There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted July 26th, 2014
It’s never to late to learn to sail in Meaford

Maybe you’ve seen the brightly striped sails of Sail Georgian Bay Sailing School in Meaford Harbour and the Bay beyond, and wished you could join those kids. Unfortunately for us, the age limit is 18. But in Meaford, it’s never too late to learn how to sail.

Jean-loup Dalle urges people to “add sailing to your bucket list”. The experienced Master Yachtsman teaches folks on his 31-foot French-built Kirie Elite, Malaika, based out of Meaford Harbour.

“What I do as a coach is a bit different from an instructor teaching a rigid curriculum,” says Jean-loup. “Our several modules are flexible and adaptable because we listen to our students’ needs. We talk more about confidence, anxiety, communication or creams than ‘sailing by the lee’ or ‘velocity made good.'”

Jean-loup Dalle at the helm of Malaika

Jean-loup Dalle at the helm of Malaika

Jean-loup uses a combination of the NauticEd program – an online theoretical sailing education program which is making waves in the sailing world. That combined with his on-water practical coaching will have you confidently taking the helm in no time.

“My style of coaching is very relaxed,” says Jean-loup. “The emphasis is on learning in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. I coach folks of all ages to sail with confidence.”

Jean-loup holds a commercial license as Master of Yacht 200 Tons Limited from International Yacht Training, and he’s a certified Sail Canada cruising instructor.

You can get in touch via his website, email ( or by calling (226) 668-1978

Or drop by. Jean-loup and a crew of friends sailed Malaika from Toronto to Meaford a year ago May, where she’s currently berthed on B dock, # 36.

posted July 19th, 2014
Outdoor Summer music in Meaford

Sun and song… what could be better. Check out these outdoor music events coming up this summer.

Next weekend, starting Friday, the King(s) come to Collingwood. The Collingwood Elvis Festival features lots of outdoor entertainment that will have you “all shook up”.

Once you’ve recovered from the retro rockin’, you might just be ready for some avant-garde audio and art. Electric Eclectics comes to the Funny Farm on Scotch Mountain for the August long weekend.

Two weeks after that on the third weekend in August, Summerfolk brings a real variety of sounds to Owen Sound’s Kelso Park.

But you don’t need to wait for the festivals. Head down to the Meaford Farmer’s Market every Friday and you’ll likely catch a little live music along with the delicious 100-mile wares on display.

And what could be better than seeing the sun set from Meaford Harbour while enjoying some great music? At 7 p.m. each Sunday till August 24, the Friends of the Library Summer Concert Series lets you do just that.

posted July 12th, 2014
Meaford Cider Tour 4 – Duxbury Cider Company

James McIntosh was 14 when he discovered hard cider. It was legal, he hastens to add, since he was visiting France at the time. That first taste got him wondering. Why wasn’t someone doing this in Meaford? Raised in Toronto, James spent his childhood and teenage summers at his grandmother’s Meaford farm, up the Duxbury Sideroad overlooking Georgian Bay, and he was well aware of the local apple industry.

The idea took hold. Twenty years later, he’s releasing his second batch of Duxbury Cider, which is available at a number of restaurants in Ontario, including Ted’s Range Road Diner and The Leeky Canoe in Meaford; Shorty’s Grill in Owen Sound and The Barrhead Pub and Grill in Markdale.

After moving to Meaford full-time in 2005, he read a book on cider making and started “tinkering”, using home wine equipment and a borrowed apple press. The results, he says, were “drinkable”. But over time, his experiments bore, ahem, fruit. By fermenting different varieties of apples separately, he gained an understanding of their characteristics and flavours, and his blends became more complex.

James has planted his own orchard, and makes his cider with only local apples. “It’s all about ways to support local growers,” he says.

A couple of years ago, he began working at Coffin Ridge, which produces its own cider along with its wines, and he arranged to use their larger-scale equipment as part of his employment. Last summer, he released the first batch of Duxbury Cider to rave reviews.

In November, Andy Stark, of the Salt Spring Cider Company, wrote that Duxbury “has a soft golden colour and aromas of fresh sliced apples with hints of honey. This dry, crisp cider has an intense full-flavour with bursts of apples and a touch of vanilla. It has sparkling style full of effervescence, a great structure and a smooth lingering finish that leaves the flavours of baked apples with butter on the roof of your mouth… I highly recommend you put this one on your ‘must have’ list.”

Duxbury Cider

Local restaurants, as well as locations in Toronto and Stratford, were quick to appreciate the unique new cider. “I just started really small and let the cider talk for itself,” says James.

In addition to enjoying draft Duxbury Cider where available on tap, you can also purchase bottles at Coffin Ridge and from the website (as available).

posted July 5th, 2014
Three South Georgian Bay cycle tour operators

It’s time get on your bikes and ride! Or if you don’t have a road-ready bike, you can rent and ride. Here are some options in the area to ride, rent and ride, or rent, ride and get a guide to some of the great routes in the area.

Starting right at home, Ride On Bikes offers a variety of rental bikes, including comfort bikes like the Electra Townie and Verse, as well as the Louis Garneau Elevation 29-inch wheel mountain bike. You can rent these bikes and head out on your own, or you can sign up for one of the guided tours, including the Meaford Sunrise Tour (which offers a view of the sunrise over Georgian Bay and a stop at a 100-acre farm for juice and an optional mountain bike ride) and the Georgian Hills Winery/Beaver Valley Tour, which includes a stop at one of our burgeoning local wineries. (Don’t forget to try out the tandem!)

Ride On Bikes Rentals and Tours

Georgian Bay Cycling Tours offers scheduled guided tours, custom cycling tours and B&B cycling tours. Bike rentals are available by request ahead of time, and tour leader Pete Russell also offers road cycling clinics to help newer riders bone up on their riding and minor repair skills.

Blue Mountain Resort’s downhill cycling trails get all the notice, with the armoured downhillers cruising into the Village, but Blue Mountain also offers challenging (you get to ride UP the hill, too) cross country trails for mountain biking. And they also recommend the Pedal/Paddle along the Apple Pie Trail, which includes a gondola ride up the mountain to get you started, mostly flat and downhill riding, a kayak rental and paddle on the Beaver River. Bike rentals are also available.