St. Thomas provides some great opportunities to get outside and get active all year round. Disk Golf provides one of these opportunities!
The sport originated in California but found a home here in the 1980's beginning with a tournament in 1982. While the tournament was a little makeshift using whiskey barrels instead of regulation baskets, the sport found a permanent location at V.A. Barrie Park three years later.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, Disk Golf is similar to traditional golf but a "Frisbee-like" disk replaces the ball and clubs. A metal basket replaces the holes. A major advantage of Disk Golf is that you can play year round.
Set in a lush valley along Kettle Creek on the edge of St. Thomas, V.A. Barrie is a park dedicated to Disc Golf, and does a fantastic job of using every square inch of available land. The layout is simple, as you travel up on side of the valley and down the other, but it is a complex course. A great mix of forehand and backhand shots are needed to succeed here, and all kinds of hazards need to be avoided to win your round. The course is a full 18 holes with a practice basket. Regarded as a par-3 for the pros the course comes in at 5,800 feet.
Every course has a gem, and the highlight of this beautiful course is the spectacular ninth hole. It overlooks the Barrie course from the hill at the Elgin County Court House, stretching over 600 feet downhill from tee to basket.
If the sport peeks your interest, read up more about its history and roots in St. Thomas by visiting the St. Thomas Disk Sports Club.
Last summer we met up with Martin Hendel, one of the top-ranked disc golfers in the world, at V.A. Barrie Park in St. Thomas to learn some secrets of the sport.
The fifth annual Railway City Arts Crawl was held February 23 & 24 at venues around the city. With over sixty artists participating and hundreds of visitors through each of the pop-up gallery locations, the 2018 crawl provided a window into the incredible amount of talent the St. Thomas art community possesses.
Providing a unique opportunity to engage with artists, this event offered the chance to discover different types of art. Visitors exclaimed fascination and delight with the variety of talent exhibited. Long held beliefs of what art is were stretched and challenged and imaginations were ignited. The crawl is unique in part because of the quality and variety of talent included each year.
Thank you to all the artists for their time and dedication in sharing their passion for art with all of us. Congratulations to People's Choice Artist Ben Vandevooren for clinching the close race for favourite artist this year.
A complete list of participating artists is available to connect with artists.
Longtime locals and visitors alike were excited to visit new-to-them venues and discover all that St. Thomas has to offer.
Thanks to the venues: Destination Church, Elgin County Railway Museum, Joy Yoga Studio, Laing Studios, Limitless Tattoo, Little Red Mitten, Medlyn Stained Glass, Railway City Brewing, Romantic Designs, St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre, St. Thomas Public Library, STEAM Centre, Streamliners Espresso, Talbot Teen Centre, and Why Not Cookies Cafe for opening up their doors to create pop-up galleries throughout the city for everyone to enjoy.
All About Food was back illustrating the artistry of food and to keep crawlers well fed as they traveled from venue to venue. Special thanks to Chick Boss Cake, Elgin Harvest, Orchard Hill Farms, Quai du Vin, Salt & Pepper Meals, Seed Confections, and Wildflowers Farm for doing what you do best - delicious.
Thanks to our event sponsors Digital Dackel, The St. Thomas Downtown Development Board, Elgin Theatre Guild, Joy Yoga Studios, Limitless Tattoo, Little Red Mitten, Medlyn Stained Glass, Oh My Fur and Whiskers, Rail City Bistro, Railway City Brewing Co., Seed Confections, STEAM Centre, Streamliners Espressor Bar, St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre, and Why Not Cookies Cafe.
For more photos follow #railwaycityartscrawl on Instagram!
March is just around the corner and with it comes a few more hours of sunshine each day. Find ways to fill those extra hours and have some fun with our What to do in March list!
