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 February 9th, 2015
Ambitious plans for the Market “barn” on Highway 26

Meaford MarketThe barn which currently houses The Market and EcoInhabit east of Meaford may soon be offering much more. The Market Co-operative Transition Team plans to turn the beautifully renovated structure into a one-stop shop for locally-grown and organic food market, holistic arts clinics, infrared yoga classes, a gallery, café, gardens, a not-for-profit ECO school, as well as workshop and rental spaces.

The plan is to form a co-op, which will buy the building and operate the expanded facility. Funding will come from members of the co-op as well as investors/shareholders.

The more-than-century-old barn features a lower floor currently occupied by The Market, and two upper floors occupied by EcoInhabit. Read more in the Meaford Express.


posted December 20th, 2013
A visit to Meaford’s Candle Factory outlet – Country Affair Custom Candles

Holiday celebrations seem warmer and more festive in the glow of candlelight, and Christmas in Meaford isn’t complete without a visit to our local candle factory. For more than a decade, Country Affair Custom Candles has been shipping Meaford-made candles to customers far and wide, as well as helping to light the homes of Meaford folks and visitors to the town.

Terry Ellah used to work the flea market circuit, selling various products, candles among them. When his candle supplier disappeared in the mid 90s, he decided he’d learn how to make them himself. It couldn’t be that tough. Actually, candlemaking is quite an art, and fortunately Terry found Peter Parker, a master chandler living in Thornbury, to teach him the secrets of creating beautiful, long-lasting candles.

Terry and his wife, Diane, began making hand-poured candles out of their shed and house in rural Meaford, developing a signature style with a bumpy texture. “The idea came out of the states,” says Diane. “We Canadianized it because they were a little too primitive for Canadian tastes, and it’s one of our biggest lines now.

Country Affair quickly thrived, wholesaling to retailers across North America. After three expansions to the shed to accommodate the operation and its 10 employees, they decided they needed a bigger space. In 2001, they found it in Meaford’s old “Wheelbarrow Factory”, a poured-concrete building built in the late 1880s for the Meaford Wheelbarrow Company.

Along with more space for the candle factory, they now had room for a factory retail outlet, and they opened their doors direct to customers. In the years since, the retail end, which offers furniture, decorations and other homestyle items along with their candles, has grown to represent around half of the company’s business.

Meaford Candle Factory

Country Affair continues to make all their candles by hand. Skilled candlemakers melt the wax, add dyes and fragrances and then hand pour them into vessels or molds. The art comes in knowing the properties of different waxes and different dyes and how they react to heat, to create the perfect blend that will look beautiful, smell delightful and burn for a long, long time.

The retail space has expanded a number of times, and recently Country Affair opened another storage area to the public, with warehouse sales five times a year.

But check things out for yourself. The Candle Factory is located at 267 Marshall St. E. Meaford. Call toll-free 888 771 9912 or visit www.countryaffaircandles.com.


posted December 14th, 2013
18 (plus) Merry Meaford Christmas shopping ideas

The snow is falling (and falling and falling) in Meaford, and it’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Meaford Christmas
Whether you want to stay cozy inside and shop online or stroll the snowy streets, here are some great Christmas ideas for everyone on your list.

Tickets to an event, such as Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, at Meaford Hall.

A gift certificate, or maybe an Electra Townie from Ride on Bikes.

A farm toy, a replica car or a model kit from Jolley’s Farm Toys and Diecast.

A hula hoop or hula hoop class from Revolve Hula Hoops.

A bottle of locally made Kilannan Ale, Duxbury Cider (or Cidre), or Coffin Ridge wine.

A locally made candle or other gift from Country Affair Candles (The Candle Factory).

Fresh and locally grown fare and other goodies from The Market.

A donation in their name to the Meaford Foodbank, Friends of the Library or the Bighead River Heritage Association.

Tickets to a Knights of Meaford hockey game.

Almost ANYTHING you can think of from the Meaford Factory Outlet.

“Find of all kinds” from The Cat’s Meow.

