The Village of Erin and Cuisine-Art, a Fine Art and Food Festival

On an eventful day yesterday I got a tour of the historic Millcroft Inn, visited the Alton Mill, a former woolen mill from 1881 that has been converted into a leading-edge arts centre, and took a stroll around Belfountain, one of the region’s most picturesque villages. This morning, after a nice buffet breakfast in the “Pod”, the glass-enclosed alove that overhangs the waterfall at the Millcroft Inn, I was planning to head back out into the countryside again and explore another pretty local village.

Erin has a pretty main street

The Village of Erin has a long history. The first sawmill was built by the Trout family in 1826 at the lower dam in Erin. The family later opened a small store and made potash, an ingredient used in soap making. Finally, in 1879, the Village of Erin was officially incorporated. It was in the same year that a branch of the Credit Valley Railway was completed, linking Toronto via Brampton, Cheltenham, Inglewood and Cataract with Erin.

Erin has a number of historic buildings

Various heritage properties dot the Village of Erin including All Saints Anglican Church, which was built in 1867 and features a 1947 Casavant Frères organ, built by the same company that also installed the organ of the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Montreal. The Century Church Theatre dates from 1906, and one of its most distinctive features are its stained glass windows. The Charles Street Dam is where early settler Henry Trout built a dam and a saw mill in 1826. Main Street is dotted by a variety of historic homes many of which were built in the second half of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century. The Victorian and Edwardian streetscape of Erin forms a wonderful backdrop for a stroll through the village.

Shelley Foord, owner of Decor Solutions, my guide in Erin

But not only history buffs enjoy this village, it has also become a popular shopping destination. To find out more about the shopping opportunities here I met with Shelley Foord, the Chair of the local Business Improvement Area and a business owner herself. Shelley owns an interior design store called Decor Solutions which sells a wide range of furniture and interior decor items such as area rugs, blinds and shutters, furniture and upholstery, custom drapes and bedding, art as well as lighting. In addition, Shelley and her team also offer design services, such as creating a virtual layout for a customer’s space, choosing fabric samples and putting an entire room together in one place without having to visit several stores.

A look at Decor Solutions

Decor Solutions sells items of a variety of styles, some more modern while others are more traditional. Shelley has owned the store for 8 years and worked in the interior design industry for 15. Three on-staff decorators help customers create the perfect design for whatever space they need to work on. Most of the products at Decor Solutions are made in Canada, adding an extra element of pride. Shelley’s customers come from as far away as Toronto, Cambridge and Kitchener. They make the trip to Erin to get the unique products and attentive service that Decor Solutions specializes in.

Shelley and her team help customers from all over to create unique home designs

After a tour through her store, Shelley took me out on the Main Street and introduced me to the shopping opportunities in Erin. Many people from surrounding cities come to Erin for a nice day outing or a weekend getaway, and they enjoy strolling on the pretty main street of the village. Deborah’s Chocolate Shop is a popular destination, which carries English candy, chocolate and frozen yoghurts. Carvers Block is an authentic butcher shop and deli which also has a nice patio in the back.

Cool summer fashion at Hannah’s

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