Exploring Prince Edward County’s Artistic Charm
Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply looking to be inspired, this artistic journey promises a kaleidoscope of colors, textures, and stories that will leave you in awe! Get ready to unleash your inner culture vulture with this arts and culture itinerary.
Day 1: Immersive Art Experience
Next, visit ANDARA Gallery, where you can meet the artists of fine art paintings and photography.
Oh hey! The new 2023 PEC Art Trail Guide is here with everything you need to plan an art focussed journey through Prince Edward County. From charming local studios to multi-artist galleries featuring Canadian and International works – it’s all right here. Check individual member websites for openings, lectures, demonstrations, events, workshops, and other artistic offerings.
In the evening, immerse yourself in captivating performances at the iconic The Eddie Hotel & Farm. Enhance your visit with a pre-show picnic dinner, savoring the beauty of live performing arts amidst breathtaking landscapes.
Day 2: Artisanal Craft
Stroll through Bloomfield, known for its art galleries and artisanal boutiques. Don’t miss The Local Store featuring renowned artists.
At night, put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away at a spectacular event at The Hayloft Dancehall.
Day 3: Heritage and History
Celebrate your art adventure with a scenic lunch at Lake on the Mountain Resort, offering breathtaking views and delectable cuisine.
Then, experience the arts in a different form at the historic The Regent Theatre. This theatre has been the “Entertainment Heartbeat of Prince Edward County” since 1918. Catch a live performance or film screening in this charming venue.
In the early evening, visit Base 31 – a cultural destination on the site of a former 70-acre WWII air training base. Attend one of the many concerts or exhibitions.
Day 4: Farewell, but not Goodbye
From exploring charming local studios to immersing yourself in multi-artist galleries with Canadian and International works, this itinerary has taken you on a delightful adventure.
The sun is shining, birds are singing, and lilacs are blooming!
Here are 10 Picks to help you spring into May while you Visit The County!
1. LET’S BRUNCH
In the County, we think every day should have a ‘Sunday kinda love’. And with so many restaurants and cafes to choose from every day, we thought we would point out just a few special food options for everyone. What’s your flavour?
- Bubbles Bruch (vegan) at the Winery at Karlo Estates Winery
- Vegan Cafe at GOOD Place
- Traditional Inn at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn
- Waterside at Picton Harbour Inn
- Amelia’s Garden at The Waring House
- Drive-In Diner at The Vic Cafe
2. BLOOMIN’ GOOD TIME AT THE GARDEN MARKET
Lockyer’s Garden Centre has more than 100 years of growing in Prince Edward County. As growers, Lockyer’s has one of the largest greenhouse facilities in Easter Ontario. The showroom is stocked with a great variety of garden decor, tools and giftware. Greg Moore the owner, and CJ Dearlove the General Manager, are the most recognized faces at Lockyer’s but their own in-house mascot greeters… Barkley and Sophie are their much-beloved family Retrievers welcoming visitors who drop by to just enjoy the sheer beauty and colour of the greenhouse, grounds and the large number of plants and baskets grown onsite.
3. PORCH READING
What is a vacation without a good book to dig into? A browse through Books & Company will not only take you back to the quality of the quintessential bookstore but will leave you with armloads of options for great County reads, music, and life!
4. SWEET TREATS
Locals know this is a much do for Spring! Slickers County Ice Cream has been creating all-natural artisan ice cream for over 20 years. Their rich ice cream is made fresh daily in small batches in their licensed dairy.
CELEBRATE PATIO WEATHER
Well, what can we say? Here in The County, we love our patios. So much so that we’ve created an entire inventory of 50 breeze-feelin’, fresh air-smellin’, good-vibin’ patios. You’re welcome!
6. GET FRESH AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET
Prince Edward County has a rich history in agriculture. Being a significant industry contributor for over 200 years! “Farm Fresh” has never been closer than the dozens of County farm stands you might find while touring the island. Cross off all your grocery list items, plus pick up some lunch at any of our weekly Farmers’ Markets, where you can meet the growers and makers. Be sure to check out these County Markets:
7. TOAST TO A SPARKLING AFTERNOON
Explore what wines, wineries, and activities we have to offer in beautiful Prince Edward County.
8. DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Well, you know what they say… ‘Mans Best Friend’ likes nothing more than to be with on your journey, car ride, stroll, shop, or patio. Here’s a guide to all your dog friendly locations to share with Fido (Spot, Lucky, or Bella)
9. BIKES + BASKETS
What better way to explore The County than a ride along The Millennium Trail or ask about a guided tour. Get ready to ride.
- Pedego PEC -Electric Bikes
- County Bike Rentals
- Closson Road Cycles
- Beacon Bike + Brew
10. THE FRESH FACE OF SPRING
Finally, this is a season to take time for self-care and refreshing your environment.
- Savon Du Bois
- The County Candle Co.
- Telford Basics
- Coriander Girl
Make it a Magical December in PEC with these Events & Festivities 🎄
It’s the final push before the holidays and Prince Edward County is showing no signs of slowing down. With plenty of holiday markets and festivities to attend, keep reading to discover all the ways you can experience a magical December in The County.
Markets & More
Head over to Wellington for the Very Merry Market on December 3 from 9:30am – 2:30pm, inside the Wellinton United Church. Featuring many of your favourite Wellington Community Market vendors, this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on goodies for your holiday table and all of your gifting needs.
Busy Hands is back at Highline Hall in Wellington from December 10-11! Come by for handmade goods from dozens of your favourite local artisans such as Honey Pie Hives & Herbals, Vickie’s Veggies, and more, perfect for all of your holiday gifting needs!
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If you’ve ever wanted to check out Wander the Resort, the Winter Wanderland Market is the perfect opportunity! Come by Wander from 11am to 5pm on December 11th for a holiday market full of festive cheer on their stunning property along the shores of Lake Ontario. Complete with artisan vendors, gingerbread house decorating, hot chocolate, and visits from some local celebrities (aka Noble Beast Farms Alpacas), this is a perfect event for the whole family.
In addition, the Ode to Joy Art Show & Sale at Andara Gallery, the Give a Little Bit Holiday Group Show at Melt Studio & Gallery,(join them for a holiday reception on December 17 from 1-4PM) and The Art of Giving show at Arts on Main Gallery continue through December, so be sure to check those out if art is on your shopping list this holiday season.
While Countylicious is over, there are still plenty of reasons to dine out in PEC this December. First of all, several spots have added seasonal specials and updated menus to their roster, making for even more reasons to visit The County during the winter months. For instance, both Stella’s Eatery and Parsons Brewing have added a Sunday brunch service to their weekend programming, which will be available until spring. Additionally, Stella’s has launched Sparking and Seafood Wednesdays, where guests can enjoy a special seafood menu and 1/2 price sparkling wine – talk about a mid-week treat! Midtown Brewing is mixing things up with a menu refresh this month as well, so don’t miss this chance to dine at this Wellington institution.
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If you’re looking for some special dining experiences to add to your December festivities, we’ve got you covered:
- On December 3rd head to The Waring House for a plant-based feast from Chef Chris with Frost: A Plant Based Tasting Menu
- Also at The Waring House, PEC Wine Society and PEC Single Malt Society are each offering a Wassail-themed dinner this month, on the 7th and 15th respectively
- For another vegan dining option, be sure to check out the weekly “Dinner & a Show” event at Karlo Estates. This month you can expect performances from Tony Forbes, Jeremy Kelly. and Elmwood Harmony.
- Sand & Pearl will be popping up in Milford at PECish Baking Co. throughout December. Join them on December 17th, 24th, and 31st for all the usual deliciousness from PECish plus special coffee, campfire grilled oysters, chowder in bread bowls and more. Plus you can pre-order seafood platters to go for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- Another spot making Sundays in the County extra special this winter is Lighthall Vineyards, who are introducing Raclette Sundays to their cheesy offerings. Come my the winery on December 11 + 18, January 15 + 29, February 12 + 20 and March 12 + 19 to try their house-made raclette for just $15 per person from 1-3PM while supplies last. Pair with their chardonnay for the ultimate tasting experience!
In addition to all of the holiday markets happening this month, there are also a plethora of festive events taking place throughout The County, and you’re invited to celebrate with us. First up, after you spend some time at the Very Merry Market on December 3rd, stick around Wellington for A Whoville Holiday in Wellington Park. Starting at 4PM this family-friendly events provides an opportunity for the kids to meet Santa, enjoy a bonfire and do some carolling while the town of Wellington lights up for the holiday season.
The County Museums have a number of festive events on this holiday season. Come visit Santa’s Village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village on Friday December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 12-3pm. During these special days you can tour the village and discover Santa’s sleigh, listen to stories and of course take a picture with the big man himself! Then on December 10th and 11th, head to Macaulay Heritage Park for some historical holiday cheer! Come see Macaulay House all decorated for christmas and take a tour inside this beautiful historic home while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate or cider. You can also visit with Santa, shop the Mistletoe Magic Artisan Market, enjoy live music, readings and special holiday displays by Shatterbox Theatre.
Three Dog Winery is under new ownership as of Summer 2022, and if you haven’t stopped by yet, their Holiday Open House is the perfect time! Join them on December 10th from 11-5PM for food from The County Canteen, live music from Jon Jones, wine tastings, hot chocolate by the fire, and a selection of awesome vendors to shop from. Plus, proceeds from wine by the glass sales during the event will go to charity.
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Have an unforgettable experience at the Merrill House with their Experiential Cocktail Night on Tuesday, December 13th. Their decadent mocha martini, Champagne cocktail and gingerbread macarons will be paired with scents, music and visual stimuli, that are sure to make for an unforgettable holiday experience.
The Waring House is getting into the full festive spirit with plethora of holiday events that are sure to leave you happy, full and smiling. On December 15th and 16th, get together with friends for their Christmas Lunch Buffet, or spend Christmas Eve with some festive live music from local band The Reasons. On the big day, The Waring House is also offering a Christmas Dinner Buffet featuring turkey, all the trimmings, and so much more.
Dig out your ugly Christmas sweaters for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Karlo, as part of their Friday Night Wine Lounge series. Enjoy funky Christmas music and great wine related prizes. Come get your groove on, do some last minute shopping and have a blast. Reserve your spot here
Looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve? Look no further than New Year’s Eve at The Royal. Tickets are just $25 and give you a complimentary glass of champagne and access to the hottest party in The County. With a live DJ on hand, be sure to bring your dancing shoes and ring in 2023 in style. Get your tickets here.
Wind Down & Relax
The holiday season can be hectic, so be sure to take some time to relax this holiday season with these day packages from the Lakeside Motel, Wander The Resort and The Royal Hotel. These also make great gift ideas, perfect for a winter escape to The County.
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Head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington for a spa experience featuring a Sauna, Cold Plunge, campfire drinks and charcuterie. Winter pricing is just $30 for 30 minutes or $45 for an hour. Call the Lakeside to book!
On the other side of Wellington is Wander The Resort, where you can book a Wander In Day Pass to access a variety of resort amenities including their pool circuit, hot tub, and sauna, You can also enjoy lounging by their outdoor bonfires and head into the clubhouse for food and drinks. Simply call or email to book.
If you’re looking to relax with spa services like massage, body treatments, and facials, be sure to check out The Spa at The Royal Hotel. Spa guests also receive priority dining reservations, access to The Royal’s dry sauna, and more.
Stock Up on some Holiday Baking
The holiday season is busy enough, so why not leave the baking to PEC’s finest bakeries? Keep reading to discover some of the sweetest spots to visit and order from this holiday season.
PECish Baking Co. has become a Milford institution since opening in 2021, and they have recently moved into a larger space to better serve you this holiday season and beyond. Open Fridays and Saturdays, PECish has incredible breads, delightful croissants, cruffins! and so much more. Order in advance on their website for pickup and stock-up for all of your holiday entertaining needs.
The Royal Hotel has been serving up outstanding baked goods in their restaurant and from their grab & go counter since they opened almost one year ago, and this holiday season they are offering pre-order for anyone in need of sourdough, cookies, croissants, quiches, and fruit tarts for their holiday table. Simply inquire in person at their grab & go counter or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
From bread to sausage rolls and beyond, Agrarian Market has everything you need to prepare for an epic holiday season. Check out their grocery order form on their website to secure your holiday tourtieres (both vegan and non), pastries, quiches, and even a whole assortment of prepared meals to make feeding a crowd that much easier.
The Village Bakeshoppe is a fully-inspected home bake shop in Bloomfield, and they bake up some epic treats on weekly basis that you’re definitely going to want to add to your holiday eats this season. Classic whipped shortbread and rasperry crumble shortbread are new to menu for the holidays, but it’s joined by their famous maple cinnamon “Big Bun” with maple cream cheese icing, which is what we dream about eating on Christmas morning. Follow them on Instagram for updates about weekly orders and order from their website for a delicious weekend.
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The Cookie Mama is another at-home bake shop which specializes in indulgent, skillet cookies that are absolutely to die for. Larissa’s December menu features classic flavours like chocolate chip and peanut butter, but also highlights classic holiday flavours like snickerdoodle, candy cane, gingerbread, Ferrero Rocher, Orange Chocolate and more! These cookies come in two sizes and make great gifts or stocking stuffers, and can be ordered via DM on their Instagram.
Farmhouse Eats is the bakery you know and love located just behind the farm stand at Hagerman Farms, and this year the bakery’s staying open on weekends through December 17th for your holiday baking needs! Stop by for classic baked goods, holiday favourites like fruitcake and christmas cookies, and cookie decorating kits to entertain the kiddos.
As always, come to The County and head to one of our many Main Streets to do your holiday shopping. Many businesses in Picton will be staying open until 7PM on Fridays as well, so be sure to plan to do some shopping before your dinner reservations the next time you’re in town.
