Day Trips from Ottawa - The Collection By Ken Harley
Ken and Maxime Harley
Since retiring, Maxine and I have become avid day trippers throughout Eastern Ontario. Our trips usually focus on a light lunch at one of the many small tea rooms to be found in the many towns, villages and hamlets to be found in the area.We also explore local historical sites, craft shops, antique stores or other interesting sites on the way to or from our lunch spot.
Needless to say, we frequent the back roads, often lose our way, meet lots of friendly and helpful people and generally enjoy ourselves. In a way it reminds us of our attempts to get to know the various countries we have been posted to during our career in the Foreign Service, only this time we are learning more about our own home territory.
You will also find the odd bakery, vineyard, restaurant or other unusual destination tucked in with the tearooms. In sharing these tours we hope others will add their own discoveries so that when visitors arrive, or someone suggest a drive in country on a fine sunny day, you will have an answer to the question “where will we go?” Stay tuned, we will be adding more!
For starters, you might wish to begin with a short drive to the village of Manotick to visit Watsons Mill and The Miller’s Oven. While not, technically, a Tea Room the Millers Oven is a great little place for lunch or a snack, and run by seniors for the benefit of seniors.
To get to Manotick, take River Road (Regional Road 19) south to the traffic light at the junction of regional Road #8 (also called Mitch Owens Drive). Turn right toward the town of Manotick, cross the first bridge, and watch for Dickenson Street at the foot of the second bridge. Turn left on Dickenson Street and you will see the Mill on your left.
Watson’ Mill (Watson's Mill ) is a stone grist and flour mill, typical of the mills that provided prosperity to many of the villages in eastern Ontario in the mid-to-late late 1800’s. The mill is open daily from early May until late October. There are guided tours and flour and bread made in the mill are occasionally available for purchase, as are handicrafts and souvenirs. Check the website for exact times and for special events that are held throughout the season.
As you leave the Mill, it is a short walk to the left to The Millers Oven (The Miller's Oven) at 1137 Mill Street (613-692-4304). The Tea Room is run by senior volunteers ,with the assistance of local students and grandkids with all proceeds going to support charitable programs, including those for seniors in the area .It is open from 9 to 4 seven days a week. Scones, muffins and home-made pies are always available - there is a lemon meringue pie with the highest meringue topping we have ever seen- , and lunch usually consists of soups, quiches and sandwiches. Prices are moderate, with soup, sandwich, tea and dessert usually coming in at under $15.00. It is a first-come, first served operation, so get there early for lunch if you want to get a piece of the lemon meringue pie. It goes quickly.
While in the vicinity you might want to check out Sun Tech Greenhouses at 5541 Dalmeny Road, which runs into Regional Road 19 just before you make the turn to Osgoode. Just head back over the bridges to River Road (regional road #19) and turn right (south). Sun Tech is a hydroponic growing facility providing fresh, local tomatoes (and other vegetables) year round. Check out the web site at www.suntech.ca Telephone (613) 692-3388.
On your way to Sun Tech, there is a great little outdoor terrace restaurant right on the east bank of the Rideau River/Canal. The name of the restaurant is “KELLY’S LANDING”.(Kelly's Landing) . It is on Regional Road 19, just south of Manotick at 1980 River Road. It is easy to miss, because the front is a gas bar/convenience store, but don’t let that stop you. There is an entrance at the right front corner of the building which will lead down a few stairs to the dining area. The terrace is also accessible by a flight of stairs on left side of the building. This is a great spot to have lunch or an evening drink and watch the boats go by. Best in fair weather, although there is a smaller enclosed dining area.
Continuing our close to home tours, this one will take you to the village of Meltcalfe, which is in now incorporated into the City of Ottawa, and the Metcalfe Farmers Market.
You can reach Metcalfe by heading south on Bank Street (Hwy 31) to Regional Road 6. Turn left and head into the village. At the 4 way stop (8th Line Road), turn right and you will find the market on your left, in front of Osgoode High School
The market has been operating for 13 years and insists that all products offered for sale by the vendors must be made, grown or created by them. There are both outdoor and indoor vendors; one of which is the small “Sunflower Café” where you can rest your feet while enjoying a hot or cold drink along with the home-made pastry or cake that you just bought. The market is open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon from May to October. Check out the website www.metcalfefm.com.
