Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

St. Jacobs and Aberfoyle Model Railway (St. Jacobs)

Family Tested

A labour of love

2017: This summer it's open on Thursdays from -, from July 6 to August 31!

I has seen them in their old location, in Aberfoyle. They moved a year ago to St. Jacobs and I can confirm that the place now features an improved version of their already fantastic original display! So many details, such a beautiful layout recreating the Southern Ontario of the 50's, so many little stories going on. There's no doubt this attraction is a labour of love undertaken by very keen-eyed and patient artisans. If you look closely, you can see: campers on the verge of being bothered by a bear, a dog running on a hill, a family picnicking by the track, a guy doing push-up on the beach, a musician playing the banjo and kids selling lemonade. You'll even see someone escaping from a hotel window with the help of good old sheets tied together. High rises are being raised, houses are being built and streets are being repaired. It is a busy town. The control booth from which members run the railway is on a mezzanine on one side of the room. They manage the circulation and make trains pop out of tunnels, criss-cross the country side and stop in the big city.

One of the most original features of this miniature world is the night fall (a 10-minute dusk to dawn sequence every 40 minutes or so). During Christmas time, you can see tiny lit trees... and Santa's sleigh on a wagon. At night, you see the little people inside the trains and the buildings! The inside lights throw shadows on the sidewalks. Everyone present is enthralled, toddlers, teens, grand-parents. Expect to stay at least one hour to admire it all. (TIP: I noticed the some parents brought a little stool for their younger kids!)

Click here to see the photo gallery of our last visit in December 2014.

Suggestion: Combine with Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory!

Better bring a stool for younger kids!
Even teens find it fascinating.
Night falls over the train station.
Scenes to observe everywhere.

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Buy the book Toronto Street Art Strolls

Nathalie's tips for a smooth outing

After years of doing all kinds of outings with my children, I can assure you the secret to a perfect outing lies in the details, not the destination.


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