Saturday May 4th is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and Downtown St. Thomas is ready to celebrate in Superhero style!
Free Comic Books will be available* at Fan of the Sport, Railway City Tourism, St. Thomas Public Library, Dark Matter and Submariner Tales in St. Thomas and our friends at The Elgin County Library will have also have comics available at their branches.
Soar into Downtown with your PASSPORT from 10am - 2pm and visit participating businesses for treats or a contest draw.
Visit at least 10 of the participating businesses to be entered to win one of three $50 prizes of Downtown Dollars! Passports can be left at your last stop or delivered to Railway City Tourism before 4 pm.
Print your PASSPORT at home before heading out.
Dress up as your favourite superhero for added fun! You never know who you might run into downtown for photos opportunities!
Follow along with the event page for more details and updates!
2018 Photo Album
This event is presented with the assistance of the Downtown Development Board.
*free comic books will be available until close of regular business day or until we run out. Dark Matter Toys and Submariner Tales will have back issue comics while Fan of the Sport, Railway City Tourism, St Thomas and Elgin County Libraries will have official Free Comic Book Day issues.
Calling all foodies! Try a #tasteofstthomas...
This April, a time known in some circles as "pre-Spring Spring" we encourage all to engage in our Railway City Soup Challenge! We are lucky to have an amazing selection of local eateries that offer a variety of soups made from scratch. So before the weather gets too warm, why not try a few for a chance to win?
*purchase required for soups
Print our passport, pick up at one of the eateries, or simply take photos of the soup you eat to show us! Slurping encouraged, but optional.
About the Eateries.
STREAMLINERS ESPRESSO BAR
Streamliners may be one of St. Thomas' leading coffee houses, but the team also offers a food based menu to its customers. Their soup options are crafted freshly from scratch daily. One example of their soup flavours is their potato bacon soup.
Visit Streamliners at 767 Talbot Street this April, open daily, for a chance to enter the challenge!
Harvest Eats is a local eatery with many delicious menu options, all made with the most local ingredients possible. They offer a different soup daily, one being their Broccoli Cheddar. Better yet, all soup options presented by Harvest Eats are completely made from scratch!
Visit Harvest Eat’s at 481 Talbot Street Rear Unit Entrance on Hiawatha, during lunch hours Wednesday-Friday for a truly local taste!
The Bistro is a local restaurant with a menu designed to satisfy and their soups are no different. Their cheddar and ale soup stands out featuring locally brewed Railway City beer in the mix. Fresh ingredients, and a focus on starting from scratch is of the utmost importance.
Located at 625 Talbot Street, and open daily, be sure to try one of their soups for the challenge!
RAIL CITY BISTRO
Rail City Bistro makes everything from scratch, including soup, using as many local ingredients as possible. Their soup of the day is always a surprise, but the creamy tomato and herb bisque that's always on the menu is fantastic.
Find them at 599 Talbot Street, open Tuesday-Sunday and don't miss one of their soups for the Challenge!
