Dundas Cactus Festival – August 14th – 17th – Don’t Miss Out!!

Background of the event:
39 years ago as the traditional St. Joseph’s House of Providence Picnic ended in the Valley Town of Dundas, the division of the Hamilton District Chamber of Commerce and the Dundas Jaycees began looking for a focus around which to build a community festival.

 Dundas, already internationally recognized for the Cacti produced by the local Ben Veldhuis Cactus Greenhouses, the group received Ben’s approval of the name, “Cactus Festival”.The first festival lasted 9 days, and began with a parade. It featured sports events, a film night, a casino night, a dance at the community center, and midway rides in Dundas driving park Over the years, it grew and in 1979, the downtown merchants agreed to hold their sidewalk sale as part of the Festival. Other craft vendors and exhibitors were invited too.

 The festival moved to King St. and the reputation of the festival grew, year by year. For the sum of $1.00, the Jaycees sold the rights to the Town. Since 1979, the festival has been tirelessly organized by local volunteers; The Cactus Festival of Dundas Committee.

Occurring every 3rd weekend in August, ‘Cactus’ attracts visitors from across the nation and is the unofficial ‘homecoming’ event for any and all who have lived in the community. Continuing to evolve and expand, the FREE family fun Festival runs for 3 days and includes 4 entertainment stages, event zones and over 100 street vendors.

This August, the Festival celebrates 39 years and will once again be the signature event.

 

On a personal note I visited the Festival last year and it was tons of fun! Street vendors and food vendors, local shop owners and artisans. The downtown was buzzing with people, bands were playing and the sun was shining. I had a great time so check it out for sure!

Cactus Festival Crowds
Thursday August 14th 2014 starts at 6.45pm at Dundas Driving Park. It makes its way  toward King Street where it marches through the downtown core. The Cactus Festival Parade is a much-loved tradition in downtown Dundas and thousands of people will crowd the streets to enjoy this spectacular and free family event. There will be an evening of free family fun where you can buy some candy floss and enjoy carnival rides after the parade. Bring a lawn chair or stand on the sidewalk for the greatest show in town!
Picture courtesy of: http://www.dundascactusfest.ca
Carnival Rides

Carnival Rides

Robertson’s Midway
Fabulous amusement rides all weekend long!

 Musical Entertainment
The 2014 Cactus Festival of Dundas Ontario will feature some of the best bands you’ll see all summer long. Each stage offers something different.  Events & Entertainment .

Musical Entertainment

Musical Entertainment

Cactus Family Fun Zone!
The Fun Zone, located on King St. between Market and Church offers a one stop shop for family entertainment. Family Fun Zone .

Fortino’s 9th Baby Cactus Contest
The Baby Cactus Contest is an opportunity for young families with babies 3-17 months to meet, have some fun, and win some great prizes. Every baby entered is recognized and receives an Official ‘Cactus Tumbleweed’ Certificate!

Street Vendors

Street Vendors


Art in the Alley

All forms of original art, including paintings, sculpture, beadwork,
jewellery, silk work, pottery, woodwork and metal work.

References:

http://www.dundascactusfest.ca

http://www.dundascactusparade.com

http://www.downtowndundas.ca/events-in-dundas

Photos courtesy of: Facebook

Il Fiasco – Delicious New Restaurant In Dundas

I had been eagerly awaiting for this restaurant to open and I was not disappointed! Hubby and I had a date night so we ventured into town to check this place out. We had made a reservation to be on the safe side and we are glad we did as the place was busy.

 

Il Fiasco Street View & Patio

Il Fiasco Street View & Patio

It was a lovely evening and the patio was buzzing which was nice to see, a mixture of couples and groups. Great to have another patio in town. We decided to have a drink at the bar first as we were not in any major hurry and also great to see another place in town where you can have a decent glass of wine at the bar. The wine list was pretty extensive and the Owner told us he could make us pretty much anything (now that’s a challenge!) but we stuck with wine. It was great view point to watch the dishes being taken to the table while we perused the menu…some tough choices had to be made!

 

Interior, Cosy & Inviting

Interior, Cosy & Inviting

The name Il Fiasco comes from the straw basket that enwraps some Italian chianti wine bottles. This restaurant had previously been on Locke Street in Hamilton for over fifteen years but they are now happy to call Dundas their new home. This restaurant is owned by husband and wife team, she works in the kitchen creating the magic and he works the front of the house keeping everything flowing. Since opening the Owner said they have been taken by surprise at how busy they have been which is great to hear. They have been welcomed with open arms into the town and this showed from the steady stream of people coming in to eat both inside and out.

