Toronto - Around Town - Beyond Toronto (part 2) - Wineries, Restaurants

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A Drive in the Country


Start at St. Jacobs Farmers’ and Flea Markets, admiring the handicrafts, collectibles, and foodstuffs of over 600 vendors. After stocking up snacks, walk across the parking lot to the Trolley Shop for a 75-minute horse-drawn trolley tour through Mennonite farm country (Apr–Oct).

After the tour, drive to the Visitor Centre at

1406 King St N
; it features a short video on Mennonite history, photo exhibits, and a replica of a Mennonite Meetinghouse. Then, ready for lunch, head to Stone Crock (No. 1396), for a country-style buffet.

Drive east on County Road 17; in a few miles you’ll come to Road 22. Turn north to Route 86, then east on 86, watching for the sign to West Montrose. In this small town, look for the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario – called the kissing bridge by locals. The bridge crosses Grand River, a Heritage Waterway. Take Route 23 (turning into R21) north to charming Elora, 10 minutes away.

Once there, browse in the craft and antique shops and admire the old limestone buildings before walking to the Elora Gorge Conservation Area to swim, hike, and enjoy your picnic snacks by the water.

Next, it’s a short drive on Route 18 to Fergus, rich in Scottish history and late 19th-century architecture. Dine at the 1860s Breadalbane Inn

(487 St Andrew St W)


  1. Vineland Estates Winery

    One of the most attractive wineries in the region, this vineyard has an 1857 stone carriage house; two excellent restaurants, one headed by chef Mark Picone; and guided tours and tastings.

    • 3620 Moyer Rd, Vineland

    • 1 888 846 3526

    Carriage House, Vineland Estates Winery
  2. Peller Estates Winery

    Three generations of winemakers are behind this vineyard, though the facility itself has been recently built. Tours include a peek at the barrel-aging cellar. There is also a restaurant and shop.

    • 290 John St E, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 1 888 673 5537

    Peller Estates Winery
  3. Hillebrand Estates Winery

    Along with estate tours and tastings, Hillebrand hosts specialty events, such as wine country cycling tours (May to October) and an icewine festival (January).

    • 1249 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 1 800 582 8412

  4. Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery

    The winemaker from Chablis, France, creates interesting blends; the whites are especially good. The restaurant is set in a lovely Victorian house.

    • 5600 King St W, Beamsville

    • 905 563 0900

  5. Inniskillin Wines

    One of Ontario’s oldest quality vineyards, established in 1975 and famous for its icewines, has guided and self-guided tours. The shop and tasting bar are in a 1920s barn.

    • Line 3, Service Rd 66, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 1 888 466 4754

  6. Jackson-Triggs Vinters

    One of the most technologically advanced facilities in the region. Tours and tastings.

    • 2145 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 905 468 4637

  7. Thirty Bench Wines

    This small winery produces outstanding chardonnays and Rieslings. Tastings held in a rustic building.

    • 4281 Mountainview Rd, Beamsville

    • 905 563 1698

  8. Malivoire Wine Company

    In a region known primarily for its white wines, this organic vineyard produces excellent reds. A tasting room is set amid huge production tanks.

    • 4260 King St E, Beamsville

    • 1 866 644 2244

  9. Reif Estate Winery

    This family winery has 135 acres (55 ha) of scenic vineyards. The boutique is in an 1830s cottage. Daily tours in summer.

    • 15608 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 905 468 7738

  10. Château des Charmes

    This family vineyard boasts over five generations of wine-growing experience, with ancestral roots in Frances’s Alsace region. A tasting bar, shop, and splendid rose garden.

    • 1025 York Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 905 262 4219

Many vineyards keep seasonal hours; phone ahead to confirm opening and closing times


  1. Eigensinn Farm

    Superstar chef Michael Stadländer creates an unparalleled experience that books up months in advance. Intimately gathered in Stadländer’s farmhouse, diners feast on exquisite multiple courses showcasing organic ingredients, many of them raised, grown, or foraged on the farm.

    • RR 2, Singhampton

    • 519 922 3128

    • Bring your own wine

  2. Rundles

    Classics such as grilled chicken and poached salmon, as well as a more adventurous three-course gourmet menu please at this Stratford institution.

    • 9 Cobourg St, Stratford

    • 519 271 6442

    • Open May–Oct

  3. Bailey’s

    Casual fine-dining amid small-town charm. The diverse selection of meat, fish, and pasta changes daily. Known for its clam chowder.

    • 120 The Square, Goderich

    • 519 524 5166

  4. The Compleat Angler

    As the name suggests, seafood is the specialty – though there’s steak, too. Try the local Great Lakes catch.

    • 114 Medora St, Port Carling

    • 1 877 483 5050

    • Open Easter to Thanksgiving

  5. Mark Picone at Vineland Estates Winery

    Local ingredients, subtly prepared, are the stars; Italian flavors add pep. The 1840s farmhouse setting has ambience galore, and a great view of Lake Ontario.

    • 3620 Moyer Rd, Vineland

    • 1 888 846 3526

  6. Tiara

    Savory roast and catch of the day join delights such as lobster agnolotti and lime-crusted rack-of-lamb on the menu of this upscale hotel restaurant.

    • 155 Byron St, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 905 468 2195

  7. The Church

    Elegant French food on a seasonal menu, which always includes game. Located in a former church, built in 1874.

    • 70 Brunswick St, Stratford

    • 519 273 3424

    • Open May–Nov

  8. Bijou

    Quirky decor sets the stage for imaginative modern French dishes.

    • 105 Erie St, Stratford

    • 519 273 5000

  9. On the Twenty

    One of the first Niagara winery restaurants, this charming place favors local ingredients and quality meats. A few pasta dishes.

    • 3836 Main St, Jordan

    • 905 562 7313

  10. Peller Estates Winery

    Enjoy the enchanting vineyard view and the local, seasonal ingredients used in the six- and nine-course tasting menus.

    • 290 John St E, Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • 1 888 673 5537

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