Arts & Culture
April 1-6 | Patrick Thibert | St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
April 1st | Elgin Writers Guild | St. Thomas Public Library
April 12th | Sparks + Splatter Retreat | Wildflowers Farm
April 13th | Spring Flowers Watercolour | Romantic Designs
April 13-30 | 50 Years Selections | St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
April 17th | Red Cardinal Acrylic class | Romantic Designs
April 22nd | Pouring With Ellie | Railway City Brewing
April 27th | April Showers class | Romantic Designs
April 25-28 | Maggie's Getting Married | Princess Ave Playhouse
April 27th | Fish Tails Sculpture class | Romantic Designs
April 2nd | Sourdough Bread Demonstration | Harvest Eats
April 5th (every Friday) | Bonjour & Yum | Railway City Brewing
April 6th | Seed Confections 1 year | Seed Confections
April 13th | Sourdough Bread Experience | Harvest Eats
April 1st | Tundra Swan line | 10594 Hacienda Rd, Aylmer
April 2nd (every Saturday) | Euchre Club | St. John's Anglican
April 3rd | Brewery Bootcamp | Railway City Brewing
April 4th | Ready Set Grow | CASO Station
April 4th | Lioness Quartermania | Port Stanley Arena
April 6th | Shoot Out For Stigma | Joe Thornton Centre
April 7th | Mud Dog Run | Springwater Conservation
April 11th | Game of Thrones Trivia | Railway City Brewing
April 12th | Dirty Bingo | Railway City Brewing
April 12th | Spellbound | St. Anne's Centre
April 17th | Quarter Auction | St. John's Anglican
April 2nd (every Saturday) | Trole Brothers | Lotus Thai
April 5th | Rotary Music Festival Keynotes | Central United
April 5th | Open Mic Night | Streamliners Espresso Bar
April 5th | Dave Gunning | Princess Ave Playhouse
April 6th | Chicago Transit | Port Stanley Festival Theatre
April 13th | Sarah Smith with guests The Marrieds | Princess Ave Playhouse
April 13th | Village Band Concert | Elgin Heritage Centre
April 19th | Bach Mass In B-Minor | Centre Street Baptist
April 28th | Sunday Afternoon Concert Series | Central United
April 5-7 | Spring Garden Show | Canadale
April 13th | Country Craft Show & Sale | Masonic Centre
April 20th | Downtown Shop Hop | Downtown St. Thomas
April 25th | CASO Night Market | CASO Station
April 2nd | Family Game Night | St.Thomas Public Library
April 19th | Easter Egg Hunt | Port Stanley Terminal Rail
April 20th | Kinsmen Easter Egg Hunt | Pinafore Park
The Most Canadian Thing To Do
Maple Syrup thrives in a cold climate just as we Canadians have thrived in the cold. This makes maple syrup something we hold dearly to our hearts as part of our Canadian heritage.
Extracted from trees in which the beginning starch is converted into sugar from the rising sap, maple syrup enjoys a unique harvesting process. As late Winter and early Spring approaches, the harvesting of maple syrup poses opportunity for activities and festivals!
Check out our Maple Syrup Guide below to help you navigate this delicious time of year!
Title photo courtesy of Palmer's Maple Syrup
The Fritter Shop
The Fritter Shop brings a fresh flavour to what dessert can be, with all of their fritters made fresh daily using ingredients from Ontario suppliers. Today we look at their maple pecan fritter, it has a delicious maple filling with real pecans mixed with their homemade custard and wrapped in handcrafted dough. Dusted in a white fine sugar. Look for the triangle shape!
The Fritter Shop suggests you pair their maple pecan fritter and with a warm cup of your favourite hot cocoa or latte! The snuggle is real.
This bakery has a ton of history, going back to its origins in 1950s Aylmer when Dave Spicer opened the first location. Over the years customers have come to expect great quality baked goods and donuts. Today, Spicer's has 3 locations, in Aylmer, St. Thomas and Lambeth.
Their commitment to quality is evident in all their baked goods, but today we are focusing on the Maple Bacon Donut and Maple Dip Donut. These two delectable treats are sure to impress! We are particularly fond of the maple bacon combo of sweet and salty!
Photo from The Fritter Shop
Not only do we have syrup, but we have other maple inspired products for you to buy here in St. Thomas!
Palmer’s Maple Syrup Festival
This annual festival is hosted on location at 34308 Lake Line, Port Stanley and runs every weekend in March and Wednesday of March Break. The event details include a woods excursion, pioneer storyteller, log-sawing, leaf branding, face painting, pancake and waffles breakfast and all things Maple Syrup! Truly an informative event surrounding our Canadian heritage and the many sectors of Maple Syrup harvesting.
