A New Place Called Home
For those of us with wanderlust, it’s been a tricky time. We’ve been dreaming of the trips we want to take. The places we want to explore. Instead, we’re left to find ways to experience our favourite destinations from a distance – through delivery, virtual experiences or just bookmarking inspo for future visits.
For those of you jonesing for trip to the County, there’s now another way to visit from the comfort of home: through your TV screen!
“A New Place Called Home” is a just-launched television series focusing on the people behind some of The County’s most beloved enterprises. People who made a big change in their life to come to The County and start a new journey. Created and directed by County resident Chrystelle Maechler, “A New Place Called Home” tells the stories of six County entrepreneurs: what brought them here, what inspired their journey and what keeps them going in their new place called home.
You can find the six-episode series of documentary shorts on VOD on Bell Fibe, channel 1 (listed under Kingston) and on the Bell Fibe TV app.
A new project in a new home
Chrystelle Maechler creates content for film, radio and television as a screenwriter, director and voice artist. When she and her husband came to The County, they were looking for their next project, and the idea for “A New Place Called Home” came to them. It was a very personal project. Chrystelle hails from France and husband Andreas Krätschmer, who filmed and edited the project, is from Germany. They’ve moved around a lot. The notion of “home” and how people perceive it was intriguing to them. Meeting and interviewing the show’s subjects was a great way to get to know their new community.
“We moved here and after three months, the pandemic hit. There were three months of normalcy, and the rest was abnormal,” says Chrystelle. “We learned about the community through their eyes and saw how nice it can be when it’s normal. They were so adamant about how the community is so strong here, and people are so nice and willing to help.”
Selecting the interview subjects was tough. The original list was long, but when they finally landed on the subjects for the six episodes, themes started to emerge. The people profiled in this series all have different stories. Despite their different paths, they all share a love of community and a love of the land. Their stories are not just about geographic moves, but also a major life changes, restarts and a big internal journeys.
Meet the stars of the show:
Mel Cannons and Paul Tobias
Melissa Cannons and Paul Tobias are the restaurateurs behind Idle Wild, a pan-Asian kitchen that serves up take-out at their popular Wellington storefront. Residents and visitors alike are treated to contemporary takes on classic dishes. Look out for Korean japchae, Filipino adobo and lumpia, Thai curries and Japanese maki rolls.
Aaron Armstrong is the owner and farmer at Blue Wheelbarrow Farm, whose organic greens and produce have supplied The County’s best restaurants for years. Aaron is a friendly face at farmers’ markets around The County. While the farm is on sabbatical in 2021, you can keep your eyes on Blue Wheelbarrow for future agritourism experiences.
Susan and Glen Wallis
Susan and Glen Wallis are not only the hosts at AWAY in the County bed and breakfast, they are also celebrated artists. Susan’s encaustic paintings of landscapes, nests, birches and more are on display throughout The County and at her own studio gallery Melt Studio. Glen is a designer and fabricator who makes the Canadian Screen Awards in his shop at the historic Camp Picton air base.
Alison Lawtey is the owner of The Acres at High Shore bed and breakfast, a unique accommodation made of exquisitely re-designed shipping containers. Ali, a former marketing ace, has lovingly restored a heritage barn on the property. She is the steward for acres of wetlands that attract a whole world of birds, bugs, beetles and small animals.
Sleiman Al Jasem
Sleiman Al Jasem arrived in The County as a Syrian refugee, and quickly found his place in the community. When the owners of The County’s only commercial fishery were looking for a succession plan, they connected with Sleiman. He was mentored by them, then took over the business and launched The County Catch. Look for his fresh-caught fish at the Picton Foodland, in his Sophiasburgh area shop and on the menu at local restaurants.
Joaquim and Amor Conde
Joaquim and Amor Conde of Quinta do Conde moved from the big city to The County to revive a small acreage farm with organic and regenerative farming techniques. You can visit their farm store near Black River for produce alongside Amor’s Antiques, or check out their “table at the farm” harvest dinners. Everything they serve at these unique culinary events comes from their land, and the experience includes an opportunity to tour the farm with Joaquim and learn about their farming practices.
