Pain Court is central to the francophone community of Chatham-Kent. The name, meaning short bread, speaks to the community's foundation story, of francophone settlers who farmed the land and produced short bread for travelling Catholic missionaries. Pain Court was one of the earliest French-speaking settlements in southern Ontario.
Today, the area retains its agricultural and French heritage, including the surrounding villages of Grande Point and Dover Centre. Every year the community hosts the Pain Court Truck and Tractor Pull, and in 2018 hosted the International Plowing Match. Pain Court is also home to Francophone Catholic primary and secondary schools, run by Conseil scolaire catholique Providence (École Élémentaire Catholique Sainte-Catherine and École secondaire de Pain Court), and has a francophone EarlyON/On y va and Family Centre.
Pain Court hosts a post office, LCBO and corner store, and is less than a ten minute drive to the central city of Chatham for other daily needs. Locals often end their week with live music and food at the Central Tavern, known as "The Central". You'll find a small but active community in Pain Court with Parc Centennaire hosting tennis matches, pickle ball, and baseball games throughout the summer, and has a large walking pathway. Locals launch their kayaks from nearby Parry Landing into the Thames River, or explore the trails at the nearby St. Clair National Wildlife Area, along the shores of Lake St. Clair. In nearby Dover Centre, locals hit the greens at Hidden Hills Golf and Country Club, with an extended playing season thanks to the mild local climate.
Mitchell's Bay is another hamlet located along Lake St. Clair, 15 minutes north-west of Pain Court. The community is known for the warm shallow waters overlooked by the splash pad and play equipment which make it a favourite for families. The community is also a favourite for recreational and hobby fishermen throughout the year, hosting several boat launches, a marine park, and tackle shops, and is one of the busiest places in the area for ice fishing. Explore the Memorial Park Trail and the South Lakeshore Trail, with a boardwalk and observation area extending into the bay and amazing sculpted works of art along the trail. The view from the bay shows the most breathtaking sunsets in the region. Throughout the year, you will enjoy abundant access to nature, surrounded by friendly neighbours with a strong community connection. Join other locals for a tasty dinner at Parkside Restaurant or Bob n' Buoys Bar & Boil and grab an ice cream from the local variety store.