ARTS & CULTURE
March 1-24 | Great Beginnings - Elementary | St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
March 1 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
March 1 | Rock of Ages | Parkside Collegiate Institute
March 2 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
March 2 | Rock of Ages | Parkside Collegiate Institute
March 3 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
March 3 | Rock of Ages | Parkside Collegiate Institute
March 3 | Art Class - Celebrity Portrait | Romantic Designs
March 4 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
March 8 | International Women's Day | CASO Station
March 17 | Art Class - Otter Days | Romantic Designs
March 17 | Legends of Memphis | Port Stanley Festival Theatre
March 19 | Spring Equinox Gathering | Wildflowers Farm
March 21 | Art Class - The Knotty Tree | Romantic Designs
March 23 | Dancing with the Stars| CASO Station
March 24 | Art Class - The Rabbit| Romantic Designs
March 25 | Art History Talk | St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
March 2 | Social Tap Kick off - Supporting Shamrock Shuffle | Railway City Brewing
March 3 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 4 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 3 | Brewery Boot Camp | Railway City Brewing
March 10 | Steak & Craft Beer Night | Knights of Columbus Hall
March 11 | Flight Club - Acro Yoga & Beer | Railway City Brewing
March 17 | Shamrock Shuffle | Central United Church
March 17 | Seedy Saturday | St. Thomas Public Library
March 23 | St. Thomas Home Show | Timken Centre
March 24 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 24 | St. Thomas Home Show | Timken Centre
March 25 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 25 | St. Thomas Home Show | Timken Centre
March 9 | Open Mic Night| Streamliners Espresso Bar
March 10 | Suds, Songs & Stories | Railway City Brewing
March 24 | The Blurry Pickers| Aylmer Old Town Hall
March 24 | Lion Bear Fox | Aylmer Old Town Hall
March 31 | Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem | Centre Street Baptist Church
March 10-18 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 12-16 | March Break Mini Classes | Romantic Designs
March 12-16 | Horse Camp | Full Circle Ranch
March 12-16 | March Break Camp | Brix & Stix
March 12-17| Kid's Week | Family Flowers
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
March 16 | The Sheridan Band | St. Thomas Legion
March 17 | Beer Brunch | Railway City Brewing
March 17 | St. Patrick's Day Party | Railway City Brewing
March 17 | Keltic Knights St. Patty's Ceilidh | Upper Deck Sports Bar
March 30 - April 1 | Easter Bunny Train | Port Stanley Terminal Rail
March 31 | Shop Hop | Downtown
March 31 | Easter Egg Hunt | Full Circle Ranch
March 31 | Easter Egg Hunt | Pinafore Park
March 17 | Spring Craft Show Sale | Masonic Centre of Elgin
March 27 | Night Market | CASO Station
March 29 | Night Market | CASO Station
If you follow us over on Instagram you might have seen the announcement already about our partnership with Railway City Brewing Co. to create limited edition bottles for the Railway City Arts Crawl. Artists participating in the crawl submitted their work for a chance to be featured on the labels and the winning designs are now available in store at the brewery!
The selection panel chose a total of twelve artists this year and you can pick up packs of 6 ($20) or get a full set of 12 ($35) while they last. It's a great mosaic of the talent featured throughout the event and a fantastic way to commemorate your trip to the crawl!
Congratulations to the selected artists!
Elizabeth Kusinski, Irv Loewen, Vicki & Shelby Down, Judy Ross, Robin Grindley, Chris Cherry, Ann-Marie Cheung, Ben Vandevooren, Mary Tuff, Aganetha Sawatsky, Katelyn Tippin, and Kelly Wilson.
The Railway City Arts Crawl is an annual event that takes place the last weekend of February at venues across St. Thomas. Join the celebration of local arts February 23 & 24, 2018.
All bundled up and nowhere to go? Winter in St. Thomas provides unique opportunities for adventure and discovery and if you are feeling a little bit of cabin fever, this list might be just what you need to make the most of the final weeks of crisp air and sparkling snow.
Whether it's grabbing a hot drink on the go or cozying up with a cuppa and a book - St. Thomas has some incredible stops to ensure your coffee, tea, and hot chocolate needs are met! Coffee is great all year, but there is something extra special about it in the winter months when you need a little extra warmth. Meet a friend at Why Not Cookies or Streamliners Espresso Bar, grab a unique creation from Chick Boss Cake to enjoy while you shop downtown, or pick up a freshly roasted bag of coffee to enjoy at home from Las Chicas Del Cafe. If tea is more your speed take a visit to Wildflowers Farm or The New New Age to discover a blend (or two) that's right for you!