A day spent at the Palmer Maple Syrup Festival will surely make you a come back next year! If you have any further questions regarding Palmer’s Maple Syrup Festival feel free to contact the festival creators at (519) 769-0007.
Springwater Maple Syrup Festival
This years festival offers many fun activities for all! Enjoy wagon rides through the Springwater Forest. Tour the old-fashioned sugar shanty for demonstrations on maple syrup production. Buy some maple products. Even dine at the pancake house, operated by local community organizations.
Springwater Conservation is located at 8079 Springwater Road and the Festival is held every weekend March 2nd until the 24th.
Photo from Springwater Conservation
Maple Bock - Railway City Brewing
Maple Bock includes notes of molasses and dark maple syrup as well as dark fruit such as raisin and fig. On the palate, plum and toffee are foremost with a hint of chocolate. Like a good lager, Maple Bock is highly drinkable and impeccably clean with a crisp finish. It has a hint of sweetness with a minimal hop profile and produces a creamy mocha head that is dense in texture with little lacing.
AVAILABLE: FEBRUARY - MARCH Style: Doppelbock | Body: Medium/Full | Aroma: Molasses, dark maple syrup, dark fruit (i.e. raisin & fig) | Taste: Plum, toffee, hint of chocolate & sweetness, minimal hop profile, crisp finish ABV: 5.8% - IBU: 30
Maple Wine - Quai Du Vin Estate Winery
The Maple Wine is made from locally sourced, partially evaporated maple sap and slowly fermented over several months to preserve the golden colour, natural sweet aromas and flavours.
The Wolverine - Streamliners Espresso Bar
The Wolverine is the latest Streamliner cappuccino based drink (two shots of espresso), spiced with whole cinnamon, and sweetened with Rodgers Maple Syrup! Did you know all of their espresso based drinks are named after Streamliners? And Streamliners are aluminum clad locomotives that ran through the CASO Station in the 1930s and 1940s!
Photo from Streamliners Espresso Bar
ARTS & CULTURE
March 2 | Romantic Designs Art Class | Romantic Designs Studio
March 2 | YWCA International Women's Day | St. Thomas Seniors Centre
March 2 | Patrick Thibert Wrap Party | St. Thomas Elgin Public Arts Centre
March 3 | Paint Nite | Railway City Brewing
March 7 | EBRC International Women's Day | St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
March 9 | Romantic Designs Art Class | Romantic Designs Studio
March 16 | Art Walk In | The Nook
March 19 | Paint Nite | Upper Deck
March 20 | Spring Equinox Gathering | Wildflowers Farm
March 21 | Paint Nite | Railway City Brewing
March 23 | Romantic Designs Art Class | Romantic Designs Studio
March 29 | Dancing with the Stars| CASO Station
March 30 | Improv Night Season 2 Episode 3 | Rail City Bistro
March 30 | Romantic Designs Art Class | Romantic Designs Studio
March 31 | Paint Nite | Railway City Brewing
March 3 | CASO Bridal Show | CASO Station
March 3 | Public Skate | Joe Thornton Community Centre
March 5 | What's My Style | The Atrium
March 5 | Euchre Club | St. John's Anglican
March 6 | Brewery Boot Camp | Railway City Brewing
March 12 | Euchre Club | St. John's Anglican
March 16 | Shamrock Shuffle | Central United Church
March 17 | Public Skate | Joe Thornton Community Centre
March 19 | Euchre Club | St. John's Anglican
March 21 | A Walk in Her Shoes: Stories of Resiliency | Princess Ave Playhouse
March 24 | Public Skate | Joe Thornton Community Centre
March 26 | Euchre Club | St. John's Anglican
March 29 | St. Thomas Home Show | Joe Thornton Community Centre
March 30 | St. Thomas Home Show | Joe Thornton Community Centre
March 31 | St. Thomas Home Show | Joe Thornton Community Centre
March 2 | Live Music with Karen Emeny | Railway City Brewing
March 8 | Open Mic Night| Streamliners Espresso Bar
March 9 | Black Suit Devil | Railway City Brewing
March 17 | Sunday Afternoon Concert Series | Central United Church
March 23 | Live Music with Ray Holden | Railway City Brewing
March 30 | Suds Songs and Stories - Songwriter Showcase | Railway City Brewing
