The Friendliest Town in Ontario
It was recommended that I take a thirty-minute drive northeast of Toronto to visit a place named Whitchurch-Stouffville. There I would be amazed with the town’s picturesque hamlets and rolling hills. A place known for its reputation of being the “friendliest town in Ontario.”
Now there’s nothing I enjoy more than a drive out of the hustle and bustle of the city to escape into the beauty of the countryside; but could it really be true that Stouffville is Ontario’s Mayberry?
I planned this trip with no expectations and no agenda. First stop is a place I figured most small town locals flock to — the local coffee shop. Here I plan on finding what secret gems this town has to offer. It didn’t take long for me to meet some people who were more than willing to help me on my quest to explore Stouffville.
Unfortunately for me my lack proper sporting equipment excluded me from visiting one of Whitchurch-Stouffville’s many golf courses, but there were still plenty of activities to keep me busy. I decided that taking a hike through one of the town’s 26 parks and trails would be a great way to see the scenery — plus I could use the exercise. I was very impressed with the care and design that went into the parks and trails. The parks had something for everyone — water play areas, sport courts for basketball and ball hockey, winter skating facilities and of course baseball diamonds. Plus many of the trails that I was walking on were hard surfaced which allow people to experience the beauty by means other than foot.
After walking for hours I had finally worked up an appetite. I was told by my friends at the coffee shop to explore their many restaurants and bistros located on Stouffville’s charming historic Main Street. As I walked up and down the street considering my options, I realized I was faced with my toughest decision of the day — what I was hungry for? There just seemed to be too many appealing places to choose from. After careful consideration, and a flip of a coin, I decided on a warm and inviting pub. The food was amazing and the hospitably was right out of the Andy Griffith show. The barkeep and the locals again were more than helpful with giving me an insight to the town. I was told by more than one that I should come back in the summer for the annual Strawberry Festival, which happens July 1st through to July 5th. The celebration kicks off with fireworks for Canada Day and throughout the week you can find hundreds of vendors and entertainers captivating the crowds. Stouffville was quickly becoming one of my favourite towns, and I promised my new friends that I would be back in the summer for the Strawberry Festival, and of course some golf.
My time in Stouffville was coming to an end and I was most disappointed that I did not have time to take in a show at the newly renovated Lebovic Centre for Arts and Entertainment – Nineteen on the Park; one of the oldest and most culturally significant buildings in the community; or the time to peruse the wares at the Stouffville Country Market which includes over 250 indoor/outdoor vendors. My visit in Whitchurch–Stouffville has definitely shown me that this is a town I will be visiting more than once. And I’m pleased to report this place has stayed true to its reputation as the “friendliest town in Ontario.”
For more information on upcoming events in Whitchurch-Stouffville
go to www.townofws.com