Fall just seems like the perfect time to move around the bay to the town of Ancaster, an area that combines small-town charm with modern spirit and amenities. Dating back to 1793, this beautiful town is one of the oldest in Ontario! Whether you’re looking to settle down in a newer build (an area like the Meadowlands might be just what you’re looking for) or a beautiful older home with character, Ancaster really brings together charming historical spots and exciting new growth. This family-friendly town is the perfect spot for those working in nearby cities who want the ability to slow things down just a little bit while still having great amenities close by.
Time to go downtown
Image via Ancaster Mill
One of the most charming areas in Ancaster, the beautiful downtown village is home to many unique local shops, lovely restaurants and historic offerings. If you want to discover a little more about Ancaster’s rich history and storied buildings, a good place to start is the Heritage Walking Tour. Taking you through the village, you’ll discover spots like the Hammill House, dating from the 1830’s, and Ancaster Township Hall, which was built in 1871.
After visiting some of these beautiful historic buildings, you’ll find plenty of nearby options to grab a bite to eat. Most notable of these is the Ancaster Mill, a fine dining restaurant known for its delicious food, lengthy background (the stone flour mill was built in 1863) and gorgeous event space. If you’re looking for something more casual, check out Brewers Blackbird Kitchen and Brewery. This spot has also become a local favourite; visit them to try out some of their brews and tasty fare.
Image via Ancaster BIA
Of course, you can’t take in downtown Ancaster without visiting a few other local businesses. While you’re in the area, try popping in to a boutique or two, relax with a spa treatment, or enjoy the arts. You’ll also be able to pick up some incredible, fresh local produce with a visit to the Ancaster Farmers Market, which takes place in the village every Wednesday from June to the beginning of October.
See what’s new
If you’re ready to move on to an area with modern amenities, the Meadowlands community might be more your speed. Over the past few years, this has been one of the most rapidly growing areas in Ancaster, with great new residential builds and plenty of retail and dining options. This bustling community is perfect for those who want convenience (lots of larger stores restaurants have set up shop here in recent years), safe neighbourhoods and quick access to the highway.
Get out and explore
Image via @mattmclarke
Ancaster is also home to some beautiful outdoor spots for you and your family to enjoy. One of the most notable areas to visit is Tiffany Falls, which is home to two waterfalls, Tiffany Falls and Washboard Falls. This is a popular destination, so try to plan your trip during off-peak hours for the best exploration experience. It’s an easy hike, making it perfect for individuals and families alike. Take things a step further and visit during the winter; the frozen falls are a beautiful sight to see.
During the fall season, a trip to the orchard is always a fun activity, and you’ll find plenty of great spots to visit with a friend or the little ones in Ancaster and the nearby area. Carluke Orchards, which has been around for over 200 years, is one that you’ll definitely enjoy. With pick-your-own fruit, a bakery and a gourmet food market, it will likely become a yearly excursion!
Image via Tourism Hamilton
When you’re ready to take a trip through history, a visit to the Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum is in order! This cultural heritage centre takes you through local history in a beautiful setting, with gorgeously landscaped gardens and trails throughout the property. The museum also features a summer concert series, rotating exhibits and various workshops for both adults and children to enjoy - you’ll always find something new to discover.
If you’re a golfer, you’re in luck. The Hamilton Golf & Country Club, founded in 1894, was designed by Harry Shapland Colt, and is considered one of the best parkland courses in North America. This course has played host to the Canadian Open several times, most recently in 2019, and the tournament will return in 2023. Time to get that practice in so you can see how your scores compare!
Visit the Fair
Image via Ancaster Fair
Of course, once you’ve set up roots in the area, you’ll enjoy yearly visits to the Ancaster Fair. Though it has been put on hold this year due to the pandemic, the Fair will be celebrating its 170th anniversary next year. This fair has a little bit of something for everyone; learn about local farms agriculture, enjoy some great musical acts, indulge in treats and take in a show or two while you peruse the fair grounds. This yearly tradition is one of Ancaster’s best attractions!
Whether you want to embrace something new or discover the past, there’s a reason why one of the oldest communities in Ontario has become home to so many. Plan a visit to Ancaster and you’ll quickly understand why this area has been thriving and is such a great place to settle down for families, individuals working nearby and those who just want to slow things down a little.