 

Il Fiasco has a casual but welcoming interior and you could come in for a casual bite, an App at the bar or a full meal. They have a varied menu of appetizers, salads, pizza, pasta and entrees. There are also daily specials featured.

 

After some deliberations I decided on the Panko crusted crab and shrimp cake with lemon mayo (which were crispy and delicious) and my Hubby had  the Tijuana Caesar Salad with chipotle, garlic dressing and maple bacon foccacia croutons.

 

Crab & Shrimp Cakes

Crab & Shrimp Cakes

I wasn’t sure whether or not the have the Duck special but went with the Norwegian Pizza – smoked salmon, red onion, capers and goat cheese (piping hot, flavourful but not too heavy).

 

Norwegian Pizza

Norwegian Pizza

Hubby had the Volcano Pizza – tomato sauce, sausage, hot peppers, pineapple and mozzarella (he enjoyed his too). Next time we come back we will try other dishes as there many that caught my eye. We saw some fabulous deserts being brought out but we were too full!!

Volcano Pizza

Volcano Pizza

Verdict? This will be a regular place of ours….great, friendly service and knowledgeable, attentive Owner. Great for a date night or out with friends or family. The really nice touch they have here is decanting the bottles of wine (and I am not going to lie but we did enjoy a couple of bottles!) You will find here good prices, nice cosy interior and most importantly locally produced delicious food!

 

The Mulberry Bush – A Unique Home & Garden Gift Store

I had the opportunity to visit The Mulberry Bush and this visit was long overdue. No offence to the other stores that I have visited for this Blog but this store really made an impact on me due to the warm welcome I received by the kind-hearted people who worked there.

Let me give you some background first:

The Mulberry Bush is a store front in the heart of Dundas which is operated by CHOICES Association, a not for profit organization. The Mulberry Bush provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to expand their employable skills, life skills, retail skills and independence on both a full and part time basis. They are responsible for everything from customer service to merchandising. They arrive each day to open the store, interact with customers, share their product knowledge, help customers make informed purchases, and assist in processing their sales on the point of sale system. All of the profits from the store go back into supporting people with developmental disabilities within CHOICES Association.

The day I arrived I was invited for tea and cookies and I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with all the staff at the store. They educated me on how they conducted their business at the store. They are taught a variety of skills of which they shared with me from phone etiquette, making bank deposits, computer work to inventory and all of these duties they rotate through and work as a group. There are 14 staff in total and they are watched by their “shadow” but this is their store of which they run with pride and strong work ethic.

Local Pottery & Handmade "Inspiration" Boards

Local Pottery & Handmade “Inspiration” Boards

 

Handmade Ornaments

Handmade Ornaments

I learnt a lot on my visit there of how they are setting an example for the community and learning to have a voice. Each week there is a lesson plan and every day a schedule. The store is run like a well oiled machine. Not only does the staff research and source the products they want to sell but they also price up the products they carry. At the store in the classroom they also create products (see video link below) such as stained glass ornaments, inspiration boards, silk flowers and Holiday ornaments.

 

Locally Made Candles

Locally Made Candles

The Mulberry Bush carries a wide variety of home and garden products and many are consignment pieces from local artists that support the local community. They give a portion of the cost of the product back to the Mulberry Bush to support their program. There is a Bio next to each vendor explaining their story and history of their products. There is a wide selection of inventory in store from fragrances, jewelry, scarves, candles, local pottery, kitchen accessories, artwork and stained glass. They also carry Fruits and Passion, Cucina and Weirs Lane Lavender products.

Cucina Products

Cucina Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each purchase is individually gift wrapped in  a paper bag with tissue paper. Each staff member decorates the bag with a store business card and their chosen ink stamp. They also create gift baskets and gift bags for special occasions and these are especially popular over the holidays.

 

The staff walked me through the store explaining each product and their knowledge and experience shown through. All products are well displayed and the I especially liked the cheery window display. I recommend this store for purchasing gifts and be sure to check it out as you never know what you will find there. I bought a couple of items and the store is now on my Holiday shopping list. I want to send a shout out to the staff and thank them for making me feel so welcome and I will be back for cookies again soon!

Handmade Scarves and Bags Made From Milk Bags

Handmade Scarves and Bags Made From Milk Bags

 

Brightly Lit & Welcoming Store

Brightly Lit & Welcoming Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Side Note: the building is undergoing exterior renovations but is still open).

Front window picture courtesy of their Facebook page.