March 9-17 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 11-15 | March Break Theatre Camp | Rail City Theatre
March 11-15 | March Break Art Camp | Romantic Designs
March 11-15 | March Break Workshops | St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
March 11-15 | Horse Camp | Full Circle Ranch
March 11-15 | Kid's Week | Family Flowers
March 11-14 | Inventor Day Camp | STEAM Centre
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
March 9 | Ceilidh in the Castle | Inverlorne House
March 15 | The Sheridan Band | Knights of Columbus
March 16 | St. Patrick's Day Party | Railway City Brewing
March 17 | Beer Brunch | Railway City Brewing
March 5 | Family Game Night | St. Thomas Public Library
March 2-3 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 11 | Lego Club | St. Thomas Public Library
March 14 | Pi Day | STEAM Centre
March 23-24 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 18 | Lego Club | St. Thomas Public Library
March 25 | Lego Club | St. Thomas Public Library
March 30-31 | Maple Syrup Festival | Springwater Conservation Area
March 1 | Pasta Friday Pop-up | Railway City Brewing
March 8 | Pasta Friday Pop-up | Railway City Brewing
March 9 | Steak & Craft Beer Night | Knights of Columbus
March 15 | Pasta Friday Pop-up | Railway City Brewing
March 29 | Pasta Friday Pop-up | Railway City Brewing
March 21 | Night Market | CASO Station
Is everyone ready for it? The long interminable months before Spring really shines on Ontario's Southwest? Before Spring, and flowers, and smells, and festivals, and all those lovely things return, we thought we'd help you get through.
One global trend we've noted is to attempt a new craft, or push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. Thankfully there are plenty of options in St. Thomas for you to partake in during this seasonal transition. Below find our list of featured activities that will work well to brighten up these dreary days!
1. TOUR A LOCAL MUSEUM
It's time to start exploring. We are very fortunate here in St. Thomas and Elgin County to have a wide variety of museums catering to all sorts of different interests!
The History Buff: the Elgin County Heritage Centre - The Elgin County Railway Museum - Elgin Military Museum
The Nostalgic: Gay Lea Dairy Museum - Dowler Karn Museum
The Architect: CASO Station
2. RESEARCH YOUR GENEALOGY
Before signing up for an Ancestry membership, visit our local archives to see what you can find about your roots. The Elgin County Archives is a great resource, with much of their collection online. However, to go really deep pay them a visit. You never know what you'll learn!
And don't forget the St. Thomas Public Library. They allow free use of Ancestry at the library, and also have an amazing collection of local history items!
3. TAKE AN ART CLASS
We have plenty of local options for you to get those creative juices flowing! Check out Romantic Designs for their classes, including their March Break camp. Our own Public Art Centre has many offerings, as well as a March Break camp. Laing Studios offers classes in everything from photography, to animation, to painting.
4. GET MOVING!
We all know that things can get a bit stationary in the Winter. Here are a few options that you may not have considered to get you out of that comfort zone!
Martial Arts: Brasa Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, located downtown at 491 Talbot, and offers everything from kickboxing to jiu jitsu for kids and adults.
Boxing: Check out Championship City if you want to learn how to box. They offer classes for kids 7-11 as well as everyone 12 years and up. They even offer 2 free classes during the week in case you want to try it out!
Kids getting restless? Bouncing off the walls? Have them take out all that excess energy at Rail City Recreation! The rec is open 7 days per week, and kids can enjoy laser tag, an indoor playground, an arcade, and Nerf wars! Is there an age limit on these activities? Cause they sound good to us!
