As we move into the fall season and the leaves start to change in southern Ontario, the urge to escape the city and take in a colourful autumn road trip is easy to understand.
If you haven’t been, check out St. Jacobs – a rural community north of Kitchener located about an hour and a half from downtown Toronto that is largely known for its Mennonite heritage and farmers’ market.
The downtown village in St. Jacobs is primarily located on King Street North. In addition to antique shops and Mennonite specialty stores, there are places for everyone.
The Mill Exhibits at King Street North and Front Street is an old mill property that has undergone adaptive reuse and is nestled on the edge of the Conestoga River. On the ground floor sits Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade store with neat items inside.
If it’s baking and preserves you’re looking for, check out Stone Crock Bakery. They have a wide selection of homemade breads, pastries, cakes and preserves. I bought a lemon meringue pie and butter tarts for my family, and they ranked it quite high in terms of quality.
— Nick Westoll (@NWestoll) September 16, 2016
My friend Samantha and I stopped by Stone Crock Meats and Cheese before leaving town – a choice that didn’t disappoint. The homemade garlic sausages were fresh and superb when grilled.
Now for the community’s biggest attraction: The St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market.
Unfortunately it wasn’t open when we visited, but if you head down on a Thursday or Saturday you absolutely need to stop in.
Billed as Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market, it has all the traditional food items along with unique items such as boar jerky and homemade kombucha.
You can also shop for clothing, furniture, garden decor, arts and crafts, housewares, fashion, toys and gifts.
Bottom line, if it’s small town charm and quality shopping you’re looking for, add St. Jacobs to your list of places to visit.