References:
Watch this cool video from a Hamilton Spec Reporter

Address: 94 King Street West, Dundas, ON, Canada

 

 

Dundas Glen – New B&B downtown Dundas

I had been eagerly waiting to check out this new B&B that was opening in Dundas. I had been in chats with the owner via Twitter and he invited me to go down to their newly decorated establishment before it had officially opened and I was honoured to be invited.

 

Dundas Glen Street View.

Dundas Glen Street View.

Dundas Glen B&B is at 271 Hatt Street and is owned by husband and wife team Travis and Susan. This is a new venture for them and they moved into the area with the idea of buying a house and turning it into a B&B. This idea has been 2 years in thought and 1 year in making it a reality. Both pilots originally this is indeed a different path for them and you can spot both airplane themed pictures and local Dundas pictures on the walls which is a nice personal touch.  They are very much lovers of all things Dundas and were touched on how supportive local residents and store owners have been towards them.

 

Dundas Glen is very charming with original features and the original part of the house dates back to 1851 with a new section added on in 1904.

 

Shaded Front Porch

Shaded Front Porch

Travis gave me a guided tour and the guest areas are bright, clean and decorated well with a mix of original antiques and modern touches. The front porch welcomes you first with comfortable patio furniture when you can sit in the shade, hidden back from the road.

 

The bright dining area with original features such as hard wood floor and woodwork was well equipped to serve guests a hearty breakfast before they set off on their days adventures.

Bright and Airy Dining Room

Bright and Airy Dining Room

Breakfast will be a selection of hash browns, bacon, eggs, croissants, toast and at weekends their special pancakes will make an appearance! The dining area also will have pop, water, juice and coffee that is readily available. Also on display was a selection of handmade jewelry that is for sale that is made by Susan at “Soozens” jewelry design (info@soozens.com). I eyed up some lovely coloured stones with sterling silver chains.

"Soozens" Handmade Jewelry

“Soozens” Handmade Jewelry

 

The B&B has three bedrooms all named after lakes and they are separate from the owners bedroom which is great, lots of privacy for all.

 

Lake Superior is the biggest room with a King size brass bed, Big TV, walk in closet, antique desk and ample space to move around. It would be suitable for a business traveler on extended stay. (This room right now is having it’s finishing touches done!)

 

The Ontario room has a Queen size bed, fridge, hanging space, TV, desk and is bright and welcoming.

Ontario Room

Ontario Room

 

The Huron room also has a Queen size bed,built-in original cupboards and TV. All three rooms are well equipped, comfortable and are provided with personal touches such as locally sourced toiletries and soaps for the guests.

 

Huron Room

Huron Room

 

 

 

 

The newly decorated bathroom for the guests has an original claw foot bathtub, a rain fall shower head that is so fancy I had to tell my Husband about it and all the amenities you would need.

Bright and Clean Modern Bathroom

Bright and Clean Modern Bathroom

 

Dundas Glen has it first paying guest this week and I am sure they won’t be disappointed. The owners themselves are very charming and dedicated to making their guests feel comfortable and returning again and again. This spot is ideal if you have friends or relatives coming in from out-of-town and don’t (or don’t want to) have room to put them up. Guest can walk into town and see the delights of Downtown Dundas with its many shops and eateries.

 

Check out their extensive website for room rates and more information and spread the word. They also have a Facebook page.

 

We want visitors to come into our lovely town and enjoy their time here and tell others about it. Let’s wish Travis and Susan good luck on their new venture and every success for the future!

 

On a side note: There was a movie that was shot here last winter called “The Calling” with Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace and Donald Sutherland. Check out the trailer to see if you can identify areas of the house!! (WARNING! Some violence and disturbing scenes PG 18)

 

Fazari’s Cucina – Perfect Pizza in Dundas

You know what I love about Dundas?…..you drive up a side road, a little off the beaten track you see new places to check out! This town ceases to amaze me, always delighting me with it’s charm and character.

So as I was driving away from the Dundas Museum I saw a sign for “Fazari’s Cucina” out of the corner of my eye. When I got home I checked out their website as I not heard of this place before, looked intriguing and worth a visit for sure. All in the name of research of course!!

Fazari’s Cucina is located at 21 King St, West and the entrance is located at the rear off Park Street. You drive down a driveway and there you discover the hidden gem. Fazari’s Cucina products are imported from Italy and bought from local suppliers.  Pasta is made from Antico Molino Caputo Tipo 00 pasta flour and pizza is made from Antico Molino Caputo Tipo 00 pizza flour. This flour is only made in Italy and it supposedly makes the best pasta and pizza dough in the world.

