Annandale National Historic Site

Annandale House is a beautiful Victorian house (circa 1880s) that was the home of the first mayor of Tillsonburg (whose name, appropriately enough, was E. D. Tillson) and has been designated as a national historic site.
While the exterior doesn’t look too bad, it doesn’t do justice to the interior, which was been carefully restored. Annandale House represents the Victorian style of design called the “Aesthetic Art Movement”, a movement that encouraged the use of colour and decorative detailing in all parts of the house. In Annandale House, this movement is reflected in hand-painted ceilings, fancy inlaid floors, stained glass, and many other little features.

Annandale house is now a museum, with a newer addition serving as a tourist information centre. All three floors of the house can be toured; the rooms have been restored to the way they would have looked in the 1880s. The main gallery also features changing displays. Parking is available on site and there are picnic tables located on the grounds.

During the Christmas season (in 2011–12, November 25th, 2011 through January 11, 2012), all three floors of the museum are decorated for Christmas with decorations appropriate for the time period.

Admission rates are $4.50 for adults, $4 seniors, $3 students, $2 children, and $10 family. Hours of operation are 9:00 am–4:00 pm on weekdays, and 1:00 pm–4:00 pm on Sundays. Also open Saturday 12:00 pm–4:00 pm in July and August. Closed on most statutory holidays.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Toronto)

Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Photo by Flickr user ilkerender.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a large cemetery that is the home of many famous and interesting people from Toronto, including the Massey family (the mausoleum for Hart Massey’s sons is the largest in the cemetery and was designed by E. J. Lennox, who also designed several important late nineteenth-century Toronto buildings, including Old City Hall), Frederick Banting and Charles Best (buried separately), the discoverers of insulin, former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, concert pianist Glenn Gould, and a lot more.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery is also a nice place to walk or jog around, with its wide paths and park-like, treed setting (it is home to one of the finest collections of trees in North America). It is a surprisingly nice setting.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery is located between Bayview Avenue to the east and Yonge Street to the west, and between the Belt Line Trail/Merton Street to the north and Moore Avenue to the south. Mount Pleasant Road bisects the cemetery.

Coyle’s Country Store

This is a modern store will likely spark a bit of nostalgia. Coyle’s Country Store dates back to 1899 as a small store and plant in Kinglake. It moved to Tillsonburg in 1924. The current 25,000-square foot facility was opened in 1979.

A unique store in a beautiful country setting, there are a lot of interesting things to see at Coyle’s. They stock a large variety of flour, whole grains, fresh roasted nuts, and other baking and cooking supplies (including gluten free products). As well, their selection of quality gift items, many of them unique, makes them a great place to check out around Christmas.

Coyle’s Country Store is located at the corner of Airport Road and Highway 19 in Tillsonburg. Check their website for opening hours.

Tillsonburg Antiques

A multi-vendor antiques market, spread across 10,000 square feet on a single floor. A wide range of antiques, from jewellery, glass, china, collectables, books and other media, postcards, and more. Open Monday–Thursday 10:00 am–5:00 pm, Friday–Sunday 10:00 am–6:00 pm.

Paramount Canada’s Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland
Canada’s Wonderland from the air. Photograph by Flickr user airwaves1

Canada’s Wonderland has been one of the top amusement parks in the GTA for several decades. This 300-acre park has over 200 attractions, including 65 rides and roller coasters, perhaps the biggest variety in Canada, with more being added every year or so, Splash Works (a water park), and live shows at the Kingswood Music Theatre.

Drop Zone
The Drop Zone. Photograph by Flickr user Canned Muffins.

The new ride for 2012 is the Leviathan, a 300-foot tall ride with a steep drop, billed as Canada’s biggest, fastest and tallest roller coaster. Some of the most popular rides include the Windseeker, a 30-storey tall swing ride, the Drop Tower, a 23-storey, 100 km/h free fall, the Sledge Hammer, an 80-foot ride with accelerated jumps and free falls, Cliffhanger, a swing-type ride with 360-degree turns and free falling, and lots more.

At Splash Works, you can find an enormous wave pool and water rides including tube rides and speed slides, as well as a children’s play area.

Kingswood Music Theatre often features live entertainment with various popular acts. Check out Canada’s Wonderland’s website for more information.

Photograph by Flickr user Bahman.

The park is open weekends between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving, and open daily between June 1 and Labour Day. Admission is $50, which includes unlimited rides but not parking or admission to Kingswood Music Theatre. That can be a bit expensive, so if you’re planning on going more than once or twice in a season, you may find a season pass to be more economical.

Market Road Antiques (St. Jacobs)

Market Road Antiques in St. Jacobs is an antiques mall located next to the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. The store contains over 10,000 square feet of space (and over 100 dealers) and includes a wide variety of things, including china, glass, collectibles, stamps, records, books, and other antique items. Open Sunday–Friday 10:00 am–6:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am–6:00 pm.