Can’t make it to The County? Most retailers as well as wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries offer online shopping and delivery throughout Ontario. So stock-up ahead of the entertaining season from Prince Edward County producers you know and love.
Check out our complete event listing here.
Follow us on Instagram for updates about holiday hours.
Get Cozy in Prince Edward County this November
November has a reputation as a quiet month, somewhat of a lull between the festive months of October and December, but here in The County it’s anything but! We love November for the extended fall vibes, just the right amount of chill in the air, and the darker nights which make it perfect for making the cozy vibes of the holiday season last a little longer. Plus, there’s lots going on to satisfy every County craving, from Countylicious to Wassail and so much more. Read on for a round-up of what to get up to this month all throughout the not-so-little, almost-island that is Prince Edward County.
Dine Local with Countylicious
Countylicious is back through November 22, and it’s the perfect opportunity to try out 15 of The County’s best eateries at great prices. With prix fixe menus to suit every taste, you won’t want to miss this culinary experience. Head to countylicious.ca to browse menus, discover exclusive accommodations offers, and to make your reservations! Want to make the most of your Countylicious experience? Try your hand at Countylicious bingo and complete a row for a perfect foodie experience in The County this November.
Book an Experience
Experience The County like never before with an immersive weekend in PEC curated by Closson Chase Vineyards and Rosehall Run Vineyards: SavourPEC. From November 11-13, enjoy vineyard accommodations at Huff Estates, learn the art of barrel blending at Closson Chase and Rosehall Run, and create a culinary herb garden with Carson Arthur. The highlight of the weekend is a multi-course winemakers’ dinner with Keith Tyers of Closson Chase and Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run. Set in a private venue and catered by Chef Matt DeMille, concluding with an intimate performance from County-based musicians VILLAS.
Winter Solstice Workshop with Anette Larsson
As the days grow shorter, we light fires and bring out blankets in preparation for a long winter ahead. In this workshop we will create a vellum paper star that will bring some much needed light and brightness into our environment. The process to make the star is simple but time consuming, and it is most fun to do in a group of people.
This workshop will take place in the Studio Loft at Chetwyn Farms – their newly converted 1800 barn – where a small, intimate (10 only) group will work in an open, airy space with the instructor Anette Larsson. Watch alpaca in the nearby pastures from the floor to ceiling windows in the studio space, enjoy a light lunch and other refreshments. This 4 hour workshop is followed by a hands-on “Alpaca Encounter” a guided tour of the alpaca farm and the glorious fleece they produce.
The County Picnic Festive Tours
The County Picnic, whom you know from their epic, hand-curated, insta-worthy picnics throughout PEC, is offering festive tours daily throughout November. Enjoy mulled wine, seasonal, beer, holiday photos, and local markets and shopping for just $215 per person, including lunch and tasting fees. For more information contact The County Picnic today!
ANDARA Gallery’s 3rd Annual “HOLIDAY PHOTO IN THE BARN”
From Thursday-Sunday, November 12th to December 19th, singles, couples, family and friends can schedule a FREE “Holiday Photo in the Barn” photo session between 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM at ANDARA Gallery (54 Wilson Road in the heart of Prince Edward County) in exchange for a donation to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s “Back The Build” campaign!
The century-old barn located on site will be decked out for the holidays with a festive portrait seating area featuring a stunning 16-foot Christmas tree from Denmar Farms. Everyone is invited to book a FREE photo session – alone or with a pet, friend or family member … or with a small group of family, friends or work colleagues (max of 8 persons) for a safe, socially distanced holiday photo!
Light Up the Night
The beloved Firelight Lantern Festival is back in full force for its 10th year, November 4-5, 2022. Hosted by The Department of Illumination this festival is a community art event that celebrates finding light in the darkness through handmade lanterns, illuminated art installations, puppetry, performance art, and more. This year’s theme is The Enchanted Forest, and you certainly don’t want to miss it.
This year’s Firelight Lantern Festival kicks off with a 19+ event on Friday, November 4 featuring Kingston’s unique and experimental folkestra, The Gertrudes. You’ll also find food, drink, dancing, art installations and interactive performances at this special 10th anniversary event.
Then on Saturday, November 5 it’s time for the main event. Starting with the magical, all-ages Lantern Parade, which will proceed from Benson Park to Crystal Palace, where Bangerz Brass will take the mainstage while you take in the amazing installations, performances, and food & drink.
So don your fairy lights and get crafty, it’s almost Firelight Lantern Festival Time!
Shop Local for the Holiday Season
As a rural destination, Prince Edward County is home to countless small businesses that deserve your support. You love shopping our Main Street shops in the warmer months, so why not return to The County to do a little holiday shopping and share some of your favourite place with your loved ones this holiday season? Shops in Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington will be open through November and into December, so be sure to explore our shop listings and make a plan for a holiday shopping weekend in PEC.
Attend at a Craft Fair or Art Show
Looking for something special for a loved one this holiday season? There is no better time than November to find perfect, unique gifts for the holidays. And with more than X art shows in PEC this month, there’s no better place than Prince Edward County to do it.
The Maker’s Hand
The Maker’s Hand is back! This bustling 3-day event is one of Eastern Ontario’s most well-regarded fine craft shows. Having paused during the height of the pandemic, we are thrilled to see this show returning to Highline Hall at Lehigh Arena from November 11th-13th, 2022.
This year’s show will feature many new artisans, as well as returning favourites from across Eastern Ontario. Find uniquely beautiful and functional items perfect for gift giving, or to keep for yourself. All items are handmade in Canada. Admission is $5 for unlimited access all weekend. Children under 12 enter for free. Lehigh Arena is wheelchair accessible and parking is free. For complete details head to themakershand.com.
Holly Jolly Market at Base31
Head up the hill to Base31 November 18th-20th for the Holly Jolly Market to shop from local vendors and enjoy festive experiences like shopping for holiday florals and wreaths, meetings with Santa, and more! Be sure to stay tuned to @hollyjollypec on Instagram for more information as the market approaches!
The Local Store’s Annual 12 Days of Christmas Market & Sale
Don’t miss the largest collection of work from over 120 Prince Edward County artists, artisans and local food producers at The Local Store. On through November 6th, discover specially produced seasonal gifts, decorations and food before The Local Store closes for the season (though they are open online all year round!).
Good Things in Small Packages Art Show
Mad Dog Gallery is proud to present their 21st annual “Good Things in Small Packages” show opening on Saturday November 19th at 10am. Good Things in Small Packages show is a diverse show of miniatures and other smaller affordable works by Mad Dog Gallery artists. Come by for Acrylic work by Brian Clark and Andrew King, Colloidal by Julie Duff, Oil work by Doris Richardson, Celia Sage and Susan Straiton, Pastel by Rosemary Brown, Pottery by Bill Reddick, Textiles by Anne House and Marianne Sanders, and Watercolour by Andrew Innes. This year they are excited to announce painter Alison Fowler as their guest artist.
Show continues until January 2023. Mad Dog Gallery is open most days 10-5 and they ask that you please wear masks while accessing their space.
30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show
Jump start your Christmas shopping with the 30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show on November 5th at Lehigh Area, which features 2 rooms full with over 55 local vendors showcasing their Handmade unique works of art. Hungry? Stay for lunch and enjoy Barn and Country Catering’s mouth-watering menu.
“Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving” Holiday Show and Sale
Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the Prince Edward County Arts Trail is a self-drive tour of professional, year-round artist studios and galleries, and is a signature experience for thousands of art lovers, buyers and collectors who come to the County each year. The Arts Trail’s professional artists and curators create and present unforgettable works in sculpture, paintings, glass, ceramics, silk, photography, jewellery and more.
To compliment this festive season, the PEC Arts Trail is pleased to announce the launch of their “LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING” promotional campaign. From November 14th to December 23rd, 2022, residents and visitors alike are encouraged to shop online or visit member studios and galleries in person to meet the professional artists and curators and see great art in a range of media.
To plan your visit, go to their website at artstrail.ca, download the bilingual Arts Trail Guide and Map and watch for the distinctive blue Arts Trail signs out front of member studios and galleries. Prior to visiting, everyone is encouraged to check individual Arts Trail member websites for hours of operation and COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks and social distancing continue to be mandatory at all Arts Trail locations.
“From unique and welcoming artist studios to contemporary, rustic and historic galleries, this self-guided tour is always an inspirational adventure,” says Arts Trail Co-Chair, Jim Turner, curator and co-owner of 2Gallery. “The Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving holiday promotion allows Arts Trail members to showcase all they have to offer this festive season while providing visitors with the opportunity to support the arts, shop local and give the gift of art this holiday season,” he adds.
Arts Trail maps are also available at our Visitor Information locations, open year-round.
ANDARA Gallery Presents: ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale
ANDARA Gallery presents its 3rd Annual ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale of paintings and photography.
“ODE to JOY” runs from November 12th to December 23rd, 2021 at ANDARA Gallery 54 Wilson Road, Bloomfield in the heart of Prince Edward County. The Gallery is open 11 AM to 5 PM daily, year-round.
In addition to offering contemporary impressionist paintings in a range of sizes, encaustic painter, Andrew Csafordi will also offer a collection of small works that make perfect gifts for any art lover or collector this holiday season. His paintings are a fusion of layers of colourful beeswax and mixed media on wood panels combined with energy and imagination. Working back and forth across the board, he sculpts the wax with brushes and carves into the wax with various tools to create unique and beautiful works of art.
Tara Wilkinson will showcase fine art photographs in a variety of sizes and price points from her global travels.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
The annual Holiday show at Melt Gallery is returning this year from November 18- December 23rd. This show will feature work by a number of Canadian artists and artisans, with the priority of highlighting small works that are perfect for gift giving. Join them in celebrating the festive season with a curated selection of unique, one of a kind pieces.
Decay: Group Show
In autumn, the beauty of decay reveals itself. Leaves and petals wilt and fall, green fades, and as a final goodbye trees become a fiery display of gold and red.
Also at Melt Gallery, Decay celebrates the poignant beauty found within the process of decomposition, rot, deterioration, and decline. This show reframes the loss of summer and of life and invites you to find the beauty in Decay.
Come see an exciting array of new work by over 30 Canadian artists, through November 13th. This exhibit will feature the work of encaustic artist Susan Wallis along with new and returning members of our Melt Gallery family of artists. The show will focus on the theme of Decay and how these various artists have chosen to interpret it. The show features works in glass, metal, ceramics, painting, photography and more.
BILL STEARMAN // The Quilt as Art. I will be silent no more.
The perfect exhibition as the weather begins to change. 2gallery is thrilled to announce a Solo Exhibition by Prince Edward County’s master quiltmaker Bill Stearman, on now through November 21st. Entitled The Quilt as Art \ I will be silent no more, this exhibition demonstrates why Stearman is not content simply creating beautiful fabric works that provide warmth. His pieces are political and cultural statements that challenge preconceived notions, highlight inequalities in our society, and champion voices that need to be heard.
Before discovering quilt-making, Stearman struggled with storytelling as a path for making sense of his life. “I’m just a guy who likes to make quilts … and tell stories. Like the rest of life, it seems what can be accomplished in quilt-making is limited only by my imagination.”
In Stearman’s creations, fabrics and carefully placed stitches express joy, anguish, hope, gratitude, and love. They provide glimpses into deeply personal and important stories – stories that matter. Bold statements that provoke thoughtful consideration.
“I know I have something to say – and I want to speak my truth. Even if my voice shakes. I doubt these quilts, and their stories, will remind you of your grandmother’s quilts.”
‘Curator’s Choice’ at Oeno Gallery
Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates presents Curator’s Choice—a rare, eclectic offering of significant 20th and 21st-century fine artists.
For this exhibit, Oeno Gallery has assembled an impressive list of sculptors and painters including Joe Fafard, Joseph Drapell, Harold Feist, Paul Fournier, Gershon Iskowitz, Harold Town, Graham Coughtry, Nazy Sakhavarz, Milly Ristvedt, Otto Rogers, K. M. Graham, and David Bolduc.
This special collection will be on exhibit through November 6th, 2022.
Eddie Christmas Market in the Red Barn
Head to the Eddie Hotel & Farm for their Christmas Market on from November 25-27. You won’t want to miss this festive market featuring dozens of vendors and festive activities for the whole family. Learn more here.
Annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl
Just like the old Christmas pub crawls only this crawl includes wine, cider, beer, food and artisan Chistmas Shopping on the weekend of November 25-27. Enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your Christmas Shopping. In addition to supporting local businesses you also have a chance to win several gift baskets filled with 100% local items.
Sunflowers for Ukraine – A Silent Art Auction Fundraiser
This hybrid (in person and online) auction features over 25 sunflower-themed artworks donated by local artists in a wide range of artistic mediums: from painting and textile arts to mixed media, ceramics, wearable art, and more. All proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross to support their humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
The artworks can be viewed in person at Macaulay Church Museum (35 Church Street, Picton) starting November 2nd, and during opening hours for the entire month of November (11-4, Wednesday-Saturday). Or you can view online here.
Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is a long-standing community fundraising event here in PEC and it’s back and in person this year at Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Centre. There will be a silent auction, live entertainment, and a bucket draw raffle, all in support of The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Admission is free. Looking for other ways to support? Check out the Christmas Boutique at the Second Time Around Shop and you can pre-order preserves and baking from Perfectly Preserved.
The Art of Giving
Arts on Main Gallery is home to The Art of Giving show from November 18 – January 25. Swing by this gallery on Picton Main Street to explore a special showing of 12×12 artworks designed for gifting. There will also be a special opening reception on Saturday November 19 from 2-4 PM.
Catch a Performance
There is always a chance to find some live performance here in The County, even in November! In addition to regular music at venues like The County Canteen, The Acoustic Grill and The Waring House, these special events are sure to get your toes tapping.