This tour will take you south and west to the village of Balderson, between Perth and Lanark, and the Crossroads Tea Room. Check the website for the current menu at www.villageofbalderson.com/crossroads/menu.html. The Village of Balderson is a day destination itself with an antique store attached to the Tea Room, the historic Balderson Cheese outlet as well as a chocolate store, ice cream stand, children’s clothing, ladies wear, Amish furniture, a bakery and a country store.
To get to Balderson, take 417 west and exit on Hwy 7 to Carleton Place and Perth. In Perth, turn left onto County Road 511 until you reach Balderson. The Tea Room is a left turn at the intersection, with plenty of free parking on the side. Telephone (613) 267-2151 for reservations, particularly on sunny Sundays!
If you feel adventurous, you can head for home through the Lanark Highlands by following County Road 511 as far as Calabogie, then turn right on County Road 508 to the junction with HWY 17. Turn right and head for Ottawa.
This tour will take you even further west and into some recent Canadian Cold War history as you head for FOYMOUNT and the WHIP-POOR-WILL TEA ROOM and gift store. The Tea Room is open 10a.m. to 4p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, except for Monday long weekends. The tea room seats about 50 and has a good variety of teas, some decadent desserts and light lunches. . It is located at 156 Sebastopol Drive in Foymount. Don’t worry about finding it; Foymount is not very big! Telephone (613) 754-2768.
Foymount, on the other hand, may be a bit more difficult to find, but the roads are good and if you follow the signs, you should have no problem. Start by taking HWY 417/17 west to Renfrew. At Renfrew, take HWY 60 to EGANVILLE. In Eganville, turn left on HWY 41 heading south toward DACRE. A kilometer or two from Eganville, turn right off HWY 41 onto County Road 512 toward Cormac and Foymount.
The village of Foymount dates back to the mid-1850s, but its more recent claim to fame was as a Radar Station in the Pine Tree Line from 1950 to 1974. For full details check out www.pinecone.on.ca/MAGAZINE/stories/foymount.html. You can stroll around the abandoned base to work off one of the “decadent desserts”.
This time we head back east to a very pleasant destination that is not a tea room, but is an authentic, rural, organic farm restaurant which offers a great opportunity for a family Sunday experience. The place is Mariposa Farms, about an hour’s drive east of Ottawa near Plantagenet. Take HWY 417 east and ext onto HWY 174, just past the St Laurent Blvd. exit ,which turns into Hwy 17 east. As you approach Plantagenet, you will cross a large, overhead steel bridge over the Nation River. The farm is 2 ½ kms past the bridge. The entrance is on the left, so watch carefully; it is easy to miss.
Mariposa farms offers a limited menu of three appetizers, three main courses and three desserts. The menu varies with the season, but always includes duck, which is the farm specialty, usually a pork dish, and seasonal vegetables and fruits. All the dishes are cooked in a big open, wood-fired fireplace in the dining room, which itself is in an old barn. Tea or coffee are include in the fixed price of $45.00 per person. A major attraction is the fact you can bring your own wine, and the waiter will provide you with the necessary glasses, free of charge!
There is store that offers mousses, pates, homemade preserves, jams, jellies and frozen meat. Guests are free to wander the trails throughout the farm, skate on the creek in the winter, and just enjoy the tranquil country setting.
Unfortunately, all this is only available on Sundays throughout the year. Telephone (613) 673-5881 for reservations, which are highly recommended! This place can get busy. Check out the websitewww.mariposa-duck.on.ca.
Burnstown and Waba Cottage Museum
This tour has us heading west on Highway 417and 17 toward Arnprior. About 18 kms past Arnprior, take a left turn on HWY 508 toward Calabogie. The first village you come to is Burnstown, at the junction of HWYs 508 and 502 (also signed as 52). Turn left at the stop sign and drive approximately 7 kms until you come to the WABA COTTAGE MUSEUM on the right hand side. It is set back off the road a hundred meters or so on the shores of White Lake. There is a large sign on the road indicating the museum.
The museum is centered on the reconstructed home of Laird Archibald McNab, a Scottish nobleman from whom McNab Township takes its name. The museum consists of a two- story house restored to represent the original house when it was built around the 1820’s. A log school and a log church have been moved on to the museum site in recent years. The buildings sit on an eight acre site and are surrounded by well-tended grounds and a number of different theme gardens prepared and maintained by various volunteer groups, as is the museum itself. For those who prefer a picnic, there are several shaded picnic tables spread around the site.