Hockey is a long standing tradition of many Canadian communities and St. Thomas is no different! Take an evening to support the St. Thomas Jr. B Stars at the Timken Community Centre for any of their games including the upcoming Fill the Rink event February 16th. Share your hockey stories at Kraft Hockeyville and rally behind the community in the bid to be one of the next host communities!
Skate, Ski or Sled your way through the tail end of winter with any number of opportunities throughout the community. From Sunday Public Skates and a special Family Day skate to cross country skiing, tobogganing on your favourite hill or building a snowman, winter has so many snowbound activities to offer in St. Thomas. If staying warm and dry is more your speed Escape from Reality or Rail City Recreation might be an ideal getaway from the white stuff.
Art is an integral part of the fabric of St. Thomas and with the slower pace of the winter season, it's the perfect opportunity to meander through an art show or take in a play! The Railway City Arts Crawl highlights over sixty local artists in a range of styles and mediums in sixteen unique venues the last weekend in February. The Elgin Theatre Guild is celebrating 50 years of drama and laughter this season and are ready to take the stage for your enjoyment.
Winter really is magic. You can see and experience your favourite places but they can feel brand new with a layer of snow. From sparking hoarfrost on the trees in the early morning, to icicles on Jumbo's nose - it's the perfect opportunity to grab friend and a camera to rediscover your favourite St. Thomas spots. Share your photos with us using #explorerailwaycity!
February might be a short month but it is still packed with things to do!
ARTS & CULTURE
February 10 | Comedy Hypnosis Dinner & Show | Rail City Bistro
February 12 | Couples Paint Night | Boston Pizza
February 15 | Movie Night - Loving Vincent | St. Thomas Public Library
February 15 | Paint Night | Knights of Columbus
February 16 | Yuk Yuk's Comedy Night at the Station | CASO Station
February 19 | Medieval Family Day | Elgin County Heritage Centre
February 22 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
February 23 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
February 23 | Railway City Arts Crawl | Railway City Tourism
February 24 | Railway City Arts Crawl | Railway City Tourism
February 24 | Railway City Arts Crawl - After Party | Railway City Tourism
February 24 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
February 24 | Hollywood Arms | Princess Ave. Playhouse
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE & SPORTS
February 6 | Dart Night | Railway City Brewing
February 7 | Yoga and Beer | Railway City Brewing
February 13 | Dart Night | Railway City Brewing
February 14 | Beer Bootcamp | Railway City Brewing
February 15 | Fill the Rink | Timken Community Centre
February 17 | Olympic Open House | St. Thomas Curling Club
February 19 | Family Skate | Timken Community Centre
February 20 | Dart Night | Railway City Brewing
February 27 | Dart Night | Railway City Brewing
February 9 | Jacob Moon | Princess Ave. Playhouse
February 10 | The Sun Harmonic | Princess Ave. Playhouse
February 13 | Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner | Knox Presbyterian Church
February 13 | Pancake Supper | First United Church
February 13 | Pancake Supper | St. John's Anglican Church
February 10 | Soft Opening | Seed Confections
February 21 | Night Market | CASO Station
February 22 | Night Market | CASO Station
February 28 | Quarter Auction | The Back Alley
As February arrives, the bustle and warmth of the holiday season have past and winter has well and truly settled in. Spring may still feel like a long way off, but St. Thomas has something exciting upcoming that is a little closer on the horizon. The Railway City Arts Crawl is the perfect reason to bundle up and head out into the community February 23rd and 24th!
The popular winter celebration of local arts and culture is back for its fifth year and invites people to explore sixteen St. Thomas venues featuring painters, sculptures, weavers, potters, photographers, installation, culinary, and performance artists among others.
FREE event passports are available at participating venues to assist crawlers to locate the venues and artist they'd like to explore over the two-day event. It's a wonderful opportunity to engage with local artists while exploring the city and expanding awareness of the creative community that is thriving in St. Thomas.
