Black Friday has grown in popularity in Canada over the past few years and debates about the true origins of the term "black friday" continue. Today, it is generally regarded as the start of the holiday shopping season in the USA, sometimes amid images of early morning lineups for store openings and frantic crowds. After all, who doesn't love to save some money and get a great deal ahead of the holidays!?
But in an increasingly fast-paced world, for many, an added sense of satisfaction comes from finding a way to incorporate the richness of past tradition into our modern living; to pay tribute to a quieter bygone time where a few simple treats - like nuts & candy and perhaps opening one or two treasured gifts with loved ones on Christmas morning - made the day special and memorable for a lifetime.
Blogs, magazines, home décor and diy websites are abuzz with ideas on how to achieve this, much of it centered on holiday décor. And within that realm, antiques and collectible items play an important role in bringing a sense of nostalgia to your home.
Consider how an antique piece of furniture – whether rustic or refined - or a table set with lovely antique dishes and glass, can in itself pay homage to days gone by. A cedar garland strung with vintage ornaments and draped over a mantle, hutch, or doorway can add dramatic flair and festive mood in an instant.
Or perhaps you are a do-it-yourselfer, whose greatest satisfaction comes from repurposing an old item to star in your home in a fresh new way, or to give as a gift. Think wooden boxes, jugs, and jars adorned with greens and candles, bells of every description strung with ribbon, old skates, wooden sleds, skis, or an architectural element adorned to greet guests at the front door.
And even a small creative venture can be good for the soul. So take some time to browse for ideas on line or in magazines, stroll through Market Road Antiques with its more than 100 antique vendor booths, then perhaps... get out the glue gun, greens & glitter, and let visions of sugar plums and all things Christmas dance in your head as you prepare for the holidays!
4-day BLACK FRIDAY SALE at Market Road Antiques
Thursday November 22 - Sunday November 25, 201
Open daily 10 am - 6 pm, and OPEN LATE to 8 pm
on Thursday & Friday of this event!
BLACK FRIDAY Weekend SALE at St. Jacobs Outlets
(across Weber St from Market Road Antiques)
November 23 - 25; open daily and weeknights to 9 pm
You don’t have to be a quilter to enjoy the vast array of shows, exhibits and events that make the Quilt & Fibre Art Festival so vibrant and inspiring!
Held May 22-26, 2018 in communities across Waterloo Region, it celebrates the best work of quilters and fibre artists both from the past and the present.
More than 6 of the festival’s collective events will take place in St. Jacobs, a village of Mennonite and pioneering heritage where quilting and needlework played an important role – for both practicality and beauty.
During the Festival, visitors will see a variety of exhibits featuring everything from historic collections to the work of contemporary guest artists and guilds. Work may be inspired by modern or traditional patterns, be hand-stitched or machine quilted with free motion linear and digital designs, or it may be experimental using new techniques and trends for remarkable outcomes.
The Festival also holds a “trunk show”, afternoon tea, chat with an artist, demonstrations, workshops, a mystery bus excursion, and a merchant mall.
The Quilt Festival is a great excuse to book a getaway to St. Jacobs! Stay at a top hotel such as Homewood Suites by Hilton; take in the quilt shows, local shops, attractions, and the nearby St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market (open Thurs & Sat).
For details and a Calendar of Events for the Quilt & Fibre Arts Festival, click here.
With winter behind us and spring on the horizon, it's maple syrup season once again. As majestic maple trees in local woodlots awake during warming daytime temperatures following freezing nights, sap begins flowing from root to treetop. It's then that the trees are "tapped" and the watery sap collected for the long process of being boiled down to sweet and delicious pure maple syrup, taffy, sugars, and other maple products.
In St. Jacobs Country, there are a number of ways to learn, experience, and taste the magic of the maple season first-hand!
St. Jacobs Horse-drawn Tours hosts Saturday excursions to the sugar bush (until April 14 in 2018), local farmers sell maple syrup fresh from the farm at St. Jacobs Farmers' Market (Thursday & Saturday), and The Maple Syrup Museum tells the story of its production from the time it was introduced to pioneering settlers by indigenous people, to modern day production methods.
You can also sample and buy fresh local maple syrup products and other local gourmet foods all year around at The Farm Pantry, open every day in the Village of St. Jacobs, or order it from them online for shipping anywhere in Ontario.
