Ancaster is a town with deep roots. Dating back to 1793, it’s one of the oldest towns in the province and was once the largest industrial centre in Canada. Its wealth is still visible today with gorgeous historical architecture and a small, but dynamic, downtown.

EAT

Casual

Coach and Lantern exterior

Coach and Lantern

There are many British pubs around but this one feels more authentic than most. It’s housed in a 200-year-old stone building some believe is haunted. Expect pub grub done well – chicken wings, beef dip sandwiches, meat pies and curries.

Fine dining

Ancaster Old Mill

You get a great dinner here, but it’s the Sunday brunch that shines. In a light-filled dining room overlooking a spectacular natural setting (including a waterfall), diners happily fill their plates with raw oysters, eggs benedict, roast turkey, lamb or beef, omelettes, waffles, salads, cheddar biscuits and bottomless mimosas!

Ancaster Mill falls

Rousseau House

Located in a stone house dating back to the 1830s, this is charming spot with inviting atmosphere and a menu focused on local ingredients. Dishes pair well with Canadian craft beers. Soon it will have Brewers Blackbird on-site, offering its own ales and lagers.

Rousseau House

Coffee shops and treats

Caniche French Bakery

Its fresh, flaky croissants and pain au chocolat sell out quickly, so go before noon. Crusty baguettes will satisfy the cravings of those who long for the authentic baked goods of Europe.

Purple Pony

Scoops of premium ice cream flow steadily from this of this cute shop. Decisions are difficult, thanks to a selection of more than 30 flavours. Little ones will demand repeat visits so they can ride on its collection of purple ponies.

Global

Indian Village

Many area Indian cuisine lovers can vouch for the authenticity of this popular spot. The draw is carefully prepared cuisine, made with freshly ground spices. Winning dishes include a perfectly spiced chicken tikka masala and lamb-based saag gosht. (There’s a second location in Dundas.)

SEE AND DO

Carluke Orchards

It’s all about apples – 13 different varieties grown on-site and available at its retail outlet. Pick your own when they’re in season or take home an apple pie from the bakery. There’s also muffins (sour cream streusel!), cookies and meals to go.

Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum

With Ancaster’s rich history, it makes sense to showcase it. The small museum celebrates the past with rotating art and history exhibits. Enjoy the lovely gardens or sign up for a hands-on workshop for grownups.

Hamilton Golf & Country Club

Home to the RBC Canadian Open, the historic course presents a challenge to even experienced golfers. Founded in 1894, it is one of the oldest prestige clubs in Canada. Set among rolling hills, it’s a scenic place to hit the links.

Tiffany Falls

The flow of this tall cascading waterfall changes throughout the year according to the amount of rain. Regardless, it’s always beautiful. It’s a short ten minute walk from your car to get there. Hikers can venture further and hook up with the Bruce Trails or other marked paths.

SHOP

BLACK & SMITH Country General Store

Black & Smith Country General Store

Surround yourself with the charm of country life in the small hamlet of Jerseyville’s original general store from the 1800s. Now reimagined as a modern country store – the store and gallery is full of thoughtfully hand-made goods including beautiful ceramics, stationary and artful crafts from talented makers from across the country. Attached is a pottery studio and furniture workshop.

Taj Mahal Spices & Cheese

Cheese, please! You’ll find shelves full of gourmet goodies, along with a showcase of Canadian and international cheeses. You’re in luck if you’re looking for hard-to-find types like black lemon gouda or truffled-infused brie. It also sells vegan varieties.

Hanleys

Fashion-conscious locals stay stylish with high quality goods at this store located in a unique heritage 1860s heritage building. Expect to see clothing and accessories, including shoes and handbags, from big names like Max Mara, Rag & Bone, Eileen Fisher and Smythe.

For more information, visit the Ancaster Village website.

 

Michele Sponagle

Michele Sponagle is a prolific journalist born and raised in Hamilton. Her work has appeared in top media outlets across Canada. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Michele’s blog takes a fresh look at some Hamilton classics, from iconic eateries to the quirky stories behind its most beloved and well-known attractions.