Did you know there are primarily French-speaking communities in Ontario that aren’t near Quebec? Pain Court is located in southwestern Ontario’s Chatham-Kent area and was one of the earliest French-speaking settlements in southern Ontario. Want to know more about this small village? Here’s what you need to know.

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About Pain Court

pain court
Image via Pain Court

Pain Court is located about an hour away from Windsor, Ontario and was established in 1854.

According to the village website, “The name, meaning shortbread, speaks to the community’s foundation story, of francophone settlers who farmed the land and produced shortbread for travelling Catholic missionaries.”

Today, the area retains its agricultural and French heritage, including the surrounding villages of Grande Point and Dover Centre.

British Comedian and Actor Ricky Gervais shares a close connection with the village as well.

According to Pain Court’s website, his father, Lawrence Raymond “Jerry” Gervais was a French-Canadian from Pain Court who emigrated to the UK while on foreign duty during the Second World War and met Gervais’ English mother, Eva Sophia during a blackout as they eventually settled in the UK.

Things to do

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, Pain Court has plenty to do!

Locals launch their kayaks, canoes and other outdoor water equipment from the nearby Parry Landing into the Thames River on warm summer days.

There are also a handful of trails at the nearby St. Clair National Wildlife Area, along the shores of Lake St. Clair.

Other trail options include the Memorial Park Trail and the South Lakeshore Trail, with a boardwalk and observation area extending into the bay with sculpted works of art along the trail.

According to Pain Court’s website, “The view from the bay shows the most breathtaking sunsets in the region.”

Love to golf? Hidden Hills Golf and Country Club is close by and the best part? The club has an extended playing season thanks to the mild local climate!

Pain Court is calling, Ontario!