The Flying Leap Bed and Breakfast

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Visiting Elora 

*For Canada's 150th anniversary events, check out http://www.centrewellington.ca/canada150*

http://elorafergus.ca/ including suggested itineraries

http://www.grandandgorgeous.com/

http://elora.info/

http://www.grandriver.ca/ for fishing, hiking, birding, etc... information

http://www.sensationalelora.com/

http://www.experiencewellington.ca for events

Here's a great article about what you can experience in Elora: https://grownuptravels.com/day-tripping-in-elora-ontario/

We have a wide variety of eateries here in Elora and Fergus!  See them here: http://grandandgorgeous.com/dining-experiences/

 

Things To Do

Calendar of events:  http://www.centrewellington.ca/beactive/Pages/Events-Calendar.aspx

What to see and do?  http://www.centrewellington.ca/visitus/Pages/What-to-See-and-Do.aspx

http://www.gorgecinema.ca/

http://www.wellington.ca/Museum/

http://eloraculinarywalkingtour.com/ **cancelled as of August 2017 until further notice**

http://www.eloratours.com/Elora_Tours/Welcome.html

http://www.elorasculpture.ca  self-guided walking tour

http://www.centrewellington.ca/beactive/Pages/Recreation,%20Parks%20and%20Facilities/Trails.aspx for information on hiking/biking trails

Want to rent a bike?  Helmets and accessories included!  http://www.thebicycletailor.ca  And they've partnered with Frabert's Fresh Foods to supply picnic lunches!  

http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=27&Sub1=124&Sub2=1 for tubing down the Gorge!

Ziplining?  Rock climbing?  Check out http://www.oneaxepursuits.com/2014/

Punt and raft riding on the Grand River?  And how about taking a River Bug Ride, a guided adventure down the Grand!? http://www.eloraraftrides.ca

Click here for fishing information or try http://www.aperfectdrift.com/ for fly-fishing lessons and tours, etc...
Guided "walk and wade" trips, private lessons, etc... offered by Grand River Outfitting & Fly Shop
(be sure to get your fishing license in advance:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/fishing)

http://www.bentleyhouseteas.ca/index.php/welcome/tearoom for high or afternoon tea (reservations preferred)

http://www.coxcreekcellars.on.ca/ for a tour and wine tastings Sundays at 2:00

Have you ever experienced an escape room adventure or "puzzle room"?  http://www.puzzlerooms.ca/ Open weekend evenings! 

Near-By

about 25 minutes away by car:  Guelph  http://visitguelphwellington.ca/

about 20 minutes away by car:  St. Jacobs Village and the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, Flea Market and Outlet Centre, also the "Mennonite Story" multi-media interpretive centre  http://www.stjacobs.com/

http://www.cambridgebutterfly.com/

http://www.horsebackadventures.ca for horseback trail riding, etc... 

http://www.CanoeingTheGrand.ca

http://whiterockostrichfarm.com/ to visit a working ostrich farm with meats and other treats for sale

Learning Opportunities/Classes

Our Elora Centre for the Arts is offering all sorts of evening, 1/2 and full day workshops, take a look!  Go to  https://eloracentreforthearts.ca/ and click on "Classes".

Want to learn how to sculpt a miniature figure?  Artist Kathi Kuti can set up a 2-day workshop for groups of 3 or more, see her website:  http://www.kathikuti.com/workshops.html

http://www.art120.ca/home.html for a local art class!  See their schedule!

Intrigued by encaustic?  Try an "Art Play Shop" with Supria:  http://www.supriakarmakar.com/index.php/welcome/workshops

Glass blowing?!  Yes!  Check out the variety of offerings:  http://www.blownawayglassstudio.com/Classes.html

You can even tour a glass blowing studio and, on weekends, blow your own glass ornament (please make an appointment!) at http://www.kitras.com/default.htm

Blacksmithing?  David Cross offers the chance for you to wield metal to your will: http://www.riobravoironworks.com/workshops.htm

 

 

Upcoming events

2017

September

Harvest Home Festival, Wellington County Museum and Archives -- September 24th, 2017
http://www.wellington.ca/en/discover/exhibitsandevents.asp

Elora Fergus Studio Tour -- September 23 - 24th and September 30 - October 1st, 2017  http://www.elorafergusstudiotour.com

Culture Days -- September 29th - October 1st, 2017  http://culturedays.ca/en

Rural Romp:  A Self-Guided Tour of Farms, Markets and Local Food Retailers -- September 30th, 2017  http://www.tastereal.com/events-2/fall-rural-romp/

