Kinsip

The second stop on our Drake Devonshire adventure was the Kinsip House of Fine Spirits. Kinsip, formerly known as 66 Gilead, is a family-run craft distillery located on a farm in the heart of Prince Edward County. The farm dates back to the 19th century when the fields were once sown for hops and barley, during a time known as the barely days of Prince Edward County. The historic Cooper-Norton house, built in 1874, is perched proudly at the entrance to the farm with its elegant moulding, ornate gable dormers, and iconic Mansard roof still remaining to this day. Now, this beautiful home operates as a tasting room and boutique shop for the distillery, as well as a community landmark to attract locals and passers-by alike.

We met Maria, an owner of Kinsip, who led us on a guided tour of the distillery. She discussed the production process of their different spirits, and walked us through a spirits tasting in the barn, where she detailed the individual flavour profiles of their unique line of products. The timber-clad tasting barn was decorated with fairy lights hanging from the rafters, antique wooden barrels, and quirky mismatched wooden chairs, all lending to the cozy vibe of the distillery. Our menu for the afternoon included Juniper's Wit Gin, Still's Whisper Vodka, Duck Island Rum, Du Bois Maple Whisky, and Whisky Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, all of which were unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before: smooth, fresh, and distinct. There is something to be said about small-batch spirits produced locally in Ontario!

We had some free time after our tasting to wander around the 80 acres of beautiful property and hang out with the farm’s resident chickens, including the dominant rooster whom I felt my own kinship with (de Haan is Dutch for rooster). Our visit to this distillery was a definite highlight of our afternoon in the County, and I highly recommend a stop at Kinsip if you find yourself thirsty in Prince Edward County.

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Loch Sloy

A few weekends ago, I joined the Drake Hotel's curatorial team on a day trip to Prince Edward County to visit the Drake Devonshire's outdoor art exhibition. Literally dubbed the "Art-Filled Devonshire Day Trip", it was a great way to spend a Sunday and a fantastic opportunity to visit one of Southern Ontario's most exciting regions.

The first stop on our adventure to the Drake Devonshire was Loch Sloy Business Park. Once known as Camp Picton, Loch Sloy is a former Royal Air Force airfield located in Picton, Ontario, built as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in 1940. During the Second World War, Canadian, American, and British men trained here to become combat pilots, as this piece of land in Ontario was in a great location, tucked safely away from the Luftwaffe and Axis powers. Now under revitalization to become an operating business park, this historic military aviation facility is the last of its kind in North America. Loch Sloy spans 701 acres of land and is comprised of 6 hangars and 44 military buildings of various usages: a drill hall, dance and theatre hall, mess hall, and parachute towers, among others. Today, the former Camp Picton is home to a number of local businesses, with much of the infrastructure still intact and untouched since 1940.

Like many others on the trip, I had no idea that a place of such historical military significance existed in Canada, let alone a few hours outside of Toronto. One could spend hours walking through the lands and exploring the many different buildings throughout the airfield. It was a great experience visiting such an important part of Canadian military history, and amazing to see a company working hard to preserve it.

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Camping in Elora

A few weekends ago I went camping for my very first time in Elora, Ontario. Located just outside of Guelph, Elora is home to the Elora Gorge and Elora Quarry, two spectacular geological features in the area. The Gorge is a popular spot for a day trip or camping, with lots of outdoor activities to engage in. I have always been a little apprehensive about camping, as I am not an outdoorsy person, but I had such a fun weekend surrounded by great people, nature, and the beautiful Carolinian forests of Southern Ontario.

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