Maple syrup is so well-loved, and its production so significant to the local economy, that an entire festival is dedicated to it. The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is the world's largest one-day maple syrup festival and takes over the town's entire main street each year with a staggering array of crafters, food booths, and of course, all things maple. It takes place on Saturday April 7, 2018; learn more by clicking here.
Maple syrup season happens only once a year so be sure to plan a visit soon!
St. Jacobs Sparkles - took place in the Village on
November 16, 17, 18, 19, 2017. Read on to see what was involved, and plan to attend the event in 2018.
Merchants have been busy as elves planning this special event just for you. Some offer once-a-year savings and fabulous in-store promotions, while others greet you with festive goodies and free draws. And all across town shopkeepers throw open their doors for extended hours to 9 p.m. on Thursday & Friday night and to 6 pm on Saturday & Sunday.
Outdoors, listen for strolling Victorian carolers, horse-drawn trolleys decked with lights and bells transport happy visitors around the block; the warm-up barrel fire burns brightly in the evening light and thousands of twinkling lights illuminate the streets. Everywhere, merriment and warm greetings abound (see below for schedule of outdoor activities).
St. Jacobs Sparkles
Thursday - Sunday, November 16, 17, 18, 19, 2017
Location: Village of St. Jacobs
• Thursday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
• Friday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
• Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
• Sunday 12 - 6 p.m.
Plan to attend! See more details below
Where to PARK:
New! FREE Luxury Shuttle to the village’s downtown aboard
Brentwood Livery's Limbusine when you park free at Calvary United Church (see location).
• Thursday evening 4:45 - 9 p.m. • Friday evening 4:45 - 9 p.m.
More free parking in the municipal lot off Albert Street, the Mill parking lot off Front St. Some street parking; overflow parking at
St. Jacobs Mennonite Church.
Free horse-drawn trolley ride:
• Thursday 4:30 - 8:30 pm
• Friday 4:00 - 8:00 pm • Saturday 1 - 5 pm
(the shuttle does not operate on Sunday)
Wandering Victorian Carolers:
• Thursday 5 - 8 pm • Friday 12:30 - 3: 30 pm • Friday 4 - 7 pm
• Saturday 2 - 5 pm • Sunday 1:30 - 4:30
SANTA makes a visit! Bring your little ones and your camera
• Saturday 1:30 - 4 p.m. • Sunday 1:30 - 4 p.m.
Warm up burn barrel hosted by the Township of Woolwich volunteer firefighters, St. Jacobs division.
Sweet cider, hotdogs & marshmallows while they last
• Thursday evening 6 - 9 p.m. • Friday evening 6 - 9 p.m.
(Located in front of the Mill; donations gratefully accepted)
Carols & Songs by Children's Choir from St. Jacobs Public School
• Friday evening in front of Scotiabank
sponsored by the St. Jacobs Optimists
Optimist Club of St. Jacobs Fundraiser to support new cribs for the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit at Grand River Hospital.
(located outdoors at Scotiabank)
• Thursday • Friday • Saturday
Get Social! Be prepared to share images of your
favourite store displays for a chance to
Win a St. Jacobs Sparkles prize pac valued at approx $1,000!
Details at La Creme, Xclusive Elements & participating shops.
A peek at IN-STORE Specials:
Stone Crock Restaurant, Jacob's Grill, Stone Crock Bakery
• Enter on-site for a chance to Win a Daily Draw
Thursday Nov 16 - Sunday Nov 19
Stone Crock Meats & Cheese
• Drop in to enter for a chance to Win daily prize,
Thurs Nov 16 - Saturday Nov 18!
• Stone Crock Outdoor Pop-Up! Purchase a hotdog,
sausage-on-a-bun or chili outdoors,
Thursday & Friday approx 4:30 - 9 pm
or come on inside for a meal.
Spoil the Dog Bakery, Thursday Nov 16 - Sunday Nov 19:
• "Save the Tax" Sale all 4 days! Find many new christmas gifts for cats, dogs and their owners.
Cecelia's Boutique • free gift with purchase Thursday - Sunday
Block 3 Brewery,
• Live Music with the Block Three House Band;
• Wood-fired Pizza from "Those Pizza Guys"
Live Music with Drew Chester from 1-3pm
Hybrid Hair and Detox Spa
Thursday November 16 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm:
• a Christmas Carol sing-a-long
• 15-minute Angel Card Readings for $15
Plus discounts and prizes throughout November 16-19
Home Hardware, Thursday November 16, 5 - 9 pm:
• Try your luck on their Plinko Game, win a Prize!
