Have you ever laughed so hard it made you cough? Suddenly I was coughing and it wasn’t because of Covid 19. Did you read the article in the Globe and Mail this week about the Village of Brussels? It’s my opinion that my hometown of Brussels received a rather polluted review of inaccuracies. The Globe and Mail published an article named “Take a Left at Dublin, then a right at Brussels: A tour of Ontario’s European Capitals.”
(I thought that was a long title for an article…)
When the world shut down for the virus, I found yet again just how great those who make up the community of Brussels Ontario truly are. Even necessary travel is a little less frightening when you know people have your back and care about one another’s health and well being.
My name is Colleen Ranney and I live in the “Alive” and “Picturesque” village of Brussels; One of Ontario’s Prettiest Villages. I am hidden in plain sight and free to walk around and live my life. Just like many other residents of Brussels, I felt like I needed to speak up and meet the opinion expressed with a little bit of accuracy.
Brussels, previously known as Ainleyville, actually offers many charming features and has become a popular wedding destination spot in midwestern Ontario.
(But in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic? Come on we all know Mr Ford said “no to gatherings and weddings”)
Back in the late 19th century Brussels had a post office, a flour mill, a grist mill, a sawmill, a hair salon, and a fanning mill. Brussels still offers a Post Office but
Let’s go on a road trip to Brussels and discover the right side of town ( which literally is the north , the south, the east and the west. You won’t find a dirt road or a beaten down path that runs through our main streets, or old Bertha the cow tied to a wooden post waiting to be milked if you stop by.
When I became divorced over 20 years ago, I found solace and a place to relax at the Brussles Logans Mill Dam & Maitland Conservation Area.
It is more beautiful today than 20 years ago!
Certainly nothing about our town is like the worn elegance of a movie star past their prime, more like the richest treasure that takes more than a 2 minute conversation in passing.
Take a stroll on the trails…
Or stop and rest on the benches at the beautiful gardens.
Experiencing the aroma and Love…
No one here complains about the fresh air and open spaces, but you will be extra blessed to take in the beauty of the recently built Four Winds Barn.
We’ve carefully crafted every last detail of our breathtaking barn venue to help you create a special day that’s exactly what you’ve always imagined.
Four Winds brings the rustic beauty of the countryside to downtown Brussels, Ontario with a uniquely hand-built barn, silo and ceremony space with all the comforts of a modern venue.
We are experts in helping bring your vision to life, to create an event you and your guests will never forget.
If you are needing overnight accommodations beautiful Suites are provided by The Dewit and Solace on Turnberry Suites Shop.
(also experience massage, manicures, pedicures, their gift shop and so much more)
A delightful setting on the corner. This Bed and Breakfast is a great location to spend the night. They also provide home cooked meals and delivery in the community – Tonight is Roast Beef and Mashed Potatoes.
That gas station slash restaurant the writer talked about happens to be Jr’s Family Restaurant.
Ok Ok! yes it is also a gas station, but before you turn your nose you gotta know it doesn’t look what it sounds like. The Esso Gas has its own customer area and the restaurant offers take out as well as a beautiful dining area with menu featuring, Ribs, Buttered Chicken Poutine and on Fridays they have a Crispy Fish & Chips Dinner .
Jr’s Family Restaurant is also well known for its amazing pizza – All in-house made (from dough to sauces)
Be sure to Visit the beautiful Orchards at Maitside Orchards.
The blossoms that transform into crisp fresh apples are a reminder of the wonders of Nature and the Beauty of Rural Ontario.
We serve the communities of Huron County as well as the many visitors and tourists who pass our way. We offer fresh, crisp apples and delicious apple cider, plus garlic, local produce, home-made pies, crafts from local artisans and more in our on-farm store. (I say the best I’ve ever tasted!!)
A new adventure here at Maitside is our “Play and Learn” Center. Open every Saturday afternoon of September and October from 1-5 pm or by appointment for school trips or birthday parties, “Play and Learn” includes:
- Pick your Own apple
- Hayride (leaves at 3:00 pm)
- Frisbee Golf
- Nature Study
- Giant sandpile
- River Look-out Trail
- All for $5/person or $20/family (+HST)
Ten varieties are available at the on- site apple store. Modern cold storage and long term storage rooms guarantee apple freshness throughout the year.