Laura Woermke, Executive Director of the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, believes that the Arts Crawl "is a great opportunity to continue what we do every day in our community", which is to encourage and support the practice of visual arts in St. Thomas and Elgin.
"This year the Art Centre is featuring 400 works from young student artists in our 'Great Beginnings' exhibit in the Main Gallery. It's a wonderful and pure example of the joy of creating", something the Arts Crawl is all about. Gallery Three will feature the final project of a partnership between Artist in Residence, Will Graham, and 70 grade seven students from Southwold Public School.
The beauty of the Arts Crawl is that is highlights talented artists who create in a variety of mediums and styles. It truly is a celebration of creativity and building connections within the community.
'Being a part of the Arts Crawl as an artist from year one, I have seen venues and artists grow in numbers and talent. The fact that we all get together to celebrate the huge art culture we have in this city is so amazing. I look forward to this event every year!'
- Chris Cherry
'I love meeting all the people who come out to support us! As artists, we spend a lot of time working solo in the studio and being able to meet and connect with the public is great!'
- Elizabeth Kusinski
'As an artist, I feel so lucky to have this event. It gives us a chance to show our rat and feel supported by all the people who come out to the Arts Crawl'
- Kat Medlyn
For many people who make and enjoy art, it's therapeutic.
'I use my craft as therapy and do it for no other reason than it is good for my soul.'
- Steve Fryer
'We are so excited to be a host this year! Art is healing and we wish to have a healthy community.'
-Heather Franklin, Destination Church
The youngest artist on the crawl is Zayden Ward. At only eight years old he sees the crawl as important in bringing people together and likes knowing that his art hangs in people's homes bringing beauty to their worlds. He would like to see people of all ages come out to experience the crawl, and perhaps be inspired to create their own. Zayden calls art a gift - wording it in such a way that implies a dual meaning - a gift to create and a gift to give and receive.
As part of the event, the STEAM Centre will host a feature art show celebrating the intersection between art and technology through immersive art installations, maker space demonstrations and interactive activities. Connecting to the railway history of St. Thomas, where trains intersected bringing diverse art and culture, the show features artists from New York, Toronto, and Hamilton with roots and exhibition histories from across the globe.
The STEAM Centre is also hosting the FREE after party on February 24 at 6 pm to connect with the growing creative community in St. Thomas. The event will feature Soul and Funk beats spun by DJBlueEyez. Local food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be available for purchase.
Crawlers visiting 10 or more venues can submit their completed passports to the Railway City Tourism office in person or by taking a photo and sending it to email@example.com before March 16 for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Some prizes will be drawn at the FREE after party on February 24 so get your passport in before 5 pm February 24 or bring it to the party for the chance at the most prizes.
Friday, February 23: Crawl from 6 pm - 9 pm
Saturday, February 24: Crawl from 11 am - 5 pm
Saturday, February 24: After Party 6 pm at STEAM Centre (50 Wellington St.)
For more information, visit www.railwaycityartscrawl.com
Artists featured: Joel Berry, Susan Boldt, Laura Woermke, Elizabeth Kusinski, and Jason Boldt
#1 - Take a Selfie with JUMBO!
P.T. Barnum claimed Jumbo the Elephant to be "The Biggest Elephant in the World" and sadly his life was tragically cut short by a train in St. Thomas in 1885. His story fascinates locals and visitors alike; there is still speculation about Jumbo's life and the events surrounding his death. On the 100th anniversary of Jumbo's death, a life-sized statue was erected in his honour. Jumbo is on the bucket list of many sight-seers. Cross it off your list and take a selfie with him! Share all your St. Thomas adventures with us on Instagram with #explorerailwaycity.
#2 - Grab an espresso from Streamliners Espresso Bar!
Streamliners Espresso Bar offers a unique coffee experience in the heart of Railway City. They specialize in Espresso, Chemex (pour over) and French Press beverages featuring Las Chicas del Cafe beans roasted right across the street! It's a treat for coffee lovers and those yet to be coffee lovers alike.
#3 - Stroll through town to view the murals!
