups as well as expansions of existing companies. To be eligible for the prize, contestants of the business plan competition must agree to locate the company’s principal place of business in Elgin County (outside St. Thomas city limits) at the time of the award. 

The submissions will open August 1 and close on September 30. Finalists will be notified shortly after, with the ultimate winner being announced after the finals held at on Thursday October 22 at the New Sarum Diner. 

Applications will be available at Elgin Business Resource Centre locations in Aylmer (516 John St. N, Aylmer), Dutton (99 Currie Rd., Dutton) and St. Thomas (300 South Edgeware Rd.), at the Elgin County Economic Development office (450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas) and online

Entrepreneurs needing assistance in creating a business plan or wanting a business plan template please contact the Elgin Business Resource Centre at 1-877-450-2128.

Sponsors of this contest include Meridian Credit Union, Redding Designs, Black Cat Concepts, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce, the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce, the Elgin Innovation Centre, the Elgin Business Resource Centre and the County of Elgin. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

This Weekend Everything is Peachy at Great Lakes Farms

Great Lakes Farms is pleased to invite people young and old to celebrate their second annual Peach Fest.

The event will be held on August 15 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and August 16 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and will include the opportunity for visitors to pick their own fresh juicy peaches and to enjoy some delicious, made on the farm baked goods. While you are there, enjoy some good old-fashioned on-farm fun with free wagon rides and a trip through a towering corn maze.  

“We are very excited for the return of Peach Fest,” said owner MaryAnne Van de Gevel. “We launched the event in 2013 but were forced to cancel in 2014 because there were no peaches due to a very harsh winter and spring.”

Great Lakes Farms grows high quality Elgin County fruit, just minutes from scenic Port Stanley. Fresh strawberries, juicy tree ripened peaches, pears, pumpkins and 12 varieties of crunchy delicious apples are available fresh when in season. 

For more information about Great Lakes Farms or to learn about Peach Fest visit or search Great Lakes Farms on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

For further information contact:

MaryAnne Van de Gevel
Great Lakes Farms
Phone: (519) 782-3433

Friday, 31 July 2015

Solitude Nature Reserve – A Reprieve from the Digital Age

Every year Canadians are spending more time indoors in front of screens and less time in the great outdoors. We spend an estimated 90% of our lives indoors and as a result we have disconnected from the natural environment. According to the Connecting Canadians With Nature study, done by the Canadian Parks Council, this disconnect has caused higher levels of depression, chronic anxiety and learning issues in adults and children across the country. This disconnect is what prompted Phil McNamee and his wife Mary Hanley to open Solitude Nature Reserve in Central Elgin.
McNamee has 10 years of experience leading wilderness backpacking adventures for adults to locations such as Gross Morne National Park, the Grand Canyon and Killarney Provincial Park. This experience has made him keenly aware of the positive effects that nature can have on people.
“People slow down when they spend time in nature,” said McNamee. “They don’t worry about what is happening at the office, and they are more relaxed.”

Solitude Nature Reserve seeks to provide campers with a true backwoods, wilderness camping experience close to home. Visitors won’t need to travel hundreds of kilometres to have authentic encounters with nature. Campsites are located far away from one another – the idea is to enjoy nature and not your neighbours. The use of electronic devices is not permitted except in the case of an emergency. McNamee wants solitude nature reserve to be a reprieve from the stresses and distractions of the digital age. He wants families to reconnect with nature and with one another.    

It took two years of searching before McNamee and Hanley found the perfect property. They chose 35 acres of natural bush and trails located at 45388 Dexter Line between Quaker and Yarmouth Centre Roads. McNamee increased the hiking trails and added 6 campsites each equipped with a 16’x16’ tent deck, a picnic table, an iron fire ring with a grill and a composting toilet. Fire wood is available on-site but campers are required to bring their own food and drinking water and a wagon will be available to help transport camping gear from the parking lot to the campsites. Currently 3 of these sites are available to the public with 3 more scheduled to open by late August. Campsites will be free of charge on a first come first serve basis but interested campers will need to get a permit from McNamee to be on-site. The campsites will only be available Friday and Saturday nights from July to September but the property is open for day-use from dawn until dusk 7 days a week, year-round.

