Thursday's Child: Alton Mill Arts Centre

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Andrew typically takes the first week of December off work, and during that week we take a day trip somewhere in or near Toronto. Two years ago we travelled to St. Jacob's, and this year we spent the day at Alton Mill Arts Centre in Caledon, Ontario.

Alton Mill was built in the late nineteenth century to house a knitting factory. The building survived both The Great Alton Flood of 1889 and a serious fire nineteen years later. The mill was sold upon the death of its owner in 1915 and, under several other owners, remained functional until the early 1980s.

Bought by a developer, the mill remained dormant for a number of years until the owner was approached by a local artist. He was looking for a place to house a studio and wondered if they'd consider leasing space to him and a few other area artisans. The project was so successful that they decided to convert the entire building into an arts and heritage centre.

Now the main floor contains gift shops and a cafe, while the upper floors host studios for photographers, potters, and artists in a variety of media. A dedicated space in the basement houses literary readings and arts performances. We loved checking out the individual studios and talking to the artists about their work.

We visited when the building was decorated for Christmas, and it's hard to imagine a lovelier time of year. But I'd like to go back sometime when it's a bit warmer; the property leads directly to the Bruce Trail, and it would have been great to spend a couple of hours hiking.
Can't believe we missed the chance to pose with the Grinch.

And a trip to Alton wouldn't be complete without lunch at Ray's 3rd Generation Bistro Bakery, with great food and live music.

19 comments:

Kathy said...

This looks like such an interesting place. I absolutely love the photo of the stream! Gorgeous!

vanillasugarblog said...

LOL photos with the Grinch! Cute

Kimberly said...

That sounds like a really nice trip. The pictures are lovely. Wish I lived nearby. :)

Becki's Whole Life said...

Looks like a fun place to visit. Reminds me of a spot in Maryland called Savage Mill. They have lots of artisans there and some nice restaurants, too. Always a fun place to visit around the holidays.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great little trip. We need to do more day trips. Thanks for reminding me.

Belinda said...

I love beautiful space - that light!

Jess said...

What a lovely trip! And yes, it's a shame you didn't get a chance to pose with the Grinch :)

Gloria Baker said...

make me laugh this possibility to take a photo with the grirnch, my daughter would love this lol

Chris Scheuer said...

What a fun little getaway you had Beth! I love the decorations!

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Sounds like a lovely place - I'd love to check it out myself sometime!

kumars kitchen said...

such a fun filled and amusing get away...perfect :-)

Elzbieta Hester said...

Authentic looking place there. Lovely getaway...I wonder how that grinch looked like :) ela

Valerie Gamine said...

What a beautiful spot for the curating creativity (the architecture is gorgeous!). With a downstairs cafe, I doubt I'd want to leave. :D

yummychunklet said...

What a cute place!

bamskitchen said...

Very charming place! Did you get photos with the Grinch? Take care, BAM

allieksmith said...

I love the idea of taking time off of work to go on a fun little trip. The Alton Mill Arts Center looks beautiful, and I love the decorations!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Looks like a fun place! Back in the days when we both worked in offices, we always took off between Christmas and New Year's. And typically were so exhausted that we did little but sleep! Those days are a distant memory, thank goodness, so now when we take off we can enjoy fun stuff like this!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I love everything about this place, I can even use the word dreamy - so pretty!

I Wilkerson said...

Looks like a lovely place. What a great tradition to take off the first week of December!

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