Travel Diaries: Prince Edward County / by Didier Young

Even though I grew up on a small tropical island in the Indian Ocean, I’ve always been happiest in big cities. However, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back from the concrete jungles and just head to a place with a slower pace. Toronto might be a metropolis in its own right but if you step into your car and drive off in any directing, within the hour you will find yourself in a completely different setting. With that in mind, the girls and I packed our bags and took a two hour drive to Prince Edward County.

Located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County is an island to the east of Toronto. Famous for its Sandbanks beach and wineries, the County has become a very popular destination for Torontonians within the last few years.It’s popularity has caused the construction of an abundance of beautiful lodgings and air BnBs including The Meadowhouse where we stayed on this trip. The house’s name can be taken quite literally: it is located in the middle of a meadow where bales of hay were neatly stacked post harvest. Due to its touristic qualities, Prince Edward County has become quite the expensive place to stay with accommodations often costing around $400-500 a night. However, the owners of the Meadowhouse smartly turned their amenities into an Instagrammable haven which is sure to attract people solely for its looks.

On my very first foray into the County, I stayed over at the Drake Devonshire which was quite the fun eclectic spot. The boutique hotel also houses one of the Drake restaurants which are quite popular in Toronto. Another lovely place to stay at is the June Motel, a pink paradise for bloggers with the cutest welcome lobby. While the county is abundant in wineries and vintage shops, it doesn’t offer much more in terms of activity. Of course, you could choose to head over to the gorgeous Sandbanks but the communities within the county themselves are quite small and underdeveloped. However, with the current influx of touristic interest in the area, more businesses are choosing to take a chance on Prince Edward County and are opening outposts on the island. Blue Boho, a small jewelry shop located on Queen Street West in Toronto recently opened shop in Bloomfield next to Bloomfield Beauty co. which is the county’s first luxury spa and doubles as a café that offers a great matcha latte. The island’s shops are a curious mix of hippy stores and Kinfolk-inspired shops which was surprisingly refreshing in its own way.

After three days in Prince Edward County, I felt resourced but definitely eager to see my beloved Toronto once again. As much as I loved my time in the County, I’ll admit that I missed the faster pace of the city. However, it did teach me that sometimes it is okay to slow down and take the time to smell the flowers.