Solitude Nature Reserve is conveniently located with in close proximity to a number of Elgin County tourist attractions, giving campers the opportunity to explore the area when not on-site at Solitude Nature Reserve. The area is home to fantastic roads for cycling, wineries, quaint fishing villages and the scenic coast of Lake Erie.
For more information about Solitude Nature Reserve including trail maps and campsite bookings visit their website or like them on Facebook.

The Savour Elgin Passport – A Culinary Journey

Summer is truly a time when Elgin County’s agricultural bounty is evident.  From tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet corn to raspberries, peaches and cherries, the variety of fresh produce available is astounding. It is the perfect time of year to browse farmers’ markets in search of the ripest, most delicious fruits and vegetables; learn the secrets of winemaking at one of Elgin’s wineries; and finish off the day with a relaxing and hearty meal at one of the area’s fine dining establishments.

In celebration of local food, Elgin County is pleased to announce the first annual Savour Elgin Passport Tour, a culinary adventure for tourists and locals alike. The passport encourages people to hit the road with friends and family to passport stops across the County. At each location participants will get their passport stamped for a chance to win a weekend getaway in Elgin County. Participants must visit at least four locations to be entered into the draw. Elgin County encourages participants to take photos along the way and use the hashtag #savourpassport to record their journey.

“The passport encourages people to get out and enjoy Elgin County’s quality culinary attractions while offering them the chance to win a great Elgin County getaway,” said Tourism Services Coordinator Lindsey Duncan. “Whether you are a visitor to the area or a local, a getaway to one of Elgin’s tranquil inns or B&Bs is a relaxing and welcome escape from the pressures of daily life.”

Passports can be picked up and dropped off at any Savour Elgin location or at the Elgin County Tourism office at 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas until February of 2016. For more information visit and click on events. 

Bee Loved Gardens - Flavourful, Nutrient Dense Vegetables

An intense respect for the natural world and the health of those in it, prompted Deanna Van Den Dries to start Bee Loved Gardens, a small, diversified farm in the heart of Elgin County. The farm produces a variety of naturally-grown vegetables, fresh cut flowers, culinary herbs and pasture-raised pork and poultry.

Using all natural farming methods, Van Den Dries applies the principles of regenerative agriculture on her farm. Her ultimate goal is to produce nutrient dense vegetables that improve not only the health of the people that eat them, but the health of the soil that they are grown in. She does this by balancing the minerals and increasing the microbial life in the soil, working with instead of against, a variety of native insects and pollinators. The farm’s name Bee Loved Gardens is a tribute to the crucial role that pollinators, especially Bees, play in the production of food.

The results of these practices are nutrient dense vegetables that have a higher level of minerals and a higher Brix Rate than those you would find in a traditional grocery store. The Brix Rate refers to the measure of sugars in produce. The higher the Brix Rate, the greater the flavour. The majority of Van Den Dries’ vegetable varieties are heirloom meaning that they come from older, more diverse varieties of vegetables often no longer available in grocery stores. 

“There are lots of people who have never experienced home-grown vegetables,” said Van Den Dries. “They taste amazing and there is so much variety available.”

In 2014, Bee Loved Gardens started a CSA program where participants sign-up to receive a box of vegetables, flowers and herbs every week throughout the summer. Each customer is able to choose what they would like in their box based on seasonal availability. The program has become so popular that all CSA spots were quickly filled in 2015; however, those wishing to get a taste of Van Den Dries’ flavourful fare can purchase vegetables directly from the farm on Saturday mornings throughout the summer months. Bee Loved Farms will also soon be setting up a vegetable delivery route in the St. Thomas and Port Stanley areas.

Those who are interested in learning more about Bee Loved Gardens’ nutrient rich produce can sign up for their newsletter online or like the farm on Facebook.

Strong Arm Forge Inc. – Transforming Lifeless Steel into Something Beautiful

Being an Industrial Millwright isn't usually associated with artistic creativity; however, that is exactly how Artist Blacksmith Scott McKay honed his metal working skills preparing him for his future career as an artist.
McKay began creating art in 1997 after seeing a metal sculpture and thinking he could use his skills to create something similar. His first pieces consisted of metal parts assembled to look like animals. Transforming lifeless, cold materials, such as steel, into unique and beautiful works of art has become extremely rewarding for McKay who now creates art full-time out of his shop and studio northwest of Shedden, Ontario. 