Dinner & a Show at Karlo Estates
Tantalize your senses with a three-flight wine tasting, perfectly paired to delicious handcrafted cuisine while listening to live music in the opulent speakeasy at Karlo Estates. Their “Dinner and a Show” Tasting is your chance to sample wines led by vintner Sherry Karlo paired with a handcrafted one-plate meal. Each week will feature a rotating menu and musician. An intimate evening of wine, food, and music. Join them on November 5th for Tony Forbes, November 12th for Victor Cooper, November 19th with Brian McMillan, and November 26th with Elmwood Harmony.
THE BOWIE LIVES: A Bowie Spectacular at The Regent Theatre
The Bowie Lives performs Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 8 pm at The Regent Theatre, Picton. Michael Bell is an award-winning vocalist who channels the sound and styles of David Bowie, and with the help of an all-star band, theatre and costumes capture the imagination of fans young and old. Michael’s first theatrical production “ChangesAllBowie” toured the “A circuit” in the late ’80s. He hung up his “Ziggy” in the early ’90s and never imagined professionally performing Bowie again. After David’s untimely death on January 10, 2016, his calling returned, as did the industry interest. Contacting long-time musical director Michael Beauclerc, they began auditioning players to fill out a band capable of performing some of Rock’s most challenging material. The Bowie Lives brings all the sounds and visions to the stage, from Space Oddity to Lazarus.
Get your tickets here.
David James Allen Live at Mount Tabor Theatre
David James Allen is bringing songs from The Architect, new songs and curated collection from previous releases to the historic Mount Tabor Theatre in a solo, one man band configuration complete with drum machine, harmonicas, loops and organs. Featuring Evan Redsky and local artist KASHKA, you won’t want to miss this cozy performance on November 26 in Milford. Get your tickets here.
Toast to the Vines
Wassail is back this year from November 18 – December 4. This year you can expect a self-guided tour, but wineries throughout The County will be putting on a festive show for this annual County tradition. From pancake breakfasts paired with bubbly to musical performances and more, don’t miss this perfect opportunity to toast to the vines as they are put to rest for the winter and stock up on bottles for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s Wassail, including participating wineries and activities.
Capture that Fall Feeling this October in The County 🎃
Sure, October is when we can officially say that summer is behind us, but there are still tons of exciting, seasonal events and activities to enjoy as the air cools and the leaves fall in The County. From Oktoberfests and Pumpkinfest to haunted walks through corn fields and graveyards, there’s plenty to enjoy whether you’re escaping for a romantic weekend or looking for something festive to do with the whole family.
Start with Art
The first weekend of October marks the annual PEC Studio Tour. The Studio Tour features over 50 artists at 36 studio locations throughout The County, making for an epic art-filled weekend. Whether you are looking for art to display, art to wear, or art to use in your home, the Studio Tour is the perfect opportunity to discover new artists, take a peek behind the scenes, and appreciate the work in an intimate manner that is not always afforded in a typical gallery setting.
To plan your Studio Tour route and discover more Studio Tour artists, head to PECStudioTour.com or check out the map below.
For even more art in The County this month check out 2Gallery’s John Visser Exhibit – Days of Light and Shadow – on until October 18th, visit the 6 Artists exhibit and sale from Sept 30 – Oct 2, attend an art workshop at Baxter Arts Centre (this month features sessions on life drawing, weaving, nature journaling, and resin art), or attend a Mixed Media Collage workshop at The County Arts Lab.
You don’t need to attend a special event to experience art in The County either. Galleries in Prince Edward County are open throughout the fall and are a perfect way to spend these chillier and possibly rainy days.
Wholesome Fall Fun
If you’re looking for some wholesome fall activities, we’ve got you covered! The fun kicks off with The Department of Illumination’s annual Scarecrow Festival. A fundraising event for this beloved community arts organization, the Scarecrow Festival invites you to make your very own scarecrow to take home with all supplies provided for $40. With a barn full of clothes and a mountain of straw with which to craft a character, this is a perfect Thanksgiving Weekend activity for the whole family.
We told you about apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards last month, but this classic fall activity continues into October with hot apple cider on tap, caramel apples to enjoy on the weekends, as well as fun wagon rides throughout the farm. You’ll also be entertained by their corn maze, pumpkin patch, and their on-site cidery Apple Falls Cider Co.– a treat for parents too!
If it’s pumpkins you’re after, you don’t want to miss the festive pumpkin and squash displays at Honey Wagon Farms and Langridge’s Fresh Produce. These two farm stands turn Sandy Hook Road just off the Picton roundabout into a festive corridor at this time of year and are truly a sight to be seen if you are inclined to gourds, both decorative and non. While you’re in the area, complete your festive decor by picking up some potted mums at Lockyer’s Country Gardens.
Speaking of pumpkins, you don’t want to miss Pumpkinfest, the annual festival in Wellington which is back this year in full force after two years of modified festivals. The festivities begin at 10:30 with a parade through town, which is followed by music in the park, food truck, and a kids zone where activities like face-painting, a balloon artist, petting zoo, and lawn games will keep kids entertained. The highlight of Pumpkinfest is the giant pumpkin weigh-off, which starts at 12PM at Lehigh Arena. In addition, the Wellington Community Market is back for one more market this season and will be running all morning until 2PM at the Wellington United Church.
Want to take in the changing colours? There are plenty of beautiful ways to do so in The County. Go for a walk through the forested paths of Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area (being sure to check out Birdhouse City while you’re there), cycle along the Millennium Trail and take in the brilliant colours of sumac and goldenrod among other deciduous trees along the route, go for a County drive, or go for an autumn walk on one of the hiking trails at Sandbanks Provincial Park (you can still book your day-use permit in advance here).
Fall is for Foodies
Looking for a delicious getaway? Fall is the perfect time to discover the bounty of The County. In addition to dining out at The County’s many fantastic restaurants, these culinary events and special dinners are sure to satisfy:
- Start the month with Oktoberfest celebrations at Parsons Brewing where you can enjoy a celebration of County beer, Bavarian cuisine and live music from September 30 through October 1. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased on their website.
- Slake Brewing opened their doors in October 2020 and they are excited to celebrate their 2nd anniversary October 1-2 with two special food pop-ups. Join them on Saturday October 1 for a pop-up from Bloomfield institution Flame + Smith and on Sunday October 2 for a pop-up from Waupoos’ Stella’s Eatery. In addition you can enjoy 3 new beers from Slake alongside guest taps from Blood Brothers (Toronto), Burdock (Toronto), Counterpart (Niagara), Dominion City (Ottawa), Sonnen Hill (Caledon) and Willibald (Ayr).
- Also at Slake, Sand & Pearl are putting on a Clam Bake and Oyster Bar pop-up that you won’t want to miss. Featuring PECish Baking Co. baguettes alongside clams, shrimp, Fogo Island crab, sausage, County potatoes, corn and herbs as well as freshly shucked oysters, this is bound to be a memorable feast. Pre-order your clam bake by emailing email@example.com.
- The Waring House has several special food events coming up, including their Thanksgiving Dinner, Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet, a PEC Single Malt Society Dinner, and a PEC Wine Society Dinner.
- On October 23 join Sand and Pearl and Flame + Smith for the first PEC Oyster Fest. The festival will feature fire cooking, an oyster bar and a fierce oyster shucking competition. Entry is $25 per person, and if you are an oyster shucking machine you are invited to register to compete for one of two cash prizes! The competition will be judged by local chefs Charlotte Langley and Jamie Kennedy.
- Waupoos Estates Winery is hosting another Wine After Dark event, this time celebrating the flavours of fall. Enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars at this waterside winery (don’t forget to bring a blanket!).
October, of course, is spooky season, and Prince Edward County is getting into the spirit! The spooky fun begins on Thanksgiving weekend with the Haunted Corn Maze at Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe, where you can expect to wander the maze in the dark while ghosts and ghouls haunt the path. If you can’t make it on October 8th, the Haunted Corn Maze is also open on October 15.
On October 14th marks the opening of the travelling Creepy Doll Museum, which takes over the Wellington Heritage Museum through October 15th. This is the perfect way to add a spooky flair to your day at Pumpkinfest!
The County Museums continues to bring the Halloween spirit with special, candlelit editions of their popular Graveyard & Gallows tour. Join them on October 14, October 21, and October 28. for a candlelit walk around the graveyard at the former St. Mary Magdalene’s church and the exercise yards, jail cells and gallows of Picton Courthouse. Book your tickets here.
Last year’s popular Terror at Macaulay haunted walk-thru is back for a sequel, ominously called The Summoning. Experience ghosts that walk through the cemetery at night, vampires that feed on unsuspecting villagers, and witches that can be heard casting strange spells in the woods. This year, you can also experience a haunted corn maze and explore inside Macaulay’s House, while avoiding ghosts and ghouls. Get your spook on with Terror at Macaulay 2: The Summoning from October 28 – 31.
Fall for Music & Theatre
Live performances continue into through October with everything from drag performances to live theatre and barn dances. Check out the details below or review our full event listing for more.
- Head to Karlo Estates for Karlo “À La Carte” with Melodi Ryan on October 1st. Also at Karlo Estates, join them for Karaoke in the Wine Lounge on October 14th, Life Drawing on October 21, Jazz Thursdays on October 27 and Bitchin’ Bingo on October 28.
- Enjoy some live comedy with the final Comedy Country performance of the year, Girls Nite Out at The Regent Theatre on October 15. Or settle in for some belly laughs and good beer at Gillingham Brewing’s County Craft Comedy Night on October 21.
- Looking for live theatre? Catch the final performances of Collected Stories at the Mount Tabor playhouse on October 1-2, or enjoy Shatterbox Theatre’s performances of Drowning Girls at Macaulay Heritage Park from October 20-23.
Reconnect with Yourself
In the fall we begin to turn inward, getting cozy and embracing the hygge of it all, and in keeping with that mindset it makes fall a great time to take care of our inner selves too. Popular outdoor yoga classes like Goat Yoga with Mikenze continue through October and you can also learn how to nourish your body with foraged plants during Hawthorn Herbals’ Herb Walk at New Moon Farm. If you’re after a full weekend escape complete with plant-based meals and sound bath meditations on a stunning property in Waupoos, register for a Embodying Self-Compassion Retreat with Jenny Tryansky and Amy Faba at Harmony PEC.
Plan Your Next PEC Getaway
You know what October is also a good time for? Planning your next getaway in PEC! Now is a great time to start putting together all of the pieces for a great November getaway. Here’s some of what you can look forward to next month:
- Countylicious is back this year from November 2-22! Join us for three weeks of prix fixe menus at great prices from local restaurants you know, love, and are dying to try! We’ll be sharing more information soon about this year’s programming, so keep your eyes on our Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter, and here on our blog for more info.
- As a part of Countylicious there will be a series of exclusive accommodations offers available thanks to our friends at StayPEC. This information will be released soon, so stay tuned!
- When you book for two nights this November at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn, you’ll receive 20% off and a complimentary bottle of County wine waiting for them on check in.
- SavourPEC is a “Wine & Culinary Adventure” taking place from November 11-13 with Closson Chase & Rosehall Run. This immersive weekend will allow you to experience The County like never before, with exclusive access to award-winning cellars, vineyard accommodations, and an exceptional private venue for a chef-prepared winemakers dinner. Learn more about this exclusive experience and purchase tickets here.
- The incredibly charming Firelight Lantern Festival is back and bigger than ever for its 10th Anniversary this November 4-5.
- The Maker’s Hand – one of Eastern Ontario’s best fine craft shows – is back at Highline Hall in Wellington November 11-13
- Have a charming holiday photo taken at Andara Gallery and visit their Ode to Joy Art Show and Sale from November 12.
Kick Start Your Fall in Prince Edward County this September 🌾🍎
September is one of our favourite months in Prince Edward County: the weather’s still wonderful enough for days spent on the vineyard patios or at the beach, but there’s a lovely chill that bookends the day and reminds us of the cozier months to come. This “best of both worlds” month brings with it plenty of exciting activities for everyone, from the family looking for a perfect fall weekend to art lovers looking to discover what a summer of inspiration has produced. Read on for a round-up of must-experience events and activities to kick-start fall this September in PEC.
Labour Day Weekend
Spending the last long weekend of summer in The County? Here’s how to squeeze the most of this sweet season before getting back into the swing of things:
- Dance your way into the weekend with a Barn Dance at Karlo Estates Winery. Reserve your spot in advance here (cover goes toward your first glass of wine). Or on Saturday night, take in
- Catch a flick at The Mustang Drive-In on their final weekend of the season. They’re showing Minions: The Rise of Gru, Top Gun: Maverick, The Invitation and Fall. Get your tickets on their website.
- Catch some laughs at the We’re Funny That Way Queer Cabaret Comedy Festival at Base31. With performances by Heather Bambrick & Diane Leah, Brandon Ash-Mohammed & Alec Mapa, Karen Williams, James Tison & Martha Chaves, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and The B-Girlz, you’re guaranteed a belly-laugh or fifteen.
- Start your Saturday in the right headspace with the final Alpaca Yoga session of summer at The SHED at Chetwyn Farms.
- Have a WILD forage to table experience with Chef Chris and Hawthorne Herbals on September 2 & September 3. Be sure to contact Chef Chris in advance to be a part of this plant-based feast.
- Bring home the best of the summer’s harvest from a farmer’s market. The Wellington Farmers’ Market, the Wellington Community Market and the Picton Town Hall Farmers Market are all on this Labour Day weekend and will continue through October.
- Enjoy the final Festival Players performances of the season with Beyond The Sea.
- Enjoy the final weekend of Music in the Aviator’s Garden at Base31.
- Take in some PEC history with the final weekend of weekly historical walking tours. There are four to choose from: Graveyard & Gallows, the Base31 Site Walking Tour, the Picton Heritage Conservation District Walking Tour, the Glenwood Cemetery Walking Tour.
