Elmira, Ontario – In 2005 Malcolm Gladwell, author of bestseller “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference”, was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Gladwell was born in England but his parents, a biracial couple, decided to raise their children to this small rural Mennonite town 90 minutes west of Toronto. In a Ryerson Review on Journalism article Gladwell commented on how the tolerant, close-knit, warm and genuine community was a wonderful place to grow up.
The Mennonites migrated to the region from Pennsylvania, and today you can still find horses and buggies in the parking lot at the local grocery store, and buy hand-made quilts directly from residents. Elmira is well known for its Maple Syrup Festival, which has been recognized as ‘The World’s Largest One Day Maple Syrup Festival’ by the Guinness Book of Records (in 2000 attendance hit a record 66,529 people). It’s usually held the first Saturday in April, unless that’s Easter. The ‘laid back’ rural community of Elmira is 7 km from St. Jacobs (known for its Mennonite history and huge year-round farmer’s market and outlet mall) and 15 km north of the city of Waterloo. In the region visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, golf, canoeing, fly fishing, and accommodation is available at bed and breakfasts and country inns.
Elmira, Waterloo Region, Ontario