Perfect Weekends 2016: Dundas

By FeastON If you’re heading Hamilton way, make sure to stop in to one of its most charming communities, Dundas. You’ll be delighted you did! With historic 19th century buildings (including the longest running hotel in Ontario), a vibrant community of artists and independent shops lining the main street, downtown Dundas is seriously stroll-worthy. Travel a bit further, and you’ll hit some wicked farms, swimming holes and what just might be your new favourite pie shop.

  1. May we suggest making our Feast ON friends at Detour Cafe your first stop on that stroll?  Let the staff walk you through their extensive line-up of beans (which they roast themselves) before pouring you a perfect americano. Warning – you will fall in love with their branding. We know. It happened to us. Also their mobile coffee camper van. Pick up one of Detour’s addictive pastries or make plans to stay for a locally sourced breakfast or lunch. We hear their Reuben is the stuff of legend.
  2. Beyond the downtown, there’s still plenty to do in Dundas. Stop in to Weir’s Lane Lavender + Apiary and surrender to the power of purple.  Kevin and Abigail grow over 5,000 plants themselves and also partner with other small farms in the province to bring in product. The result? Their farm store (aka 101 Uses for Lavender) might be the most comprehensive selection of lavender we’ve ever seen. We suggest planning your visit between June and August – perhaps during Farm Crawl Hamilton? – when the purple plants are in bloom.  You’ll be amazed. Quite literally, if you explore their lavender labyrinth (!!!).
  3. There’s a strong farming community in the region, which makes stopping at their Farmers’ Market (Thursday evenings from June to October) a very solid plan.  Last year’s stacked roster of vendors included Plan B Organic Farms, Rudy’s Paletas, Harrington Lane Farms, Jerry’s Berries and Manorun Organic Farm. All that and VQA wine from some of our favourite Niagara wineries.
  4. Disregard what TLC said, you definitely want to go chasing waterfalls in Dundas. Two of our favourites (conveniently located within walking distance from each other) are Webster’s Falls and Tew’s Falls. The towering ribbon-like waterfall at the latter is just a few metres shorter than Niagara Falls. Time to give Tew’s its dues! Bring along some killer sandwiches (refer to trip suggestion #1) and spend the afternoon hiking some of the beautiful Niagara Escarpment.
  5. While we’re on the topic of swimming holes, our favourite place to dive into when we’re in Dundas is Christie Lake. The conservation area that includes said lake has been the backdrop for the beloved Greenbelt Harvest Picnic (complete with a pop up farmers’ market and awesome local food) over the past few years.  Just before turning into the park, make sure to stop at the Tiny Shop Bakery (part of the Hanes Corn Maze). Don’t be fooled by its size though – the ladies in the red and white-trimmed cottage have serious baking chops. They bill themselves as "pie specialists" and after trying a few of their flavours, we’re inclined to agree.  Why not bring a pie home and remember what a sweet time you had Dundas.
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