St. Thomas, first recognized as a city in 1881 is a community located in Southwestern Ontario. The city is home to about 36 000 people and is known as the “Railway Capital of Canada” A total of 26 railways have passed through St Thomas since the first railway was completed in 1856.

The railway played host to an event in 1885 that garnered worldwide attention. P.T. Barnum’s extremely famous elephant - Jumbo - died in St. Thomas when it was crushed by a locomotive.

St. Thomas has a number of attractions and here are a few worth visiting:

1. Holiday Fantasy of Lights: Every christmas season St. Thomas plays host to a Holiday Lights Festival. Residents throughout the city contribute by decorating their houses with holiday lights. Business can set up displays throughout the city, or by using 30 electrical pedestals in Pinafore Park. The event started in 1993 and 23 households took place. Last year the event had over 125 displays!

The event runs purely on good will donations - any surplus money is devoted to beautifying St. Thomas parks. Besides the lighted displays, there is also family friendly entertainment provided through the weekend. Performers include singers, martial artists and of course Santa!

2. The Iron Horse Festival: Paying homage to St. Thomas’ rich railway heritage this 4-day community event is a display of community spirit. Welcoming over 20 000 visitors each year, this is one of the most popular festivals in the city. There are 3 stages of entertainment, two food areas and artisans from all around the region selling their wares.

The festival is devoted to fostering community spirit and for that reason the event is free of charge, although some attractions like the midway may include a fee. Attractions at the event include a cruise, iron chef competition, train rides and a motorcycle show.

3. Railway City Brewing Company: Railway City Brewing is dedicated to brewing hand crafted beers in small batches. They use only the finest ingredients and avoid all additives, preservatives and pasteurization. The brewery supports their community by using local Ontario malted grains.

They currently offer a selection of ales including; light, blonde, copper and amber. Besides offering some of the areas best microbrew, Railway City Brewing also offers group tours. Make sure to call ahead so they can set aside a room for sampling their great beers.

St. Thomas is an interesting city to visit. The railway history is very apparent as soon as you enter the city. With renovation efforts taking place on some historical railway sites it is sure to stay that way.

If you want a relaxing good time, and are interested in the history of the railway - make St. Thomas your first stop.

For More Info: Ontario

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For More Info: Ontario