As Summer winds down and Fall settles in, it’s a great time to take a road trip to enjoy the colourful scenery. Maybe your next outing will include one of these stops along the way.

Waterford, Ontario

WATERFORD has one of the best antique markets I’ve seen.

I hadn’t been to Waterford in decades. It’s just north of Simcoe, where I grew up. On a recent visit with my Mom, we decided to check out the Waterford Antique Market, and I can’t wait to go back. We spent hours poking around the two-story warehouse full of furniture, glass, jewellery, and assorted memorabilia. In the photo above, you can see how they turned old art glass into lighted pendants — very clever!

There are a couple of smaller antique shops on the main street of Waterford, as well as a quilt shop housed in the old train station. It’s a very pretty little town with lots of old houses and a lovely rail trail that goes all the way to Port Dover (another pretty small town, on Lake Erie).

If you get hungry, check out the breakfast, lunch and pastries at Ritzy Cakes cafe. If you’re lucky, they will make apple fritters, and you can get one while it’s still warm. There’s also a pub, The Gibbled Goose, that looked inviting, although we didn’t try it.

A stylishly rustic vignette upstairs at the Waterford Antique Market. 


Quilt Junction in Waterford, Ontario, features everything you need for quilting projects, as well as classes. It sits across from the Waterford Antique Market, next to the rail trail and pond. 

Aylmer, Ontario

The Potter’s Shed gives a hint of the rusticity to be enjoyed at Pinecroft Pottery & Tearoom, near Aylmer, Ontario.

My middle sister lives in Aylmer, but we’ve known about Pinecroft Pottery since long before she moved to the area. They bill themselves as ‘A Little Muskoka Serenity’, and it’s very fitting. The public buildings are log cabins, with the largest one housing the restaurant and gift shop. If you love pottery, like I do, be sure to check out the pottery for sale, in several different glazes and colourways.

Pottery has been made on the property since the early part of the 20th century. I recently took a beginner’s class from the nephew of the founders. (I’m looking at all my pottery mugs with a new appreciation!)

The food in the restaurant is very good, and the restaurant is always busy, so book ahead. You can see a pond from the windows of the restaurant, but it’s even prettier if you walk down to it after lunch.

After you visit Pinecroft, be sure to check out Aylmer’s small-town main street shops. Then there’s Winter Wheat, just a short drive away in Sparta, for a tour of their gardens and unique ‘sculptures’, as well as their 2-storey cabin shop.

A view of the pond at Pinecroft. It’s pretty any time of year. There are lights strung across it for winter ice hockey. 

Perth, Ontario

We were intrigued by this Mexican restaurant overlooking the river in Perth. It reminded us of San Antonio’s Riverwalk cafes. 

We discovered Perth on Labour Day Monday, on a return trip from Ottawa, after dropping our son off for a 4-month work term. Because it was a holiday, all the shops and restaurants were closed. However, I spotted lots of interesting places to explore, for home decor and more. We will be returning at Thanksgiving weekend and making time to check it out. If you’ve been and you have a lunch recommendation, let me know!

With so many pretty stone houses, I’m expecting the shops to be full of lovely furnishings and decor.

Jeanne Grier is an award-winning interior decorator and owner of Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors. With over 25 years’ experience in the Toronto area, she has completed hundreds of makeovers. Her expertise extends to fireplaces, and she is an NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialist. She and her husband Colin operate a retail showroom in the Toronto area, featuring over 50 electric fireplaces, as well as wall coverings and fireplace accessories. 

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