The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network (EOAN) is promoting the farming, food and beverage enterprises in the region with a new agri-tourism destination program called ‘Sample the East – Discovering Seasonal Routes’.

The new program takes a unique approach to agri-tourism, going beyond the usual directory of similar attractions over a wide region. The EOAN proposes curated day and weekend trips that are very localized, offering attractive itineraries of exciting tastes, local enterprises, accommodations, outdoor activities, and hidden treasures.

The EOAN partnered with the local tourism consulting agency Locali.t to produce six seasonal routes in 2021. Three separate routes are published for the summer travels, with three more coming this fall:

● ‘Foodie on the River’ offers fresh fruit, wine, and farm-made ice cream in the Morrisburg and Iroquois corridor, along with fun places to visit.

● ‘Small Town Charm’ extols the charm of Vankleek Hill, its shops and surroundings, as well as places to appreciate local food, wine, and fresh produce.

● ‘Summertime in Cornwall’ offers history, site seeing, and interesting spots to grab a bite, purchase local food – including the Cornwall Waterfront Farmers’ Market – and visit attractions of which out-of-town visitors may never have heard.

EOAN President Michel Villeneuve is very pleased with this initiative.

“For many years – even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic – consumers have been seeking reliable sources of local food and experiences,” Villeneuve said. “Consumers should discover the taste and experience of Eastern Ontario.”

“Either on your own, as a couple, or with the family, meeting our producers and discovering nearby offbeat places is a great way to spend a day or a weekend in the countryside.”

Myriam Beauchamp, Executive Director at Locali.t, is just as pleased to have worked on this project.

“Our part of Canada is a treasure trove of places to eat and visit. Sample the East highlights local destinations for fun seekers from a host of major centres such as the Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston and Brockville areas,” Beauchamp explained. “Our hope is that these visitors will enjoy local food and fun on their trip and that they will talk to their friends and acquaintances about what they saw while visiting our region.”

The EOAN was created in 2010 and serves the agri-food sector across Akwesasne, Cornwall, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, and Prescott-Russell. Its bi-weekly Newsletter reaches over 750 recipients, among them institutions and agri-food experts and consumers. In early 2021, the Network received additional funding from the United Counties of S.D.&G and from the City of Cornwall, adding to that of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.