The St. Thomas Stars are currently in the playoff hunt. Tickets are only $12 for an adult and $5 for a child (kids 5 and under are free), and it's a guaranteed good time all around! Their special "Fill the Rink" event is also coming up February 15 against the Komoka Kings and is always an exciting event. So what are you waiting for?
With the 6th Annual Railway City Arts Crawl coming up, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on WHY? Why Arts Crawl? There are so many reasons, each individual to each and every one of you. But here are 8 we came up with that we thought were really really good!
THE TALENT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.
Yes, it will. Have you seen our artists? Most hail from St. Thomas and Elgin County. Some have moved here over the years. The truth is, we have a diverse mix of talents here in our backyard! From potters to painters, from metal artists to musicians. Young. Old. Everyone in between. We guarantee you will find something that speaks to you.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTIST!
This should come as a no-brainer, but our local artists thrive with your support. They own studios, are parts of guilds, or are starting out in the scary world of establishing themselves as artist. They all need YOU to support them. Take a class at a studio, try a workshop, buy a piece, big or small. Tired of that Starry Night poster still hanging on the wall? Local art is something you will cherish forever.
ART SPEAKS WITHOUT WORDS.
Have you ever looked at a clock or a curtain on the wall and become moved to tears? Art speaks, and it says something different to everyone. There is no right or wrong. You may feel joy, anger, sadness, awe. Or maybe a pretty picture simply makes you happy. Maybe you change your mind over time. That's ok too. Art speaks to us, and when you experience it first hand during the Crawl it's a voice that you will not forget.
ONE OF ST. THOMAS' FAVOURITE EVENTS!
Did you know that the Arts Crawl was voted St. Thomas' favourite event in the 2018 Spirit Awards? Well, you do now! It comes as no surprise to us, as this event is a celebration of creativity and a love of everything local. There is opportunity during the Crawl to interact with certain works, artists, and spaces and explore your inner creativity. Will it be your favourite event of 2019? We're counting on it!
IT MAY INSPIRE THE ARTIST IN YOU!
Each year we hear countless tales of Crawlers becoming inspired by what they see and trying their hand at creation. Children return home and attempt to recreate their favourite experience. We even have children artists, like young Zayden Ward, who has been a Crawl artist for a few years now. He invented a way of painting called Universe Wars, and now he's looking for the next big thing. What will you look to do next?
BUILDS A HEALTHY COMMUNITY.
One thing we love about the Crawl is that our entire community comes together. Our venues fill up with life and energy, friends meet up with friends, and Crawlers get to see a side of our community they may have never experienced before. Have you been to the Railway Museum? What about our own Public Art Centre? Both are Crawl venues, but there are other ways to experience these spaces year round. The Crawl is just a drop in the bucket for what these spaces have to offer.
YOU BECOME AN ART CRAWLER.
May the games begin! You have your passport in hand. On it - 15 unique venues. But you only need 10 for prizes. Yet there is great satisfaction in crawling to all 15. What is one to do? You have now become a Crawler. Look around you at the hoards clutching their passports and know that you are a part of something. Become a veteran Crawler, map your route, park the car in the most strategic location, and get your Crawl on!
BECAUSE ART MAKES LIFE BETTER!
Studies show that both creating and observing art can reduce cortisol, the "stress hormone". In fact, a study by neurobiologist Semir Zeki found looking at a work of art can have the same psychological effect as the experience of romantic love. Isn't that incredible? And here you are at the Arts Crawl surrounded by art in all shapes and sizes! It's no wonder we see mega-watt smiles during one of the ickiest times of the year - known in scientific circles as "Farch" ;)
Forget Waterworks and Pinafore! We are so over them! Ok - we're really not. We LOVE LOVE LOVE these parks! But don't they get all the love? In that spirit, we dug a little deeper to find some UNIQUE winter activities to try in St. Thomas this year. Check out our list of the top 5, and try one, or all, to help ease those winter blues.