Dunnville, Ontario

Famous for the spectacular Elora Gorge and its 80 foot limestone cliffs descending into the Grand and Irvine Rivers. Adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers regularly flock to Elora, Ontario to enjoy some fun and take in the natural beauty.

Many original stone buildings from the 1800′s still make up the downtown village centre. Over the decades, Elora has maintained its old world charm and the century-old buildings have been transformed into unique galleries, gift shops, artists studios and charming restaurants creating the perfect four-season shopping and dining destination.

Elora is a cultural haven with so much to offer. Rich in live music, visual arts, crafts, up-scale boutiques, natural beauty, architecture, culinary flavours, and diverse in culture; Elora provides an alternative lifestyle not typically found in small, rural communities in this day and age. Discover for yourself what makes Elora so unique and you will fall in love too!

No Need for that Techy Stuff
by Shelley Norman

The windshield wipers swished back and forth across the windshield of the old Ford pickup truck as we bumped along yet another rutted gravel backroad splashing through puddles so big and deep I was surprised the truck didn‘t completely disappear into them.

“Are you sure this is the way to the junkyard?” I asked my husband for the umpteenth time as I tried to decipher the map Fred at the welding shop had scrawled on an old piece of cardboard. “Yep,” he replied. “See there is the big tree shaped like a pitchfork. We just take a right here and once we pass the blue barn with the horse painted on the door we turn left and it should be just beyond a big curve in the road.” “Are you sure this is worth the bother?” I looked over at my hubby. “Maybe we should have just bit the bullet and bought a new manure spreader.” “Naw! There is still lots of life left in the old girl. She just needs a new one of those,” he pointed at a grease covered lump of metal that was sitting in a bucket on the floor of the cab near my feet. “And we had to come to Timbuktu to find a junkyard that might have the part, because that spreader was manufactured before either one of us was born, so no reputable parts place carries a …whatever that is,” I looked down into the bucket. “It’s not a junkyard, it’s a machinery and automotive reclaimed and salvaged parts supply centre,” he smiled over at me. “And look at that here we are,” he pointed to his right where a huge sign proclaimed “Tanner’s Junkyard”.

As he pulled up in front of the long steel covered shed type building I noticed across the road a sign for a Mennonite quilt & fabric shop. “I think I’ll go over there,” I pointed across the road, “and have a look while you’re gossiping with the guys over here.” “Men do not gossip,” he said hefting the bucket with the rusty part from the truck. “Uh-huh, and it rains lollipops,” I smiled back zipping up my coat and heading across the road.

The long rural laneway was lined with tapped maple trees that reached up way over my head their branches meeting to make a canopy that must be absolutely gorgeous when in leaf. Opening the door to the fabric shop, I was immediately hit by the pleasant scent of a wood stove and as the door closed behind me. The warmth from that stove surrounded me and melted away the damp chill of the March day. I was very glad I had decided to venture over here instead of waiting in the truck. There was a Mennonite lady working at a sewing project at a table by the large front window, she looked up and smiled at me as I passed by, then bent back to her work.

I ventured along the far wall first where all the completed quilts hung. I couldn’t imagine the number of hours it must have taken to complete each one. Some came with matching pillow shams or throw cushions. The wedding ring quilt with rings of vibrant pinks and reds caught my eye, I couldn’t help thinking how nice it would look on the bed in the spare room.

After the quilts there were rows and rows of bolts of fabric, cotton in every shade and colour imaginable. A person could go a little crazy in here if she wasn’t careful. I’ve never made a quilt in my life but this variety was tempting me to buy a bit of this and that and give it a try. Alas I’d better keep moving. The cotton eventually led into shelves of a wide variety of other materials everything from lace and sheer fabrics to heavy flannel and fleece. I never would have expected so much choice in such a little shop. On racks near the front door were spools of thread in every colour possible to match the cotton bolts as well as ribbon, blanket-binding and bias tape. But in true Mennonite style the little shop didn’t restrict itself to sewing notions. A display of baking, jams, jellies, honey and maple syrup caught my eye as I was about to head out the door. Going over I picked up a litre jug of syrup, if I didn’t know better I’d say it was still warm.

“Is this maple syrup from this year?” I asked as I walked over to the lady sewing by the window. “Yes. My husband just bottled it this morning,” she smiled. “We make it here at our farm.” I paid the lady for the maple syrup and headed back across the road to where the truck was parked. “Great timing!” my husband exclaimed having just gotten back to the truck himself. “Did they have your…whatever?” I gestured at the bucket he was carrying. “Yep. Just look at that beauty,” he tipped the pail so I could see a greasy lump of metal that looked almost exactly like the greasy lumpy of metal that we arrived with. “What did you get?” he pointed at the jug tucked into the crook of my arm. “Fresh maple syrup, bottled today,” I held it up so he could see.read more Shelly Norman “I’m predicting pancakes for lunch,” he said licking his lips. “Hmm…maybe if you think you can get us home without getting lost,” I climbed into the truck. “You really should have let me bring the GPS.” “No need for that techy stuff. Stan here drew me an even better map for getting home,” he shoved a piece of paper in my hand that was covered with wiggly lines, stick figure cows and chicken scratch writing. Here we go again.