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TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL | Top 10,000 Places to Visit in Canada

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Top 12 Places to Visit in

St. Jacobs | Ontario

The page was created by Alex Garvey | Wilfrid Laurier University | Photo by facebook.com/stjacobsmarket

St. Jacobs | Ontario Classified

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St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market

Known as Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market, the St. Jacobs Market brings in around 1 million visitors annually from around the world.

With over 250 vendors, guests will find a local selection of everything from farm-fresh produce and baked goods to hand-crafted antiques and home decor.

Located in a historic District, the St. Jacobs Farmers Market dates back to 1952, when 20-30 local vendors would arrive to sell goods to the neighbouring communities.

Today, the market is complete with a 2-story building and outdoor area for merchants to sell goods, and guests can visit the petting zoo or ride horses during their visit.

Photos: Brona, CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated-with-disclaimers; Allie_Caulfield from Germany, CC-BY-2.0

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St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway

This impressive railway model is a must-see for visitors to St. Jacobs. It showcases a custom-built miniature version of Southern Ontario in the late 1950s with moving trains and sunset at night.

The model features a variety of early diesel, freight, and passenger trains, as well as incredibly detailed surroundings like the Niagara escarpment, a construction site, and a movie theatre.

The St. Jacobs Model Railway was first introduced in 1972 when Frank Dubery created a small train model with his wife. Now, the display has grown to over 3000 square feet large, and guests can visit the workshop where new elements are added.

Photo: facebook.com/sjmodelrailway

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Toy Soup

Toy Soup is an independent toy shop first opened in 2006 by St. Jacobs locals Lisa and Rob Boulianne.

Located inside a 100+-year-old former church, the store offers 3000sq ft of toys, games, and novelties for all ages. They have an impressive selection of 1000-piece puzzles and hundreds of books for visitors to browse.

The store is wheelchair and stroller friendly and has several play spaces where kids can test their toys. It is open seven days a week and located in the heart of the St. Jacobs shopping area on King Street N.

Photo: Google Street View

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The Mennonite Story

Recommended by Graeme Kennedy

The Mennonite Story, established in 1979, is an interpretive educational centre that teaches guests about the history of local and global Mennonite communities.

St. Jacobs and the area is home to the largest population of Mennonites in Canada, and their now unique way of life is impossible to miss. Horse-drawn buggies are commonplace on the village streets, and hand and horse-powered equipment can be seen cultivating the farmland.

To quench the curiosity of visitors to the area and to inform them respectfully about the Mennonite culture, traditions, and faith, the Mennonite Story was opened in 1979. They offer museum tours, bus tours, walking and driving countryside tours, and educational presentations for visitors of all ages. The Mennonite Story provides an engaging and thoughtful way to observe and learn about a way of living that has been preserved for centuries despite the ever-changing world.

Photos: facebook.com/MennoniteStory

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Waterloo Central Railway

This non-profit heritage railway offers guests the opportunity to take an authentic heritage train ride through the scenic farmland and forests of Woolwich Township.

First built in the 1890s, this railway goes over the Conestoga River as it takes passengers between St. Jacobs and Elmira.

Today, the Railway partners with local businesses to offer guests unique experiences year-round, including onboard wine tastings, dinner trains, and jazz music.

Photo: waterloocentralrailway.com

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St. Jacobs Outlet Mall

Located in the Market District of St. Jacobs, the Outlet Mall is a great place to find clothing, shoes, and home decor in one convenient location.

Visitors can shop great deals and seasonal offerings in stores like Levi’s, Cottonwave, Laura, and Northern Reflections and grab a bite in the food court.

At the Lego store, kids can get creative in the toy building zone, take in the life-sized Lego displays and purchase a specialty Lego set to take home.

Photo: facebook.com/StJacobsOutletMall

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Eco Cafe

Located in an old former mill, Eco Cafe is a full-service cafe offering coffee and loose leaf teas from around the globe. They also provide a variety of homemade pastries and sandwiches to enjoy alongside a premium roast.

With modern decor and a view of the main shopping street, Eco Cafe is a great place to stop when you’re in St. Jacobs.

They also have an online website where patrons can purchase their favourite blends and get doorstep delivery.

Photo: https://twitter.com/EcoCafeStJacobs

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Block Three Brewing Company

Block Three is a small craft brewery that specializes in small-batch artisanal beers. They have two patios where guests can enjoy their seasonal selection of craft beers, wines, and sample paddles.

Guests can also browse their taproom and bottle shop to learn more about how small-batch beer is produced. An assortment of beers, wines, and merchandise is available, including hats, shirts, and cheeses.

Their online store even offers free shipping to surrounding towns like Waterloo, Cambridge, and Kitchener.

Photo: facebook.com/blockthree

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Magnolia’s of St. Jacobs

Magnolia’s is a family-owned shop that has been around for over 20 years and is a favourite among tourists.

Guests can shop a variety of home and cottage decor, making great souvenirs or gifts for loved ones.

The shop is in a two-story original St. Jacobs home, with a classic white wooden banister and two flower boxes at the entrance.

Photo: Google Street View

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St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

Recommended by Graeme Kennedy

There isn’t a bad seat at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. Take in a performance in this year-round theatrical venue featuring turn-of-the-century masonry and timbre construction typical of local Mennonite architecture. Meet and mingle in the lovely outdoor courtyard and make it an evening affair by dining or staying at any of the nearby restaurants or hotels. The playhouse is licensed, and their canteen offers a pre-order option, so you don’t have to wait in line: order your drinks before the show starts, and they’ll be waiting for you at intermission.

Photo: https://www.facebook.com/StJacobsCountryPlayhouse/

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Stone Crock Bakery

Recommended by Graeme Kennedy

Stone Crock Bakery has been filling the village of St. Jacobs with the smell of freshly baked treats since they first turned on their ovens in 1975. Anyone who knows would tell you that if you’re going to St. Jacobs, you will want to stop at Stone Crock Bakery.

If you’re lucky, they’ll be serving their famous maple muffin, or maybe you prefer a butter tart, or Dutch apple pie, donuts, cupcakes, cheesecake or cookies. You can’t go wrong. Unless you only get one treat, that would be a mistake. The best thing to do is fill a box. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, get something for me too. Just thinking of the goodies at Stone Crock has made me hungry. It might be time for a road trip.

Photo: fatsparrowgroup.com

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Millrace Trail

Recommended by Graeme Kennedy

The area around St. Jacobs boasts eleven trails totalling 80 kilometres. Of those trails, the Millrace Trail in St. Jacobs holds a unique historical position.

In 1850, the Snyder Flour Mill was built in St. Jacobs—the first in the area. To power it, a millrace (a channel of fast-moving water) was created. The millrace diverts water from the Conestogo River past the mill, where it provides the necessary energy for production before joining again with the Conestogo. Millrace Trail, otherwise known as “Lovers Lane,” begins at the historic mill, providing an interesting glimpse into the past of the region, and then the trail follows the banks of the millrace, providing peaceful and picturesque views of nature and wildlife.

Photo: ontariotrails.on.ca

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Top 12 Places to Visit in

St. Jacobs | Ontario

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St. Jacobs | Ontario Classified

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