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Ontario’s southwest

PELEE ISLAND, LAKE ERIE – I’ve only been in the Anchor and Wheel Inn restaurant for two minutes and I’m already in love. There are pirate flags and colourful, wooden fish and bright orange buoys hanging on the walls. There’s reggae music and Jimmy Buffett tunes floating over the speakers. Owner and head chef Mark Emrich walks by and I compliment him on the décor and the music. “Welcome to the Canadian Keys,” he says with a grin. Emrich loads my plate with two huge pieces of blackened pickerel, as well as steamed green beans done just right and a ... continue reading →

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WINDSOR – I was following my Google maps and heading into central Windsor to meet a fellow for a bike tour that would take us to a couple craft breweries and one of Canada’s best burger places. I wasn’t paying much attention to the surroundings, but was instead concentrating on making the turns that my iPhone kept reminding me to take. When I finally stopped the car and really looked around I was in a gorgeous neighborhood surrounded by deep red, brick homes with lush, vibrant gardens. The pale green and white hostas seemed to glimmer that extra bit and ... continue reading →

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WINDSOR, ONTARIO – Fabio Muscedere is pouring samples of his family’s wine for me to try at their tasting room south of Windsor. His sister, Melissa, who’s the wine business expert and runs day-to-day operations, is bustling about and greeting others who’ve wandered into the tasting room. Outside, Fabio’s mother, Pat, is busy sliding trays of fresh-made dough into the outdoor pizza oven on their shady patio. Their Dad, Mario, is bouncing along in his tractor in the vineyards, clearing weeds and keeping an eye on the grapes that are ripening in this hot Ontario summer. The son of Fabio’s ... continue reading →

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Jim Byers photo A boat leaving the pretty harbour in Port Dover. It’s a fabulous town that’s only 90 minutes from Toronto. ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE OF ONTARIO – A kayak ride on what’s called the Canadian Amazon. A great story about one of Hollywood’s top actresses. And more fantastic food and wine. My final 24 hours driving the Lake Erie shoreline couldn’t have been any better. From top to bottom, it was extraordinary; with new sights and constant surprises that leave me very much wanting to go back. I started the final stretch of my road trip with ... continue reading →

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ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE – The luscious scent of lavender. A zippy Chardonnay. A tranquil boardwalk. And a ridiculously good hamburger served on a perfect patio. I’ve been to Windsor many times, but my recent summer trip along part of the Lake Erie shore through the Windsor-Essex-Point Pelee area was my first exposure to the region’s natural wonders and to some of its towns. And I came away hugely impressed. The folks at Oxley Estate Winery in Harrow make an outstanding unoaked Chardonnay that’s crisp and not too sweet. It paired nicely with a quesadilla tucked with cheddar, jack ... continue reading →

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