He is a graduate of the Haliburton School of the Arts Artist Blacksmith Course and has taken many additional courses from experienced blacksmiths in the United States. McKay is continuously studying art so he can apply new techniques to his work. He has a keen eye and his work takes on many different forms. His sculptures are often dreamed up in his imagination and driven by the materials he uses to create them. He is continually scouring scrap yards for the perfect pieces and has the innate ability to recognize when he has found something unique.
"If something at the scrap yard looks like a bird's beak, I will keep it and down the road it might end up as a beak or tail or nose of a sculpture," explains McKay.
By merging traditional forging techniques with contemporary technologies of plasma cutting, modern welding and computer design, McKay is able to create pieces that are both beautiful and functional.

He enjoys working with clients to create commissioned pieces. In addition to sculptures he also fabricates functional items with creative flare such as fences, stair railings, lighting fixtures and fireplace grates. McKay wants to give people an affordable alternative to products that are mass produced in big box stores. The commission process begins with an in-depth consultation followed by the sketching process and perhaps the creation of a small scale model if the project is large. A 3D model helps the client visualize how the finished product will look. Examples of McKay's work can be seen on his website

Visit Strong Arm Forge Studio at 11555 Lawrence Road, Southwold Ontario or call 519-630-5155 to begin the consultation process to own a one-of-a-kind Scott McKay original.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Whiskey Throttle MX – Elgin’s Only Motocross Specialists

For Jay Honsinger and Greg Cross, co-owners of Whiskey Throttle MX, motorsports aren't just a business they are a lifestyle. The pair are avid snowmobilers and motocross riders themselves and they enjoy riding and fixing recreational vehicles so much that it was a natural next step to start a business. After mulling the idea over for awhile, the two friends opened Whiskey Throttle MX in April of 2015 with a shop and showroom located at 43718 John Wise Line in Central Elgin.

Whiskey Throttle is a term that many dirt bikers are intimately familiar with. It means to give so much throttle that the rider slips off the bike causing it to lose control. Honsinger and Cross cleverly chose the name because if someone “Whiskey Throttles” their bike, they are most likely going to need some repairs.

Part sales and repairs are Whiskey Throttle's main services; however, they also build and sell custom motorcycles. Honsinger, Cross and a licensed mechanic that works on-site have a combined 40 years of experience between them.
“We take great pride in doing high quality work and repairs,” says Honsinger. “When you leave the shop it is going to be right.”

Before the shop opened, there was nowhere in Elgin specializing in motocross bikes forcing those who needed parts or repairs to drive to London for service. Whiskey Throttle MX has filled this much needed gap by stocking a variety of parts for snowmobiles, motocross bikes, ATVs, and motorcycles. The shop also stocks oils needed for ATVs and motocross bikes. 
Although the business is taking off, Honsinger and Cross are true enthusiasts who make time to ride every weekend.  The pair are also currently working on putting together a team of local racers that will include well known riders Kassie Boone and Brenden Bishop who will compete at Gopher Dunes Raceway, Walton Raceway and in Quebec.

For more information about Whiskey Throttle MX visit , like them on Facebook at and follow them on Instagram @whiskey_throttle_mx. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Celebrate Canada's Birthday in Elgin County

Celebrate our great Country's birthday in Elgin County!

Fingal Canada Day Celebrations
June 30
Fireworks at Dusk
Fingal Ball Park

Canada Day in Belmont
July 1
10 a.m. - Dusk (Fireworks)
Various Belmont Locations

Celebrate Canada Day & the 175th Anniversary of the Historic Lighthouse in Port Burwell
July 1
Parade starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Port Burwell Legion

Canada Day Ceremony and flag raising followed by cake and musical entertainment at Robinson St. Parkette on Erius St. Port Burwell.

Canada Day Celebrations in Aylmer
July 1
5-9p.m., Fireworks at Dusk
East Elgin Community Complex (531 Talbot St. West, Aylmer) 

Something for everyone! Carnival games, mini-golf, food, entertainment, crafts and activities. Fireworks at dusk.

West Elgin Canada Day Celebrations
July 1
1 - 10:30 p.m.
Miller Park, West Lorne

Kids Country Carnival and other activities, 5:00 p.m. Fish Fry. 7:00p.m. Opening Ceremonies, baseball game, Snake Lady show. 9:30 p.m. Fireworks.

Canada Day in Dutton 
July 1
Noon - Dusk
Sons of Scotland Park, Dutton

Free Swim, volunteer awards, opening ceremonies, musical entertainment, kids activities and fireworks at dusk.

