We begin our visit to Kleinburg Village at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and enter the 100-acre “wilderness garden” of forest paths and hiking trails. We pass the cemetery where six Group of Seven members are interred. Serene and secluded, the landscape echoes their artwork. The walk to the fieldstone and log gallery itself is worth the drive. Inside is our introduction to Canadian art with more than 6,000 pieces by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists.
We can’t wait to stroll along the avenue and browse the elegant boutiques. Caché Fine Jewellery & Giftware is a gem that would not be out of place in any of the world’s capitals, except for one thing — the attitude of owner, Lawrence Tollman: friendly, knowledgeable and non-intimidating. Bold designs of the Uno de 50 line from Spain and the gorgeous sterling silver designs of Elle from France. For men, there are cases of handsome pieces. While we’re admiring engagement and wedding rings, GI certified diamonds and gems in unusual settings, a customer is concluding a unique transaction. Her old and worn-out sapphire and diamond pieces had been re-polished and reset in a Tollman design. The in-house jeweler remodels and repairs skillfully. Magnificent.
We’re embraced by the scent of artisanal imported soaps the moment we enter Hawthorn House. Aromatherapy adds to our mood of well-being. There is much to admire and covet here: coordinated and casual fashions. Gifts like throw pillows, organic teas, Irish linens and unusual ceramics galore are carefully garnered and beautifully displayed. Inside Willow Boutique, we adore the hand-selected brands of feminine fashions and accessories culled from the EU and elsewhere.
Silks from Nicole Miller, saucy Mac Jeans, classic Mary Francis and more in a good choice of sizes — we want to scoop them up by the armful and cannot leave without considering gifts. Award winning floral arrangements at Violets and Dahlias are reflective of its name. Artistic home décor by sculptor Michael Aram; luscious silk scarves that make an outfit; casual and sophisticated separates that include a good selection of Cambio, my favorite jeans, are all in eye-catching display. Clearly, these shop owners are savvy fashionistas who buy cleverly, one step ahead of the season.
Refreshment required. Ah, the sweet sensation when we taste unique confections at Dolcini by Joseph. Joseph Montinaro is the Chocolate Ambassador for the renowned Cacao Barry in Ontario. From delicate chocolate with ground tonka bean, to in-house made Tanzanian chocolate gelato; and petite gateau of Pear Chestnut with layers of tart pear and luscious Bavarian cream with light vanilla sponge and crisp dough, to the lush and delicate white chocolate passion fruit petite gateau of coconut, passion fruit and white chocolate, Dolcini’s delicate touch is our dreamy indulgence.
Charming by day, romantic by night. Culture, dining and unique boutiques make Kleinburg Village our ideal day-escape.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.