#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.
It is not down in any map; true places never are.