Go on a walking tour and view all of the St. Thomas murals created by local artists! St. Thomas has a total of eleven beautiful murals on Talbot Street. Attempt a scavenger hunt to seek them all out. Take a break and sit down at the parkette located downtown at 426 Talbot Street.
#4 - Tour the Elgin County Railway Museum
We are Railway City, and this museum showcases our roots. The Elgin County Railway Museum is located in the original Locomotive Shops for the railway. Experience what St. Thomas was like when there were eight different lines operating more than 100 trains a day though the city while viewing artifacts, videos, model trains and the real thing in the workshop.
(The museum is currently closed for renovations, but is excited to reopen the doors in spring 2018)
#5 - Visit Pinafore Park
Pinafore Park has something for everyone! Stroll through beautiful gardens and century-old pavilions viewing sculptures and water features leading towards the pond that supplied the steam railway. Pinafore Park has a beautiful memory garden, the Morris F. Jones Bandshell featuring summer concert series for music lovers, a first-class ball stadium, tennis courts, hiking trails connecting to the Whistlestop Trail, and a splash pad and playground for kids. Pinafore Park also is home to many special events throughout the year including fireworks on Canada Day and Light the Night during the Christmas Season.
#6 - Explore the brand new St. Thomas Elevated Park (STEP)!
St. Thomas' brand new elevated park was inspired by our heritage as Railway City and worldwide tourist attractions such as New York City's High Line and The Promenade Plantée in Paris, while also preserving the history of the Michigan Central Railway Bridge. The park offers a unique experience and a bird's eye view of the landscape surrounding the city. The project is being completed in phases and you can visit STEP's website for progress.
#7 - Railway City Brewing Co. tour and tasting
Railway City Brewing Co. locally brews a series of all natural, small-batch beers. They are well known for their Dead Elephant Ale, a tribute to Jumbo himself. Book a tour and tasting to learn about the process and the differences and nuances of these locally crafted beers. The brewery plays host to a wide variety of special events and activities throughout the year, often partnering with other local businesses, keep an eye open for Beer and Yoga, Paint Nights, and so much more!
#8 - Walk or bike the Whistlestop Trail
This multi-use trail runs along the L&PS line and connects to Port Stanley. This historic trail connects the community quickly to and from Talbot Street while staying close to nature. Walk or bike to the Horton Farmers Market on Saturday mornings (seasonal) and you might forget you are in town! The trail also extends to the beaches in Port Stanley making it a convenient way to make an active trip to the beach.
#9 - Take in some art!
St. Thomas is a thriving artists community and taking in a tour to see local original art is easy! Visit Romantic Designs Artist Studio and walk the Whistle Stop Trail to Talbot Street and the St. Thomas Public Art Center. On the walk between the two, there are so many other possible stops. To get a greater feel for the art scene in town, the last weekend in February plays host to a city-wide Arts Crawl highlighting more than 50 local artists from St. Thomas and area and has become a must-attend for locals and visitors alike.
#10 - Geocaching!
St. Thomas has an abundant number of geocaches waiting to be found. Among this collection, there are sites down Talbot Street and at many local attractions like Jumbo! Find out more about the Geocache tour at the Railway City Tourism Center located in the L&PS Station downtown.
Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour is Heading to St. Thomas on November 18 and 19
Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour presented by Scotiabank and Dodge is heading to St. Thomas, ON, for a celebration of hockey on November 18 and 19. The weekend will feature broadcast hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, meet-and-greet opportunities with NHL alumni Scott Thornton and Brad Marsh, live local entertainment and engaging activities for the whole family.
The two-day hockey festival begins on Saturday, November 18 at noon ET at City Hall, and will conclude on Sunday evening following the Rogers Hometown Hockey outdoor viewing party. The evening’s broadcast kicks off with a special pre-game show hosted live on site by MacLean and Slone from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, and Sportsnet NOW, followed by a showdown between the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers.
Rogers Hometown Hockey Event Details
Rogers Hometown Hockey Festival Details
OUR HANDY GUIDE TO THE HOLIDAY SEASON IN ST.THOMAS