A Slice of Paradise

Elora is a small town (population under 10,000) in Ontario, just over an hour’s drive northwest of Toronto. It is often dubbed as “Ontario’s best kept secret” and this beautiful, bucolic town was the backdrop for our little weekend getaway to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary.

My husband and I love traveling abroad but we also love discovering little hideaways in our local province. The more we travel the more we tend to appreciate where we live and see the beauty in our own backyard. As you may remember, we have a little one so getting away for a weekend can prove to be challenging, so we had to squeeze as much out of this little trip as possible. My sister graciously agreed to babysit so that we could leave first thing Saturday morning, stay overnight and leave middle of the following day to head back. It would be a short visit, but we would enjoy every second of it!

We woke up early Saturday morning and I packed a week’s worth of clothes for a 36-hour trip (ha); we mentally disconnected from our devices and we were finally on our way. It’s been a couple years since we’ve been able to go away without Charlotte and leave the parenting responsibilities behind for just a little pause in time. I can’t describe how euphoric it felt to drive down the open road again with the warm sunshine streaming through the car windows. I was in heaven and we hadn’t even arrived yet.

I highly recommend everyone (if you get a chance) to visit Elora. It was hands down the best Ontario town I’ve been to so far. I loved every bit of it. It was everything you would want in a small town: cute shops, great patios, pedestrian-safe streets, bridge overlooking a river, museum, old heritage buildings, breweries, and nature. The streets were closed for foot-traffic only which made such a difference. Pedestrians were able to walk freely with strollers, dogs on leashes and enjoy the historic views without car traffic and loud engines in the background. There was a show of unity in the town and it was so obvious wherever you went with signs of inclusivity, love and acceptance- it was beautiful to see. While the town is small (you could park or stay anywhere in Elora and the maximum walking distance would have been 15 minutes from one end to the other), we were never short of things to do and places to see. At times, I forgot I was in Ontario; I was utterly charmed- it had Old Montreal and small European town vibes!

Our packed weekend activities included:

  • Brunch at The Gorge Country Kitchen
  • Antique shopping
  • Therapeutic massages
  • Lunch at the Elora Brewing Company
  • Wellington County Museum
  • Tasting at the Elora Distilling Company
  • Dinner at The Cellar Pub
  • Ice cream at The Scoop 
  • Hiking the Elora Gorge trails

What follows is a thousand photos of our short weekend trip. Sorry, not sorry!

On the road again! We were blessed with the most perfectest, bestest weather ever!

 

Breakfast at the Gorge Country Kitchen. It was a great start to the weekend!

 

Magnificent views of Elora!

Hate has no home here!

 

Because bread.

 

Antique shopping- one of my favourite pastimes! This place was calling my name- I could have stayed forever!

So much history and lots to see at the Wellington County Museum.

Lunch at the Elora Brewing Company and tasting at the Elora Distilling Company.

 

The Cheshire Cat B&B

 

Dinner by the river at the Cellar Pub!                                                                                                                                      

Hiking the Elora Gorge Trails

It wasn’t an extended vacation on a tropical island at a 5-star resort (far from it), but it was paradise to us and just what we needed!

 

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40 thoughts on “A Slice of Paradise

  1. Awesome! I love how you arranged the pics you took in this post-I need to figure out how to do that. My Hubs and I also love those short little not-too-far-away-from-home trips. We love checking out new brew pubs, restaurants, parks, cute little shops, just like you did here. It’s a great way to relax and recharge, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. you should work in public realtions for the town of Elora! This sounds like the perfect place to visit for a weekend. I’m glad you and your husband were able to get away for awhile. And not having to spend a lot of time travelling to get there is a nice bonus. I also like when towns close their streets for pedestrians. It makes it so much more enjoyable to walk around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! How can I get them to sponsor this post… hmmmm??! lol… Yes, having the streets blocked off like that felt super safe and gave it even more of a small town essence! Also, it was great for social distancing as it did get busier as the day went on (but not as busy as a city street).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up near Elora, ON! My parents would drive there on weekends when I was in elementary and high school. They would take me to the pub there and they knew the owners by name because they were there so often. We would often walk through the forest areas. There’s paths for hiking and you can get a great view of the river from this one particular spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, how cool!!! I knew you were Canadian I think but it’s so cool that you are actually born/raised in Ontario! Did you like growing up in a small town? When was the last time you were in Elora? Is it the same as it always was or has it gotten busier/more commercial over the years?

