St. Jacobs, Ontario is a village about an hour outside of Toronto, worth a trip any time of year but especially festive at Christmas. St. Jacobs was originally settled by Mennonites in the mid-nineteenth century and their influence is strong, from the horses and buggies that we passed, to the quilt shops throughout town. I wasn’t sure of the ethics of photographing a local driving a horse and buggy and posting it online, so instead I'm sharing a road sign that’s common in St. Jacobs:
In town, a set of silos has been restored to hold a pottery shop and other studios. Along the main street, businesses include antique shops, a stained glass purveyor and a corn broom maker. And regardless of whether you’re visiting in December or in June, you can drop in at the Christmas shop.
One of the loveliest attractions was a mural painted on the side of a gift shop, portraying the Mennonite way of life.
We ended our visit with a visit to the Stone Crock bakery. We did ask about photographing the bakers here, and were granted permission. In addition to running a wonderful café, these women were hard at work baking mince tarts and fruitcake, among other sweet Christmas treats. We knew the food had to be great judging by the number of locals sitting in the café, and we weren’t disappointed. The beef and vegetable soup was almost chunky enough to be a stew, and the meat and vegetables were absolutely delicious. And it was only through strict will power that we didn’t come home with a dozen cinnamon buns or lemon meringue tarts.
Andrew and I loved our peaceful, midweek visit to this village. Although it turns into a bustling little town on the weekends and in the summer, it has retained enough of its heritage to be an appealing place to visit.