The volunteer museum staff is very knowledgeable about Laird McNab and his shenanigans in the colonies. Staff are also pleased to provide a guided tour of the other buildings, which are furnished to represent a typical school and church of the late 1800’s. An interesting side-light is that Frank Ryan, the founder of CFRA in Ottawa, actually attended the school.
Admission is $2.00 per adult or $5.00 for a family. Check the following this website for opening times, special events, etc.
On leaving the Museum, turn left on Hwy 502(52) back toward Burnstown, named after Robbie Burns, another famous Scot. Immediately after you cross HWY 508, on your right is the Black Bird Cafe, located in the old General Store. The décor in the café is eclectic with various goods, tins, and samples of items sold in the store lining the original shelves around the room.
There is a varied menu serving soups, salads, sandwich platters and wraps. The food is all home-made on the premises, and selections range in price from aound $4.00 for a soup to $15.00 for most wraps and sandwich plates.
Be warned, the servings are substantial, with sandwich or wraps coming with both a soup AND a salad. For the faint of appetite, the owner, Christine Chevalier, will bring an extra soup and salad for those who wish to share one main entrée for an additional $5.00 per order. With an iced tea each to quench the thirst, Maxine and I opted to share one meal and ordered the beef and barley soup, a tossed salad and a chicken, brie, avocado and bacon wrap. Maxine got the salad and half the wrap while I took the soup and the other half of the wrap. It was more than adequate for both of us. Topping the feast off with an excellent raspberry flan (more of a custard pie than what we would consider a flan) and chased with a pot of tea, the bill came to just over $30.00 with tip. For more on Burnstown check out www.burnstown.ca/village/index.html
To walk off the meal before heading back to Ottawa, you can stroll around the village shops which range from antiques, crafts, art galleries, woodworking, clothing and gifts. The run back home should take about an hour.
Today we are heading off to the east to explore the border area between Ontario and Quebec. Our destination is the Macdonnell-Williamson House, a National Historic Site owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust < www.mwhouse.ca >. The house was built circa 1817 on the shore of the Ottawa River by John Macdonnell, a fur trader and a partner in the Northwest Company. Right on the border of Ontario and Quebec, the house is on the edge of the village of Pointe Fortune. In fact, part of the house is in Quebec, and part in Ontario.
The house was purchased from John Beverly Palafox Macdonnell, the youngest son of John Macdonnell, by William Williamson in 1882 and remained in the Williamson family until it was expropriated for the construction of the Carillon Dam project in 1961. It was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1978 to save it from demolition. Historical restoration and renovation continues, which means the house is still far from finished with exposed walls, beams, etc., but it does provide an interesting perspective on historical construction techniques and ancestral life styles.
The Macdonnell-Williamson House is not difficult to find. Just take Hwy. 417 east from Ottawa and take exit #1 to Pointe Fortune and follow the signs. It is about a 1 ½ hour drive from centre town Ottawa. If you want to use your GPS, the address is 25 Rue Des Outaouais, Chute-à-Blondeau, ON K0B 1B0. The house is usually open from 11am to 5pm for tours from June to September, but it is wise to check the website above or call 1-866-269-2962 for details. There is a general store on the premises as well as a tea room serving scones, jam and tea at a reasonable price. It is open from 12noon to 4:30pm.
A support organization known as "Friends of Macdonnell-Williamson House" organize week-end activities such as lectures, historical enactments, Scottish dancing, children's activities, etc. A plaque commemorating the survey defining the border between Ontario and Quebec by David Thompson in 1823 is on the grounds, as are restored headstones of some of the original inhabitants.
While in Pointe Fortune, you may also wish to visit Carillon Dam and the historic canal that is visible from the Macdonnell-Williamson House. There is a small ferry to take you across the river from Pointe Fortune to the Quebec side at Ste. Andre-d'Argenteuil (Carillon). For details check out the Parks Canada website at < www.pc.gc.ca > and click on Carillon Canal National Historic Site. Free tours of the Hydro Quebec Carillon power dam are available from Victoria Day to Labour Day. For details check the Hydro Quebec website < hydroquebec.com >.
Once on the Quebec side of the river, you can head back to Ottawa on 344 west to Hawkesbury and cross back over the Ottawa River to either Hwy 17 or 417. The alternative is to stay on 344/148 to Gatineau and enjoy the scenery from the north side of the river.