I was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and shopping has not been my thing except at Brussels Foodland. The manager and employees “always” make it easier, with their warm hello’s and their friendliness. It is amazing to visit a store and be asked “How are you today?” and they actually mean it.
Thank you Brussels Foodland employees for your dedication to our community and kindness!
Another new business in Brussels. Tattooing the way you want it. Clean, friendly and experienced.
Oh my “Heart” !!! Mitch & Moma’s
At this wonderful location you will find More than just a cup of coffee.
It is a cafe that believes in inclusion, belonging and purpose for all.
Mitch & Moma’s: “Employing people who struggle to find valuable employment”.
There are Priceless gifts in this Village that radiate the real meaning of community!
What village that isn’t alive anymore has its very own newspaper? Oh The Village of Brussels is “alive and well”
While this year’s 159’th Fall Fair may be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brussels Agricultural Society is moving ahead with a parade and a decorating competition for homes and businesses. This years theme is “Twist & Sprout.”
Brussels, Morris & Grey Community Centre (BMG) hosts a range of activities including indoor walking, karate, pickleball, volleyball, and zumba. Something for everyone to meet the needs of health and well being within the community. Plus Special Events.
The area behind the Center is filled with Soccer Field’s for League Soccer as well as Tennis Courts.
These hard working kids, ages 12 to 18, helped raise money for a new playground at the Conservation Area by doing bottle drives, farmers market, Christmas tree sales, spring bulb sales and collecting donations. YOU ROCK GUYS!
The Brussels Optimist Club are a group of individuals dedicated to making our community a better place to live, work and play!
Welcome to The Variety Store
Lottery? Cigarettes ? Did you run out of Milk? Are you Camping in the area and need some snacks? This places is loaded with all you need for Saturday Night Movie snacks.
Turning Heads and Making Waves
This awesome salon has a 5 star review on Google !!
Sharing their love for this Hair Salon along with:
Holly’s Hair and Tanning Salon
Recently Opened is the New Dollar Haven Store!
Offering Car, Farm, Business, Property, Life and Health, Travel Insurance and much more!
A Big Thank you to all our Front Line Workers during this pandemic. (because they deserve appreciation)
If you are looking for a beautiful space downtown to sit and relax there is a beautiful Gazebo with sitting benches and the lawn is sprinkled with flowers. You will even find a few pillows available to make your time of outdoor relaxation more comfortable.
If you’re hungry and love fresh vegetables you can even walk a block and pick fresh vegetables from the Community Garden.
Professional Lawn Care Cutting & Maintenance. Rolling, Sweeping, Aerating. Available for the Brussels area. Spring cleanup also available!
Brussels & District Horticultural Society
Group of gardening people who provide the beautiful handing baskets and large containers of flowers on Turnberry St. They also plant and maintain the Butterfly Garden in the Conservation area, the flower containers and bed at the Brussels Public Library and Gazebo Park on Turnberry Street.
Have you seen the Queen Anne Architecture of the Melville Presbyterian Church on Dunedin street? Beautiful, Pretty!! – We all hope you will stop by to view it along with many other churches.
Melville Presbyterian Church
St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Brussels, Ontario
Brussels Mennonite Fellowship Church
There is another Church we lovingly call the tiny one. I believe it is Masonic Church. (maybe I will take a photo next time I pass by). A beauty with a backdrop of the Maitland River.
Brussels is a perfect setting for the Brussels Old Colony Christian School.
It is a pleasure to hear the sounds of children playing outdoors on their recess breaks! Keeping Brussels balanced in both young as well as elderly.
Recently a new addition was added including a large size area available for rent for special events that comes with a kitchen space. Perfect for bridal showers or even this past summer a group of people put together a freecycle of clothing and other items.
As for signing out your favorite book: Curbside Service is now offered at all 12 Huron County Library branches: Goderich, Exeter, Zurich, Clinton, Wingham, Brussels, Hensall, Bayfield, Seaforth, Blyth, Howick and Kirkton.
At this time, all curbside visits must be pre-arranged with Library staff by appointment.
Tcc – Internet Providor, TV, Phone, Security Monitoring
Murray’s Barbershop – Are you Needing a Haircut?
