Nostalgia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.
There are certain sights that spark a youthful exuberance in us, and perhaps none more so than a good old-fashioned drive-in diner. The Oasis Drive-In in Caledonia is considered Ontario’s—and likely Canada’s—oldest functioning drive-in restaurant. The Oasis has been serving customers great food and free smiles since 1927 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. Appropriately named The Oasis, it greets you like a mirage from your youth, seeming almost too amazing to be true…until the food convinces you of its authenticity. All of your classic favourites are here, from traditional drive-in eats like burgers, hotdogs and homemade fries, to perfect after-dinner treats like hand-spun mikshakes and old-fashioned ice cream cones.
Next door to Oasis Drive-In is the Haldimand House Marketplace. Haldimand House is one of Caledonia oldest buildings and has been home to a tavern, boarding house and hotel. The Leousis family has owned the Oasis Drive-In, Haldimand House since 1950 and Caledonia Candy Co. since 1936. Haldimand House now operates as a gift and antique store, and the shop includes original plank flooring and tin ceilings returning the historic building to its original hotel days.
Today, Haldimand House features a wide selection of antique furniture, original art and accessories; various boutiques, showcasing ladies fashions, candles, relaxing spa items, holistic soaps, home and garden decor and more!