- Experience the magic of Canada’s only travelling theatre on wheels with The Roamin’ Roulant’s performance of The Boxcar Cowboy at Huff Estates.
- Attend a drag show at The Hayloft Dance Hall and follow it up with an epic Barn Party.
- Looking for live music? Find it with performances by Tony Forbes at Karlo Estates, Canadian rock icons Lowest of the Low at The Hayloft featuring local openers Norris & Jones, and a Sunday night barn party also at The Hayloft featuring The Lonely Hearts. Additionally, Grammy and Juno nominee Geordie Johnson from Big Sugar takes the stage in the Red Barn at The Eddie this weekend for two shows – don’t miss it!
Like many communities in rural Ontario, September in The County is a time for celebrating all things agricultural. Here’s how to partake in the festivities:
The Picton Fair is one of Ontario’s oldest agricultural fairs, presented by the Prince Edward Agricultural Society (established 1831) and held annually at the Picton Fairgrounds. At this year’s 185th annual fair, September 9 – 11, 2022, come by to enjoy classic fair faire, first class exhibits of everything from arts & crafts to livestock, midway rides and more. Some highlights include the Baby Show (Friday, September 9 at 12PM), the Arm Wrestling Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 1PM), the Dog Show (Saturday, September 10 at 12PM) and the Skate Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 3PM). All weekend long be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the County’s own Isabella Hoops and her Hula Hoop show.
Another highlight is The County Bake Off and Sale in support of the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Foundation in which local paramedics and firefighters go head-to-head to be voted the best bakers in The County (and to raise the most money, of course!). This event takes place on Saturday, September 10 at 9AM.
There’s also a plenty of live music to be had at the fair, with performances by The Reasons on Friday night, a Bob Seger tribute band on Saturday, and a Gospel Review on Sunday morning.
For a full list of programming, be sure to check out this year’s fair book.
Ameliasburgh Fall Fair
For all the fun of an agricultural fair but with a small village vibe, be sure to check out the Ameliasburgh Fall Fair on September 24, 2022. The Ameliasburgh Fall Fair kicks off with a parade through the village and includes a full day of craft shows and bake sales, exhibits, horse & cattle shows, food vendors, and entertainment for all ages. Entry to the fair is just $5 per adult (kids under 12 are free), which includes entry to Ameliasburgh Heritage Village.
There’s no fruit more emblematic of this time of year. Typically associated with the start of the school year, the apple is one of the first sure signs of fall, and we’re thrilled to say that pick-your-own season has started at Campbell’s Orchards and will continue into early October. At Campbell’s it’s just $25 for a 10lb bag of apples, which includes admission for up to 4 people. Have a larger group? It’s just $5 for each individual member of your party. Campbell’s is open 7 days a week from 10AM – 4PM, and you can either drop by for a day of apple harvest fun or pre-book to save time.
Don’t want to pick-your-own? In addition to Campbell’s you can also get your Prince Edward County apples from Maw’s Lakeview Orchard or Creasy’s Apple Dabble Farm, both located in Waupoos. While you’re in the area be sure to sample the cider at The County Cider Company and Cape Vineyards.
Farm Stands Galore
While it’s also apple season, it’s also peak harvest season at the local farm stands. Be sure to add a stop or two (or five!) to your itinerary and bring home the best of The County. From tomatoes, peppers and corn to the first of the season’s squash harvest, you are sure to find some beautiful produce to stock your fridge and pantry.
Arts & Culture
Tour Local Studios
In its 29th year, the PEC Studio Tour features over 50 talented artists who open their studio doors to welcome you. Whether you’re in the market or just want to tour around to appreciate some great art, the Studio Tour welcomes you to join their completely free tour. Check out the map of participating studios and plan your route!
Take in an Exhibition or Fair
The County is always a great spot for art, but there are a handful of exciting exhibits happening this month that you’ll want to check out. First up is Tapering Perspectives: Scenes from Canadian by Edd Battista at 2Gallery. This exhibition runs through September 12th and explores the Canadian landscape when explored through the shape of a pennant.
Just across the street in The Royal Hotel’s Annex space you’ll find a pop-up exhibition by Oeno Gallery. Running from September 3 – 26, Neon Bouquet features new work by Heidi Conrod, Chung Im Kim, Susan Collett & StackLab.
On September 10, take a stroll through the gardens at Macaulay Heritage Park while discovering the works of local and regional handcrafting creatives. Tickets for Artisans at the Museum are $5 and include entry to the museum.
The monthly County Craft Market is back on Saturday, September 17 for their final market of the season. Taking place at the Elks Hall in Wellington, this craft market is the perfect opportunity to support local creatives.
6 Artists is an outdoor exhibition and fair taking place September 30 – October 2 featuring three painters, one woodworker, one quilter, and one woodland artist.
Experience a Memorable Performance
Comedy on the River is back for their second and final event of the summer season. Hop in a kayak or canoe and enjoy a guided paddle to a water-access-only live comedy show at a secret location on the shores of the Black River. Get your tickets now: you don’t want to miss this distinctly County experience!
Prefer your comedy on dry land? The folks who brought you Comedy on the River invite you to a special Comedy Picnic at Jackson’s Falls. Pull up your picnic blanket on September 24th and enjoy a comedy show on the lawn at this newly restored inn in Milford.
Want some beer with your comedy? Gillingham Brewing’s monthly County Comedy Series continues on September 16th with a performance by PEC local and touring Yuk Yuk headliner Jeff Elliott.
Fancy an evening of theatre? County Roads Theatre Company presents Collected Stories, a play that explores the power dynamics between teacher and student through the lens of a graduate student and aspiring writer. This show featuring County residents Joan McBride and Melissa Paulson, directed by Fred Robinson is on from September 22 through October 2 at the Mount Tabor Playhouse in Milford.
Immerse Yourself in History & Heritage
Come & see one of the County’s most important historic sites in person – the legendary A-Frame cabin of the poet Al Purdy! The Al Purdy A-Frame Association (registered charity) is hosting a one-day open house on Saturday, September 24 and you are invited to pack a lunch and enjoy it by the lake, take pictures in Al’s writing shed, and browse a collection of books and other items available for purchase (proceeds benefit the host association).
Want to learn more about indigenous history and culture? The County Museums are host to an educational session with Jamie Maracle of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on the topic of Wampum belts, traditional teaching tools that record Rotinonshon:ni history and knowledge. Register for this session by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch some Live Music
There’s no shortage of live music in The County! Check out one of these performances to enhance your County experience:
- The Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival takes place from September 9 – 18 and features 7 performances from world-class chamber music musicians: Music of the Americas, Basta Parlare, Mozart Rearranged, Myriade Quartet, Karina Gauvin and Michael McMahon, Piano for Four Hands, and In the End it all Comes Down to Dvořák.
- Check out the final night of Music in the Park in Wellington featuring a performance by The Reasons.
- The Sandbanks Music Festival is back in person this year at Sandbanks Provincial Park. This live-music, family, and food event takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 2-8 pm featuring headliner Born Ruffians with performances by Laurence-Anne, Matt Barber, CATL, Craig Foster and Huaraches. Get your tickets here. Please note that attendees must also secure a Daily Vehicle Permit to enter the park up to 5 days in advance of the festival. That permit can be purchased here.
- Canadian indie rock and reggae royalty Bedouin Soundclash take to the Drill Hall stage at Base31 on September 17. Get your tickets here.
- Canadian songwriter and folk musician Jaeda Kelly hits the The Red Barn stage at The Eddie on September 23. Get your tickets here.
- Join Base31 on September 23 for an incredible and meaningful night in honour of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na tyonkwehtáhkwen Mohawk Language and Culture Centre, and a celebration of Indigenous artists. Featuring headliner and JUNO award-winning husband and wife duo, Digging Roots and supported by David R. Maracle and friends, this is sure to be a memorable concert experience. Tickets are just $25 and can be purchased here.
- Looking for some jazz in The County? Join Karlo Estates for Jazz Thursdays with the Howard Rees Duo on September 29. Check out our full event listings for even more regular live music events from Karlo Estates.
- Join The Regent Theatre for an incredible night of life music and celebration of Indigenous culture with their 2nd Annual Truth and Reconciliation Concert. This year’s concert features multi-award wining artist, iskwē who will grace the Regent stage with her incredible presence and artistry, accompanied by a string quartet in what promises to be a stunning night. Get your tickets here.
This September there are several can’t-miss pairing dinners happening in The County. First up on September 9th is a Beer Pairing Dinner at Slake Brewing with Chef Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut Kitchen in Eugenia as well as Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington market in downtown Toronto. A member of Lac des Milles Lac First Nation,Shawn focuses on promoting contemporary Indigenous cuisine. This 5-course meal in the spectacular setting that is Slake Brewing is $100 including beer pairings and tickets can be purchased here.
On September 14 you can enjoy a Whiskey of the World Tasting Dinner at The Waring House. This three-course dinner is paired perfectly with three 1oz whiskey pours, guided by a whiskey expert.
Also at The Waring House, on September 28 you can enjoy four-course meal alongside a wine tasting of Volcanic Wines sourced by Sommelier Astrid Young. To book tickets to this PEC Wine Society Dinner and the Whiskey of the World tasting dinner call (613) 476-7492 ext 1 or email email@example.com
Finally, on September 30 head to Karlo Estates for a plant-based Fall Harvest Dinner with Chef Chris Byrne. This 5-course feast is expertly paired with Karlo Estates wines by Vintner, Sherry Karlo. Reserve your spot here.
For even more County events be sure to check out our complete event listing.
What to get up to this February in The County ❄🍷
After a long January, restrictions are gradually easing and The County is reopening, ready for plenty of winter fun. If you have a visit planned this month, if you live in the area and are looking for a fun weekend activity, or if you just want to experience the joys of February in The County second hand, read on.
This information is accurate as of February 1st, 2022. As always, we recommend checking in directly with operators as this information is subject to change. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
Reminder: as of January 4th 2022, enhanced vaccine passports with a scannable QR code are required for indoor dining and locations such as recreational facilities. Further to that, some businesses are going above and beyond to keep the community safe, so we ask that individual requirements are respected at all times.
A Vintner Winter
The vines may be resting under a comfortable blanket of snow and earth, but many wineries will be serving up pours in their tasting rooms this February. Be sure to download the PEC Wine Explorer App before you visit to plan your trip and explore Prince Edward County Wineries (and Cideries!) by region, style and more. As always, check in with wineries before visiting via the app or Instagram to confirm operations and open hours, and be sure to make a reservation where necessary. You can also start your planning right here on VisitPEC.ca by checking out the wine section of our website for inspiration.
Hit the Trail
If you’re looking to get outside while you’re here, there are plenty of ways you can do so. Fancy giving snowshoeing a try? Head to Sugarbush Vineyards where you can rent snowshoes for $20, which includes a wine tasting and hot chocolate (weekends only). Or you can participate in a guided 3km snowshoeing walk at Three Dog Winery on weekends throughout February, which includes snowshoes and a glass of wine. Also keep an eye out for foodie pop-ups at Three Dog to complete your experience.
Snowshoeing not your thing? There are plenty of other ways to get outdoors. Why not bring your cross country skis and plan a trip down the Millennium Trail? Or how about pack your best snow boots and go for a winter hike at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area or at the Sandbanks Dunes Trail (the parking lot at Dunes is now maintained in the winter). If you plan to head out in winter, though, be sure to plan your route ahead of time, make sure your phone is charged, dress warmly and ensure you head out with plenty of daylight left – it’s easy to get turned around on trails, especially after fresh snowfall.
Plan an Escape
Escape Camp Picton is reopening for the 2022 season with a special Family Day Weekend event! Join them for an escape between February 11 and 14 and enjoy an extra special post-game celebration with a hot chocolate buffet and a make-your-own puzzle kit to take home with you.
Want to escape Camp Picton from the comfort of home? They also have a handcrafted at-home puzzle box available for purchase – perfect for cozy snow day weekends or evenings spent back at your accommodations.
Hit the Ice
If you haven’t heard, Parsons Brewing Company‘s covered ice rink is open daily for the season and it’s more epic than ever! Whether you want to play some shinny or you just want to skate, this family-friendly activity makes for a perfect winter outing, especially when paired with their rink-side snacks – we’re talking emanadas, grilled cheese and roast tomato soup, served alongside their wide selection of beers and coffee (with Bailey’s!) if you’re feeling the chill. They even have hot chocolate and s’mores kits for the kids (and big kids) who want to have some fun by the fire pit after a good skate. Be sure to follow them on Instagram for daily updates on rink conditions as well as for rink rules.
Speaking of ice, if you are visiting a beach during winter be sure to stay off the shore ice as this is known to be dangerous, even in the coldest weather. Also, unless you are with a guide or familiar with ice conditions in the area, any lake ice should be considered unsafe. Stick to shore and stay safe.
If skating’s not your thing but you’re still chasing classic “apres” vibes and craft beer, there’s plenty of options for you! Gillingham Brewing has a fabulous winter patio setup (complete with Oysters!), Prince Eddy’s will be serving up pours both in and outdoors, Matron Fine Beer has a sweet sheltered back patio, and Slake comes complete with many fire pits to share the warmth alongside their gorgeous views – but don’t worry, their indoor seating is also open if you want the views without the windchill.
Go Back in Time
It’s Flashback February at The County Museums, which means we have plenty opportunities to engage with the history and heritage of Prince Edward County through talks, performances and more. The 2022 event (February 19-27) will include a combination of in-person and virtual offerings including a historic barn tour at Karlo Estates Winery (multiple in-person dates), a Photos and Follies exhibit at North Marysburgh Town Hall, an exhibit on the “social media” of early Prince Edward County, a virtual historic cooking presentation, and more. Check out the Flashback February website for more details.
