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St. Jacobs

3.9
The community of St. Jacobs is located in southwest Ontario, just north of Waterloo in Woolwich Township, Waterloo Region. It is a popular location for tourism, due to its quaint village appearance, retail focus and Mennonite heritage. Waterloo Region is still home to the largest population of Old Order Mennonites in Canada, particularly in the areas around St Jacobs and Elmira. They are often seen on the local roads using their traditional horse and buggy transportation; many also use horses to pull the implements in their farm fields.The Conestogo River, which powered the village's original mills by the 1850s, runs through the village. At the time of the 2016 Census, St. Jacobs had a growing population of 1,988 people.HistoryThe two settlements near St. Jacobs were Conestoga and Winterbourne. The latter was settled primarily by English and Scots while St. Jacobs, like Conestoga, was primarily Germanic. This area on the Conestogo River was settled starting in 1830. Early arrivals included the Simon Cress family, Abraham Erb, and John B. Baumann (or Bauman). A significant influx did not happen until the early 1850s. Most of the settlers were Mennonites from Pennsylvania, so-called Pennsylvania Dutch. The word "Dutch" does not refer to the Netherlands but is a misnomer for Deitsch or Deutsch (German). They became known as "Old Order" Mennonites due to their conservative lifestyle. (Other Mennonites in the area have a less conservative lifestyle.) School lessons, even in 1860 was were taught entirely in the local dialect of German.
St. Jacobs is in Region of Waterloo. Plan your vacation with our Canada trip planner and discover the best things to do in St. Jacobs.
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Popular things to do in St. Jacobs

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Duration: 2 hours
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Duration: 1h 30 min

Side trips from St. Jacobs

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Shopping in St. Jacobs

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Duration: 2h 30 min
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Hidden gems in St. Jacobs

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Duration: 30 minutes
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Fun & Games in St. Jacobs

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Duration: 2 hours

Museums in St. Jacobs

2.8
Duration: 30 minutes