It takes a (Pickering) Village

Linda Cook

During these uncommon times, one of the things that make me happiest is when I’m in the kitchen. I’ve been cooking and baking so much, trying new things or new foods. This is not always a big hit with my teenager (cue the sneer at my purple asparagus). When my family hits that, “she’s cooking, again” wall, it’s nice to have options that please the crowd. 

Like most people, I have my go-to favourites. Now, more than ever, our local culinary businesses have become the heart of our communities,  And Pickering Village is no exception.

A quick jaunt up Rossland Rd will take you to the award-winning Symposium Café Restaurant & Lounge. Symposium Café is also following social distancing protocols by making their excellent menu available for curbside pick up between 5:00pm – 9:00pm daily. Call 905=683-3232 to order.

Delivery is provided through Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes – both of which are waiving their standard delivery fees during the lockdown, to support our favourite hometown heroes.

Boasting a remarkable 69+ flavours of chicken wings, Church street favourite, Break n Wings, is offering free delivery through Skip the dishes & Uber Eats as well.  In a generous show of support, Break n Wings is also offering complimentary food to our local lockdown heroes (healthcare and frontline workers, police officers, and fire fighters). If you are currently on the front line or know someone who is, call the restaurant at 289-660-8990.

While not able to remain open at this time, Flavours, authentic Caribbean flavour makers, are standing strong with village residents by supporting those in greatest need. They announced their “FEED WITH LOVE” Covid- 19 food donation program on March 22.  They will continue to donate as much as they can to isolated seniors and low-income families. For information, email

The Village’s restaurants are the heart, soul, and stomach of our community. Your support now will help them sustain their businesses as we #flattenthecurve.

Now that our food craving needs are met, let’s work on that mood.

Get grounded 

Choose your own adventure when it comes to connecting with the earth. Our parks may be closed temporarily, but we can still enjoy the fullness of nature and entertain our children (and fur children) while getting the mindful benefits of being outside.

Pickering Village is home to an accessible system of hiking trails- all of which will allow you to maintain the 6ft/2m social distancing rule.

Duffins Trail System Central Ajax

The Duffins Trail system is a 3.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail that winds north through the Village. It can easily be accessed off from a trailhead located off Riverside Drive. It features a gorgeous forest setting and is suitable for all skill levels. Rover is also able to use the trail but must be kept on a leash. 

The Duffins trail system also connects with the Trans-Canada trail – from Mill St and Church St. An underpass is in place to allow for crossing at Kingston Rd.

Village Greenbelt Trail

photo of colourful, hand-painted stones
Image from Ajax News Advertiser, April 20, by Keith Gilligan

The Village Greenbelt trail is now home to a collection of more than 100 rocks painted with positive messages. This project,  started by a mother and her two small children, has spread into a joyful community movement. 

Join in and create your own rock to place at the rock message tree – which can be found along Millers Creek in the Jacwin and Carwin Crescent area.

Needing more Zen? Adding yoga to your daily routine can bring a sense of order in the chaos.

Local Yoga + Meditation Teacher, Karen Roy, has been bringing her knowledge of mindfulness and wellness to the Durham Region for almost a decade.

Karen is offering fee-based Live Stream Power Yoga classes through FaceBook to help you regain your centre and be more mindful during this stressful time. 

It really does take a village to keep a community whole. We will return to the beautiful patios of The Courtyard to enjoy ice cream, or dig into hand-made Spätzle at Sauter’s Inn.

Until then, be kind to yourself. Eat well. Paint a rock. ~ Linda Cook