Last summer my friend Peggy and I drove to Paris. Yup, there’s a Paris in Ontario, Canada. It’s a small community situated by the Grand River. Its main street has oodles of charm with its historic buildings, interesting shops and hanging flower baskets.
We had lunch on the patio at the 2 Rivers Cafe overlooking the river. There were canoes speeding effortlessly by propelled by the strong current. I had asked a ‘local’ for a restaurant recommendation and he definitely got it right. Peggy had a burger and a beer and I had a delightful poached chicken sandwich with fig jam, pears and brie and a cold glass of pinot Grigio; both were served with a side salad. Most everything on the lunch menu was $12 – $15.00, so we easily dropped $50.00, but I’d definitely go back – maybe in time for brunch next time. A perfect summer moment.
With lunch out of the way, we wandered along main street popping in and out of the one-of-a-kind shops. There’s also a permanent market in the former mill open 7 days a week. There’s a coffee shop that opens out to a deck where you can stop to relax and regroup. There is lots of brick and high, high ceilings to enjoy and the best part about an indoor market is that you never have to worry about one of those summer downpours or the stifling heat and humidity we so often get in southern Ontario.
The giant hanging baskets of pink petunias and the street level containers filled to overflowing with grasses and summer annuals really give the town a wow factor. There’s also a nod to its French namesake and you will find some Eiffel Towers in various forms including some Christmas decorations.
Paris has managed to make its small town attractive to day trippers from Brantford, Hamilton, Toronto, London and all points in between including my home town in Tillsonburg. Paris is worth the drive anytime, but there are a couple of annual events you may want to take in — ‘Spring in Paris’ in June and their Christmas market in December. Spread your wings and take a trip to Paris – no passport required.