Online gift certificate from a choice of Meaford businesses.

A baked treat from Grandma Lambe’s or Almond’s Farm Market.

Technology, “toys”, gadgets (and musical instruments!) from Kerry’s Computers and Music, Harbour Microtrends, or Homebuttons.

A relaxing massage, manicure or tanning session at Solitudes Spa and Tanning Studio.

Flowers and other gifts from Simply Unique Flowers and Gifts or Buds and Branches Flowers and Home Décor.

A round of golf for the golfer on your list (or yourself!) from the Meaford Golf Course.


posted June 29th, 2012
Off to Meaford’s Farmer’s Market and Canada Day fun

Well, the Meaford Farmer’s Market has kicked off for this Friday as we write, so once we’ve filed this report, we might just mosey on down. It’s a special market day, as the event is part of the kick off to Canada Day weekend celebrations. There’ll be live music and, taking a page from the past, surrey rides through town. And of course, there’s all the goodies you can find every week, from organic meats and vegetables and herbs to baked treats and more – with many vendors offering tasty samples to entice you to buy. This year, chef Micheline Zammit, who works at Cobble Beach Golf Club, prepares free sample dishes featuring products she’s found at the market – try her creations, and pick up the ingredients at the vendors’ booths.

Meaford Farmers' Market

Beyond food, you’ll also find crafts and more. And don’t forget to get your duck race tickets (more below).

With your appetite taken care of, plan for a busy weekend. Here’s the schedule of events for Saturday and Sunday (you can rest up Monday.)

Saturday

8am-11am Meaford Hall
John McKay home product trade show

9am-11am Market square
MFRC pancake breakfast

9am-9:30am Market square near hall
Soap Box Derby registration

10am – Collingwood St to Bayfield St
Soap Box Derby race

10am – Downtown Meaford
BIA sidewalk sale
GBSS Idols & MCS buskers on the street

10am-4pm Meaford Foodland
Meaford Duck Race kick off BBQ

2pm- Sykes St bridge to Bridge St
Meaford Duck Race

11am&3pm Meaford Museum
Historical walking tour of downtown

noon-4pm – Nelson St at Meaford Hall
BIA surrey rides

noon-4pm – Meaford Hall
BIA scavenger hunt – pick up list

noon-4pm – Meaford Harbour
Sail Georgian Bay introduction to sailing

Sunday

9am-10am Eggcitement Bistro
Motorcycle Rally meet for breakfast
10am- Motorcycle Rally – ride starts

9am-4pm Bayfield Street
Golden Town Cruisers classic car show

10am-4pm Bayfield Street
Net Shed Book Depot open
Meaford Museum open

11:45am Meaford Community Centre
Form up for parade

Noon – Collingwood St to Harbour
Canada Day parade

Noon to dusk Harbour pavilion
Rotary Club food & beverages

12:45pm Harbour Entrance
• Singing of “O Canada”
• Mayor’s & Dignitaries’ speeches
• Flag Raising Ceremony – Anthem by Mike Weir & Sylvie
• Goldenaires Canadian Folk Song Medley by Bert Hood

1pm Rotary Pavilion at harbour
Birthday cake for 1000 – prepared & served by Canada Catering

Noon to 4pm Meaford Harbour
Family Fun Festival
• Canadian Coast Guard
• Meaford Fire Department
• Kid’s activities & games
• Sail Georgian Bay introduction to sailing
• OPP boat & K-9 unit
• Heritage Meaford display
• Beautiful Joe Heritage Society display
• Meaford Library display & activities
• Remote control car & truck display
• Skateboard demonstrations

2pm-9pm Meaford Harbour
Live entertainment
• Honeyhammers
• Bored of Education
• Vickie Van Dyke & Friends

