After my adventures in the Enniskillen area, all part of the Ontario’s Clarington’s travel region, I drove about 20 minutes south east to the small town of Orono which dates all the way back to 1832. Orono is most well-known for its yearly Orono Fair which is hosted by the local agricultural society. Given its picturesque location, the town has even been featured in several movies: David Cronenbergs “The Dead Zone”, Patrick Lussier’s “Dracula 2000” and Jim Abraham’s made for TV movie “…First Do No Harm” with Meryl Streep.
Also a popular destination is Jungle Cat World, a zoo located at the north end of town. My focus today was on exploring Orono as a destination for antique lovers, and to that end I visited two different antique stores: Patriot Antiques and Victoria’s Attic which both feature numerous antique dealers who specialize in all sorts of curious and unusual objects. Orono is known among antique lovers from far and wide as a great destination for finding that historic hard-to-find collectible.
My second last stop on my tour of the Clarington Region was the historic town of Newcastle. Located about 80 km east of Toronto, Newcastle has a pretty main street that is anchored by an impressive community hall that was donated to the townspeople in 1923 by the wealthy Massey family, founders of the Massey Ferguson agricultural machinery empire. Today, the community hall is used for all sorts of get-togethers and performances and is also home to the local historical society.
Just a few minutes east of the downtown intersection I visited “A Gift of Art”, a non-profit artist and artisan’s gallery that promotes local artists working in all sorts of media, such as ceramics, fabric, glass, jewellery, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and wood. Two floors of the building house a wide variety of different works by dozens of local artists. The centre also offers adult and children’s art classes and workshops and hosts special events for the community. My last stop in this pretty village was the waterfront in the historic Bond Head area, which features a picturesque sandy beach with a benches and an arbor, a perfect spot to enjoy the afternoon breeze.
At the end of my travel adventures in the Clarington Region I made a final stop in the town of Bowmanville, located about an hour east of Toronto. The town has a very pleasant main street with a Victorian streetscape and a wide assortment of retailers. For dinner I met my local friend Sandy Archibald again – Sandy is a tourism operator herself and, together with her husband Fred, she runs Archibald’s Winery and Cider House Golf.
We stopped in at the Touch of Dutch Cafe, owned by Sonya Vanetten, who provides a culinary celebration of her Dutch roots in this restaurant. Sandy enjoyed the homemade Chicken Croquettes which came with fresh-cut fries and salad while I savoured a tasty Hollander Grill Sandwich, composed of pumpernickel bread with gouda cheese, roasted red pepper, salami and house dressing. We also admired the large wheels of cheese and other imported Dutch items in Sonya’s refrigerator.
Then, for an idea of the local shopping opportunities, I headed a couple of doors down to meet Marg Seaton Logeman at the Glass Slipper, a high quality shoe store that caters to buyers who are looking for unique footwear fashion. Marg also filled me in about the numerous yearly events that take place in downtown Bowmanville. One of the town’s highlights is the Apple Festival and Craft Sale which is always held in October, an event with lots of great shopping and culinary treats that is popular among locals and out-of-towners.
Clarington is one of those areas that is pre-destined as a getaway destination from Toronto. My one-and-a-half day getaway provided me lots of interesting places to see and nice people to meet and I am sure I will spend more time in this easy-to-reach travel destination.
For more information and to plan your trip please visit Clarington Tourism.