Compiled By Jason Okolisan
The Ontario Z-Car Owners Association gathered last weekend for a tour of Halton Hills en route to Z-Fest car show.
The invigorating afternoon cruise featured fantastic driving roads such as Forks Of The Credit in Belfountain. The route is 156 KM and 3 hours driving time, all secondary paved “biker” roads, very windy with lots of elevation changes to provide driving excitement. The route has been outlined at the end of this article.
On this particular day we had 20 cars on tour; 17 Nissan/Datsun Z cars, a Subaru WRX, Lotus Evora and Chevrolet Corvette.
There are many interesting places to stop in Halton Region including wineries, fruit farms, parks and historic sites. We had two stops on this particular day – Spirit Tree Estate Cidery on Boston Mills Road in Caledon and Cheltenham Badlands site on Olde Base Line Road.
Nestled along Caledon hills, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is a bakery, restaurant and farm store. They sell quality local products and produce, and make delicious cider, bread and pastries. It’s a great place to take a break from driving while enjoying the Caledon countryside. After an hour plus of spirited driving, our group was ready for a break to stretch our legs, use the restroom, have a drink and bite to eat.
We stayed at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery for approximately half an hour to shop and indulge in the decadent baked goods, hand-crafted artisanal cider and fine food products. The massive stone fire-burning pizza oven impressed us. Some of us sat on the outdoor patio to have a snack and admire the apple orchards that surrounds the sprawling estate, while others socialized in the indoor dining room.
If you want to see something totally unique, check out Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon. The formation of eroded Queenston Shale was exposed by poor farming practices in the 1930s that led to soil erosion that exposed the underlying shale. The formation is red in colour due to iron oxide deposits with green streaks. This was the result of ground water percolation changing the red iron oxide into green iron oxide.
Our group visited The Badlands to take in this natural phenomenon that looks like something from another planet! We walked around the colourful rolling hills surrounded by trees and took photos (The Badlands are now closed to the public to walk on, but you can still view them from the surrounding area). There is a monument that tells the story of The Badlands, it certainly is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Movies and music videos have been filmed at Cheltenham Badlands so you won’t want to leave the site without taking photos.
As a special treat on the Halton Hills cruise, Nissan 370Z designer Randy Rodriguez drove with our group. Randy drove a 2015 370Z Roadster on the tour and joined in the comradery that is the essence of the Ontario Z-Car Club. A Canadian, Randy grew up in Surrey, British Columbia and now works for Nissan Design America at the San Diego Studio. Randy sites designing the 370Z as his greatest professional accomplishment. He is also proud to have been the lead designer of the new 2016 Nissan Titan truck and the Infiniti Emerg-E and Nissan Bladeglider concept cars.
The Halton Hills Tour made for a fantastic day of driving, hot sunny weather, great cars and people plus having renowned automotive designer Randy Rodriguez driving with our group was a special experience. At the end of the cruise we had dinner and social time at Arizona’s Grill to reflected on the day and share our excitement for the big Z-fest car show the next day.