I live in one of those villages where you do not want to blink while driving through, otherwise you might miss it. And people do drive through by the hundreds, mostly commuters during weekdays, and on the weekend, it is the motorists on their way to the cottage. Everyone is in a hurry these days, and no one wants to slow down and discover what my village has to offer. So to entice you, I have compiled many of the attractions. Who knows, you may just fall in love, and decide you will want to live here as well, like my wife and I did 22 years ago. 🙂
We are a small village of around 1200 people, with a few hundred more living in the surrounding countryside. A highlight for us is our landmark variety store and gas station. For generations this establishment has provided fuel for the motorist, and staples such as milk and bread for us residents, or for travellers headed to the cottage.
With a full length verandah, the variety store even boasts a leather sofa, where we can hang out and drink our coffee or soda. Where else can a person find any thing like that? Such a wonderful way to slow down, hang out with others and “shoot the breeze”. 🙂
If the variety store is closed, you do not want to miss our Country Market. Originally the post office and general store, in years past, they have sold wonderful fresh organic produce and mouth watering home baked goods.
Hopefully the Country Market was not closed, but if it was, why not check out our historic grist mill. Using the water power of the Sturgeon River, this mill has remained in the same family for generations. Such a wonderful way to be “green”. Not having to use electricity to grind your whole grains into flour. 🙂
Perhaps the mill was closed. If it was, you don’t want to miss our hotel, called the O’Neil House Hotel. Standing virtually in it’s original state, this building is a time capsule that takes you back to the horse and buggy days. This hotel is the last one remaining of 12, built along the route known as the Penetanguishene Road, which was originally built as a supply route during the War of 1812. There is an ongoing battle of whether too have the building demolished or restored.
So there is not really a lot going on in my home village. The variety store and gas station was closed 5 years ago due to a bit of environmental nightmare. For years the older underground fuel tanks were leaking gas several decades ago. Back then, gas was a mere pennies a gallon and instead of replacing the fuel tanks, it was much cheaper just to let them leak (and not say anything). Every summer, the site (which is now closed), has drill rigs on site to monitor the contamination, which I have heard there is a lot. But no one knows how serious of a health risk this is.
The Country Market, once a very thriving business was closed 6 year ago due to a fire that gutted the interior. It has changed hands at least a couple times, but the current owners are currently fixing it up to be a small coffee shop and variety store, which is VERY exciting. The mill closed about 30 years ago, but structurally it may be beyond repair.
So for the past 5 years if you needed fuel, milk or even a cup of coffee, it is a 6 kilometer drive. However a good cup of coffee can be had before church Sunday morning, and you don’t even have to stay for the service. 🙂 Why do we live here? We have lived in the same house for 22 years, and it is the people who make up the community. Everyone is congenial and friendly. It really has that “small town” feel! For the kids, this community has provided great friends, and lots of stability. Sure, there really is not much to do, and I sort of like it that way! 🙂
But, if you are REALLY bored, you can do what the local teenagers do for entertainment. Tie the laces of your old shoes together, and throw them over the branches of a tree! 🙂
How about your home turf, any highs or lows. Is there any reason why you have chosen to live where you do? Thank you for taking the time to read! 🙂
© All images and script are property of Carl Wright and The Old Fellow Goes Running.