2pm Meaford Museum
Historical walking tour of downtown

Dusk – Meaford Harbour
Meaford Kinsmen Club Fireworks


posted November 29th, 2011
Get the perfect gift at Unique Boutique

Unique Boutique 1

Last week, we got a chance to browse some interesting gift ideas (and nosh on some delicious snacks) as the Meaford and District Chamber of Commerce held an After Five in conjunction with the opening of the Unique Boutique. This, well, unique fundraiser for the Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Foundation gives you the chance to snag a truly unique gift for that special someone – or to treat yourself – with more than 125 items on auction, including an exhilarating flight over the southern Georgian Bay region in an antique biplane, a private ski lesson, gift certificates to high end local restaurants, nine holes of golf at Meaford Golf Club and a “Winter Romance” gift package

Here’s how it works. Drop into Meaford Hall any day between 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to take in the beautifully decorated galleries and discover what’s on auction. Place your silent bid for the items that catch your eye, and then attend the jazz performance by Juno-nominated vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow on Saturday, December 3. At the intermission, it’s time to check out the bids and make sure you get that must-have item.

To get you started, have a look at the items here. But with many of the items on view in the galleries, you’ll want to head down to Meaford Hall this week to get a close-up view and get your bids in. To get your tickets for the concert, call Meaford Hall at 519-538-0463 or visit the website.

Unique Boutique 2

Unique Boutique3

Unique Boutique 4


posted November 22nd, 2011
Meaford Christmas window unveiling lights up Meaford

Well, the snow melted away before Saturday evening, but Meaford’s downtown sparkled with seasonal cheer as the merchants removed the paper hiding their window displays and welcomed all to view their displays, visit their stores, and enjoy some Christmas treats.

(The blogger arrived a little after the initial rush of Santa’s arrival, and the streets had quieted a little, as kids and families gathered round him.)

Meaford window unveiling train

Meaford window unveiling 2

Meaford window unveiling 3

Meaford window unveiling 4

Meaford window unveiling 5


posted November 17th, 2011
Let it snow! Meaford window unveiling this Saturday

It’s a winter wonderland out there. The first snow of the season is falling gently on Meaford. Now, according to the forecast, it probably won’t still be here tomorrow, but we can hope for a little of the white stuff to garland Meaford’s downtown window unveiling this weekend.

Meaford will close off three blocks of downtown on Saturday for a pre-Christmas street party, and the shops along Sykes Street will pull off the paper that’s been hiding their holiday displays. The large tree in front of Meaford Hall will be lit, and the townsfolk will gather to visit the shops, enjoy mulled cider and other treats, warm by crackling fires, and enjoy the music of street choirs. And the kids will wait with bated breath as Santa arrives by fire truck to take his place and hear their Christmas wishes.

Cook and Trowbridge Streets in snow

Pentecostal Church in snow

Meaford first snow

Cleland Clarke house in winter

Muskoka chairs in snow


posted September 29th, 2011
28th annual Apple Harvest Craft Show kicks off

For more than a quarter of a century, craft lovers have flocked to Meaford during Apple Season to take in the huge assortment of quality handcrafted at the Apple Harvest Craft Show, which kicks off its 28th annual show on Saturday.

In the early 80s, the Chamber of Commerce added a craft show to the Apple Festival, which had been running since 1969. But after a couple of years, the Chamber decided it wasn’t worth the effort to continue managing it. The original organizers, along with Rod and Betty Jane Brebner, disagreed. They decided to take it on themselves.

Bringing some of the previous vendors on board, including Betty Jane, who made silk and dry floral arrangements and wreaths, the first Apple Harvest Craft Show was held in 1984 in the Meaford Arena auditorium. The second year, they moved to the arena floor (the rink), and filled it up about half with booths. It’s grown steadily ever since, and the show is now maxed out at 200 booths, filling the auditorium, the arena, and the Meaford Curling Club, across the street.

The show has about 20 percent turnover each year, which keeps things fresh, says Rod Brebner, who’s still involved with the craft show. “And we’ve become very selective. The committee goes through the applications and photos and picks the best. We try not to have duplication, and everything has to be handcrafted.” The organizers actually monitor that last restriction, and have actually asked people to remove non-handcrafted items.