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  4. It’s been so long, almost two years now, since I’ve been anywhere just to visit. Your photos show a lovely wonderful delightful place to visit and just be. I adore the banana vs. prosecco sign. Choose wisely indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! I’m so happy to read this!! Sounds like paradise, and so well-deserved for two wonderful parents!! I’m so glad you had such fun in what seems like a wonderful place that I want to go visit now! (I’ve never been to Canada, but… road trip!!) YAY!! Happy anniversary!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elora is beautiful. We went to a wedding at the Elora Mill a couple of years ago. It’s a great venue. I had brunch at The Friendly Society a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious.

    The only downside is the town has grown and is very busy so parking on weekends is a pain in the butt if you’re just doing a day trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I grew up near Elora and I’m originally from the KW area. Born and raised in Waterloo 🙂 My husband and I moved from Ontario to Alberta, and we have been thinking about [possibly] moving back to Ontario.

      That’s funny because I was supposed to go to a wedding at the Elora Mill but the waiting list was so long that my cousin ended up choosing a different location. The Elora Mill is a popular place for weddings!

      Liked by 2 people

    • That’s true. It did get quite a bit busier as the day progressed but it still wasn’t anywhere near busy as Toronto or the neighbouring suburbs so that I didn’t mind too much. The parking was a bit of a pain but again, not as bad as downtown Toronto parking (I always just compare everything to Toronto city life lol)… and we found even if we had to park far away, it was never more than a few minutes walk to where we wanted to end up so I loved that! 🙂 We didn’t get to go into the Elora Mill but it looked magnificent from the outside!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Anniversary!! Elora looks like such a lovely and charming little town. If I am ever in the area, I will definitely pay a visit. The antique shop looks especially intriguing! I hope you found a special trinket to take home. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heheh I bought a few rings. I am a sucker for rings! But yes, I wanted to buy ALL the trinkets. My husband was creepily lurking behind my shoulders whispering “we don’t need that!” practically the whole time lol…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds like a place my wife and I would be happy to live in. What a charming town! I am curious about the streets being closed to foot traffic only. Is that an everyday occurrence, on Saturdays, or just something they do on special occasions? Happy five years! These little getaways make all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they definitely do. It allowed us some time to share some laughs and just enjoy each other’s company again (outside of wiping up poop, cleaning up after dinner and household chores, you know?)… Hmm good question. I don’t know the answer to that, I imagine it is only on the weekends? The server at the brewery said the town is quite busy on Fridays and weekends and now Mondays even (probably people taking long weekends away from the city)? I’m honestly surprised it’s population 10k because it looked like mayybbbeee 5k to me! Thanks Pete!

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  9. Sounds like such a fun weekend. Happy Belated Anniversary. May you have many many many more beautiful years of togetherness. ♥️
    That BnB looks so idyllic. And the weather – beautiful. I don’t eat a big breakfast on normal days but I don’t know what it is about a holiday that makes me want to just stuff up on breakfast. Gorge country breakfast sounds like the kinda place I’d hit too.
    Kinda wondering what the photos you have titled ‘hate has no home here’ mean?
    Love the photos and so glad that you had a fun holiday!!!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Breakfast was amazing!! I love a good runny yolk!! 🙂

      The colours represent inclusivity (LGBTQ+) and I think the catalyst for those signs (which were posted everywhere in town) was because a Muslim family was a target to a fatal hate crime a couple towns over… Very sad story… But Elora seems to have taken a united stance about hate and racism which was beautiful to see.

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  10. Wow that looks like a great spot for a short vacation. For a place where “nothing happened” there’s a lot to do. I like the sense of humor too. Did you have the banana or the prosecco? 🙂 I’m so glad you got away. It’s good for you both. Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

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