Indoor dining is back, and your favourite County restaurants are ready to welcome you (at limited capacity for now). Not only are the all-season restaurants open again, but so are the restaurants that typically close in January like La Condesa, Flame + Smith and The Marans Dinebar. (note: some restaurants operate seasonally and will open again in the spring, so we still recommend confirming operations before setting your heart on a particular spot!) If you’re planning a foodie trip be sure to make a reservation where possible or plan in advance to potentially wait a for a table (though wait times in February are typically much less than in summer, reduced capacity make affect wait times). Looking for a unique Friday night dining experience? Book a Fondue Friday at The Eddie. Wanting to experience the newest of the new? be sure to book a spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner at The Royal Hotel, the reimagined historical gem of Picton Main Street.
Here for Valentine’s Day? Many spots are offering special pre-fixe menus for your romantic celebrations. So be sure to check out the restaurants on your wish list on social media to see what feasts they have dreamed up for the day of love.
Winter with Lakeside
If you’re looking for a family and pet-friendly winter outing, why not head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington? They have a few epic weekends planned on their property. Swing by to enjoy live music, their new food truck and their cozy heated enclosure alongside their epic lake views. Check out our event listings for more information.
Visit a Gallery
February is a great time to visit a Prince Edward County art gallery. Most galleries and studios are open weekends or by appointment, so we highly recommend discovering local artists through the County Arts Council and the Arts Trail before you visit. Once you’ve built your wish list, be sure to check in directly to confirm hours of operation or book an appointment before visiting.
If you want to take your appreciation of art outdoors, be sure to check out the sculpture garden at Oeno Gallery (yes, it’s open in winter, and yes it is magical – see the video from last year below!) or take a stroll just off Picton Main Street to Benson Park to enjoy fun installations by The Department of Illumination.
Take in a Concert
We’re excited for February to bring a return to in-person performance. If you’re a fan of Jazz, Big Lake Concerts has just the think for you. Be sure to get tickets to one of two seatings of SOA and Friends at The CAPE on February 24th. SOA covers a wide stylistic terrain from jazz, consistently enveloped by the warm and soulful voice of Chrystelle Maechler. Thompson Egbo-Egbo joins her on the piano and together they will deliver a rich evening of musical sounds and stories. Rooted in jazz, SOA features a mix of originals and fresh interpretations of outside material, in French, English, and sometimes German. “SOA” means “precious” in the language of Madagascar.
Plan Your 2022 Visit
If you don’t have a February visit planned but are feeling a little bit envious after reading about all of these amazing happenings in The County this month, let the inspiration strike! Now is the perfect time to start planning your 2022 visit. Take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit and book somewhere to stay, discover more things to do, taste and experience and start building the a picture perfect PEC itinerary. Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to check out our blog.
How to Keep it in The County this January during Ontario’s Return to Step Two
We didn’t expect this to be our first blog post of 2022, but here we are. Ontario has temporarily returned to a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, and we’re sharing some of the ways you can continue to support your favourite County spots amidst the latest restrictions.
This information is accurate as of January 10th, 2022. As always, we recommend checking in directly with operators as this information is subject to change. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
Another great way to support County businesses at this time is to shop locally from your favourite main street and back road shops. Luckily, retail stores are allowed to remain open at 50% capacity for whatever you need (or want) to bring a little County into your lockdown experience. Most stores are remaining open, however, we recommend that you check in with them on Instagram or their website for details about their operations at this time, as some businesses have chosen to remain open for online shopping, curbside pickup, or delivery only.
Art at Home
While some local galleries in The County operate seasonally, some remain open year-round. Those galleries have also had to close as part of the return to Step Two. If you want to show support for local artists and galleries, be sure to check out the Arts Trail and Prince Edward County Arts Council websites to discover local artists, galleries, and their online collections.
Take out to Dine In (at home)
Indoor dining is closed again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still support some of your favourite County eateries during this time. While some have chosen to take this time off to recuperate after a challenging 2021, many are offering their menu for take-out or are cooking up lockdown specials to help spice up your at-home meals. Need something delivered? Contact County Carry Out here.
The newly reopened The Royal Hotel is now open to guests, but everyone can enjoy their selection of breads, pastries, sandwiches, salad bowls and coffee from their Counter Bar. Also, starting January 7th they’ll be offering a limited menu for takeout.
Picnic‘s Picton cafe is closed, but Picnic’s catering arm is offering special weekend menus for pre-order that can be picked up from their Wellington kitchen.
Local chef Matthew Demille is offering up his popular winter feasts for pre-order and delivery in The County and surrounding area.
Lily’s Cafe next to Books & Company is open for takeout only.
Flame + Smith in Bloomfield is closed until January 21st for Winter break. Be sure to stay tuned to Instagram for information about operations after that date.
Also in Bloomfield, Bermuda is open for takeout from Friday – Sunday with a limited menu of new items and old favourites. Limited time slots are available so call ahead to book.
The Vic Drive-In is open for takeout (walk-in, call ahead, or order online) with a smaller menu full of diner favourites, as well as daily dinner specials like Wacky Wednesday.
Don’t worry, you can still get your Acoustic Grill fix! They’ll be open for takeout Thursday – Monday.
555 Brewing is holding down the fort and will be open daily for retail beer sales, takeaway pizza, and outdoor dining on their covered and heated patio. They also have a 2 for $25 pizza offer from Sunday – Thursday every week.
The Bean Counter is temporarily closed for maintenance until mid-January. They’ll be open for takeout once that’s complete.
Over in Wellington, Midtown Brewing is offering takeout only, 7 days a week. You can order their full menu alongside delicious craft beer. They also have make-your-own pizza kits, great for a fun meal with the kids.
Piccolina Mercato is open Wednesday – Sunday for takeout and retail, serving up fresh pastry and bread, prepared meals to reheat at home.
Idle Wild is open Thursday – Sunday 4-7 PM for takeout. Visit their Instagram to see their Main and Vegan menus and order ahead for pick-up.
7 Numbers Picton is open after January 6th for takeout and delivery of their regular menu, weekly specials, $60 “Dinner for Two” menu, and Winter Market items (fresh/frozen take-home trays, and fresh foccacia with 24hr notice).
Over in Consecon, Strato’s Pizzeria will be open after January 6th for takeout after completing some maintenance.
Blue Sail Seafood Company‘s seafood market will be open from Thursday – Sunday, and they are also offering DIY Seafood Dinner Starter Kits that you can order online from their website. They won’t be offering takeout right away, but keep checking their Instagram for updates.
GOOD Place in Wellington is open daily for grocery or takeout.
Stella’s Wine Bar will be serving up takeout for pick-up Friday through Tuesday from 5-8 PM.
Consecon’s Adega Wine Bar is closed, but keep an eye out on their Instagram for at-home wine club offerings.
Bocado will be offering up a different prix fixe takeout menu each weekend from Thursday through Sunday. Check their Instagram for the current menu.
The Lunch Box is open for take-out during their regular hours from January 10th.
Bantam will be closed until January 19th but will reopen with a takeout menu and modified hours. Check Instagram for details in the coming weeks.
Butter Dream Cakes is closed until February 11th except for custom order pick-up or deliveries. Check out their new online shop complete with new cake trays, cake tasting boxes, and cookie boxes.
The Marans is closed for holiday until January 12th – be sure to follow them on Instagram for news about operations after that date.
Stella’s Eatery in Waupoos is temporarily closed, but they’re serving takeout at Stella’s Wine Bar in Picton.
The County Canteen‘s full menu is available for takeout, or you can brave the weather on their heated and covered outdoor patio. Also be sure to check out their Sunday Family Dinner Series in which they serve up a different themed feast for four each Sunday.
Lighthouse Restaurant is temporarily closed, but be sure to keep an eye out on their social media for details about reopening.
Blumen Garden Bistro is closed for the season and looks forward to welcoming you back in the Spring.
Saigon Restuarant is closed until late January before resuming takeout.
Flossie’s Sandwiches is closed for the season and is due to reopen at Carson’s Garden Market in April.
Bring the Source to You
If you’re looking to enjoy some County libations during your lockdown, most of the region’s craft beverage makers offer online shopping options or curbside pickup. Some are safely offering distanced outdoor tastings with a limited capacity if you are up braving the weather.
Rosehall Run is closed until January 28th but they are open online 24/7.
Huff Estates is closed for tastings, but their bottle shop is open for retail and they are open online 24/7.
The tasting room and bottle shop at The Grange of Prince Edward is closed, but they are open online 24/7.
At Trail Estate you can visit their retail shop after January 19th, but they are open online 24/7 in the meantime.
Casa Dea‘s tasting room and bottle shop are temporarily closed, but you can shop online 24/7
Sandbanks Estates Winery‘s retail store open is open at 50% capacity for shopping or curbside pickup, or you can shop online. As with other wineries they are not offering tastings at this time.
Broken Stone Winery’s tasting room and bottle shop is closed until spring, but they are open online for delivery or curbside pickup.
Traynor Family Vineyard’s bottle shop is open at 50% capacity and you can safely enjoy a pour on their heated patio. You can also shop online for contactless curbside pickup or delivery.
Outdoor tastings at Three Dog Winery are closed until February, but they are online open for curbside pickup or delivery (free shipping when you order 6 bottles or more).
Lighthall Vineyards is closed for tastings, but their retail store is open for wine and cheese purchases. You can also shop online for delivery or call for curbside pickup
Waupoos Estates Winery‘s tasting room and restaurant are temporarily closed, but they are open online for curbside pickup or delivery.
At Redtail Vineyards you can visit their bottle shop and enjoy a pour safely outdoors on their covered patio. Contactless pickup is available for online orders, as well as delivery.
Exultet Estates is closed for tastings until April, but their Bottle shop is open by chance or appointment, or you can online for delivery.
Del-Gatto Estates is closed for winter, but they are open online for delivery.
Sugarbush Vineyards is closed until February but open online for delivery or curbside pickup.
The Old Third is closed for Winter.
Closson Chase is closed for the season, reopening for tastings on February 5, 2022
Parsons Brewing’s bottle shop is open daily and from January 14th onward their skating rink is open daily for your enjoyment on a pay-what-you-can basis. Check out the “Rink” highlight on their Instagram for more details. You can also order online 24/7 for brewery pickup or delivery.
At Prince Eddy’s Brewing, you can visit their bottle shop in person and enjoy their outdoor patio (the après vibes are strong), but they are also open online for curbside pickup or contactless delivery.
You can cozy up at the outdoor fire pits and visit the retail shop at Slake Brewing when they reopen after the holidays on January 8th. With the freezing rain lately, be sure to check their Instagram for updates about brewery road safety!
Gillingham Brewing‘s bottle shop and covered, the heated beer garden is open for pours, lunch, and weekend oysters. Follow them on Instagram for updates about kitchen collaborations with other local faves.
Matron Fine Beer‘s bottle shop, outdoor patio is open for floofy pours and tasty bites from their kitchen. They also have General Assembly pizzas available for purchase along other great take-home snacks.
Mead & Spirits
Kinsip is not offering tastings at this time, but they are open online for local pickup or delivery.
Millefleurs is closed for tastings in January & February, but you can shop their mead as well as their honey and lavender products in their online shop.
Honey Pie Hives & Herbals is closed for the season until May 1, but you can shop their mead, honey and herbal products on their website.
Loch Mor‘s tasting room is closed but you can order online for delivery or local pickup.
Clafeld Cider‘s market and tasting room are closed, but you can order online for pickup (pickup across the road at Waupoos Estates Winery) or delivery.
Stock & Row is open Saturdays for pick-up or online 24/7 for delivery.
Crimson Cider‘s bottle shop is open or you can shop online 24/7 for curbside pickup or delivery.
The County Cider Company is closed until March, but you can order their cider online for delivery.
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Fall for Arts & Culture in The County 🎨🎭🖼🎙
Whether you want to add to your art collection. immerse yourself in a exhibition, witness public art, attend a performance or go behind the scenes at an artist’s studio, Fall is an incredible time to visit The County. Here’s just some of what you can experience throughout the region this season.
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.
Go on a PEC Studio Tour
From September 24-26, 2021 follow the PEC Studio Tour throughout The County for a chance to go behind the scenes, meet the artists and observe their creative processes. If you’re in the market, this is a great opportunity to start or add to your collection, or if you’re just looking for inspiration, this is a fantastic activity that will take you off the beaten path.
Hit the PEC Arts Trail
The Arts Trail is a year-round, self-guided ‘choose your own adventure’ tour of artist studios and galleries, featuring sculpture, visual arts, photography and more. It’s a great chance to meet some of the artists who give The County its flare.
Experience Ontario Culture Days with Alchemy Artists Residency
Temporary public art installations will be on display from September 25 – October 24, 2021 at wineries throughout Hillier as a part of FIELD NOTES by Alchemy Artists Residency, part of Ontario Culture Days 2021 Creatives in Residence. Alchemy’s Table Settings is a powerful project bringing together artists, vintners and vineyard workers together, with the artists bringing healthy and delicious dinners to farm and vineyard workers. The exhibition features sculpture, collage, tactile objects, poetry and painted works inspired by these dinners and collaborations. Find exhibitions at Broken Stone Winery, Stanners Vineyards, Closson Chase Vineyards, Hinterland Wine Company, Casa Dea Estates Winery, Cold Creek Vineyards and Redtail Vineyards. Experience these installations in person, free of charge. Be sure to pre-register here to receive background content on the installation to enhance your self-guided tour (this will be released September 30th).
Browse a Gallery or Two (or Ten!)
The County is fill to bursting with amazing art galleries to suit every style, and many galleries are hosting special exhibitions and sales this fall, like the 7 Artists Outdoor Exhibition and Sale and Treetopia at ANDARA Gallery, which is a bright spot on any art tour in The County with its Crayola-coloured façade and knit-bombed trees.