To Rod, the biggest thing about the craft show is the contribution to the community. Over the years, the Craft Show has put back around $700,000 into Meaford projects, including the breakwall look-out and pavers, other harbour improvements, and a recent $50,000 contribution to the community health centre project. “I think that’s our biggest achievement, that we can contribute so strongly to the community,” says Rob.

Head down this weekend to find hand-thrown pottery, wooden games and toys, photography, candles, quilting, folk art, stained glass, woodworking, knitting and sewing, baking leather work, stuffed animals, painting, spinning and weaving and handmade jewellery, to mention just a few.


posted September 16th, 2011
Grandma Lambe’s a delicious Meaford attraction

She’s been a fixture of Meaford as long as we’ve been here, but it turns out that Grace Lambe (fondly referred to as Grandma Lambe) only took over the business named after her mother-in-law the year before we arrived. And it was only a few years before that that an excess of peaches prompted Grace to whip up a bunch of peach pies. “I didn’t want to waste them,” she told Adrian Brijbassi a few weeks back, “so I made the pies and put them out on a stand and they sold. To think, from that came this business.” To begin with, Grace baked the pies and Mabel oversaw the apple sales, and the business quickly grew. Today the family business serves locals and hungry tourists (busloads, sometimes!) drawn by its wares.

Brijbassi’s story taught me a couple of things about the popular (and oft-visited by us) fruit, vegetable, fresh-baking, and more-stand just down the road.

And this video will give you another “taste” of what’s to offer.


posted September 14th, 2011
Apple season a great time for a country drive

Apple season’s here in the “other Big Apple”. The orchards lining the roads around Meaford that were white with blossoms a few short months ago are now heavy with apples, and the farmers’ markets and fruit stands are displaying their ripe, red wares. We picked up our first half-peck of Jersey Macs the other day to bake up some apple crisp, but there’ll be many more varieties available in the days to come.

Meaford apples

Take a country drive around the area, and visit one of these country markets to get your apples (and much more).

Almond’s Fruit Stand
Home baking, jams, birdseed and gifts.
Highway 26 between Lora Bay and Meaford | 519-538-2281

Appletop Farm
Picked organic apples and more.
416476 10th Line, The Blue Mountains 519-599-6177

Barbetta Orchards
On-farm market June through November. Apples, pears, plums, pumpkin squash and more.
Highway 26 just west of Meaford | 519-538-2206

Bay Ridge Orchards Limited
Eight varieties of apples stored in a controlled atmosphere.
7th Line South of Highway 26 | 519-538-1405

Bev Murray Farms
Pick your own apples.
145816 Grey Road 12 west of Meaford | 519-538-3592

Dykstra Farms
Ready picked apples and more.
301 Clark St, Clarksburg | 519-599-9938

The Farmers Pantry
Minutes south of Clarksburg, pick-your-own or ready-picked apples, fresh-grown in season vegetables, baked goods and crafts.
788030 Grey Rd 13, The Blue Mountains | 519-599-3691

Finch Haven Orchards
Apples, fresh pressed cider, non-alcoholic sparkling apple ciders, jams, jellies and preserves, maple syrup, honey, and apple gift boxes.
416241 10th Line, The Blue Mountains | 519-599-7775

Goldsmith Orchards
On-farm market open July to December 9.
Highway 26 between Lora Bay and Thornbury | 519-599-3246

Grandma Lambe’s Fruit Market
Fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, gift baskets, candles, and more.
Highway 26 between Lora Bay and Meaford | 519-538-2757

Jones Willow Grove Orchard
496818 Grey Rd 2, The Blue Mountains | 519-599-3668

Oaklane Orchards Ltd
Apples, including pick-your-own.
496445 Grey Rd 2, The Blue Mountains | 519-599-5841

Vail’s Orchards
Cider, apples, jams, maple syrup and fresh produce, September to December Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 Two locations: Highway 26 west of Meaford and South on Grey Road 7 at west end of Meaford | 519-538-4928

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