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St. Jacobs: the Mennonite heritage community an hour from Hamilton

Approximately an hour’s drive from Hamilton, St. Jacobs attracts tourists to its unique and artistic shops, history and beauty. With a population of about 2,000, the Mennonite heritage community has a unique atmosphere.

The Village Biergarten restaurant catches vistors’ eyes with its tables inside clear plastic igloo domes, giving diners a comfortable way of eating outside while being protected from the cold and wind.

The clear, igloo-like domes allow diners to enjoy their meals whatever the weather.

“I didn’t expect to find something like this,” diner Nelson Hatschbach said. “It is clever because it is cosy and provides a nice view at the same time.”

Near the Village Biergarten, the Three Sisters Cultural Centre used to be a garage that went through renovations during the pandemic and is now an art gallery and event space.

“The place is not quite finished yet, but we are really close,” artistic director Jax Rula said.

A bit further from downtown, the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market has over 250 vendors including local farmers, a food court full of stalls with international cuisine, and handmade products made by people of different ethnicities.

“I was not expecting to find something like this in Canada,” Stella Hatschbach said. “The countryside atmosphere is delicious, plus I’d never expect to eat genuine food from my country, Brazil, made by actual Brazilians here.”

The outdoor markets are filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, and at the end of the day the sellers provide huge discounts.

“I bought five boxes of local fresh raspberries for a dollar each,” Vivian Hatschbach said. “I encourage everybody to wait until around 3:00 – 3:30 pm, so they can get high-quality fruits for a very low price.”

The Farmers’ Market is open twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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