• Price: Price from £2,650
  • Leaving on: 20/05/2017
  • Arriving back on: 29/05/2017
  • Location: Ontario, Canada

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Fly from Heathrow

Now Introducing Fights From Air Canada!

Flights are also available with British Airways

Current purchase price will be guaranteed upon payment of a £500 deposit.

Prices are valid until 13 February 2017.

Flying into Toronto, this nine-day Quilting tour offers a wonderful opportunity to visit the Canadian province of Ontario and attend community quilt festivals, as well as experiencing a packed excursion programme which includes Niagara Falls.

Known as Berlin until 1916, the city of Kitchener, where you will stay for eight nights, extends to its visitors the welcome you may expect from a small town, whilst offering all the cultural, entertainment, recreational and shopping amenities of a larger community. A tour of Kitchener at the beginning of your stay will help to orientate you around all that it has to offer.

This fabulous Quilt Festivals Ontario tour 2017 includes a visit to the Victorian town of Stratford (on the River Avon!) and to Mennonite communities where you will have a delightful horse drawn narrated tour around a farming community and meet Old Order Mennonites. Other excursions include a guided tour of the cosmopolitan city of Toronto and a visit to Niagara Falls for a Journey Behind the Falls experience, as well as a cruise up the Niagara Gorge on board the Hornblower.

Accommodation is at The Walper Hotel in the downtown district; one of Kitchener's most iconic buildings, The Walper has recently undergone a major refurbishment and is now offering a boost of contemporary energy whilst preserving its historic charm.  We know you'll love it!

Read more about the regions you will be visiting

The Ailsa Craig Community Quilt Festival is run by volunteers and adopts a different nation each year to be its theme, inviting representatives from the quilting fraternity of the elected nation to exhibit the best samples of quilts from their home country - The Netherlands, Denmark, Israel, France, Latvia and Great Britain have all featured in recent years and in 2017, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of confederation, it is the turn of the home nation - Canada!

In 2017 the Ailsa Craig Community Quilt Festival will be expanding to include two sites and will feature exhibits by: Dwayne Wanner, a wonderful textile artist who is also a craft beer brewer; Veronica Puskas who won 1st prize at the Canadian Quilting Association show in 2014; and Alice Olsen Williams whose work is exquisite and reflects her cultural First Nations heritage.

Also available to view, will be quilts from the 2017 New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale which will be on display at the City Hall and Joseph Schneider Haus in Kitchener.

The Joseph Schneider Haus National Historic Site is a dynamic community museum located in downtown Kitchener.  A local landmark and Kitchener's oldest dwelling, the 1816 homestead was restored and furnished, then opened as a living history museum in 1981. The heart of the complex is the fine Georgian-frame farmhouse built by one of the area's earliest non-Aboriginal settlers, Joseph Schneider, a Pennsylvania-German Mennonite.  Today, history comes to life as costumed staff demonstrate traditional tasks in step with the seasons.  The facilities include: historic house and outbuildings; Museum exhibit galleries; Collection and artefact preservation;  and gift shop.

During May visitors to the Josef Schneider Haus can see quilts from the Grand National Quilt Show and also quilts that, later in the spring, will be on sale as part of the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale.

The Village of St. Jacobs is a destination steeped in history and set in a charming location along the Conestoga River. This small community is known for original arts and crafts and the myriad  stores featuring antiques, home decor, fashion, jewellery, accessories, toys, gourmet foods, and gift shops.  Visitors can watch artisans at work on pottery, quilting and other arts. 

The St Jacob's area is home to approximately 4,000 Old Order Mennonites whose farms dot the surrounding countryside where they have, for generations, lent tranquillity. This is a place to come to relax and to explore.

The annual Quilt and Fibre Art Festival in the delightful, nearby rural community of St Jacobs sees a coming together of a dazzling variety of events in celebration of the region’s quilting and fibre arts heritage and culture. Enjoy the farmers’ market and a horse-drawn carriage tour of the area.

Located on Lake Ontario's northern shore, Toronto, whose name comes from a native Canadian word for 'fishing weir', was established in 1793 by British colonial officials as the urban community of York.  Growing to become the city of Toronto in 1834, it is now a large, ethnically diverse city with towering skyscrapers, including the iconic CN Tower.  It has a population of around 2.8 million and stretches out over an incredible 43 km from its furthest reaches east to west.  Today Toronto it is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is ranked highly in terms of being a desirable city in which to live.  

Niagara Falls consists of two waterfalls on the Niagara River, which marks the border between New York and Ontario, Canada: the American Falls (180 feet high), located on the American side of the border, and the Canadian or Horseshoe Falls (170 feet high), located on the Canadian side.  It is estimated that 12,000 years ago when the falls were formed, the edge of the falls was as much as seven miles further down river than it is today and, until the 1950s when the flow of water began to be controlled, the brink of the falls moved backward an estimated three feet every year because of erosion.

Did you know?

On October 24, 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel and in 1960 seven-year-old Roger Woodward became the first to survive (with only minor injuries) going over the falls without any sort of protection; he was rescued by the Maid of the Mist.

The purpose of the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale is to raise funds for Mennonite Central Committee for its development, justice and peacebuilding work locally and internationally.  As part of the fundraising efforts each year an auction (of all manner of things) takes place at the end of May and this includes the sale of around 200 quilts which are displayed at the Kitchener City Hall and at Josef Schneider Haus throughout May.

