We started our walking tour at West Wings, an eclectic boutique and espresso bar with a wide assortment of merchandise, from books by local authors, unique handbags from the Far East and handcrafted jewellery, as well as fair trade coffee and organic teas. A nice cup of Earl Grey warmed me up before we headed into the West Front Street, the town’s main street.
Tyla Tessier, who runs the B&B together with her husband Lacy, welcomed me at the Old Carriage House and helped me carry my luggage up the stairs. Once I had settled inTyla made some tea and we starting chatting about her and her B&B.
Organizers at the Stirling Festival Theatre had promised me a backstage tour, so all I had to do was walk across the street to arrive at the historic 1927 Community Service Building, a place with a long and colourful history. I got a chance to meet most of the crew, an outgoing and rather outrageous (in a good way) cast of characters.
On a drizzly and cold day we started driving through the wintery countryside and after about 20 minutes we had arrived at our first itinerary point of the day: the Church-Key Brewing Company, a local micro-brewery on the outskirts of Campbellford. Ivan Unwin, one of the managers, was on standby to give us the brewery tour and introduce us to this unique local business.
Country hospitality in Ontario is legendary, and in line with these friendly traditions, Martin and Lori invited us to taste some of their products. Within minutes Lori had cut up mozzarella, scamorza, and ricotta and as well as pepperettes produced from water buffalo meat. Lori pulled out some crackers and two types of jam which formed a perfect taste combination together with the creamy buffalo mozzarella.
Our Toronto travel escape was quickly coming to an end. The drizzly cold day continued as we drove to our next appointment at the Farmtown Park in Stirling, previously known as the Hastings County Museum of Agricultural Heritage.