Today’s trip is to the village of Vankleek Hill, about an hour east of Ottawa. If you have the time and perseverance, you could include it as part of Tour # 7 to Pointe Fortune. The quickest way to get to Vankleek Hill is to take HWY # 417 east toward Montreal. Take exit 27 and head north on Hwy # 34 toward Hawkesbury. Vankleek Hill is about 6 kms. As you enter the village, you will come to a traffic light. Turn right on Main Street and begin the tour. From our house in Blackburn Hamlet it was exactly one hour to the village.
Vankleek Hill bills itself as “The Gingerbread Capital of Ontario”, referring to the architectural decorations on the older homes, not the sweet confections! The Gingerbread style of architecture is a type of lattice or fretwork decoration with many interesting variations on the houses. This and the murals make a very interesting walking tour and some good photo opportunities, so be sure to take your camera. Here's the town website.
Most of the shops along Main Street have copies of a brochure detailing the sites to visit, including several large murals located on the outside walls of the buildings. Most of the murals depict an earlier time in the town. We recommend you pick up a brochure, which includes a map, to make sure you don’t miss anything. There are several arts and crafts studios on Main Street, clothing boutiques, and a large gift shop, the Cottage Gift Shop, with 12 small rooms of assorted gifts. There is a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the local high school on Hwy 34, at the south end of town.
If you continue east on Main street, just past the built up area, you come to a flashing light at Terry Fox Drive. Turn left and on your right in the local industrial park is “Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company”. Beau’s is a small company run by the Beauchesne family that prides itself on brewing certified organic beers with local spring water. The brewery is open 7 days a week and visitors are welcome. Beau’s provides an excellent tour from a very knowledgeable guide, and a free sample of the product called “Tractor Lug Beer”!! If you are interested in craft beer, this is a place to visit; if beer is not your preference, Beau’s is still worth a visit to find out how beer is made.
Another interesting site is “Higginson’s Tower”, just off Hwy # 34 just south of the Main Street traffic light. The tower was originally built in the 1830’s as the base for a wind powered grist mill. Lacking sufficient wind to efficiently power the mill, it was converted to be used as a look-out during the Fenian raids, and was eventually enlarged to become an Observatory. Guided tours with archaeological artifacts on display provide an interesting sidelight to our history. Seventy steps up to the top of the tower will reward you with a great view of the surrounding countryside.
If the climb up the tower gets you thinking about food, there are a number of options. There is The Trillium Tea Room at 111Main Street with the usual sandwiches, desserts, scones and muffins, as well as Blueberry Hill Bistro and Nikko’s Resto-Bar at 16 and 17 High Street respectively, if you feel the need for something more substantial.
For a change of scenery on the way home, continue North on Hwy # 34 toward Hawkesbury and connect with Hwy. # 17 West which will bring you back to Ottawa through Alfred, Rockland and Cumberland to connect with HWY. # 174 in Orleans. This drive is quite scenic along the Ottawa River.
Pakenham and The Mill of Kintail
This trip will take in some sports history, some Canadian history and one-or more- options for tea and a light lunch.
We begin by heading West on Highway 417 towards Arnprior. Approximately 50 kms from downtown Ottawa you will exit at the Kinburn side road ( exit 169 ) and turn south toward the village of Pakenham. About 6 kms. along, just as you are descending the hill into the village, you will see a five arched stone bridge crossing the Mississippi River. The bridge is advertised as the only five arch stone bridge in North America. There is a small parking lot that you can enter on your right just before you reach the ramp up to the bridge, which is a good place for photos. If the parking lot is full-or if you are not interested in photos- cross over the bridge, keep left into the village, and park on the street. For shoppers, there are a number of arts and craft stores, a general store and bakery, curiosities etc. to keep you busy for an hour or so.
Back on the road again, we head east on County Road 29 toward Almonte. Watch for Clayton Road, approximately 12 kms. from Pakenham. Turn right on Clayton Road and drive for about 1.5 kms. to Ramsay Road. Turn right on Ramsay road and after approximately 1.7 kms. you will arrive at the Mill of Kintail Conservation area.
The museum is usually open from May 01 until Thanksgiving weekend. Check the website Mill of Kintail for details. The Mill of Kintail Museum is located in what was an 1830's Grist Mill on the Indian River that was converted to the country home of Dr. R.Tait McKenzie, a medical doctor, sculptor and philosopher. The Mill also contains the Naismith Museum, which is dedicated to Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball. Both Museums are operated under the authority of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. During the summer, Tea is served in the gardens on Wednesdays and Sundays. For further details check the website. There are also picnic facilities on the grounds around the museum if you wish to enjoy the country setting.