 

Flight Schedule

Saturday 20 May to Sunday 28 May

London Heathrow/Toronto Pearson International - AC857  1205/1445  

Toronto Pearson International/London Heathrow - AC856  1835/0630

- Includes 1 bag 23kg

Please note: Flights times can change. 

Saturday 20 May to Sunday 28 May

London Heathrow/Toronto Pearson International - BA0093  1315/1555  

Toronto Pearson International/London Heathrow - BA0092  1835/0635

Please note: Flights times can change. 

Itinerary

 

BRITISH AIRWAYS - TERMINAL 5

Meet your tour manager and other tour group members at Heathrow Airport for your afternoon flight departure to Toronto.  Arrive in Toronto late afternoon local time, meet with those joining us from the Air Canada flight before a transfer by coach to your hotel where you will be accommodated for the next eight nights.

AIR CANADA - TERMINAL 2

Those travelling with us with Air Canada for their afternoon flight will meet the tour manager along with British Airways passengers at Toronto airport.

Today, an excursion gives you an introduction to Kitchener and its attractions.  A visit to the town’s oldest dwelling, the Joseph Schneider Haus, will give you an opportunity to see quilts on display that are competing to win the Grand National Quilt Show 2017; the event takes place every two years and this year quilters are challenged to create a work of quilt art that captures the essence of their part of Canada - its history, its geography, its cultural diversity and its traditions. You will  have an opportunity not only to learn about the history of the house but also to view the wonderful Canadian-crafted quilts.  Also on display, at Josef Schneider Haus and at the City Hall are the quilts of the annual New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale, prior to their auction at the end of May.

There will be free time in Kitchener before your transportation back to your hotel.

Today is the opening day of the Ailsa Craig Community Quilt Festival where there is plenty of time to take in the fabulous quilts on display, talk to local quilters and traders and have the chance to join in a workshop (separate cost).  You will have opportunities for lunch at the event.  You will be driven back to the hotel where the evening is at leisure.

Journey to delightful Stratford today; a lovely Victorian town nestled in pastoral countryside.  Renowned as one of North America’s great arts towns, Stratford is abundant in culture and boasts its own Shakespeare Festival and a wealth of dining opportunities.

The afternoon takes you to the 19th-century heritage town of Millbank with its strong ties to the local Mennonite  communities. You will have a chance to discover more about the history and heritage of the town during a tour by a representative of the Mennonite community.  There will be an opportunity to browse the local shops and visit Millbank’s renowned Anna Mae’s Bakery, as well as visiting Quilts Galore,  - a must see, traditional family business run by Sol and Eileen Jantzi, and reputedly housing one of the largest selections of quilts and wall hangings in Canada.  You can also visit the Jantzi family house, offering a fascinating insight into the traditional Amish way of life.  Return to Kitchener early evening.

Today brings a visit to the St Jacobs Quilt and Fibre Art Festival.  St Jacobs is another delightful Waterloo village that is home to some 4,000 Old Order Mennonites who farm the surrounding countryside. The festival features quilting and embroidery displays and classes, held at St Jacobs Mennonite Church and other locations in the village (charges apply at some venues).  At Grey Forts Quilts you will find handmade Amish and Mennonite quilts and other crafts for sale, as well as there being various craft shops in the town.

Today takes you back to St Jacobs where a horse-drawn carriage awaits to take you on a fully narrated 75-minute tour along tranquil country roads to a typical Old Order Mennonite mixed farming operation.  You will be introduced to Mennonite families and learn about their history and lifestyle.  There is free time for lunch at the Farmers’ Market and to visit any of the Quilt & Art Fibre exhibits that you may have missed yesterday.

A full day excursion to the  city of Toronto escorted by a local guide.  After a city highlights tour in the morning, there is free time for lunch before visiting the city’s Textile Museum of Canada for a guided tour giving an overview of 2,000 years of textile history.  The museum houses a permanent collection of over 12,000 textiles from around the world including ceremonial clothes, carpets and quilts. Return to Kitchener at the end of the day.

This morning takes you east to the US border and the breath-taking Niagara Falls.   Straddling Canada and America, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. On the Canadian side, Horseshoe Falls (pictured right) provide the opportunity for a ‘Journey Behind the Falls’ tour. Also included is an opportunity to see the Falls from aboard the Hornblower cruise ship which takes you into the Niagara Falls Gorge.   A truly memorable day and a tour highlight.

On your final day in Ontario, there will be some free time in Toronto before transferring to the airport for your early evening flight home, arriving back in the UK early on 29 May.


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Tour price per person

Air CanadaGuild MemberOthers
£3050*£3150*
£2650*£2750*
British AirwaysGuild MemberOthers
£3350*£3450*
£2950*£3050*
LAND PACKAGEGuild MemberOthers
£2500*£2600*
£2100*£2200*

Please note: Land Package prices do not include a local airport transfer - Contact us today for more information.

*Purchase price will be guaranteed upon payment of a £500 deposit. The above prices are valid until 13 February 2017.

Tour Includes

  • Return British Airways or Air Canada flights to Toronto
  • An ECT tour manager throughout the tour
  • Eight nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation
  • Airport transfers and excursion transportation throughout
  • Entrances and guided tours as referred to in the itinerary
Not included
  • Entrances to the Quilt and Fibre Art Festival in St Jacobs
  • Any workshops booked
  • Gratuities for local guides and coach drivers.   
  • Travel Insurance

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