It’s wintertime. Here in the great white north, our animal friends may be hibernating deep in their burrows, but that doesn’t mean that we have to, as well. Winter is the perfect time to bundle up, get out into the crisp, lovely air, and do some walking. This winter, we at York Durham Headwaters challenge you to get on the GO—the GO Train, that is.
If you’re up for a wintertime walk that is about 25 minutes by foot, then we’ve got a lineup of great spots for you to check out, in a charming historic downtown that is sure to warm your heart despite the frosty air. Welcome to Main Street Unionville. This picturesque village, known internationally as the filming location for the original Stars Hollow of the hit television series Gilmore Girls, is not far from Unionville Station on the Stouffville GO Transit line. If we can’t persuade you to give a refreshing winter walk a try, then the good news is that it’s only five minutes from the station by Uber or taxi.
Eat and drink your way down Main
The best part about our small towns and villages has got to be the food, and Main Street Unionville is one of YDH’s shining culinary gems. You’ll be thrilled by both the quality and variety of eateries and restaurants—so thrilled, you’ll want to come back again and again to try them all.
To start, we present the only Austrian restaurant in the GTA: the Old Country Inn. This favourite spot is located at 198 Main, inside a 140-year-old house. Talk about ambience! The dining room is bright and spacious, with tons of quintessential old-world charm to match the authentic Austrian dishes… not to mention the extensive wine list with varieties from Austria and around the world. For another European continental favourite, try Il Postino for some mouth-watering Italian fare. At 186 Main, you will find one of Ontario’s top patios along with a complement of dishes that puts a modern take on Italian classics. The aim of Il Postino is to honour markets, artisanal producers and farms from one season to the next, so you can be sure the menu is always fresh, authentic and spontaneous.
At 149 Main, you will find an unparalleled Indian experience with Ambiyan. The name literally means fresh, green mangos, which is a perfect way to describe the fresh take on contemporary Indian cuisine at this popular eatery. Or for a taste of Chinese Chuan’r culture (which translates to ‘the atmosphere of smoke and fire’), visit Chat Bar at 187 Main. This is the ultimate experience in Chinese skewer cuisine. You are humbly invited to come and enjoy the atmosphere, with great food, great drinks and great friends.
Head over to 139 Main for classic tavern dishes with a twist. NextDoor Restaurant offers thoughtfully created Canadian seasonal dishes, along with craft beers, modern classic cocktails and a diverse wine list. When you are done, take a short stroll to 170 Main, where the Old Firehall Confectionery invites you to breathe in the intoxicating scent of Belgian chocolate. Nearly everything here is made in-house, from decadent truffles to mouth-watering macarons.
Of course, nothing goes better with all that sinfully delightful chocolate than coffee. Experience superb, fair-trade coffee made by experienced baristas at POD Coffee, located at 142 Main. You’ll also find quality teas, chocolates and home-brewing equipment. And at 159E Main, Espresso 21 Café Restaurant offers all your favourite specialty hot beverages and accompanying desserts, in a relaxing atmosphere that encourages you to take things a little bit slower.
These are a few of our favourite things…
As if the food wasn’t enough of a reason to get you on the GO Train into Unionville, you’ll have a blast with these popular activities.
The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, at 216 Main Street, is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities. This municipal gallery inspires local and national audiences to engage with art through outstanding exhibitions and rich public and educational programs. Supporting artists from York Region, the gallery also shares and celebrates the life and work of F. H. Varley, a founding member of Canada’s beloved Group of Seven.
At Crock A Doodle, you can paint your own pottery. Located at 159 Main, you can enjoy the fun of pottery painting in a bright and cheerful studio. All ages and abilities are welcome. Drop ins are welcome, but space is often limited, so reservations are encouraged. And for a little bit of pampering, check out Luna Beauty Spa at 182 Main. This gorgeous, quaint day spa offers all your favourite services to keep your mind, body and soul feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Book inclusive packages in advance, like the Head to Toe and the Signature Spa packages, or choose from their full list for individual treatments.
Story by Katherine Ryalen