• Specials • "Save the Tax" shopping • Treats
At The Farm Pantry on Friday November 17, 4 - 8 pm:
• Sample all natural specialty chocolates from local chocolatier!
EcoCafe (new location at front of the Mill)
Take a seat on their outdoor patio while visiting the
Stuffin’ Stockings crew
or take a seat inside and enjoy live music by a local harpist.
EcoCafe has great gift ideas for coffee lovers, such as:
• $5 coffee gift bags • $35 gift packs • coffee gadgets
• drink and coffee bean specials all weekend long!
Red Wind Studio
• 10% off all merchandise (with the exception of consignment items )
Gift to Remember
• 2018 Lang & Pineridge Calendars $19.99 • All Framed Prints 25% off the regular price
• 30 % Off New Arrivals! • 40% Off Jewellery and Accessories
• Door Crashers at great deals
• “No Tax” storewide during St Jacobs Sparkles! • Unveiling of our “Top 10 List” of gift ideas!
• Complimentary Coffee and Baked Goodies to enjoy while you shop
Region of Waterloo Library: St. Jacobs branch
• Let’s Read Storywalk in St. Jacobs,
Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Walk through the pages of the book, Good Morning Canada, displayed outside the branch; come inside to make a fun Canadian craft! Andrea Beck is the Let’s Read selected author for 2017-18. Free. All ages. Drop in.
At Angel Treasures
• Free draw; and everyone leaves with a Christmas angel ornament.
No purchase necessary; lots of chocolate to be eaten!
• enter a ballot draw for sunglasses!
Click here for St. Jacobs Sparkles Facebook EVENT LISTING
One of the first orders of business in planning a special event is finding a standout venue, especially if it is something as important as your wedding.
Yes, you’ll want modern amenities and a fully accessible, conveniently located space, a trusted caterer, professional photographer and top-notch florist, but you’ll also want a distinct building and a lovely space that is flexible enough to adapt to your vision for the day.
With its abundant natural light, serene colour scheme, and soaring gothic windows, the historic St. Jacobs Schoolhouse building in St. Jacobs offers you a classic intimate space in which to create your special event, whether it is to act as the wedding reception hall, or serve as the ceremony space too.
Is your style vintage glamour? Classic and sophisticated? Blush and breezy? Glitter and glow? Like a canvas awaiting your creative touch, you’ll find the possibilities for setting the mood are almost endless in this charming space.
Step inside and feel the possibilities!
• The historic 1867 St. Jacobs Schoolhouse building is an extensively renovated space with original hardwood floors, high ceilings and gothic windows.
• Accommodates 120 at table seating or 150 for cocktail receptions.
• Exclusive caterer: St. Jacobs Catering, offering everything from cocktail receptions and food stations to buffet or plated dinners.
• Located in the Village of St. Jacobs, approximately 15 minutes from uptown Waterloo
• Fully accessible.
• Ample free parking.
The schoolhouse hosts weddings, receptions, celebrations, parties, corporate events.
For more information contact Tiffani: email@example.com or telephone 519-664-2288 extension 277
Photography credits: Devon C Photography, www.devoncphotography.com
Discover the Village of St. Jacobs' connection to the past in this series of articles written by Rych Mills, writer for The Record. Read them and get well-researched insights into some of the people, places and things which had significance in the village, and which tie in to Canada's confederation and its 150th celebrations this year.
In his first article, find out how the past is all around you in
In this second article, get a glimpse into the village's schoolhouse and the teachers who taught there. The Schoolhouse is still in existence today, albeit much modernized to house a serene space for private functions, and as a venue for theatre productions.
Next time you visit St. Jacobs, consider taking a leisurely walk around town to see significant buildings, sites, and evidence of its early pioneering beginnings in its picturesque downtown and along quiet side streets. Download our free historic walking map. Shops, restaurants and most exhibits will be OPEN - even on holiday weekends this summer. Why not plan a visit soon!
Pictured above: original gothic window in the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse , Albert Street,
The Village of St. Jacobs has embraced the art of weaving for 37 years and Elsa Brigden Elliott is the reason why. Elsa was one of the original three weavers that started their business in The Village Silos in 1980; she continues to contribute to the variety of downtown shops as one of the original artisans remaining from that era.
Today she specializes in high-end textiles such as table runners, scarves and throws, unique items that are functional and yet colourfully intricate. St. Jacobs shoppers are impressed with her design expertise and the quality material with which she weaves.