Discover the Barn Quilt Trail
Many visitors notice them, but few really know what they’re looking at. We’re talking about barn quilts, one of the most common (and eye-catching) forms of public art in the area. Barn quilts are eight-foot square (and smaller) painted replicas of actual fabric quilt blocks, painted on wooden or MDO boards, then mounted on a barn or other buildings. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is a single pattern square. Barn quilts become rural eye candy glimpsed as we roll down our rural highways, drawing attention to Ontario’s disappearing rural landscapes, timber frame barns, and the family farm. They can also be seen on homes of all kinds in The County.
While you’re more than likely to happen across a barn quilt or two during your visit, if you want to seek them out, be sure to follow the PEC Barn Quilt Trail and discover this unique part of County art and heritage.
Become the Artist
Don’t just come to The County to see art, come here to make it! The Department of Illumination – a local organization dedicated to creating magical arts experiences for everyone – is hosting their annual Scarecrow Festival this October over Thanksgiving weekend, which is a perfect opportunity to make some fall art with the kiddos. In November their Firelight Lantern Festival takes to the streets, bringing light and life to the colder and longer night that settle in at this time of year (stay tuned for details about the 2021 event).
Want to try your hand at encaustic painting? Don’t miss Pause, a special County experience which connects visitors to the healing powers of nature through a meditative forest walk, followed by a studio session at Melt Studio Gallery where encaustic artist Susan Wallis guides guests in creating an original encaustic painting using natural items collected during the walk.
Let us Entertain You
Fancy art of of the auditory sort? Have a laugh with Martha Chaves at the Regent Theatre (presented by Comedy Country), take in the final Saturdays of live music at Karlo Estates (with Alison Joan Borgin Burke(Borgin), Trevor Norris, and the summer performers at their annual Thanksgiving Jam), or attend the annual Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival. Celebrate self-expression by taking in a drag show at The Hayloft or The Grist Mill, or enjoy a film or live performance at The Regent Theatre which has joyfully reopened after being closed since March 2020.
So plan to put a little art into your Prince Edward County visit this Fall. We know you’ll be inspired.
Plan Your Fall 2021 Visit to Prince Edward County 🍁🍂🎃🍎🍻🚲
Prince Edward County may be known for its summers, but Fall in The County has so much to offer travelers of all kinds. Whether you want to get outdoors, reap the benefits of harvest season or simply get into the spirit of the Fall season, we’ve got something for you.
As with every trip to The County, your experience will benefit from a little bit of forward planning. While the Fall is definitely quieter, after a busy summer Prince Edward County businesses change up their hours of operation, so as always we recommend calling ahead or checking social media for the most up to date information.
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.
Book Your Accommodation
While there is more availability to plan a last-minute trip in the Fall, we still recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Explore some of The County’s rental accommodations or if you prefer to camp when it’s quieter (and free of mosquitos!) Sandbanks Provincial Park is open for camping through to the end of October. Whatever you decide, book now so you have the perfect home base for your Fall adventure. Want to visit Sandbanks for a Fall walk? Day-use Vehicle Permit pre-booking continues until the end of the season, so be sure to book up to five days in advance of your planned visit here.
Experience Arts and Culture
Craving a little culture? The County has it in droves. Take a tour of the Arts Trail, a self-guided driving tour and signature experience of professional year-round artist studios and galleries. If you love a peek behind the scenes the annual PEC Studio Tour is on from September 24 – 26 this year, which will take you into the studios of more than 40 artists in the region. Also, Ontario Culture Days Creatives in Residence Alchemy – a Hillier-based artists’ residency – will be taking guests on guided tours of their Table Settings installations and community initiative. Check out the event listing on the Culture Days website for more information and to register for this free event.
Fall is also a great time to immerse yourself in the storied history of The County and there’s no better way to do that than at our museums and historically significant sites. Step back in time with a visit to Macaulay Heritage Park, take in the pioneer village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, or go for an autumnal stroll through the beautiful Glenwood Cemetery – your options are endless!
Savour Fall Flavours
Fall is harvest time, and there’s no better time to sample locally grown flavours at Prince Edward County’s local restaurants and farm stands. Be sure to plan a visit to a farm or two before heading home to take home a County bounty to enjoy, store or preserve. Want a farm-to-table dining experience where the distanced travelled is–quite literally–nil? Book a harvest supper at a local farm, like this harvest tasting experience at Quinta Do Conde or the Harvest Dinner Under the Stars at Vicki’s Veggies.
It’s the thick of harvest season at local wineries, but you can still visit their tasting rooms and bottle shops. Be sure to book your wine tours in advance to avoid disappointment. While you will have to wait a while to sample this year’s grape harvest, expect to see some breweries like featuring beers using this summer’s local hop harvest. Not that into hops? Cozy up with a dark beer in front of a fire pit at one of the region’s many breweries. Parsons Brewing Company is even bringing their own take on Oktoberfest to The County on October 2nd, with specialty brews available for the occasion. If the taste of Fall you crave is more apple-forward, go on a self-guided cider tour or hit up Campbell’s Orchards for some pick-your-own fun.
Hit the Trail
While cycling is an activity enjoyed all year round in The County, the Fall offers the perfect conditions for experienced and recreational cyclists alike. With the roads being quieter than they are at the height of summer and the temperatures cooler, it’s the perfect time to hop on your bike and explore.
The Millennium Trail is one of the best ways to get across The County by bike. Connecting Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington, Hiller and Consecon, this 46 km, mostly flat trail can get you pretty much anywhere you want to go with just some minor diversions on County roads. Check out this helpful Google Map complete with trailhead and intersection information, and a blog with all of the insider details to help you plan your journey.
Take in the Views
Want to take in the Fall colours on your trip? Be sure to add Slake Brewing to your itinerary. With their hilltop location, sprawling outdoor space and many fire pits – not to mention their great beer – it’s one of the best places in The County to take in the view.
Another great way to take in The County’s Fall colours is to go for a drive (or a cycle!) down some quieter County roads. The “back forty” of many rural and agricultural areas are forested with maple trees and the roads are lined in Staghorn Sumac, whose leaves turns a brilliant red in early Fall, giving you stunning autumnal colours throughout the season that are a feast for the eyes when on a scenic drive. We’ve mapped out a few popular scenic routes here.
Prepare for the Chill
As we all know, Fall is sweater weather. But when preparing for a tour around The County we recommend that you bring more than just a sweater. While indoor dining will be possible with your Proof of Vaccination, many establishments will be keeping their patios open throughout the Fall for those who prefer to dine outside to enjoy the weather and to maximize capacity for diners and visitors to craft beverage establishments. Come prepared with extra layers and maybe even a blanket or two so you can stay comfortable outside as the weather gets cooler.
So what are you waiting for? Book your Fall trip today and discover the joys and gems of Fall in The County.
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What’s new for Summer 2021 in PEC 🍜 🍺 🎨
Looking for something new to do in Prince Edward County? New ventures and the optimism they embody are always cause for celebration – never more so than now, in these unpredictable times. So a heartfelt and hearty huzzah to this latest crop of openings, expansions and reimaginings in Prince Edward County. May these offerings fill your belly and lift your spirit.
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.
A must-visit for your Sunday morning is the Picton Town Hall Farmers’ Market. A wide variety of Prince Edward County vendors are offering locally grown and made goods; do your grocery shopping, grab a snack or enjoy some lunch in the nearby shady Benson Park.
The Grist Mill is a wedding and event venue located in Consecon at the old Cascades Pub and Grill. Four days a week, The Grist Mill operates as a public space where guests can gather to share a drink, while enjoying live music, drag events and food from pop-up caterers. Food is served on Friday night and Sunday Brunch. Fridays, find PJ’s Jerk. Saturdays Matty Boy BBQ is there with his Texas Style BBQ.
All those good smells coming from Milford lately? They’re coming from the new PECish Baking Co. Matti Matyasfalvi, baker and self-described breadhead, is turning out bread, croissants, cookies & more every week – made preservative and additive free with local wheats, honey, and butter. Take note – these fresh-from-the-oven treasures sell like, well, hotcakes – so order ahead for best selection. Long-term plans include a café and general store.
Lighthall Vineyards has a new food offering from the owners of Sand and Pearl. FirebirdPEC serves wood-fired rotisserie chicken and fresh crisp salads al fresco. Winemaker Glenn Symon has expanded his cheese offerings, and this year, the crew will be working out of a new tasting room. Assistant wine maker Chris Thompson has his own wine on the go, introducing Legal Smile Wine Co.
Well-known Wellington Farmer’s Market manager Naz Karsan will be popping up his latest venture called TikkaChaat. Naz will offer fresh and frozen cuisine inspired by his family’s roots along the coast of east Africa, most notably Zanzibar. Follow his Instagram for locations.
Sarah Rogers has opened the eponymously named Sarah’NDipity Eats & Treats on Gilead Road. She makes healthy meals and delightful sweets for you to order ahead and take home to enjoy. Let her do the kitchen work for you!
Taste of Country occupies the corner previously home to Schroedter’s Farm Market at the intersection of Hwy #62 and Cty. Rd. 1. They carry a wide selection of frozen foods, baked goods, gift items and other specialty goods, and are partnering with a chef for prepared foods to go. They’re also an LCBO outlet and carry local brews and Kinsip spirits.
While Waupoos has always been known as The County’s blueberry spot, there is a new kid on the isle – meet Laura’s Organic Blueberries, located just down the road from Sandbanks. Picking starts in late July into August.
Adega Wine Bar has all the chops to be a full service wine appreciation spot in Consecon, at least when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Located at the Grist Mill in the centre of town, Adega is part wine bar, part wine retailer and serves as home base for owner Thierry Alcantera-Stewart’s wine consulting, tours and tastings.
Built into a limestone hill, Slake Brewing offers stunning panoramic views of The County from its taproom and patio. They currently produce clean, balanced, easy drinking ales and lagers but will soon be introducing mixed-fermentation beers. All Slake’s beer is proudly brewed with 100% Ontario malt.
Looking to take a deep dive into the ins and outs of Caesar making? The Weekend Social, tucked behind the Bean Counter Cafe, is opening its doors to small groups this summer, for workshops, experiences and its new Caesar bar. Keep an eye on their social for upcoming dates and events.
PEC Wine Explorer app is a one-stop shop for all your wine touring needs, including detailed profiles for all local wineries, tourism businesses and retailers, as well as lists of unique wine activities. Discover which wineries host elevated tastings, which ones will welcome your dog, or which sell the wines that match your preferences. New activities are always being added, so download today, find a wine you love, and plan your perfect trip to PEC wine country. Not in The County? Most of the PEC wineries are only too happy to ship bottles to you and the app can help make the challenge of selecting the perfect bottle easy by matching your individual taste preferences to a database of all PEC wines.
Wondering what that glass glass building going up near Terra Cello and Huff Estates is? Stillus is a new craft distillery hoping to put Canadian vodka and spirits on the map. They’re aiming to be open for summer, but COVID construction delays mean we’ll have to keep watch on their social channels for exact timing.
Encaustic artist Susan Wallis has moved Melt Studio Gallery into the space formerly occupied by Maison DePoivre Gallery in Barrack 3 at Camp Picton (Loch Sloy). Susan is introducing an experience this summer that invites guests to Pause. Partnering with Tamara Segal of Hawthorn Herbals and Bay Woodward of Honeypie Hives & Herbals, guests will begin with a walk in the forest, getting grounded in plants and their uses, and foraging for mementos to be used in their art. Then at the studio they’ll work with Susan to create an encaustic piece – encaustic art being an ancient technique involving layering pigments, fibres and more in beeswax.
Get up close and personal with the herd at Noble Beast Farms in Bloomfield. Shepherds Paul and Nadia will show and tell about their 80 quirky alpacas, Thunder the famous donkey, and other rescued animals. The farm’s signature summer offering is Alpacas No Zoom Zoom, a half-day event with a light farm meal that will allow you to truly unwind and reconnect with nature. Disconnect from zoom and reconnect with nature through the eyes of the alpacas on the farm. They also have a shorter trek for those who prefer a one-hour visit called The Bloomin’ Welly Little Trek. These will sell out fast!
Don’t ride the teachers at Mayrose Farm! Patti Stacey is a second-generation PEC farmer whose pack of mini-horses are equine therapy animals. This summer she’s launching a new experience giving families and groups a chance to snuggle up to the miniatures, lead them through an obstacle course, and take home an equine themed treat bag. Horse hugs are welcomed.
Beekeeper Elis Ziegler has expanded their experience this year, offering a Bees & Blooms experience and a Bees & Brunch option. Deepen your connection with nature, pollinators and the food we eat with a unique and immersive adventure. Use all of your senses at Elis’ off-grid homestead while you learn about bees, make a balm, taste seasonal honey, spend time in the People’s Garden and have a locally made snack.
Lovers of the Nordic vibe can rejoice in the opening of SCANDISKIN, a skincare and lifestyle shop inspired by the wellness rituals and rugged landscapes of Scandinavia. At its core, SCANDISKIN is an indie brand of small-batched skincare inspired by the fresh-faced, clean Scandinavian aesthetic. There are also books, candles, tea, art, towels and home spa goods made of natural materials such as wood, wool, hemp, jute, paper, cotton, aluminum, with minimal packaging to help you embrace and celebrate timeless Scandinavian lifestyle concepts.
Bloomfield’s Main Street fixture Garb has a new sister shop. Owner Shyrl Nussey has retired her Brag store brand and launched a boutique called Swan Song in that space. The new shop features clothing, jewelry, and body and skin care products.
Spark Box Studio is popping up in Bloomfield for the summer at Handworks on Main Street. They’ve curated an art gallery that can be viewed from the outside of the tiny building made of entirely of windows!
