This eatery in Orillia, ON, may be the most Canadian place in the country.
Call it Kismet, because it can't be mere coincidence that this "O Canada" of a restaurant-"Era 67" by name-reclines on the main street of Orillia, ON. This town was summer playground of Canadian icon
Stephen Leacock; it's five km (3 mi) from a
First Nations sacred place; it's just up the street from a lake where Samuel de Champlain spent a winter.
Even the name is a tribute to Canada-named for the date when Canada became a country, 1867-as well as a testament to the values that created this northern homeland. "The inspiration of our name is derived from the era of 1867, when citizens of all walks of life joined together to create Canada," says co-owner and General Manager Sarah Valiquette.
You get that patriotism the minute you walk inside: birch trunks, artfully arranged as decorative pieces, complement the earth tones inside; the fireplace; the Group of Seven reproductions and landscapes by local artists hanging on the walls. Photos of Canadian politicians and luminaries (as well as a letter to the restaurant from the Prime Minister) oversee a private dining room dubbed the "Grand Parliament Room."
The menu's no less patriotic. "It costs more for PEI mussels than having them shipped from Thailand, for example," says Executive Chef Ian Thompson, "but it's worth it."
That's just the beginning. You can order British Columbia salmon, Manitoba bison, Ontario lamb, Georgian Bay whitefish. And, of course, the Québécois favourite: poutine.
Even Era 67's phone number says Canada: 705-259-1867.
Mark Stevens is a multiple award-winning writer who has been recognized for excellence in stories from Canada to the Caribbean. An avid sailor and former professional musician, he writes about both culture and adventure. Credits include the Toronto Star and Sun, Ski Canada, Ski Press, Cottage Life, Dreamscapes, Cruising World, Canadian Yachting, Sail and Sailing.
Photo Credit & Article:
courtesy, Canadian Tourism Commission