Friday, 29 May 2015

A Walk Along the Pier in Port Stanley

There is something almost magical about a walk along a pier in the summertime looking out over the water’s edge as the waves lap peacefully against the shoreline. Soon visitors to Port Stanley will be able to do just that when the West Breakwater opens to the public later this summer for the first time in nearly fifteen years. 

The project includes the construction of an accessible 12-14 foot wide walking surface, benches for resting and a concrete wall along the west side acting as a railing system to protect people from strong wave action. The wall will also have lowered portions, with glass, for those with mobility issues to view the water while on the walkway. Construction on this project has already begun and is estimated to be competed by the end of June 2015, weather permitting. 

The West Breakwater was closed by Transport Canada in 1998 because of safety concerns and the Municipality of Central Elgin originally intended only to repair the concrete and timber that hold the Breakwater together. A Breakwater is extremely important to a portside Community, blocking large waves to create a calm harbour and stemming the flow of sediment into the harbour. When the construction company doing the repairs created a concrete surface for their machinery to travel on, the Municipality determined that the next logical step would be to use that surface for pedestrian traffic and thus the Breakwater project began.

Reopening the Breakwater is part of a larger project to improve the harbour for recreation and to grant greater public access to the water. In the Fall, Central Elgin plans to dredge the harbour and use the sediment to reclaim 6 acres of the harbour creating Hofhuis Park, which will be located on the north end of the Breakwater. The Municipality also plans to rehabilitate the East Berm and create more park land, making the village of Port Stanley even more welcoming to tourists and recreation enthusiasts. 

Slow Down and Listen to the Rhubarb Grow

For over 20 years, visitors have been coming from far and wide each June to pay tribute to the plant that put Shedden, ON on the map - Rhubarb. This leafy vegetable with red celery-like stalks is one of the earliest local produce items to make an appearance in Elgin County gardens and farmers’ markets each spring. Rhubarb stalks are tart in taste and are usually cooked with sugar and used in in pies and other delicious desserts. 

The Shedden Rosy Rhubarb Festival that takes place each year on the second weekend in June is part street festival, part carnival and part country fair. The kick-off event each year is a fierce competition between locals to bake the best pies, cakes and tarts - all using Rhubarb of course. These delicious confections are judged and the winners are auctioned off to the public. The locals are crazy about Rhubarb, competing not only in baking contests but also to see who can pull the longest stalk from lush patches of Rhubarb that fill the gardens of Shedden, making the village the Rhubarb Capital of Ontario. 

The idea for a festival was originally conceived by a small group of Shedden locals who wanted to do something to promote their community while raising money for a new community complex. At the time the Shedden Country Club was nearly 50 years old and the community needed something larger and more modern. As a result of the success of the Rosy Rhubarb Festival and other community groups, the Shedden Keystone Complex is now a reality and the Rosy Rhubarb Committee have turned their fundraising efforts towards a new library for Shedden. 

Now in its 23rd year, The Shedden Rosy Rhubarb Festival has grown to a three-day extravaganza of family fun! Events include old favourites like baking contests, yard sales, petting zoos, pony rides and local musical entertainment as well as new and exciting additions like helicopter and monster truck rides, air bouncers and a breakfast sponsored by Denny’s. 

This year’s event starts on June 12 and runs until June 14 at various locations in and around Shedden. For a full schedule of events visit:

Friday, 15 May 2015

Victoria Day Weekend in Elgin County

After months of dreaming about it, the first long weekend of the summer is finally here and after such a long winter we all have a bit of a spring in our step! The weather is warming and the whole summer is stretched out before us with endless possibilities. Check out these great activities in Elgin to keep you occupied! 

Victoria Day Gardening Extravaganza

May 14 -17
Canadale Nurseries
269 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas 

It is time to plan your garden! Come to Canadale for everything you need and bring the kids along for free gardening crafts!

Elgin County Museum Exhibit: Waist Management: A History of Unmentionables
May 11 - Aug 29

Elgin County Museum
450 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas (4th floor)

Undergarments have been worn since the dawn of fashion to protect outer clothing from perspiration and soiling, while providing warmth, modesty and support for the body. However, undergarments have also been usd to pad the bind the figure into exaggerated fashionable silhouettes. This exhibition is a visual journey through the sensational corsets, crinolines, bustles, and bras that have been used to idealize the femal form since the 18th century. Organized and circulated by the Fashion History Museum.  