Susan Jaehn-Kreibaum, owner of The Empty Nest Bed & Breakfast has a new online shop: emptynestshop.ca. The site features granola, body lotion and lovely hand-painted cards by Kate Jaehn-Kreibaum, a watercolour artist based in the County. This is also the place to learn more about and book their workshops on journaling, as well as art and one-on-one guided watercolour classes by a local artist, with plant-based diet workshops coming soon.
The former Fields on West Lake has new owners and a new name—The Eddie Hotel and Farm. Mike and Alex are eager to create spaces for residents and visitors alike. This summer they’re partnering with Festival Players to present the open-air Six Feet Festival. Savour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy a socially distanced evening with some of Canada’s most extraordinary artists. The Eddie also plans to bring in concerts.
Also on site, the former Blooms on West Lake is now Nellie’s Shoppe and Flower Market. More than just flowers, the shop carries hostess gifts, candles, thank you notes and more to help with your next party, bouquet, or apology to your spouse.
The Hayloft Dance Hall has new owners with big plans to expand the venue’s offerings to include comedy, burlesque, drag, cabaret and more! Events will be more intimate, hosting 50 seated guests. They’ll also be open daytime on weekends, with Big Mike’s BBQ serving food and drinks on their patio.
by Sue Hierlihy
History Takes Flight: A walking tour of Macaulay Heritage Park and Birdhouse City
Part cultural history lesson, part architecture primer and part outdoor fun, this walking tour offers education and entertainment that can be enjoyed outside, anytime, at no cost.
Note: The tour can be started either from Macaulay Heritage Park or from Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area/Birdhouse City. The two sites are joined by Whattam’s Memorial Walkway, a wide unpaved walking path. This tour is intended to be family-friendly but includes information about graves and the on-site cemetery. Discretion with young children advised.
Macaulay Heritage Park
Located on the southern edge of Picton, Macaulay Heritage Park consists of land and buildings built by Reverend William Macaulay, whose vision and leadership helped shape the development of Prince Edward County.
William Macaulay was the son of Robert Macaulay whose family originally came from Scotland. They moved to Ireland, where Robert was born, and then to New York in 1764. He landed in Cataraqui (Kingston) as a United Empire Loyalist around 1784, having supported the British Crown during the American Revolution. In 1791, Robert married Ann Kirby, who came from the Crown Point area in Upper New York State and had been born in Yorkshire.
Robert died in 1800 when his son William was just six years old. William inherited 400 acres of land (including this property) that his father and Thomas Markland had purchased from Lieutenant Moore Hoverton at a Sheriff’s sale in 1790 for the sum of 300 pounds.
William went to school in Cornwall and Kingston before going to Oxford to take his ministry. His teacher and mentor was the renowned Bishop John Strachan. After being ordained in 1818 Macaulay claimed this inherited land. Macaulay had it laid out as a village, naming it Picton after General Sir Thomas Picton who had been killed in the Battle of Waterloo. Street names (Portland, York and Pitt) were all heroes of the day. His land was used to build the neighbourhood’s first school, Picton’s first Roman Catholic Church and the County Courthouse. In 1837, the adjacent village of Hallowell on the north side of the Bay was amalgamated with Picton.
Old St. Mary Magdalene Church and Graveyard
Stop #1: Front of Church
Welcome to Picton’s “old” Church of St. Mary Magdalene (sometimes known as the English Church), the first Anglican church in Prince Edward County. In 1823-25, Macaulay used his own money to build it and was appointed its first rector upon completion.
This building is very likely the first one in the area that had been made of brick and it is also one of the oldest surviving institutional buildings in Prince Edward County. Over its long history, many additions and renovations have been made to the church. The portion with yellow brick walls, visible from both the interior and exterior, indicates the original structure. The limestone sections were added in the 1870’s. The notable large Black Locust trees on the property were said to have been planted in Macaulay’s time, around the 1850s.
The “new” Church of St. Mary Magdalene was constructed on Main Street in 1912, and while this old church was maintained, it was used only rarely and virtually sat vacant for the next fifty years.
In 1967, the church building was declared unsafe and was turned over to the County for use as a museum. It reopened six years later after extensive renovation and repairs. In 1974, the municipality purchased Macaulay House, and the grounds were combined with the church to form Macaulay Heritage Park.
The most recent of many renovations to this building was completed in 2011 to enhance the church’s function as a museum and to preserve heritage features. It also addressed many of the structural issues that had plagued the church’s earlier days. The building now serves as office and work space for museum staff, in addition to providing exhibition and programming space for the visiting public.
Stop #2 – Graveyard surrounding the Church
The first known burial in this cemetery predates the church, taking place in 1819. The first 20 or so burials were marked by wooden crosses, though those have now been lost to time. There are more than 300 burials in total now, with roughly half of that number still marked with gravestones.
Most of the gravestones are of mottled grey and white marble. The marble may have originated in the Renfrew, Madoc and Napanee areas. Limestone, though used here only rarely as a headstone, is the typical base into which the marble stones were slotted. The limestone is of the Black River type, from Kingston. Despite cracking, sinking, sun, acid rain, erosion, moss, vandalism, moisture, gravity, frost and faulty repairs, the remaining gravestones are in “fair” shape considering their age.
Carvers from Port Hope, Belleville, Cobourg and Kingston as well as Picton itself have work represented here. Carvers were typically illiterate, and simply copied the minister’s information as to what the stone was to say.
Stop #3 – A Most Prominent Family: Grave of Samuel Merrill (along the left side of the Church, midway)
Samuel Merrill was Picton’s first lawyer, practicing here for over 50 years beginning in the mid-1820s. As two lawyers practicing in the same region, Merrill developed a friendship with Sir John A. MacDonald. He became registrar of the Surrogate Court in Prince Edward as well as Master-in-Chancery. He and his wife, Mary Edwards Hall, had 11 children, including Edwards Merrill.
Edwards was born in 1842 and became a lawyer and later a County Court Judge and Mayor of Picton. Merrill was a progressive and freethinker – a movement that held that ideas and opinions should be based on science and reason, not authority, tradition or religion. This influential movement, which lasted from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, supported women’s voting rights, and advocated for the abolishment of slavery and reforms to the medical and justice systems. Merrill was an outspoken opponent of capital punishment and helped bring about improvements to the treatment of juvenile delinquents in Canada.
Edwards Merrill and the Lazier Murder Trial Edwards Merrill was also one of over 400 local residents who took a keen interest in the fate of two men convicted of murder in the 1880s in Prince Edward County. During a botched robbery, a farm implement salesman named Peter Lazier was murdered, and Joseph Thomset and George Lowder were sentenced to hang for the crime. During their trial the only evidence brought against them was circumstantial, and Merrill, who was Mayor of Picton at the time, signed a petition requesting that their death sentence be commuted. He also wrote to Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald on behalf of the prisoners, but the Prime Minister was unmoved and the execution went ahead as scheduled on June 10, 1884. They were the only hangings ever to take place in Prince Edward County. It has long been argued that at least one of the two was wrongfully convicted.
Stop #4 Macaulay Family Plot (to right of the church, close to the back)
Reverend Macaulay is buried here with his first wife, Ann Geddes, his second wife, Charlotte Sarah Le Vesconte, and one of his daughters, Mary Rose, who died as an infant. The family rests in one of four fenced plots in the cemetery, indicating their elevated status in the community. Macaulay’s first wife, Ann, suffered from ill health for many years, well documented in family letters. She died in 1849, and Reverend Macaulay purchased a piece of expensive Italian marble for her headstone. Its quality cannot be denied as her stone, while one of the oldest in the cemetery, has stood the test of time better than the stones made of local marble. The amount of text on her stone also alludes to how beloved she was, as the more carving required, the more expensive the finished stone would be. This is why most gravestones from the 19th century included only basic inscriptions.
Stop #5 – Tragedy on Smith’s Bay: Graves of the Pierce Children (to right of the Church, midway)
These three small stones are all marked with the same death date, suggesting a truly tragic story. On July 8, 1866, the five Pierce children, William, Patience, George, David and Robert, and friends were in a canoe on Smith’s Bay (near Waupoos) with their mother Lydia and a cousin. Legend says that one of the children lost a hat over the side, and when they reached to grab it the canoe capsized. The five Pierce children perished, though their mother Lydia survived. Their father, Samuel Pierce, was a blacksmith and his grave can be seen nearby. This moving poem, written shortly after the tragedy, can be found in the book Canvas and Steam on Quinte Waters by Willis Metcalfe.
Smith's Bay Drowning Tragedy (These verses were composed by Miss M. Shannon, on the drowning of the Pierce Children in Smith's Bay, Marysburgh Twp., July 8, 1866.) Ashes to ashes, dust to dust Is man's unchanging doom; For every living being must Lie in the silent tomb. Dear friend depart, though loved so well No human power can save; How oft the solemn tolling bell Reminds us of the grave. 'Twas in the year of sixty-six, The eighth day of July, Nine started for a pleasure trip No danger seeming nigh, Upon Smith's Bay they sailed along, Until a hat was lost, Which by their efforts to regain This sad event was caused. For suddenly the boat capsized, All overboard were cast; In vain they tried to save their lives But seven of them were lost, And sad it is the think that five Belonged to Mrs. Pierce; Who shared their danger, heard their cries, But could not give relief. Upon the drifting boat she clung For three long hours or more, Supporting Michael Harrington Until they reached the shore. Their friends and neighbours gathered round When they the tidings hear; And soon their bodies all were found And claimed by parents dear. Alas, it was a painful sight To see them brought ashore, So sadly changed, so cold and white, Where all was life before. Their parents clasped them in their arms And kissed them o'er again, And long embraced their lifeless forms - None from tears refrain. George Brown, whose age was twenty-one Lay calmly sleeping there; John Harrington, about fifteen, Freed from all earthly care, Of Pierce's family Patience Ann, The mother's joy and pride, William and Robert, David, John And George lay side by side. Who can describe the mother's woe, Her anguish and despair, She almost wished she was laid low Beside her darlings there, All earthly happiness seemed gone, Her heart of hope bereft Of all their children only one Sweet little girl is left. Then soon their bodies were prepared Within the tomb to dwell; And many friends assembled there To take a last farewell. And solemnly they were conveyed From earthly home away, And in the silent dust were laid Until the Judgement day. But in a home beyond the sky When this frail life is o'er, Friends meet again in endless joy And parting is no more. Oh! let us them be warned in time; And each for death prepare, That we gain that happy clime And meet our loved ones there.
Stop #6 – Believe It or Not: Grave of William Pierce (to right of the Church, midway)
Another Pierce grave nearby is quite noteworthy. William Pierce was the son of United Empire Loyalist Patrick Pierce who fought with the 84th Regiment and came to this area in 1784. This tombstone was featured on an episode of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” in the 1960’s for its odd and impossible death date of February 31st. The most likely reason for this mix-up is that the stonemason who carved the stone was illiterate and merely copied a typo in his instructions from the minister. However, if William actually died on the 13th, it’s possible that his family were superstitious and decided to reverse the numbers to avoid incurring any bad luck. This outdoor stone is a replica of the original, which resides just inside the entrance to the church.
Stop #7 – Grave of Philip Low
Picton was established in 1837 after the smaller villages of Picton and Hallowell Bridge amalgamated. Philip Low was the new town’s first Mayor, though that role was not created on the town’s inception. Low, a lawyer, was partnered with the Honourable Justice Christopher Salmon Patterson, who later became a judge on the Supreme Court of Canada and who also presided over the murder trial of Joseph Thomset and George Lowder. Low has two streets named in his honour nearby, and owned Picton’s impressive “Castle Villeneuve” on Bridge Street, which was demolished in 1986 after a propane explosion.
Stop #8 – The Woolworth Connection: Graves of James and Eleanor Creighton
During the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-19th century, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants arrived in British North America in search of a better life. A number of Irish families settled in Prince Edward County, including the Creighton family in North Marysburgh. Eliza Jane Creighton (or Jennie) was born and raised in Waupoos, but left the County as a teenager to learn dressmaking in Watertown, New York. While there, she met a young stock boy named Frank Winfield Woolworth, and in 1876 they were married. With a loan from Jennie’s cousin, Miss Margaret Morrison, they were able to open their first successful 5 and 10 cent store in Lancaster, PA. Frank would go on to establish the most successful department store chain of the 20th century. Frank died in 1919 and Jennie in 1924. They are buried in the Bronx Cemetery. James and Eleanor Creighton are relatives of Jennie’s. Jennie’s cousin Miss Morrison, who Frank Woolworth called the “Mother of the Five and Ten cent Business”, was a great supporter of this church.
Graves of James and Eleanor Creighton, relatives of Jennie Creighton Woolworth | Courtesy of Macaulay Museum.
Please proceed to the lawn in front of Macaulay House.
Macaulay House and Gardens
Stop #9 – Front of Macaulay House
Macaulay House was constructed for Reverend William Macaulay and his first wife Ann Geddes. They married in 1829 in Kingston, and lived in a cottage at the corner of Church and Old Church Streets until the present house was completed in 1830.
We know from family letters that Ann was beloved by her husband and was described as sweet, generous and very pious. Ann died from pneumonia in 1849. She and Reverend Macaulay did not have any children.
Four years later, in 1853, Reverend Macaulay married a second time, to Charlotte Le Vesconte. Charlotte was born in England, but had immigrated to Canada with her family as a teenager. Her family lived in Seymour Township where her father, a former British naval officer had received a land grant of 1000 acres, although Charlotte had been living in Belleville before her marriage. One of her brothers, Henry Le Vesconte, stayed behind in Englad to serve in the Royal Navy. He became a Lieutenant on the HMS Erebus and was part of the doomed Franklin Expedition.
As the wife of a reverend, Charlotte, like Ann before her, was responsible to the church and congregation to conduct missionary work, charity work, and prayer meetings. She would also have been responsible for managing the female help, planning meals, planting, and errands within the household.