Elsa remains passionate about her work in part because of the expressed appreciation and conversations with shoppers supporting her craft. She has a friendly, authentic personality, and claims she is always learning something new.
The Silo Weavers is an example of St. Jacobs’ commitment to the textile field and just one example of the community's support of unique local artisans and independent businesses.
Elsa also plays an important role with the "Quilt & Fibre Art Festival, Waterloo Region & Beyond" held annually each May, by inviting important visiting textile artists to showcase and demo their work at her studio.
Sadly for St. Jacobs, Elsa will be retiring and closing her store at the end of May 2017 after a long and successful run as artist, shopkeeper, and business woman. Make sure you experience her artistry and pick up original handcrafted pieces before it's too late.
You can find The Silo Weavers in the silos of the historic flourmill adjacent to the Conestogo River.
With the maple syrup season in full swing, St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours is busy hosting visitors at their bush.
On their "Sugar Bush Tour", you'll travel from St. Jacobs Farmers' Market with a guide aboard a horse-drawn trolley to a real sugar bush on a Mennonite farm to learn firsthand about maple syrup production.
Upon arrival at the sugar bush, visitors can take a short walking tour and see a progression of methods used to turn watery sap from maple trees into thick sweet maple syrup: first by indigenous people, then by settlers and pioneers, and finally, those of a modern-day maple syrup producer.
You'll see how sap is collected and boiled down to syrup, have the opportunity to tap a tree, and participate in old fashion log sawing.
This tour also includes pancakes with fresh maple syrup made on site, and hot coffee or apple cider, served up by the woodstove in the bush's cosy former sugar shanty.
You can also purchase fresh maple toffee on snow and other local maple syrup products.
This family-friendly tour even has a small petting area where kids can see farm animals up close before reboarding the trolley for the return trip to Market.
"Maple Sugar Bush Tours" leave from St. Jacobs Farmers Market on Saturdays, March 3 - April 15, 2017, departing every half hour from 9 am - 3:30 pm.
For more details, visit www.stjacobshorsedrawntours.com.
Enjoy more things maple! The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is billed as the world's largest annual maple syrup festival and takes place on Saturday April 1, 2017. You can also visit the Maple Syrup Museum in St. Jacobs (open all year).
The Village of St. Jacobs may not be where you'd expect to find North America's finest O-scale model railway, but that is exactly where it is!
Covering around 3,000 sq. ft. of handbuilt landscape intertwined with city and rural scenes, several Canadian Pacific and Canadian National trains travel the rails with both diesel and locomotive engines, as was the case in the late 1950s.
Operations of the trains and their intricate travels are operated manually by skilled volunteers from the control booth overlooking the scene, and there is even a magical dusk to dawn scene in which tiny lights illuminate the buildings and coach cars as night falls.
Due to the intensive amount of volunteer time to run this massive model railway, show dates are typically limited to Saturday and Sundays from May - December, plus Thursday afternoon (12 - 5 pm) throughout July, August, and other special show dates announced outside of that period, such as Family Day and March Break, and April 29, 30, 2017!
OPEN WEEKENDS MAY - DECEMBER;
Thursday afternoons throughout July, August.
Upcoming Special Show Dates: April 29, 30, 2017
For more details and ticket information for St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway, click here.
When Valentines Day visits St. Jacobs, Olde Tyme Kettle Kitchen rolls out sweet holiday treats.
You may have heard of Olde Tyme Kettle Kitchen for their fudge or soft peanut brittle. Or perhaps you have tracked down the smell of their fresh sponge toffee as you walked into the St. Jacobs Outlet Mall to enjoy a hand-dipped ice cream cone. Regardless, if you have tasted their treats you will not forget where they came from!
The Olde Tyme Kettle Kitchen has been operating as a family business for 23 years and makes their special recipes from scratch on site at their store in the St. Jacobs Outlet Mall. You may even see candy being dipped in creamy chocolate as it travels along on their chocolate conveyor belt while you order delicious artisan sandwiches, soups and salads at their food counter in the food court.
Looking for chocolate covered strawberries and other goodies for valentines day or other special occasions? Then this is your store! Each holiday comes with its own specialties so stop by the Olde Tyme Kettle Kitchen for chocolate boxes of hearts, strawberries dipped in chocolate and other packaged goodies as great gift items for your special someone.
Olde Tyme Kettle Kitchen is open daily at St. Jacobs Outlets, 2nd floor. And did we mention there is always a free sample of their creamy fudge?!