Branch 218 serves the Brussels Community. The branch supports our Veterans, their families and community. All community members are welcome to join as Royal Canadian Legion Branch 218 members at any time. Call the legion for more information.
Latest News- Some excitement is happening here with the Catch the Ace Draw! Who will be this years lucky winner?
A fire department also known as a fire and rescue service. Services a specific geographic area typically a Town, Municipality, County. A Heroic Group of individuals. Thank you Brussels Fire Department for your Service!
Located in the Bottom of the Four Winds Barn every Friday afternoon. A great variety of local vendors as well as entertainment! We hope you will stop by :)
I mean take the time to click the link and visit their site. There is so much this group of people does for our community. They live by their motto “We Serve”
With a 4.5 Google Rating I’d say this place is great at what they do! Awesome team! the review says. So if you need some body work done on your vehicle this is the place to go! Plus, Don is a real hoot!
A great variety of drinks for your entertaining.
We are an alternative health clinic offering various holistic therapies. We contribute our longevity and success to satisfied loyal clientele. Another great new business in our community
The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario is a not-for-profit charitable organization with affiliations around the world, working with and for women in Ontario. Through the network of Branches, we offer educational programming and community support; advocate for social, environmental and economic change, and work towards the personal growth of all women, for home and country.” I am grateful for these ladies and the interest they shared in my life. When I found myself sick one winter they dropped off a beautiful gift basket. Thank you Ladies.
Are you building or starting an adventure of home renovations? This store offers an enormous variety of items for your building needs. As well as a beautiful gift shop at the entrance of the store that features frames, bath bombs, and so much more. I snuck a peak at one of their latest items for sale- Awesome personalized drink ware, just in time for the kids returning to school! Also the have a slew of new bandana face coverings. I know I know I sound like I’m advertising but really there is so much more to the village of Brussels if time is taken to stop a while and have a peak.
If you visit the industrial area down the street across from Macdonalds Hardware you will see numerous businesses including:
Huron Feeding Systems specializes in the sales, service and installation of Grain Bins and Elevators, Grain and Corn Dryers, Mills, Feed Tanks and Flex Augers.
Kurtis Smith Excavating
DJ Henry Construction
I mean we even have 2 ladies who are both Number 1 in sales of products in all of Canada!
( Pauleen Kerkhof is #1 in Sales in Canada for the last few years)
A company that believes in clean eating solutions. Find some great recipes, Replace your old cookware with new ones, enjoy their spices, or muffin mix and teas!
(Sheila Bauer has been #1 in Sales in Canada for the last few years)
and a few more…
B and H Mechanical – Plumbing Contractor
Just a little ways outside of Brussels you would have passed by the G2G Rail Trail. This is 127 km along the former CPR railway line, which stretches from downtown Guelph to the waters of Lake Huron.
That’s not everything I’m sure
I’m certain I missed a lot because honestly there are always new adventures here. But there is “for certain” something for everyone. If I missed your business please email me at the contact form on the side and I will be happy to add you to this article.
From one residence of Brussles (and Im sure many more) to the writer who took a left turn in Dublin and then a right in Brussels – We are so sorry you missed 99 % of Ontario’s Prettiest Village- Brussels Ontario by taking a right turn.
We invite you to return again sometime, and explore our village for an afternoon. (please wear a mask) We are slowly returning to opening things up from the pandemic – I’ll even buy you a coffee :)
I know a lot of great people in this town that would love to share with you their love, stories and gratitude for the community.
The “real heart” of Our community is not fading into a flat line of an uneducated prognosis
The Heart Beat of Brussels is Strong, Caring, Expanding and Vital
Brussels Ontario . Truly One of Ontario’s Prettiest Villages
[Footnote] I did not get paid to write this article
[Thank you] To everyone in the community who contributed to this article ]
Who is Colleen Ranney
Canada’s Beloved Poet – 4 Times published Author and Artist. With over 100 acrylic and water color paintings. Born and Raised near Brussels Ontario she calls this place home. She is often considered a modern-day female Rumi for her beautiful poetry. She is also one of the winners of the 2017 Autism Hall of Fame Genius Award. Colleen Ranney is also a Certified Reiki Master as well as a co owner of Ranney Studios Canada– Located in Brussels. Visit her site at Colleen Ranney.