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Woolwich in Ontario.
The Township of Woolwich is a rural township in Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Region of Waterloo, immediately to the north and east of the City of Waterloo.
Woolwich Township is a community of communities including places such as Elmira, St. Jacobs, Breslau, Floradale, Conestogo, West Montrose, Maryhill, Bloomingdale, Heidelberg, Winterbourne, Shantz Station, and Crowsfoot. All of these communities area surrounded by a rural countryside, and right next to Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.
Touring and Trekking in Woolwich Township
Welcome to a place where the spirit of rural Ontario comes alive. Here, quiet roads wander through a patchwork of fields and farms where common sights include "slow moving vehicle" signs and the occasional Old Order Mennonite horse-drawn buggy. Dotted throughout are ten settlement areas, each offering its own unique character? the bustling shops of Elmira and St. Jacobs feature specialty foods, unique clothing and gifts, restaurants and theatres. In Conestogo you can shop for antiques and gifts, as well as enjoy a dinner concert. West Montrose is home to the "Kissing Bridge", the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario and Winterbourne is graced by a majestic two span, single lane steel bridge crossing the Grand River on the outskirts of the hamlet. The spire of St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church in Maryhill, an area landmark, is used to advantage by the Waterloo Regional Airport in Breslau. Heidelberg was given its name by an early German settler; Bloomingdale was incorporated as a village in 1861; and a must stop is Floradale, where you can indulge in a scrumptuous cream bun at a small bake shop in the village centre.
A Taste of Country Hospitality!
With its rural heritage and bountiful harvests, Woolwich offers ways to experience a taste of country. While traveling along our rural roads, farm-gate signs and roadside stands will tempt you to stop and make an impromptu purchase - fruits, vegetables, flowers, maple syrup. However, you will be reminded on the signs to respect "No Sunday Sales". The country's finest farmer's markets are located in Woolwich.
Excellent restaurants, country inns and bed and breakfast establishments entice visitors to stay a while to enjoy the superb hospitality offered in Woolwich.
You will meet your step-on guide in Elmira and your tour will take you through an area where most of the farms are owned by Old Order Mennonite people. These are the people who will drive horses and buggies along the roadways. Many of these people use horses to do their farm work, and it is possible to see a 5-horse hitch with a man walking behind ploughing in the fields. The tour passes through Wallenstein, Hawkesville, St. Jacobs, Conestogo and West Montrose. At various points along the Conestogo River your guide will point out the Mennonite buggy bridges used as shortcuts by horse-drawn vehicles.
Your guide will explain the history of the area, and of the Mennonite religion down through the last five hundred years. You will see the plain church buildings used by the Old Order Mennonites and learn about their Sunday services - why they have five entrance doors, how a minister is chosen, seating arrangements and when the building is used.
You will learn all about the every day lifestyle of the simple living people, their courtship and weddings. You will pass one-room parochial schools and learn about the education of the children. You will discover how the Old Order Mennonite people are able to maintain their numbers and keep their young people from leaving this simple way of life.
In West Montrose you will get off the coach and have the opportunity to walk across the "Kissing Bridge". The Kissing Bridge has a 198' span across the Grand River, and was built in 1881.
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