10+ Things To Do when it Rains
Into every life, a little rain must fall. Even – gasp! – during a Prince Edward County getaway. If it’s raining in The County, here are some suggestions for where to find the silver lining in those unwelcome grey clouds.
Indoor space is at a premium due to physical distancing protocols – be sure to call ahead, check websites and socials and make a reservation wherever possible to be sure there is space! Please note that public health travel advisories and orders are changing frequently during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates.
1. Take a trip around the horn
Most visitors stop in Hillier, Picton or Sandbanks, but many don’t make it all the way around to The County’s more isolated areas, including the South Shore, Sophiasburgh, Ameliasburgh, Waupoos and Cressy. Check out Road Trippin’ Off the Beaten Path for ideas for routes and stops.
Stop for blueberries, wine, cider and more in Waupoos, or travel out along the horn to Cressy, where you’ll find cheese, mustard and some rather grand summer homes. (And since Lake Ontario can also produce wild swings in the weather, you may find yourself leaving rain and finding sunshine.)
2. Step back in time
Visit one of the three The County’s Museums scheduled to open on set days for summer 2021. Macaulay Heritage Park in Picton features Macaulay House, restored to the mid 1850s; the historic former Church of St. Mary Magdalene, now a museum; the old parish cemetery; heritage gardens and the carriage house. Wellington Heritage Museum, located in the heart of the village of Wellington, was built in 1885 as a Quaker Meeting House and now features exhibits on local history. Ameliasburgh Heritage Museum has grown from one building, in 1968, to a full pioneer village. The main structure was built in 1868 as a Wesleyan Methodist Church. Over the years, several additional buildings have been added to the site, including a log cabin, display barns, an operational blacksmith shop, a sap shanty, dairy and bee-keeping buildings, and a large stone building housing the Goldie Corliss 18 foot flywheel.
3. Craft your own barn quilt tour
Stay warm and dry in the car while playing a little barn quilt bingo. Keep an eye out for one of more than 100 blocks adorning County barns and buildings. These eight-foot square (and smaller) painted replicas of quilt blocks are painted on wooden boards, then mounted on a barn or other building. Barn quilts draw attention to Ontario’s disappearing rural landscapes, timber frame barns, and the family farm.
4. Play a game
Escape rooms meet history at Escape Camp Picton. Visit the iconic WW2 air force training base and test your wits in an escape room game or order their Arrow’s Secret puzzle box for play-at-home fun. If jigsaw puzzles are more your jive, Books & Company and Bonkers and Green Gables have great selections, plus other games to boot.
5. Visit an artist
Part of what gives The County its unique vibe is its rich vein of creativity. Check out the Arts Trail online, a PEC Studio Tour guide and explore galleries and artists’ studios, home to painters, potters, glassblowers, fibre artists, photographers, jewellery makers and more. Looking for a one-stop-shop on local art? On a day when its raining in The County you can easily spend the afternoon wandering around SideStreet Gallery, Melt Studio and Gallery, Mad Dog Gallery or The Local Store, which opens for the season in May, finding all sorts of County gems.
6. Taste the terroir
The County’s bedrock of calcareous limestone is what gives the soil the minerality needed to produce world-class wines. From citrusy chardonnay grapes to full-bodied malbec, winemakers here are bottling up a bit of sunshine every season. Book a tour – whether in cars, carriages or bicycles – or plan your own trip with thePrince Edward County Wine Growers Association map or their new PEC Wine Explorer App.
7. Seek retail therapy
Whether you’re a big spender or just a window shopper there are dozens of stores and shops in downtown Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington and Consecon to peruse when its raining in The County. Clothes, books, locally-made arts and food products, body-care, antiques, furniture, knitting goods and even PEC-branded swag – there’s something for everyone.
