I had asked some friends from Harrow for recommendations of places to eat in Kingsville and they mentioned Mettawas Station because of the food and because it’s a neat place. They didn’t give me any more details, but I decided to try it.
I had to laugh when I found out it was a converted train station. I had just come from St. Thomas and had visited the Canada Southern Railway Station and the Elgin County Railway Museum! Though my previous stops that day had really driven home to me the significance of trains in Ontario – Mettawas Station’s story added an interesting dimension.
Hiram Walker’s Idea
Turns out that Hiram Walker (yup, of Canadian Club whisky fame) commissioned an architect to build the train station in anticipation of the train line his Lake Erie, Essex, and Detroit River Railway would be building from Windsor. He also had a grand hotel and a small casino built nearby because he figured Kingsville, on the shores of Lake Erie, would attract the well-to-do from Detroit. Though the hotel opened in 1889, it was torn down in 1902 and the casino was torn down after World War II. Lucky for us, the train station was not touched.
Since 2008 Mettawas Station has been a restaurant. They specialize in Italian-Mediterranean food and are open for lunch and dinner.