Toronto Eaton Centre

Eaton CentreThe Eaton Centre is the largest mall in Ontario in terms of retail space, with over 1.7 million square feet of it. It is located on Yonge Street between Dundas and Queen Streets. While it was originally built to house an Eaton’s, that store has been gone for a while; a large, upscale Sears now anchors the north side of the mall. There are around 300 other stores and restaurants, with other anchors including Indigo, Forever 21, Best Buy, and Canadian Tire.  There are a few food courts in the mall, including a brand new one, the “Urban Eatery” on the fourth floor, which features a wide variety of exotic and/or healthy food choices.

The mall is also a beautiful place to see; the middle of the mall features a 866-foot-long domed arcade and a  fountain on the lower level. There is also the sculpture “Flight Stop”, by Michael Snow, a sculpture of 60 Canadian geese, which became famous in part due to a curious copyright suit.

The mall is open weekdays 10:00 am–9:00 pm, Saturday 9:30 am–7:00 pm, and Sunday noon–6:00 pm.

Further information:

Nick Tahou Hots

Nick Tahou Hots. Photograph by Flickr user peretzpup. Licenced under CC-BY-SA.

The “Home of the Garbage Plate”, Nick Tahou Hots has been a Rochester landmark since 1918.

If you don’t understand why anyone would eat something called a “garbage plate”, a “garbage plate” is a combination of cheesburger, hamburger, hot dog, Italian sausage or other meat, along with two sides of home fries, french fries, baked beans, or macaroni salad, all topped with a hot sauce containing ground beef. It’s not really garbage (although it has been referred to as the fattiest food in New York State). Very inexpensive too. The garbage plate has become legendary, and has spawned a number of imitators in Rochester (although, as the holder of the trademark, Nick Tahou Hots is the only restaurant that calls their plate a “garbage plate”). Definitely worth a try.

The main location is at 320 West Main Street in Rochester; you’ll want to check that one out, if possible, to get the historic feel of that place. There is also a satellite location on 3070 West Henrietta Rd. The West Main Street location is open daily 8:00 am–8:00 pm; the West Henrietta Road location is open daily 10:00 am–midnight.

Check out their website for a printable coupon.

Vaughan Mills

While not everyone sees a shopping mall as a destination in itself, one this big and with this combination of shopping, dining, and entertainment would have to be.  Vaughan Mills is the sixth largest mall in Ontario, with over a million square feet of retail space. The mall’s 17 anchors include Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Toys “R” Us, NASCAR SpeedPark, Home Outfitters, Pro Hockey Life, Holt Renfrew Last Call, Lucky Strike Lanes, Style Sense, Tommy Hilfiger, The Children’s Place, Urban Behaviour, Forever 21, H & M, La Senza/La Senza Girl, and Old Navy. The mall is one of the newest large malls in Ontario, so it still feels fresh and energizing.

The mall’s 250-odd stores are arranged in six “neighbourhoods”, inspired by the makeup of the province of Ontario.  There is a Lakes neighbourhood, a Nature neighbourhood, a Rural neighbourhood, a Small Towns neighbourhood, a City neighbourhood, and a Fashion neighbourhood. The last one, a fashionista paradise, will appeal to fashion-conscious shoppers, but they will also find other appealing stores mall-wide.

For those who aren’t great shoppers, they can entertain themselves at Lucky Strike Lanes, Nascar SpeedPark among other places.

Vaughan Mills is open almost every day, including statutory holidays (except for Good Friday and Easter Sunday). Hours are Monday–Wednesday 10:00 am–9:00 pm, Thursday–Saturday 9:00 am–10:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am–8:00 pm.

Located near Highway 400 and Rutherford Road, the mall is easy to find from the interchange by following the signs. Vaughan Mills is also served by public transportation. There is also a free Vaughan Mills Shopping Shuttle between Union Station and the mall between May 1–September 30.

Barnum House

Barnum House, Grafton, Ontario_1376The Barnum House in Grafton. Photograph by Robert Taylor.

The Barnum House in Grafton (actually, slightly west of the village) has been described as the most beautiful house in Ontario. In the War of 1812, the Americans found that they couldn’t invade Canada with their troops, and afterwards had to settle for invading it with their architecture. The Barnum house was built in 1819 by American Eliakim Barnum in the Neoclassical style. This picturesque house became a museum in 1940.

The museum features guided tours of the rooms of the house restored as they would have looked nearly 200 years ago, including many period artifiacts. Admission is $3 (children and seniors $1.50). The museum is open daily between the start of June and Labour Day, from 10:00 am–4:00 pm.

Located east of Cobourg, on the former Highway 2.