Sunday ”Ontario Mennonite Country” Drive
Yesterdays rain didn’t stop Mom and I. We were anxious to head out on our Sunday morning drive no matter what the weather was like.
We decided to travel to Wellesley and then continued to Arthur, Ontario.
Our 9:30am – 10:00am timing in the heart of Mennonite Country was perfect. There were so many Old Order Mennonite buggies on the road, it was almost parade like. We saw at least 50 of them! Most of the covered buggies (probably they were using the covered ones because of the rain) were pulled by a 2 horse hitch. The majority of these buggies were large with at least 3 rows of seating.
We also passed a couple very Conservative Mennonite churches where members are allowed to drive cars but they must be black so every vehicle in these church parking lots were black.
Early in the 20th century these Old Order/Conservative Mennonites began using automobiles instead of horses and buggies. As you can imagine that caused a great deal of tension within the Old Order congregations.
It is estimated that there are approx 4000 Old Order Mennonite and 1000 Old Order Amish living in this area. The first language among members is Pennsylvania German.
Unfortunately we were unable to purchase any of their farm products because it was Sunday so their businesses are closed. In this beautiful, rural area you can find Blacksmith Shops, Buggy Repair Shops, Home Baking/Bulk Food Stores, Shoe Repair and Furniture Shops.
You can easily spot an Old Order Mennonite home because often the roofs on these homes are painted green. This time of year their pristine gardens are filled with colourful flowers.
The next time you start out on a Sunday drive consider visiting the Mennonite/Amish communities of Ontario. Just make sure you time it as well as we did in order to see the Sunday “Parade of Horses and Buggies”!