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November 2021

13 Places to Indulge in Your Pumpkin Passion in Durham's Downtowns
Ah, pumpkin season. Some love it and some love to hate it. Pumpkin, or pumpkin spice that is, has become a polarizing pick-me-up, with some cherishing it’s early arrival at the end of summer, never quite getting their fill before the season is over.

While others see pumpkin spice as an invader, something that arrives too soon and completely uninvited. Pumpkin spice season has become a Canadian tradition. And did you know that the pumpkin fruit also packs a nutritional punch? Full of vitamin A and antioxidants, pumpkin is a delicious and nutritious addition to both sweet and savoury dishes—from soups to pies, curries, breads, gelato and even beer. And of course, it’s mighty fine in a latte as well.

We’ve put together a list of 13 downtown Durham Region cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in your pumpkin passion, while strolling along our main streets taking in the sights and sounds of our beautiful community.
Shop in Durham this holiday season—and beyond
This holiday season—and beyond—Durham Tourism, along with the Durham Region Joint Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, have a special request for residents: Shop where you live, shop in Durham.

After months and months of the same-old-same-old, treat yourself to shopping someplace new. Someplace close to home. Someplace that has something unique to offer—high-quality goods and gifts you can hold in your hands and bring home that very day.

Our shops and businesses have used this time to make improvements to suit you better. The quality of goods and services available in Durham has never been better!

So, this holiday season—and beyond—take some time to re-visit some of your local favourites and discover some new ones. The money you spend goes back into your community and makes us all a lot stronger.

The Region of Durham is also proclaiming November 28 to December 4 as “Shop in Durham Week.”

Share your local finds on social media using #ShopInDurham.
Festival of Trees
On November 6, join the Abilities Centre for a festive tree and holiday activity experience, while raising funds to support Abilities Centre charity.

  • Shop local businesses
  • Decorate ornaments
  • Write a letter to Santa
  • Enjoy a hot chocolate bar
  • Visit special guests like Santa Claus and more
Culinary Corner: Featured Recipe
Durham Tourism, in partnership with local Chef Alex Page, will be sharing seasonal recipes to inspire you to try something different and support local farms.

This month’s recipe is: Hot Nashville Cauliflower Sandwich

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 2 tbsp pickling spice blend 
  • 1 tbsp salt 
  • 3 cups water 
  • 1 head Tindall Farm & Market cauliflower, cut into 1-inch “steaks” (about 2 to 3)
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs 
  • Vegetable oil for frying 
  • 3 tbsp Villa Vida Loca Pure Honey 
  • 1/2 tsp Hurt Berry Farm Gob Smacked hot sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1/4 tsp Hurt Berry Farm Viridescent hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • Bread and butter pickles and brioche buns for serving

Cooking instructions:

  • Add garlic, pickling spice blend, salt and water into a large frying pan and bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then add cauliflower steaks and cook until barely fork tender, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer cauliflower steaks to a paper towel-lined plate and cool completely. Discard cooking water mixture.
  • Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl whisk egg with 1 tbsp cold water. In another shallow bowl add flour, and in another add bread crumbs.
  • Pat cooled cauliflower steaks dry with paper towel. Working with one steak at a time, dredge first in flour, shaking off any excess, then coat in egg mixture, then cover completely in bread crumbs. Repeat with remaining cauliflower steak(s). 
  • Fill a frying pan with enough vegetable oil to come 2 inches up the side of the pan and place over high heat. Once the oil reaches 350ºF add cauliflower steaks, in batches if necessary, and fry until breading is deep golden brown and cauliflower is thoroughly cooked, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer cauliflower steaks to a paper towel-lined plate and season generously with salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together honey, butter and Hurt Berry Farms Gob Smacked hot sauce to combine.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Hurt Berry Farms Viridescent hot sauce and mayonnaise to combine. 
  • Quickly submerge each cauliflower steak in honey-butter mixture, set on bottom half on brioche bun and garnish with pickles. Spread top half of bun with mayonnaise mixture and set on top. Repeat with remaining cauliflower steaks.
  • Serve immediately.

Recipe serves two.
Beaverton Christmas
Open House
The merchants of Beaverton invite you to a Christmas open house on November 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy the holiday spirit while browsing the shops of Downtown Beaverton for early gift giving ideas!
What's on at Pickering Museum Village
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience (or three!) Pickering Museum Village has three exciting events this month that are sure to excite!

Pickering Fairy Tours

Pickering's picturesque forest, village, and gardens are home to not only some incredible natural creatures, but also some magical creatures. Visit a series of whimsical fairy, elf, and gnome homes scattered throughout in the village and forest and learn about the history and folklore of the magical creatures of the forest. Pickering's Fairy Tour is an opportunity to see their world up close.

The Pickering Fairy tour is on now until November 13.

Wand Workshop

Unleash your inner fairy or gnome and make your very own magic wand in this fun, hands-on workshop. Fun for all ages!

The Wand Workshop is on now through November 13.

Holly Jolly Christmas Drive-Thru Tour

Visit the museum this holiday season and journey into Christmases of the past. Play the heritage Christmas trivia game with your family and friends and see who knows their popular winter traditions the best. Hear how Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came to be and sing along to carols in your own car. End your tour with a safely-distanced visit with Santa Claus!

The Holly Jolly Christmas Drive-Thru Tour is on from November 20 to 28.
All aboard with Santa
on the York-Durham
Heritage Railway
The York-Durham Heritage Railway Santa Express Train Ride is rolling through the picturesque Oak Ridges Moraine from November 20 to December 19.

This popular train ride is a great family holiday experience. On-board entertainment keeps everyone occupied while waiting for Santa’s arrival. Have your wish list ready to share with him when he visits children big and small at their seats.
Holiday events in Durham Region
Get in the holiday spirit with brightly decorated floats, shimmering lights, and a visit from Santa Claus.

For unique trip ideas or to plan your perfect day, visit DurhamTourism.ca, or call 1-800-413-0017. If this information is required in an accessible format, contact Durham Tourism.