Explore the local area with your MEDA friends while you’re at Convention. We have organized customized tours of businesses and sights on Thursday, November 2 and Saturday, November 4 that you will be sure to enjoy.
Revenue from these tours benefits MEDA. Cost includes admissions, taxes, and gratuities. All tours require pre-registration and payment. Limited spaces will be available up to the day of the tour.
Take a trip with your MEDA friends out to St. Jacobs, ON for a visit to the St. Jacobs Market and a tour of a local business. When you get there, you’ll be greeted by a Mennonite Museum volunteer and watch a short movie about the history of St. Jacobs. You will have time to explore the market on your own and chat with the volunteer before leaving for a business tour nearby. The Mennonite Museum volunteer will join our group on the bus to give commentary about the area.
After the business tour, you will enjoy lunch at the St. Jacobs Grill and meet with Sandy Shantz, a daughter of Milo (former MEDA Board chair) and Laura, and former President of the Stone Crock Inc. and a current Director of Mercedes Corp. She worked with various family businesses in and around St. Jacobs until 2018. Sandy will prepare a short presentation for the group and stay for lunch to chat with the group.
We’ll head back to Toronto afterwards, returning in plenty of time before Convention evening activities begin.
Our group will depart the hotel in the morning and drive straight to Lincoln, ON for a business tour of CosMic Plants Inc., a greenhouse that produces Phalaenopsis Orchids year-round. The greenhouse facilities make use of the most modern equipment and systems to maintain a continuous supply of these beautiful flowering tropical plants.
Following that, we will tour Alf and Liz Koop’s farm and vineyard just outside of beautiful St Catharines. Alf’s parents, Henry and Margaret Koop bought their first farm in 1935. In early years they started with 20 acres and their farm included concord grapes for producing juice for Welch’s. They had fruit trees and chickens which supplied the local market with eggs.
They have been farming under the incorporated name of Koop Farms Ltd since 1967. The family farming business has now carried on into third generation. Alf’s brother, Henry, and nephews Glen and Isaac, run the day-to-day operations.
With the U.S./Canada free trade agreement in 1989 concord grape production shifted primarily into the United States. At that time, they made the decision to shift into new varieties of grapes suitable for wine production. Their farm has now grown to just under 250 acres of grapes, and they supply some of the largest wineries in the Niagara region including Jackson Triggs and Inniskillin. These wineries and others in the Niagara area produce some of the best wines in the world!
Lunch will be individual Charcuterie Boxes containing 3 gourmet cheeses, 2 charcuteries, 1 dip, various seasonal fruits, nuts, olives, accoutrements, and crackers.
Join us for a bird’s-eye view of Toronto. We will start off our tour at the CN Tower, an awe-inspiring architectural and engineering wonder of the world that is a symbol of pride for Toronto residents. Our group will experience an eye-opening, mind-blowing new perspective on the most spectacular views in Toronto with floor-to ceiling panoramic Window Walls and an all new Glass Flooring.
You and your MEDA friends will enjoy a pre-selected 3-course lunch at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower (beverages in addition), complemented by an ever-changing panoramic view, all in the heart of downtown Toronto. Admission to the observation level is included and accessible after the meal.
Afterwards our tour guide will take us on a driving tour past Toronto’s famous sights, such as St. Lawrence Market, Hockey Hall of Fame, financial district, parts of the waterfront, parts of Chinatown and Distillery District.
The Distillery District walking tour is an exciting experience outlining the historical story of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery. How did this once dominant empire transform into the modern Distillery District? We’ll answer this and many other questions.
Toronto’s history is far more fascinating than many give credit. Expert guides will interpret this rich history through the lens of Gooderham and Worts – and how they became the world’s largest distillery.
Along the way you will be let in on the secrets and hidden Distillery District spots and photo locations. Featuring both indoor and outdoor areas, this tour is designed to as a fun, modern historical narrative.
A casual lunch will be served at the Mill Street Beer Hall in a semi-private section. Your lunch will include a 3-course meal and a beer.
Taste where Toronto began. Over 200 years ago, indigenous people traded goods from canoes and fished for salmon on the shores of Lake Ontario behind where the St. Lawrence Market stands today. Join us on a short walk around old town for a brief history lesson before we enter the market to taste Portuguese treats, authentic Jewish bagels, candied salmon, local Ontario cheeses, genuine Ukrainian perogies, butter tarts, and the iconic pea-meal bacon sandwich.
These delicacies have been enjoyed by several famous chefs over the years, including Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, and Guy Fieri. Learn how one of the richest, most powerful and most famous women in the world learned her business acumen selling carrots in the market’s basement. Be sure to attend on an empty stomach because you will be filled to the brim by the end of the tour.
If you love food and you love history, you will love this tour!