8. Pick up a book
Perhaps the rain is a sign to slow down. If so, head to Books & Company for a wander amongst the shelves of bestsellers, specialty magazines, local poetry and lore. There’s also a huge selection of kids books, toys and board games. And Pushkin, the store cat, will undoubtedly commiserate about the unfortunate weather. For specialty books, try Zest Kitchen Shop for recipes and culinary tomes, Carbon Life for out-of-the-box books on politics, justice, history and design, and KOKITO for cute books for kids.
All of The County’s six library branches (Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington, Milford, Consecon, and Ameliasburgh) are packed with cozy nooks, books, and often kids programming or activity spaces. Their staff are pretty amazing too for recommendations and local tips. Check their websites for opening hours and services.
9. Set yourself a fancy table
Grab some takeout from one of the County’s many restaurants and find your new favourite bottle of wine. Then set a fancy table with new napkins, plates, place mats, vases or other goodies from one of the County’s many houseware shops like Zest Kitchen Shop, The Ye11ow, KOKITO, Green Gables, Gilbert & Lighthall. Add some flowers from Coriander Girl, Floralora or Flowers by Marvin and make your dine-at-home experience extra special.
10. Embrace the rain
#CountyUp and embrace the weather with a visit to the shoreline. Consider parking on Main Street and heading for a walk at Wellington Beach, where wild winds can churn up some amazing waves, which put on a show as they crash into the iconic beacon. If you’d rather stay dry during your weather watching, grab a table on the covered patios at the Drake Devonshire, The Vic Drive-In, Parsons Brewing or Isaiah Tubbs Resort.
11. Stay warm and dry at the Drive-In
Rainy evenings gotcha down? The Mustang Drive-In has movies rain or shine and it’s a well known Sandbanks camper secret that rather than spend the night in a tent in the rain.. spend it laughing and snuggling in your car!
And remember: rain helps the garden grow, which means better farm-to-table produce at the next meal!
Updated June 2021.
15 Spots to Search for Antiques & Vintage Gems ⚓
Prince Edward County is renowned for its many antique stores and vintage shops, and there are more than a dozen different sellers stocking a large variety of furniture, collectibles, glass, china, pottery, tools, ephemera, home décor items, garden furniture and ornaments and more.
Written by Sue Hierlihy, updated by staff August 2020.
An antique by another name is vintage, and all things vintage are in favour at present.
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a necessary mantra of our times, and repurposing quality pre-owned goods ticks all the boxes with one-of-a-kind flair. Mid-century modern (MCM) is very popular, reviving décor from the 50s and 60s. Painting furniture is a trendy way to reuse quality outdated pieces. Think “What else could this be?” and you’ll be on your way to creating your own eclectic style.
County antique shops are as diverse as the people who own them. When you walk through the door, nine times out of 10, you will be greeted by the owner. The antique and vintage market qualifies as very small business and few owners can afford to hire staff. Many of the shops in The County are on the owner’s home property so be aware that opening hours can be less than exact due to life getting in the way!
Shopping at an antique store is not like shopping at Walmart. There are no suppliers, or offshore factories, or the ability to “order 20 more by next week.” Each and every article in the shop has been painstakingly found, purchased, transported, cleaned and placed for you to find as you search through many hundreds of inventory items.
Antique dealers are hunters by nature, and there is an auction, yard sale, house call, newspaper ad, or phone call preceding the acquisition of every single piece in the shop. Time is spent curating each wonderful, beautiful, individual element and presenting it to you.
Settling on a Fair Price
While haggling is a time-honoured practice at flea markets and bazaars, there may not be as much wiggle-room for a bricks-and-mortar antique shop with overhead costs like heat and hydro.
If an item is priced at $10 and you ask for a discount, chances are you will be refused. The dealer probably paid $5 after driving somewhere to acquire it and then cleaned it and placed it in the store that requires heat and light.
On bigger ticket items (more than $100) asking for a 10% reduction in price may not be out of line, but be advised that there are times when the dealer’s margin is very thin indeed. Asking for a discount is best done politely and respectfully. The fastest way to ire a shopkeeper is to say, “I’ll give you….” Let’s face it; you wouldn’t say that at Whole Foods.
