Finding comfort in Vermilion's community vibe
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
WHEN YOU GO
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.