Finding comfort in Vermilion's community vibe


Lakeland Connect’s Angela Mouly for #TakeItToTheLake

As you step into the cozy gazebo, the earthy aromas of freshly cooked pizza, lasagna, rhubarb crisp, and bread waft in the air of the gazebo where Vermilion’s community oven is a hive of activity.

The best part is that you are invited to join in whenever an occasion arises.

Watch Locals Know, Finding comfort in Vermilion, Alberta on YouTube.

“What I really enjoy about the community oven is that it brings all demographics together from young families to people in their 80’s offering them a unique experience,” said volunteer, Toland Cochrane.

“Traditionally, wood-fired ovens are used all over the world and in almost every culture.”

#TakeItToTheLake this summer. Plan your trip to the Town of Vermilion!

Nestled between the Vermilion Senior’s Centre and the Vermilion Heritage Museum, the oven is a welcoming space to partake in community festivals, business anniversaries, or even an outdoor wedding.

Outdoor pizza oven located in Vermilion
Photo: Angus Cockney
Toland Cochrane calls Vermilion’s community oven in Heritage Park a welcome space for everyone. 

On your day trips or even a longer stay in Vermilion, you can join Open Oven Mondays (on hold during COVID-19 restrictions) to sample something special – such as bread recipes passed along from the early settlers.

Between the busy Highway 16 and Highway 41, Vermilion is a small town with a lot going on.

“The number of services and quality of life for its size of just over 4,000 people is unparalleled,” said Cochrane.

Vermilion Pomeroy Inn
Photo: Angus Cockney
The Pomeroy Inn & Suites is a favourite place for locals Colleen Pilkey and John Wassenaar to come and spend a relaxing couple of days.

When staying overnight in Vermilion, John Wassenaar and his fiance, Colleen Pilkey, recommend the Pomeroy Inn & Suites. Avid nature enthusiasts, they fell in love with the birch tree accents in the lobby that mixed with luxurious décor, setting a relaxed atmosphere.

The local couple is dreaming of next fall. As leaves and trees change colours, family and friends will watch them exchange vows in the Vermilion Provincial Park.

There are leaves on Pilkey's engagement ring, which serve as a reminder of where it all began, on the walking trails in that very park.

An invitation will be extended for friends and family to stay with them at the Pomeroy to share in the laid back vibe.

“The Pomeroy goes above and beyond because they actually have rooms set up for families - some with three beds or kitchens to accommodate more people and rooms for pets in every location,” said Wassenaar.

Vermilion Pomeroy Inn interior
Photo: Angus Cockney
Pilkey and Wassenaar are planning to get married next fall and have chosen the Pomeroy Inn & Suites as their wedding venue. 

Before they met, they lived on farms and in small villages and cities, but they decided to settle in Vermilion because it offers a blend of town and country.

“We don’t have everything, but there is everything you need to be comfortable,” said Wassenaar.

With their deck backing onto the river valley, the couple keeps binoculars handy to view pelicans, eagles, and foxes. They also have two kayaks and a canoe, so they often grab their life jackets and #TakeItToTheLake by going for a paddle.

“Paddling is relaxing and sometimes you can even see the deer come down and take a drink along the shore,” said Wassenaar.

“Hearing the breeze through the evergreens, seeing the sparkle of the sunshine on the water, or the smell of a campfire can all be comforting sensations,” said Pilkey.

But nothing says comfort like a sweet treat.

Kid enjoying time in Vermilion
Photo: Angus Cockney
Tanisha Raposo digs into some ice cream at Night Owl Sweets & Treats 1675.

At Night Owl Sweets & Treats 1675, Crystal Swan, Sergio Raposo and their daughter Tanisha were found with their spoons buried deep in Foothills Creamery specialties, savouring their favourite flavours of ice cream.

Some of the retro candy brands have been around since 1893 with candy bouquets and event packages ready when you are.

“The candy shop has brought back many memories and the hospitality when you walk in the door is incredible,” said Sergio Raposo.

Child playing in Vermilion water park
Photo: Angus Cockney
Tanisha and her family spend a lot of time at the Spray Park on hot summer days.

The family headed over to the Spray Park for some fun in the sun. Prancing through the glistening water showers, the sheer joy of a six-year-old full of ice cream is hard to match.

“I’ve had so much fun today,” said Tanisha Raposo.

The Vermilion Spray Park is situated among lush, mature trees so shady spots provide a place to rest after a refreshing splash around. A playground and mini-golf course, Frisbee golf, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, walking trails and a trout pond are all alternative leisure activities readily available.

“Here you can have a great time with family and meet new friends. It’s about bringing joy,” said Sergio Raposo.

“Come see the river valley and bring your ice cream to the spray park. If you want to have a good time, explore the area.”


Check out Vermilion’s home page, which will make planning your #TakeItToTheLake visit here a snap.

For more on how to #TakeItToTheLake this summer, either search the tag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or read more here.

Share what you find when you #TakeItToTheLake this summer, using the hashtag and you might be featured on ZenSeekers and/or our partners' social media channels.

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