Between marriages, William received money from the estates of his mother and uncle. His new wife also had a dowry. This influx of money made possible some alterations to the house, including the summer kitchen to the rear, adding a side porch off the dining room, and adding marble mantles to the fireplaces in both the parlour and dining room.
Charlotte and William had two daughters during their marriage. One, Mary Rose, died before her second birthday. The other girl was Annie. She lived to adulthood and married James Kirkpatrick of Kingston who was a lawyer. Their two girls were named Grace and Jessie. During the First World War they were nurses, and after the war they lived in a cottage called “Picton” in East Grinstead, Sussex, England.
We do know that while Reverend Macaulay appeared to be well-liked by his staff, there were periods of time where he was unable to pay them due to his financial woes. Prior to his second marriage, Reverend Macaulay was not particularly savvy when it came to his finances. As his first wife Ann was often ill and unable to manage the ‘books’, Rev. Macaulay tended to run up debts in town – not for anything scandalous, mind you – and would depend on his brother John to pick up the tab. He also neglected to regularly collect rent from the numerous tenants living on his property, which meant he was almost always cash-strapped. However, his second wife Charlotte not only brought a large dowry with her, but also the energy to oversee his spending and collect rent from their tenants.
After Reverend Macaulay’s death in 1874, the property passed to his wife Charlotte, and following her death, it was passed to their daughter. As she lived in England, it was held in trust on her behalf before being sold in the early 1900s. The property changed hands at least five times over the next 30 years before being purchased by the Bond family in 1935. The Bonds would live here until 1973, when the County purchased the house, and 4 acres of surrounding parkland for $50,000.
Please proceed to the garden area on the left side of Macaulay House.
Stop #10 – The Kitchen Garden and Apple Orchard
There was an operational farm on this property in the mid-19th century, and this apple orchard in addition to the family’s kitchen garden, would have provided all the fruits and vegetables they needed. The farm and the gardens would have been managed by hired help.
From this vantage point, it is easy to see where the ‘new’ summer kitchen extends backward from the original structure. Cooking would have been done in this space during the hot summer months, which helped keep the main house cool. However, the farm manager’s quarters were located directly above the summer kitchen, so he would have been uncomfortably warm in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.
Lives of the Macaulay House Serving Staff The compliment of female help would have been a cook, hired girls, and seamstresses. Their routines would have centered on cooking, housekeeping, and lamp maintenance. Other duties included taking down and cleaning the stove pipe, beating carpets, emptying chamber pots, washing and ironing, food storage (homemade preserves), keeping the inside of the house clean, and serving. The compliment of male help would have been a farm manager, itinerant farmers, and tenant farmers. Seasonally, the farm work would have included planting, harvesting, animal care, candle making, and preserving salted meats and vegetables.
Stop #11 – The Carriage House
This reconstructed Carriage House rests on the site of a former outbuilding from the Macaulay farm, and was relocated to this site from Bath, Ontario in 1998. It bridges the gap between Macaulay Heritage Park and Macaulay Mountain. You’ll notice the bat box on the east side of the building, alluding to the wildlife that call the Conservation Area home.
The tour continues at Birdhouse City which is located nearby at Macaulay Conservation Area. You can access this site on foot by taking Whattam’s Walkway. You’ll find the entrance to the walkway on the far side of the Carriage House. The walkway ends at Macaulay Conservation Area. Proceed past the brown building on your left and you will find Birdhouse City on your left.
First opened in 1980, Birdhouse City has become a purposeful and whimsical miniature community that hosts over 100 birdhouses that are actually native bird nesting boxes. Most of the birdhouses replicate local buildings and speak to the unique character, culture, and history of Prince Edward County, but there are a few “international’ houses that have inserted themselves over the years.
Birdhouse City is maintained and managed by volunteers with the support of the community and in partnership with Quinte Conservation. In the fall of 2020, an extensive inventory was conducted to assess the state of the birdhouses and their posts, and assign birdhouses to volunteers. The task is ambitious as years of rain, snow, wind, and over-use have taken their toll and and birdhouse needs to be taken down to be cleaned up, rebuilt or refinished, and painted. This work is taking place in the garages, back yards, and sheds of these ‘Birdhouse City Builders’ across the County. But with the use of more durable materials, a plan to maintain the City on a regular basis, and brand new signs for the birdhouses, the future looks chirpy and bright. Follow the City and its team of dedicated volunteers on Facebook and Instagram.
Stop #12 Where It All Began: The Massassauga Park Hotel
Birdhouse City began with just one birdhouse– the Massassauga Park Hotel, built by Doug Harns, then superintendent of the conservation area. He wanted to build a bird house so large that it would go into the Guinness Book of Records (which sadly did not happen). He chose the historic Massassauga Park Hotel as his subject – a large hotel that once graced the shore of Massassauga Point, on land that is now part of Massassauga Point Conservation Area, in the northwest corner of Prince Edward County. The large, elegant hotel and adjacent dance pavilion was located beside a busy port and attracted summer vacationers from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s, before being demolished in 1934.
Stop #13 The Crystal Palace
Many of The County’s most notable architectural structures are replicated in Birdhouse City, including The Crystal Palace. Built in 1890 by F. T. Wright based on a plan by Andrew Irving, the building still stands on the Picton Fairgrounds on Main Street East. Picton’s Crystal Palace was inspired by the original Crystal Palace created by Sir Joseph Paxton in 1851 for the Great Exhibition in London England. Paxton’s design of expansive glass was inspired by his work with greenhouses. Following the Great Exhibition, “Crystal Palaces” sprang up throughout the world including New York City and locally in Napanee and Kingston. Sadly many have been demolished and ours is now one of the few original Crystal Palaces remaining in the world.
Stop #14 The Merrill Inn
This birdhouse replicates The Merrill House, built in 1878 in the Gothic Revival style for Edward Merrill (see stop at the grave of Samuel Merrill). The House, which stands at 343 Main Street in Picton, is now a boutique hotel. Merrill and his wife Carolyn later commissioned a smaller version of Merrill House nearby on Hill Street, overlooking the harbour. In 1905, suffering from a terminal disease, Judge Merrill hanged himself from the balcony of this Hill Street home.
Stop #15 The Octagonal House
There are two octagonal houses in Picton. The earliest one, The Roblin House, at 16 Main Street was built in 1858 for John Roblin, then the County registrar of crown lands agent and collector of customs. This house shape and “grout construction” – where a mixture of sand, gravel and mortar is poured into forms – were from a method recommended by phrenologist Orsen Squire Fowler. Fowler promoted the octagonal shape as the perfect building form. The second house, known as Fralick House, is a brick structure on the corner of King and Elizabeth Streets.
Live, Outdoor Theatre Returns to The County
After a year of extraordinary challenges and setbacks, Festival Players has the great pleasure of announcing the return of live outdoor theatre to Prince Edward County!
Festival Players is a performing arts company located in the village of Wellington, which is nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, with a view of the largest freshwater dunes in the world, and in the heart of Prince Edward County’s burgeoning wine industry. They produce professional Canadian theatre experiences that are relevant, sophisticated, engaging and entertaining. They offer theatre that is deeply rooted in the fabric of the community, inspiring creativity, gathering and pride of place.
This summer, Festival Players presents their SIX FEET FESTIVAL of theatre, dance and comedy at the beautiful Eddie Hotel & Farm. Performed outdoors, following COVID safety guidelines, the Festival will give County audiences an opportunity to come together safely to experience the beauty of the landscape and the cathartic power of performance.
It’s an exciting new partnership with the Eddie Hotel & Farm (formerly Fields on West Lake) where they are currently building a new outdoor BMO Pavilion stage for the performances. Situated on 78 acres, The Eddie is one of the best examples of Loyalist architecture in the area. Dating back to 1860, these buildings stand as one of the most recognizable views in The County. With a strong focus on activating this beautiful property for community events, including Festival Players, The Eddie will be a vital destination in The County.
If you’re considering attending a session, you should know Festival Players has developed a comprehensive Pandemic Strategy to oversee the planning, rehearsal and presentation of events to ensure the safety and comfort of staff, artists and audiences. Their initiatives include the new outdoor stage, socially distanced open-air seating, reduced capacity, contactless box office, outdoor concessions and a digital show programme. As a result, they were awarded the #SafeTravels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The SIX FEET FESTIVAL includes world premieres, award-winning productions and familiar faces! Experience Beau Dixon, Carolyn Taylor, Elvira Kurt, Mark Crawford, Carol Anderson, Arwyn Carpenter, Sophie Dow, Kristen Foote in their inaugural season at the BMO Pavilion set against the picturesque backdrop of the historic Millennium Trail. Show dates and details are:
July 21–August 1 8:00 pm
A powerful story of a Canadian hero told through song like never before. Beneath Springhill chronicles the incredible story of Maurice Ruddick, “the singing miner,” an African-Canadian who survived nine days underground during the historic Springhill mining disaster of 1958.
August 12–14 8:00 pm
Canadian Comedy legends Carolyn Taylor (Baroness Von Sketch Show) and Elvira Kurt (Ellen DeGeneres HBO Special/The Tonight Show) star in a hysterical night of revelry under the stars at the picturesque Eddie Hotel and Farm.
August 18–21 7:00 pm
FLIGHT is an outdoor festival celebrating diverse and Indigenous dance. A meeting ground for expression and education. Daily community classes and workshops are followed by evening mainstage performances featuring Carol Anderson, Sophie Dow, Kristen Foote and Ritmo Flamenco. Each evening begins with a traditional hoop dance and pre-show chats with performances introduced by local figures including Sonja Smits, Judith Burfoot and others.
August 24–29, 8:00 pm
A World Premiere Production!
When big-city radio host Charlie King is forced to take a job managing a small-town station, he has no idea what’s in store! Not only does a pandemic begin his first week in Port Belette, but he quickly finds himself chasing a story of municipal corruption.
For more than 15 years, Festival Players has brought the beautiful landscapes, towns and villages of The County to life with theatre, music, art and food. They have produced and presented work by some of Canada’s finest theatre artists, serving a diverse community of local Prince Edward County/Bay of Quinte residents as well as summer visitors to our region known for its wineries and beaches.
Tickets for the SIX FEET FESTIVAL are $35-$40 for general tickets and $25 for Under 30/Arts Worker. Savour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy a socially distanced evening with some of Canada’s most extraordinary artists. See you at the Eddie!
Visit festivalplayers.ca for tickets and more information.
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.
How to Curate a County Art Collection 🎨
It’s been said that art is everywhere in The County. There’s no shortage of public galleries and studios in which to view and purchase a wide variety art. But how do you begin a collection? We asked the experts at Oeno Gallery, Sybil Frank Gallery and Hatch Gallery for their insight.
Here’s what they had to say.
Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are currently advisories and/or restrictions on travel to Prince Edward County. Please see our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates. Luckily, you can enjoy and even acquire a slice of Prince Edward County by visiting the galleries, exhibitions and events online through the links provided.
Collect what you love
You will see it in your home every day. What type of art makes your heart sing? Do you favour Corot or Picasso? Are you excited by realism or abstraction? For Craig Alexander, owner of The Sybil Frank Gallery in Wellington, the main thing to think about when purchasing a piece of art is longevity. Will you still love it in a year or two? You don’t want to purchase a piece of art that you’ll tire of. He adds: “Art should evoke an emotion of some sort. There should be a connection with the piece, something that makes you smile, or evokes wonderful memories.”
Consult with experts
Once you have decided on a style you’d love to live with, don’t be afraid to talk to art dealers and gallery owners, who can help you find works to suit you and your budget. “A good gallerist will be able to help you develop your eye and your preferences,” says David Hatch of Hatch Gallery in Bloomfield. “Ask a pile of questions; a good dealer will happily take the time to answer.” Carlyn Moulton of Oeno Gallery in Bloomfield agrees. “Take advantage of the knowledge that private dealers have – typically we share our expertise with collectors freely and can help to find the desired works.”
Deciding on a budget
Is your art simply a beautiful addition to your home, or are you purchasing as an investment? Will you be allocating an annual budget for art investment with a view to creating a significant portfolio? Perhaps you are more interested in buying with serendipity as a guide, collecting art as it crosses your path. You don’t need pots of money to begin, there is a piece of art for every budget. And keep in mind that if you fall in love with something that completely blows your budget, many galleries and individual artists are more than willing to work out a payment plan.
Change it up
Carlyn Moulton advises that it’s okay to “trade up.” Your collection can be refined by investing in better pieces or becoming more focused on a style or particular artist. “Building an art collection can be a very rewarding experience as collectors engage with artists, art dealers and other collectors. If the art is chosen carefully from artists with a reputation and track record, it can appreciate significantly,” she adds.
Art as investment
Hatch says that when it comes to paintings, “there are works that are known to be just like blue chip stocks. They will always hold their value and in most cases, they will go up over time. But this can also happen with emerging and mid-career artists too.” Sue Holland, a long-time County resident and curator of the Belleville Library’s Parrott Gallery, advises that anything of value will need an appraisal for insurance purposes, and you will need an insurer who has fine art policies.
If you are collecting for investment purposes you should also be aware that certain tax benefits are available should you decide in the future to donate your art to a museum or gallery. But there are strict rules, notes Green Point resident and Certified Financial Planner Randy Holt. Verifiable Canadian art work donated receives a 100 per cent estate tax deduction subject to caveats including a certifiable art evaluation by a recognized source. “My grandmother said this was painted by Tom Thompson,” just won’t wash with the CRA. “You need the provenance if the deduction is challenged, and they DO challenge,” he says.
Many studies have shown that living with art can reduce stress and create a sense of well-being. It can inspire and energize, and spark conversation. What better reason to trust your gut and go out and buy what you love? The Art in the County exhibition, PEC Studio Tour and galleries of Prince Edward County are a great place to start!
Visit the Prince Edward County Arts Council for more information about artists living and creating in The County.
By Susan Hierlihy. (updated April 2021)