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