Fergus Ghost Walk (call 226.383.2665 for tickets) -- September 30th, 2017  http://www.bookery.ca/

October

Elora's Monster Month -- October 1st - 31st, 2017   http://www.monstermonth.ca/ and http://www.twilightzoo.ca

Culture Days -- September 29 - October 1st, 2017  http://culturedays.ca/en

Elora Fergus Studio Tour -- September 23 - 24th and September 30 - October 1st, 2017  http://www.elorafergusstudiotour.com

Elora's Horse and Hound Parade -- October 1st, 2017  http://grandandgorgeous.com/elora-horse-and-hound/

Bingeman's Screampark -- check website for October 2017 dates:  http://www.bingemans.com/screampark/

Elora's Sensational Soup Off -- October 9th, 2017  http://www.wellington.ca/Museum/

Guelph Studio Tour -- October 13 - 15th, 2017   http://www.guelphstudiotour.ca

Family Hallowe'en Activities at the Museum -- October 15th, 2017   http://www.wellington.ca/Museum/

Spirit Walks and Cemetery Walks at the Poor House -- October 19 - 29th, 2017  http://www.wellington.ca/Museum/

Harvest Fun & Corn Maze at Strom's Farm -- check website for October 2017 dates  http://www.strom.ca/

Giant Used Book Sale (Guelph) -- October 20 - 21 - 22nd, 2017  https://fgpl.ca/book-sale/

Monster March Parade, 6:30pm -- Saturday, October 21st, 2017  http://elora.info/events/monster-month-elora/

Fergus Ghost Walk (call 226.383.2665 for tickets) -- October 28th and 30th, 2017  http://www.bookery.ca/

November

Guelph Guild of Handweavers and Spinners Fall Fibres Show & Sale -- Nov.  ??th, 2017  www.ghsguild.ca

Grand River Bead Society Bead Show & Sale (in Guelph) -- November ? - ?  th, 2017 http://www.grandriverbeadsociety.com

St. Jacobs Sparkles Village Holiday Shopping Event -- November 16 - 19th, 2017 
http://www.stjacobs.com/Culture-Heritage-Events.htm

Waterloo Potters' Workshop Fall Pottery Sale -- November 17 - 18 - 19th, 2017 http://waterloopotters.ca/sales-events/

Fair November Juried Handcraft Sale (Guelph) -- November ?? - ??th, 2017  http://www.fairnovember.uguelph.ca

Starlight Shopping, Elora -- November 23 - 24th, 2017  http://elora.info/events/starlight-shopping-nights/

Elora Santa Claus Parade of Lights -- November 25th, 2017
(night time parade, great views from our balcony! Watch the mini-snippet from the 2014 parade on YouTube)

Moonlight Madness, Fergus -- November 30 - December 1st, 2017  

December

Fergus Santa Claus Parade -- December 2nd, 2017

Christmas Festival at the Museum -- December 10th, 2017 http://www.wellington.ca/en/discover/eventsprogrammesandworkshops.asp

Elora Festival Singers "Festival of Carols" -- December 19 - 20th, 2017 https://tickets.elorafestival.com/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent783.html

 

 

**Always adding more**

 

Listed in the "Top 100 Unusual Things to See in Ontario" (New Edition 2007) by Ron Brown, the Elora Gorge is a 2 kilometer long canyon more than 20 meters deep with many stunning and unique natural features.  

Above is a photo of the Drimmie Mill, built in 1859 overlooking the Grand River Falls.  Its limestone walls rise to 100 feet and are 5 feet thick at the foundations.  It's one of the few five-story grist mills still standing and twice survived major fires.  In the 1970s it was converted into the Elora Mill Inn, while today it awaits rebirth as an inn and convention center.

Below is the wee island known as the "Tooth of Time", weathered by the pounding waters of the Grand.  The Mill, Falls and islet are only a short 10 minute walk from our B&B.

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Elora tourist attraction doors

Turn the corner from the Mermaid in Elora shop on Metcalfe and you'll find these painted doors on Church Street, so often photographed they've become an Elora landmark!

Here's our version, with Merlin and Willow posing with the doors.

 

copyright Carl Chalupa on all images with a white frame 

Calm beauty at the canoe launch, Grand River just below the Falls.

 

If Autumn colors excite you...