To return to Ottawa, retrace your route back to Country road 29, turn right toward Almonte, and follow 29 to the junction of County Road 49. Follow County Road 49 north (March Road) to the junction with Hwy. 417. Take 417 east to Ottawa.
Today we are off to Almonte, a pleasant town about 50 kms. south east of the city of Ottawa. To get to Almonte, take Hwy 417 west about 35 km. and take exit 155 March Road/regional Road 49. After about 500 meters turn left on Regional Road 49 and drive about 10 kms. Regional Road 49 becomes County Road 49. Stay on it and follow the signs to Almonte.
As the first item of historical significance, Almonte was named after a Mexican General, Juan Almonte. For full details check out the town's website here..
Many of the early settlements were developed around a mill. In this case, the town we now know as Almonte was an important centre for the textile industry in the 1800's. There is an informative and interesting museum, The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, located in the annex to the old Rosamond Woolen Company at 3 Rosamond St. East. Admission for adults is $5.00, while children under 12 are free. It has been officially designated a National Historic Site. Details are here. . In addition to exhibits related to the manufacture of wool, there are interactive exhibits for the children, a Photo Gallery, and Gift Shop.
Once you have completed your tour of the museum, you could try Tea and Cake, located at 98 Mill St with its good menu of desserts, light lunches, to accompany the excellent variety of teas.
To return to Ottawa, retrace the trip out, unless you still have remaining energy; in which case the Mill of Kintail is a short drive away. See tour #10 for details.
Today we will take you to the town of Morrisburg and the Upper Canada Playhouse.
To get to Morrisburg, head out south on Bank Street (which becomes Hwy 31) and keep on driving until you arrive at Morrisburg. It is about a one hour drive from Ottawa and is at the junction of Hwy. #31 and Hwy #2. As you arrive at the traffic lights in Morrisburg, turn right on Hwy.#2 and about 100 meters on your left you will see Upper Canada Theater. There are usually six plays scheduled beginning in April and running through to mid October, with a special Christmas Holiday family show in December. Check the website here for details and ticket availability and prices. Tel. 613-543-3713; or toll-free 877-550-3650. We usually book a matinee performance; drive down for an early lunch, take in the show and arrive back in Ottawa in time for dinner.
There are a number of good restaurants in town, but one of our favourites is called “The Basket Case”, located in a small Mall called the Morrisburg Plaza on Hwy #2 just east of the theater (tel.613-543-0002). The restaurant doesn't have a website but if you are using your GPS the address is 29 Main St, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0. The menu includes a wide variety of freshly made options, including a good variety of teas. There is also a gift shop selling paintings, photography, quilted and knit items, wood work, jewelry, and-of course-baskets!
Other dining options include the Macintosh Country Inn and Conference Centre; The Nest Dining Lounge in Morrisburg Plaza, 63 Main St tel. 613-543-3722; and Nick's Family Restaurant ; also in the Plaza at 73 Main Street tel 613-543-1012.
In the event that Summer Theatre is not your cup of tea, there are other things to do in and around Morrisburg. For starters, you could head east on Hwy. #2 for about 11 kms. until you come to Upper Canada Village, which is a well-presented replica of village life in Canada around the 1860’s. For more information check out the website "Upper Canada Village". There is a fee to enter, and the place is BIG. . It is an ideal place for children, and you should plan on spending most of the day on site.
If Upper Canada Village is more than you had in mind for a leisurely afternoon, then check out "Crysler's Farm Battlefield" which is adjacent to Upper Canada Village, about 12 km. east of Morrisburg on Hwy. #2. This is the site where US troops were defeated in their attempt to invade Canada during the war of 1812-14 on November 11 1813. There is a granite memorial on a mound flanked by two 24 pound cannons, a Battlefield Memorial Building, a mural of the battle and an audio-visual presentation and artifacts of the battle.
