I have been renting a cottage on the north shore of Lake Erie near Dunnville for three years now. Why? It’s a summer haven often overlooked by Torontonians who are much more focused on traveling north. Lake Erie offers a whole different vibe from Muskoka or the Kawarthas since it is in the heart of farm country. For a long time it was known as a working-class getaway, often for folks from the other side of the border. There’s a casual feel to the area, the Dunnville Farmers market is fantastic, with produce often picked that morning.You know you are in Dunnville when you encounter Muddy, the 50-foot catfish and town mascot.I love heading to Knowles Diner for a bacon and egg breakfast. It’s very old timey, the menu is basic and service can be slow, but dig that original decor! (Shots by Stephen Plunkett) Afterwards we check out the town’s quirky shops. This odd-ball place bills itself as “The Only Place on Earth.” Need a stuffed shark? This is your go-to store. For dinner, at Queen’s Hotel there are no dorsal fins on the menu, but you can get a fresh plate of perch, caught nearby. Or go to Hippo’s, (these shots were taken by Stephen Plunkett) at the Mohawk Marina in nearby Lowbanks for an open-air, lakeside meal of the yummy little fish. There are also a number of turkey producers in the area and you can get fantastic frozen turkeys (whole, or pieces) at great prices at Lakeview Farms retail outlet. For dessert, load up on blueberries at Blueberry Knoll Berry Farm, just outside of Dunnville. When it is time to return home to the big smoke, as a treat, we often stop at the lovely Twisted Lemon restaurant in Cayuga, Ont. The club sandwich there is to die for!
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