For anyone who knows me or follows my dailies on social media, then you are aware of my deep and abiding love of all things Fergus and Elora. It’s a serious, incurable affliction and I’m definitely in it for the long haul.
I was tasked recently with listing my top 10 favourite things about living, working and playing here, and I’m going to tell you straight up that this was no easy assignment! There is an infinite array of super fun things to do here, and picking only 10 was like bellying up to a decadent dessert buffet and only being allowed to choose the Fig Newtons. I’m sure that I have missed things that you might adore, but this is my list and my opinion, and I’m sticking by it all the way down to the haggis and bagpipes.
So here goes, and in no particular order;
1- Natural Beauty
Take a walk, hop in the car, go for a swim or a paddle and fill your soul with all that gives you joy. From the Quarry to the Gorge to the Irvine and Grand rivers, from solitary hikes and strolls with friends to blood pumping rides on the Cataract Trail, we’ve got you covered for every season.
Hands down this is the friendliest and most caring community that I have ever had the pleasure of calling home. Get involved, say Hi to your neighbour, take your dog to the park and watch the magic unfold. This is a place where eye contact is de-rigeur and a cheery hello can make your day. Shop local, support local and let yourself become part of the fabric.
Settled in the 1800’s by the Scots there are many distinct elements of Highland culture to be found about town, not the least being the understated elegance of the early limestone homes and cottages. Our downtown facades nod to a time and period where hand-hewn timbers and pride of craftsmanship still bear relevance today. Take in Gordon’s Block, the impeccably restored Mill, the many quaint homes and impressive places of worship. You’re sure to be inspired.
4- Restaurants and cafes
There’s something for the most discerning palate here. Whether you ascribe towards gluten-free, vegan, meatatarian, pescatarian or flexitarian. Whether a lover of craft beer or a wine aficionado. Whether you prefer a cosy nook in the Porchlight, exquisite views from the Mill, the easy vibe of the Elora Cafe and EBC, or the soon to be opened delight of the Evelyn. There is sure to be something just about perfect here for whatever your mind and body craves.
You’re sure to be charmed by the proudly independent merchants in both Elora and Fergus. The villages offer up a veritable cornucopia of unique, handmade and imported wares for the most astute shopper and gift giver alike. Pet the shop-dog on your way in, chat with the owner, learn about who made what and I dare you to try something completely different.
6- Gorge Cinema
Quirky and super charming, the Gorge Cinema is a local favourite and a hub for catching up with friends whilst viewing the latest indie flick. Enjoy a splash of Pinot with your olive oil infused popcorn, sit back in the vintage seats and marvel at the mural on the stone wall. Catch a matinee or a special screening (Rocky Horror anyone?) and in the summer there are shows in the adjacent Greenspace for all ages to savour.
7- Art Scene
This is where the community truly shines. There is always something happening here, from exhibits, studio tours and gallery openings to special events, parades and fund raisers. The creative scene is sizzling hot and our community is perversely overindulged. Blacksmiths, carpenters, painters, potters, glass blowers, photographers and many more talented artisans call Centre Wellington home.
We are likewise blessed with many brilliant musicians and most nights you’ll be able to find a spirited open-mic at a local establishment. You’ll find everything from Jazz, Classical, Blues, Punk, Folk, Metal and Country to get your toes tapping, hips swaying and head bobbing. Oh, and Bagpipers, we have those too and their soulful lonesome renderings are guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. Come on down for Riverfest and the Elora Festival.
9- The Highland Games
Proudly billed as ‘Scotland without the Airfare’, this is where you can reconnect with your heritage, or pretend for a day that your distant uncle was indeed Jamie Fraser. Wear a kilt, buy a kilt, eat some haggis or a Scotch egg and drink some fine ale. Be amazed with the feats of strength as you cheer on the Tug of War and the Caber Toss, take in the Highland dancing and stand proud for the parade of the Clans.
We are growing. The Storybrook and Summerfields developments are currently constructing over 2000 homes. Other sites to the North, South and West have recently wrapped up their final phases pushing further into county boundaries. The Mill has big plans on the South side of the river and infrastructure spending is creating better roads, bridges and a new hospital to name but a few capital projects. Property values are into double-digit growth year over year. Combine this with a crazy low vacancy rate and you know that this is a terrific place to invest, no question.
Being a proud local, there’s nothing I’d enjoy more than to show you around and talk future plans. Hit me up, let’s explore together and I’ll even buy the coffee.