...Elora has spectacular Fall foliage!  The weekends around our October Thanksgiving seem to have the best displays of magnificent, glorious color.  Come see for yourself!  But if spooks and specters draw you out of your cozy den to explore the countryside, late October lures the demons and the rest of the Twilight Zoo out to play!  

 

 

 

 

October's energy gives way to preparations for the upcoming Holiday season, with special fairs and late night shopping events, and then the quieter season of Winter with its stunning natural beauty...

The stone stairs down into the Gorge, from Victoria Park, in early winter.

 

Looking towards the Elora Gorge trail; the trail begins to the left of the Irvine River bridge (David Street).

 

The view from Lover's Leap, looking up the Grand River.

 

Any time of year, there's something happening in and around Elora, including unique annual events like our Horse and Hound Parade:

 

The Horse and Hound Parade, October 5th, 2014

 

(photos with a white frame by Toronto photographer Carl Chalupa)

 

Take a look at our Pinterest collection of photos!

Also see our gorgeous videos on YouTube.

 

 

The House

Our house is also your hostess and an undeniably large part of your bed and breakfast experience.  An old house has a great deal of character, a soul all its own, and many layers of stories to tell.  Here are just the bones:

The house was built by John Gibb in 1891 for Dr. William Robertson (1865 - 1941) and his wife Florence (1875? - 1930), and he used it not only as his home but also his office.  As a surgeon he was an important member of Elora's growing community, giving "over 50 years of self-sacrificing service to the Elora Community" (as inscribed on his tombstone located in the Elora Cemetery).  His daughter, Marion (1898-1944), became the wife of Dr. Frederick Banting (who discovered insulin with his colleague Dr. Charles Best).  They were married in 1924 and suffered through a sensational divorce in 1932.  

You can read about Dr. Robertson's treatment of a neighbour's child suffering from polio by clicking here.

 

Many original features dating from the Robertson's time are still present and in use, such as the lighting fixtures in the guest rooms and hallway, the pine floors, crown molding, baseboards, etc...  

On March 29, 1941, Dr. Robertson died in the house at the age of 76 "after a long illness" and on September 3rd, 1942, the house was won at auction for $3000 by the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocene of Hamilton.  The St. Mary's Catholic Church (located at 267 Geddes and built in 1870) used the house as the Notre Dame Convent from 1942 into the 1970s, and neighbours tell us that the parlour served as a chapel!

At the back of the house an addition was built to serve as a school room until 1954 for the children who couldn't be accommodated in the school across the street from the church.  The school room door was the red door off David Street and a 4-seater outhouse in the backyard was used by the students (it's still there but it's now a shed). 

 

 

These children were photographed in 1951 on the three front steps of the house, before the sun room was created.  

 

In 1976 the house was purchased by Professor Kenneth Hewitt (a well-known geologist) who, with his wife Professor Farida Hewitt, raised four girls here.  Prof. Hewitt is the author of the book Elora Gorge: a Visitor's Guide which is an interesting read about the formation, geology and sights of the Gorge (a copy is available here at the house for you to enjoy).  

The youngest daughter, Sitara, may be known to you as a star of the TV series "Little Mosque on the Prairie" as well as other films.  (Also seen here supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation.) 

 

 

 

 

 

When the family moved back to Toronto, the house was purchased in 2004, renovated and opened in 2006 as "Wiggit Hall", a guest house named after a beloved cat of one of the owners.  From 2008 onward it appeared on the market a number of times.  Wiggit Hall closed in 2012 and the house was used as a private residence for two years.  Locals and art collectors might best know this time period for the art exhibits held in the house showcasing Tim Murton's incredible paintings. 

 

 

 

 

When you're on the second floor, take a moment to look up, way up.  These light fixtures were among the first in Elora as Dr. Robertson early on enjoyed having electricity in his home and office, useful for his profession!  As you'll see, the actual bulbs are exposed and the beautiful floral shapes of the fixtures celebrate the magical electric light bulb.

 

 

 

 

 

In August 2014, while hunting for a B&B and a new life adventure, we saw 249 Geddes Street on the market and realized we'd slept there in October 2012 when we took part in Elora's Monster Month!  It felt like home, there was a jumping (leaping!) metal dog on the front door and we knew this was the one for us.  And now the story continues with you, our guests! 

 

The Flying Leap Bed and Breakfast
249 Geddes Street,  Elora, Ontario  N0B 1S0

226-369-0376 or karen[at]theflyingleap.com

 

Taking the Leap!