Big Things Come in Small Packages
Jordan Ontario is a tiny community in the heart of the Niagara
wine region and fruit belt. Just off the QEW highway, it’s easy to find.
The high quality of its boutiques and eateries will surprise you!
September 6, 2012 – Jordan
Village is one of the smaller communities that make up Lincoln Township,
which is a mostly-rural area between Grimsby and St Catharines.
Jordan’s downtown core is Main Street, which stretches for half a dozen
Above: Photo of Fry house by Sylvia Beben, Assistant Director for the Town of Lincoln's Jordan Historical Museum
But don’t overlook this village just because of its size! Visitors can easily fill a happy day here poking around in the boutiques, visiting the winery or the museum, and relaxing in a cafe, tearoom, gourmet restaurant or tavern. I usually stop by at least once a year to see what’s new and to visit old favourites.
The main tourist attraction is the village is the Town of Lincoln’s Jordan Historical Museum. Like the village, the museum is small but appealing. The main building, which faces Main Street, is where your visit begins. Here you’ll find rotating exhibits featuring historic artifacts from the region (for example, fraktur art or the War of 1812). You can look through the main building on your own, then accompany a costumed guide on a tour of the two historic buildings in the back yard (which are normally kept locked).
The Fry House is the oldest structure on site. A Mennonite farming family built this home in 1815 . Inside you’ll find tools and furnishings from the period. There’s a lovely hand-painted bench in the kitchen/dining room but other than that, most of the furnishings are very simple and undecorated, reflecting the unpretentious tastes of their makers.
Across the way, the handsome 1859 one-room stone schoolhouse is a testament to the growing importance of public education in the mid-19th century in Ontario. The interior has been restored to look the way it did in the year 1908. It’s filled with teaching tools and toys from the period and gives visitors a glimpse of how different school was back then.
Also on the grounds you’ll find a vintage postal car and a beautiful Conestoga wagon.
Admission to the museum is by donation. Check the Lincoln.ca web site for more information about hours, etc.
Just outside of the town is Balls Falls, a popular recreation area. For more about this former ghost town, see my story: Balls Falls.
For such a small place, it has some amazingly high quality boutiques.
My favourite shop in town is Native Arts Niagara (formerly known as Ninavik), an impressive and beautifully designed art gallery specializing in Inuit and Aboriginal art from Canada. I think it has survived for the past 30 years because of its reputation for quality and also due to its location in the heart of Niagara’s winery-touring region, which attracts tourists with an interest (and the budget) for fine art.
Other stores in Jordan Ontario include the Kenneth Lane Smith art gallery, a garden shop, yarn store, antique store, and some high-end fashion boutiques.
Hungry? Thirsty? Worn out your feet shopping? You can take a well-earned rest at the colourful Zooma Zomma Cafe. Tea lovers will enjoy The Crown and Crumpet British Tea Room which serves lunch and scones with cream, and carries imported English candy in its tiny gift shop.
Speaking of sweets, if you have a sugar addiction, turn off Main Street onto 19th Street and you’ll find Toute Suite Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, which serves marble slab ice cream. (Absolutely calorie-free if you’re on vacation...)
Cave Spring Cellars is the main street’s local winery. You can tour the winery and of course pick up a bottle or two.
Too tired to drive home? You can sleep over at Inn on the Twenty or at Jordan House. Both have restaurants attached. The “Inn” is more gourmet/high-end and “Jordan House Tavern” (as the name implies) is more casual/budget-friendly. Inn on the Twenty also operates a luxury Spa which offers half-day and full-day packages.
You may enjoy
While you’re in the area, you may want to explore:
St Catharines Ontario
Ontario Travel Secrets > Ontario Cities > Jordan Ontario