The Garden on the Gorge

Bed & Breakfast


220 Smith Street
Elora, Ontario, Canada N0B 1S0

1-519-846-5353 (days) 1-519-846-2505 (eves)


Welcome to The Garden on the Gorge!

Your private suite of three rooms awaits you, with its gated entrance opening to a flagstone path through glorious gardens. The heritage-designated 1858 home backs onto the Irvine River Gorge on a tree-lined street in the oldest residential section of scenic Elora.

Your bedroom is appointed with a queen-sized four-poster draped with lavish linens. Art, antiques, quilts, and hooked rugs convey elegant yet cosy charm. Soak luxuriously in the deep tub in the ensuite bathroom... or share a shower with someone you love! Just the ticket for that romantic getaway....

The focus at breakfast is on homemade, fresh, local, in season. (Please indicate ahead of time any special dietary needs or restrictions.) Tucked unobtrusively in a corner of the main room are a small refrigerator and microwave for your convenience. Don't forget the champagne or ice wine!

If you can bring yourself to leave your cocoon, French doors in the light-flooded main room invite you out to explore. Stroll through the various levels of the garden. Make yourself at home on one of the many benches. Enjoy a bracing plunge in the pool. Or set up your easel amidst the flowers and birdsong. The property has been on numerous garden tours, as well as the Elora Festival House Tour. If you have questions about any of the plants, please ask.

 Early spring at The Garden on the Gorge  Non-paying guests enjoying the pool!

Later in the day, curl up with a drink and a favourite book in one of the welcoming wing chairs. Or relax in front of the entertainment unit, with its satellite TV / radio and VCR / DVD. The main room is big enough that you can dance....

The suite is furnished largely with antiques and decorated with works by Canadian artists in a variety of media. Many pieces are available for purchase. Take home a treasure by a local artist to remind you of your romantic sojourn in "Ontario's beautiful village"!

Many more antiques and works of art may be seen at Hands To Work, a shop in Elora's historic downtown run by your hostess. Located at 8 Mill Street West, at the southwest corner of Mill and Metcalfe, Hands To Work features 19th and 20th century Canadian paintings and prints; Inuit graphics, carvings, and artefacts; art, baskets, and artefacts of other First Nations; Canadian folk art; quilts and hooked rugs; furniture and furnishings from primitives to retro; and fine books. The Grand River flows behind the shop, providing a panoramic backdrop to all these treasures.

There's plenty to do in the village even if you choose to spend your entire stay without using your car. Walk out the gate to spectacular views of the Irvine Gorge from the bridge just past the house. Then follow the trail along the back of the property. You're a leisurely stroll from Lover's Leap, where the Grand and the Irvine Rivers meet. Another few minutes will take you to the most-photographed view in Elora, the Tooth of Time, a limestone outcropping in the rapids of the Grand.

Back on the street, you're steps away from the enticing shops and fine restaurants of downtown Elora. You can even take in a movie: the village has its own repertory cinema! For three weeks in July, the Elora Festival presents internationally renowned musical luminaries in scintillating performances of traditional and contemporary music.

If you'd like to wander farther afield, Fergus is less than ten minutes by car. In mid-August, kick up your heels at the Fergus Highland Games, the largest in North America.

Fly-fishing buffs know that the Grand River between Fergus and Elora is one of the country's best trout streams. Wade in!

The shopping experience of St. Jacobs is about twenty minutes away, with everything from sophisticated clothes to architectural antiques. While you're there, take the time to drive a little ways to Elmira, the heart of Mennonite country. You're sure to pass a horse and buggy as you sightsee along the country roads.

Fans of the stage will find themselves at the hub of the finest live theatre in Ontario. Within easy driving distance are the Fergus Grand Theatre, the Drayton Festival Theatre, the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre, Theatre Orangeville, and of course the Stratford Festival.

Other local points and activities of interest:

Elora Conservation Area:  hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing; a photographer's paradise

Elora Centre for the Arts:  located a few blocks east of downtown Elora on Mill Street; art exhibitions, art classes, and much more

Wellington County Museum & Archives:  located between Elora and Fergus; art exhibitions and displays on local history and culture

Farmers' Markets:  Elora, Kitchener, St. Jacobs, Guelph, Stratford

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival:  a sweet event held every spring when the sap is running

Elora Antique Show:  one of Canada's highest-quality antique shows, held in mid-April at the Elora Community Centre

So come to Elora and indulge all your senses at The Garden on the Gorge!

Children over the age of sixteen are welcome. The sofa in the main room opens into a comfy double bed.

Smokers are invited to indulge in the garden.

No pets, please!

The friendly resident dogs do not have access to the guest quarters (unless you insist, of course!).


Your hostess:  Olga Domján

Rates (GST extra):

Rates for stays of longer than a week are available upon request.

VISA and Mastercard accepted. Reservations (with credit card) are a must.

In the event of cancellation, there will be no charge if notice is given three days ahead.

The Garden on the Gorge:

Your romantic refuge in beautiful Elora