On a Sunday morning in March, my friend Karen and I ventured to the quaint town of Elora, which is about a 90-minute drive North-West of Toronto. The drive to Elora was mostly on highways (thank goodness for GPS), but closer to our destination we drove through more rural areas which were quite pretty.
When we got to Elora we both immediately noticed the drastic drop in temperature. It started snowing, which was very pretty taking into account the backdrop and feel of the town. It felt like something out of Gilmore Girls.
We wandered around for a while checking out the local stores and then ran into a couple of other people who were also on a day trip. We had some crepes with them and then we all walked together to see the Elora Mill and Gorge. The Mill was undergoing construction, but its’ features could still be appreciated. The gorge was magnificent and somewhere I would love to investigate more. There were some people rock climbing into the gorge when we got there… definitely not something I felt like doing in the snow!
We walked around the area a bit but didn’t do any proper hiking. It felt a little bit remote and there weren’t that many people around. I think it’s a location we will have to return to in the Summer months to do a bit more discovering!
After our little bit of wandering around the town of Elora the four of us took off in our two separate cars to look at the Elora Quarry. It was magnificent in its’ frozen state. I imagine it would be even moreso at the height of Summer when people are using it as a swimming hole. Apparently it has a maximum capacity of 1,300 which seems an awful lot of people!
Karen and I ventured to the neighbouring town of ‘Fergus’ which was extremely quaint. We did some poking around in the antique store, which whilst it had some incredible pieces, didn’t have anything that appealed to us. We ate a late lunch at the Breadalbane Inn which had a very Wintry feel to it. Especially as we sat next to the gorgeous fireplace!
Our return trip was along the back roads and we were able to see more of the countryside – quite magnificent!
A little bit of info about Elora:-
- Founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkison;
a sailor, adventurer and land speculator born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland;
- Originally called Irvine Settlement. Renamed Elora when the post office was established in 1839. Capt. Gilkison named the community after his brother’s ship, which was itself inspired by the Ellora Caves in India. Elora was settled by mainly Scottish pioneers who left their mark on finely crafted limestone houses, many of which remain today;
- Elora’s Downtown Core enjoyed its heyday as a major agricultural marketplace in the 1850’s and 1860’s;
- In the 1960’s, the first craftspeople and artists took up residence in Elora and established the village as a tourist destination. Artisans transformed the century-old buildings into shops and galleries full of character and charm. And created the art that introduced Elora to the world;
- The Elora Gorge is one of the most scenic areas in Southern Ontario with its limestone cliffs descending 80 feet into the Grand and Irvine rivers where small caves, rapids, falls and quiet waters beckon visitors.
- At the foot of Mill Street stands the Elora Mill, one of the few early Ontario five-storey grist mills still in existence.Source: http://elora.info/elora-history/