“Would you take [a figure that’s more than 75% of asking price]” is a good beginning. Cash is always preferred, but most shops can take a credit card, and some can take debit thanks to internet banking.
Planning a Trip
Hours of operation can be quite fluid from November to May. The ambient temperature inside the bricks and mortar, and the proclivities of the owners, dictate whether a shop will remain open over the winter. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the shop is open. Some shops are happy to open by appointment.
Plan your trip, check store websites for days and hours of operation and call ahead if necessary, then head out to see what treasures you can find. Most of all have fun and enjoy your antique hunting adventure!
Feeling inspired to hunt Prince Edward County for something new old? Check out these antique shops in The County:
1. Amor’s Antiques 212 County Rd 16 Black River, 416-835-1770 | Curated collections of transferware, Canadiana and English furniture in a century barn. Lover of natural patina, brass and all things rattan, bamboo and wood.
2. Carbon Life 281B Main Street Picton, 613-885-1796 | An art-gallery-turned-market, Carbon Life is a curated collection of products from County makers and pickers, featuring vintage clothing, retro housewares, books and art.
3. Collier Collection 2594 County Rd 13 South Bay, 613-438-9057 | Barnboard and hardware, duck carvings, paintings, photos, frames, Japanese handpainted items, majolica, pyrex, retro glass and glass caddies and much more.
4. County Traders 39 Stanley Street Bloomfield, 613-393-9993 | A consignment warehouse of furniture, art, books, kitchenware and other finds.
5. Hickory Tree 14938 Loyalist Pkwy Bloomfield, 613-393-5040 | Specializing in furniture restoration and custom furniture built from recovered century old and new wood.
6. MacCool’s Reuse 1149 County Rd 12 West Lake, 613-393-5797 | Mid-century modern and cool 50s finds abound in this old barn, where vintage pieces are mixed with handmade pieces.
7. Memory Factory 21712 Loyalist Pkwy, 613-438-2331 | Stocking contemporary and vintage books, depression and carnival glass, primitives, vintage and costume jewelry, Nippon china, kitchenware, bakers’ tables, postcards, Gate-leg tables, vintage furniture, Royal Doulton figurines, vintage buttons and military items.
8. Porkie’s Place 1540 Hwy 62, 613-393-5027 | Tools, dishes, antiques, toys, oil cans, blacksmith anvils, tongs, hammers, forges, vises, planes, cast floor grates and tractor seats, furniture, old hardware, books and pictures.
9. Retrospective 280 Main Street Bloomfield, 613-393-3339 | Dishes, furniture, decor and more.
10. Stowaway Vintage 1606 Cty Rd 10 Cherry Valley, 613-920-1085 | Selling quality vintage clothes and furniture, old school toys, art, vinyl records, lighting, collectibles and more, it’s worth a stop for the amazing vintage toy train running through the rafters.
11. The Local Store 768 County Rd 12 Bloomfield, 613-393-1797 | Canadian folk art, baskets, crocks, English serving pieces, crystal, pottery, silver plate everything, American pressed glass goblets, European china, silks and more. bi-weekly car boot (trunk) sales too!
12. The Sword 20581 Loyalist Pkwy Consecon, 613-392-2143 | Specializing in antique muskets, rifles, shotguns and pistols, reproduction and replica weapons, costume jewelry, Blue Mountain pottery (including Collingwood, Ontario potters), ceramics, crystal and art glass.
13. Tick in Tyme 35 Wellington Street (Loyalist Parkway) Bloomfield, 613-393-5886 | Featuring interesting clocks, watches, china, pottery, kitchen collectibles, linens, oddities and small furniture.
14. Young’s Antiques 1214 Cty Rd 3 Rednersville, 613- 969-1905 | Re-purposing specialists, Young’s also offers a wide range of vintage wooden wares, pottery/yellowware, along with sporting, nautical, hunting and fishing items, old church and century home windows, vintage whimsical folk art pieces.
Content updated August 2020