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Overview

An hour’s drive west of Toronto, St. Jacobs was a once sleepy country village settled in the 1840s by German Mennonites. They still have an active presence, speeding in their horse-drawn buggies to market to sell their farm produce and hand-made quilts. Many still wear black – the women in bonnets, the men sporting broad-brimmed hats. Their fascinating history is told extremely well at the Mennonite Story, in the Visitor Centre. Today, St. Jacobs’ main draw is the shopping. West of downtown, the abundance of fresh local produce sold at its sprawling Farmers Market attracts people from far and wide, while across the street, the St. Jacobs ...

An hour’s drive west of Toronto, St. Jacobs was a once sleepy country village settled in the 1840s by German Mennonites. They still have an active presence, speeding in their horse-drawn buggies to market to sell their farm produce and hand-made quilts. Many still wear black – the women in bonnets, the men sporting broad-brimmed hats. Their fascinating history is told extremely well at the Mennonite Story, in the Visitor Centre. Today, St. Jacobs’ main draw is the shopping. West of downtown, the abundance of fresh local produce sold at its sprawling Farmers Market attracts people from far and wide, while across the street, the St. Jacobs Outlet Mall offers a 21st-century shopping experience. Back downtown, the main street is lined with stores selling antiques, home-baked goods and all manner of maple syrup concoctions, as well as cosy cafés and restaurants. The Country Mill is one of numerous heritage buildings converted into imaginative settings for artisan studios and attractive stores.

Joanna Ebbutt
About the Expert

Joanna Ebbutt is the author or editor of three Insight Guides to Toronto and Canada, and coauthor of Off the Beaten Track: Western Canada. She has been writing about travel for three decades, including chasing the aurora borealis in Northern Ontario.

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Joanna Ebbutt for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Eastern Canada. Located in southwestern Ontario, approximately 77 miles from Toronto.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, late spring, early fall, Christmas-New Year’s holiday season