"The Road to Culloden" 
May 16 & 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Tickets $6 12 and under FREE
Backus-Page House Museum
29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown 

This living history event invites you to step back in time to 1745, and follow  ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and his loyal Jacobite supporters as they march across Britain to reclaim the throne for the House of Stuart. Great kilted highlanders, French noblemen, English dukes and Redcoats too! Skirmishes, music, camp life displays, storytellers and more!

Scenic Train Rides on the PSTR 
May 16 & 17
Train Departs at 11 a.m., 1p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 
Adults $15, Children $9
Port Stanley Terminal Rail
309 Bridge St., Port Stanley 

Enjoy a scenic ride on the Port Stanley Terminal Railway. Reservations are not required, but please arrive at the station 30 minutes in advance for easy access. Regular rides are one hour in duration and run rain or shine.

Tours of HMCS Ojibwa - May 
May 16-18
12 - 5 p.m. 
Adults/children 6-12 - Interior $19.75/$12, exterior $10/$5 (under 6 free)
HMCS Ojibwa
3 Pitt St., Port Burwell 

297.5 feet long, 5 stories high, elegant, imposing - hiding secrets of the Cold War. Such is HMCS Ojibwa, Canada’s first Oberon Class submarine as she sits in Port Burwell, the first artifact of the Museum of Naval History. Experience the Submariners Tour of the interior or Fish Eye Tour of the exterior. 

The Elgin Historical Society Presents: The Talbot Toast
May 18
2:00 p.m. 
St. Peter's Cemetery
29596 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown 

The Society will gather at Thomas Talbot's graveside for its annual toast to the anniversary of Col. Talbot's arrival at Port Talbot in May 1803. The Backus-Page House Museum across the road from the graveyard will be open for visitors after the toast.

For more great event listings visit

Monday, 4 May 2015

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo in Elgin!

Cinco De Mayo (Spanish for "Fifth of May") is a Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  Today in the rest of North America Cinco De Mayo is an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture and indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine. Elgin County is home to several restaurants serving delicious authentic Mexican foods, so celebrate by indulging at one of the locations below:

49919 Talbot Line, Aylmer

The Mennomex is a little piece of Mexico right here in Elgin County. This store specializes in imported Mexican grocery products and authentic Mexican take-out. The menu changes daily. 

Mennomex, Aylmer ON

Hacienda Roadhouse Cafe
49946 Talbot Line, Aylmer, ON 
(519) 765-3757

Authentic Mexican food, large portions and great prices! Across from the Mennomex!  

McKechnie Foods, The Tortilla Store (Home of Luke's Tortilla Chips)
25 Raglan St. Aylmer

McKechnie Foods has been in business since 1997 making fresh stone ground corn tortillas and tortilla chips and have now added tamales and burritos to their list of products. Luke's Tortilla Chips are a delicious local favourite! 

Bella Jack's Mexican Canatina
437 Talbot St., St. Thomas, ON
(519) 637-6247

Head to Bella Jack's for great food, large portions and delicious Margaritas and Daiquiris made with fresh fruit! 


Dan's Taco Wagon
550 Talbot St. W, Aylmer ON

This Food Truck near Aylmer serves fresh tacos, burritos, chimichangas, taco salad, burgers, fries, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, and ice cream. The ingredients are fresh, the services is friendly and the prices are amazing! Open from April to October. 

Dan's Taco Wagon

Friday, 17 April 2015

Celebrate Canadian Film with a Mini Film Festival in Elgin

Celebrate Canadian Film Day with a FREE mini film festival at several locations across the County between April 30 and May 2. For more information visit

April 29, Opening Night
The Snow Walker
Reception 5:30 p.m./ Movie 6:30 p.m.
Port Stanley Theatre
Call 226-456-7881 or e-mail to reserve seating.

Thursday April 30
6:00 p.m. Aylmer Library  - Breakaway
6:00 p.m. Dutton Library  - Breakaway
6:00 p.m. St. Thomas Public Library
- Sabah
6:30 p.m. Northside Neighbourhood Hub - Breakaway

Friday May 1
11:30 a.m. Northside Neighbourhood Hub - Stories We Tell
6:00 p.m. St. Thomas Public Library - Stories We Tell
6:30 p.m. Talbot Teen Centre - Prom Night in Mississippi

Saturday May 2
2:00 p.m. St. Thomas Public Library
- Breakaway