When you walk into Fazari’s it is like stepping back in time. A large open store where you can see the pizzas being made in the huge pizza oven. They just do take out but I was prepared and had called ahead. They also make paninis, calzones, pasta, pastries,salads and arancini (rice balls).

I ordered two pizzas – “Fazari’s Special” which was pancetta, caramelized onions, asiago, evo, thyme and garlic. The second was “Tutti Carne” – which was meatballs, sausage. salami and pepperoni. Both pizzas were enjoyed by my Hubby and I and were delicious with that great genuine Italian home made flavour and taste. I will be back for sure and recommend to all. Check out their website for their menu and details…..delizioso!!

Reference:

http://www.fazaris.com

restaurant photo courtesy of website

Fazari's Special

Fazari’s Special

Tutti Carne

Tutti Carne

 

 

The Doctor’s Office – A Piece of Dundas History!

Street view of The Doctor's Office

Street view of The Doctor’s Office

In 1974, the CIBC Bank was planning a major expansion project, one that would have been perilous to the medical office. Dr. Bates then moved his practice to another location and chose to donate the historic Doctor’s Office to the Dundas Museum.

The building made its way on a flatbed truck from King Street to its current location on the Museum property. Restoration was undertaken to return the unique architecture more fully to the original 1848 appearance. In July of 1976 the Doctor’s Office became the first property in Dundas to be designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The Doctor’s Office is testament to 125 years of medical practice in Dundas, it has been lovingly restored and is like stepping back in time. The exhibits on display today draw on the years from 1850 – 1900 and I found it fascinating!!

Reference:

http://www.dundasmuseum.ca

The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room

The Doctors Office - check out that examination chair!!

The Doctors Office – check out that examination chair!!

Original Medical Equipment

Original Medical Equipment

 

 

Dundas Museum & Archives – The Community Museum

A perfect stop on a rainy afternoon…… I had been meaning to check out the Dundas Museum and this was a great opportunity to go.

Dundas Museum Street View

Dundas Museum Street View

Back View - You can see where the new atrium joins the two building together?

Back View – You can see where the new atrium joins the two building together?

 

The friendly staff welcomed me and told me about the exhibits and the history of the building. The original part opened in the 1950s and a renovation was done in 2012-13 to connect the original part to the Pirie House, a historic cottage built-in 1873. The two buildings with the modern atrium in the middle is a piece of art in itself and has been done very well.

 

The original museum has exhibits that rotate every three months but what is constant is its history of Dundas. Walking through the exhibits the first encounter is of the “First Peoples in the Valley” with artefacts such as tools, ceramics, bows, jewelry and even snowshoes.

 

What is was really here for was the History of Dundas and I was not disappointed. I loved the fact that the history was personalized with stories of Dundas residents going back through time. I was enthralled in their tales of hardship, tribulations, successes and hard work. It seems that most originated from England and they had come over to Canada to seek new opportunities.

 

Exhibit On Dundas

Exhibit On Dundas

The story of the Desjardins Canal

The story of the Desjardins Canal

Walking through the museum a story unfolded from the early settlers to beginning of Industry, WWI, Great Depression, WWII, Small Business…..reading personal history on early residents of Dundas such as Richard Hatt, William Knowles, Miss Ridler, Thomas Bain and reading quotes on the walls from old newspaper stories. Old photographs and original historical items completed the stories and for a few hours I was taken back in time. It was educational yet very interesting.

Great personalized Stories

Great personalized Stories

The next exhibit was Victorian Age Landscape Artists and every Thursday n the Summer from 5pm – 8pm there is an art conservation demonstration where you can observe a 19th century painting being restored. Some great works of art and I enjoyed the local scenes particularly.

 

Victorian Landscapes Exhibit

Victorian Landscapes Exhibit

Local Landscapes

Local Landscapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also an Archive room where you can reference and research Dundas history from historical maps, letters, photos etc.

 

In the Pirie House the space has been lovingly restored and the history of the home is displayed on the wall. This space now displays art from local artists and the room can be rented out with special discount given to Dundas residents!

 

The museum operates from funding from a private foundation and relies on donations from its visitors and general public. It is wheelchair accessible and also has a small gift shop where you can purchase calendars and postcards of Dundas. I enjoyed my time spent at the Museum and recommend that you visit it to understand and appreciate the history of Dundas.

The Museum can be found at: 139 Park Street West, Dundas