Having traveled this far, you may as well continue on east for a visit to the "Lost Villages Museum" which is just off Hwy #2 and is 26 Kms. east of Morrisburg . Approximately 3 km. east of the village of Long Sault, watch for Fran La Flamme Drive on the right. Open only from June to September, the Museum is located in Ault Park, and is a memorial to the towns, farms and homesteads that were flooded and 6,500 people relocated as a consequence of a government decision to construct the St. Lawrence Seaway and the International Hydro Electric Project in the early 1950’s. There are 10 small heritage buildings, including an operating general store, a foot bridge and two fireplace barbeques made from brick and stone salvaged from the homes before they were inundated.
The locations listed on this tour are not far from Ottawa, but they are extensive. We would not expect anyone to cover them all in one day. We suggest you consider breaking it into two or three manageable sections that could be completed in two or more separate trips.
A tour of the the Murals of Dundas County is a day trip that we hope you will enjoy as much as we did. A group of citizens began the project in 2001; the collection is now composed of 17 murals. It is intended to depict the lives and history of Dundas County prior to the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950’s. The above website will direct you to the location of all of them, but take note that some of the murals may be dismantled for refurbishing at any given time. This tour will consume most of your day, so you can either pack a lunch, or plan on taking a break around Morrisburg, which is about half way through the tour. We left early, around 8:00 and had an interesting and educational day of touring. We stopped at one of our favourite tearooms, The Basket Case in the mall in Morrisburg, which is on HWY # 2, 29 Main st. almost directly in front of you as you meet #2 coming down Hwy 31 from Ottawa.
To begin, head south on Bank Street, which becomes Hwy. 31. It is about 50 km. to Winchester Springs, and the first mural. There is one flashing traffic light at the corner of Hwy 31 and county Road 5.
Turn right on County road 5. Mural #1 was painted by Linda Holmes in 2002. It is called the Health Spa Mural and depicts a hotel and Spa that existed around 1870.
Return back to Hwy 31 and continue south for about 10 minutes to Williamsburg. Park the car at the corner of Hwy 31 and county Road 18. On the NE corner is the second mural called Dr. Locke on the side of the building facing Hwy 31. The mural, painted by Pierre Hardy in 2001 depicts Dr. Mahlon Locke (1880-1942) who was famous for treating various ailments by manipulating the bones of the foot.
Continue walking east about 100 meters on county road 18 to the IOOF Hall. On the east side of the hall is the third mural, History of Agriculture, painted by John Ellenburger in 2002 showing the evolution of farming practices through the years from about 1784 through to the 1940’s.
Back in the car, continue about 10 minutes west on Hwy 18 toward Dundela. On your left, on the side of the Dundela Community Centre you will see the fourth mural, the McIntosh Apple, painted by David Bough in 2001. This is the site where John McIntosh discovered the first red McIntosh apple, which became the source of many of the commercial apples sold today.
Continue west on C.R. 18 for 3.6 km to County Road 16 (Brinston Road). Turn right (north) and drive 2 km to the village of Brinston. The fifth mural, painted by Joyce Gelynse in 2002 is the Brinston Immigration Mural that highlights the arrival in Canada of immigrants from Holland and Switzerland after WW II. The mural is on the side of an agricultural supply building on the right hand side of the C.R. 16
Turn around in Brinston and head south on C.R. 16, cross over Hwy. 401 and watch for the flashing light. At this light, turn left, the road becomes Carmen Road, and leads toward Seaway Locks. Stop at corner of Heritage Park Road to observe mural # 6, the Caldwell Mural. on your left. This scene, painted by Mike Kelly in 2002 depicts the Caldwell Linen Mills which were moved to the present location in 1956 due to the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Continue traveling on Carmen Road about 1km to the site of the former village of Iroquois. Mural # 7, the Old Iroquois Mural was not in place during our visit.
At this point you can carry on toward the parking lot above the Seaway Locks and watch the boats go through. There are also welcome washrooms here that are open (?) during the summer. Unfortunately, they were closed when we needed them!
From the Seaway Locks, retrace your steps on Carmen Road as far as Dundas St. turn right (east) on Dundas Street and watch for the Iroquois Royal Canadian Legion on the left. Mural #8 called the Memorial Mural, painted by John Ellenburger in 2002 depicts military scenes on land sea and air. Continue on Dundas Street to Elizabeth Drive, turn left (north) and proceed to Hwy. #2.
Turn right (east) on Hwy #2 and head for Morrisburg, where the majority of the murals are to be found.
Approaching Morrisburg, watch for the Upper Canada Theatre on your right. The sides of the Theatre display mural # 9 which depicts the South Side of Morrisburg's old Main Street. This street was demolished during the construction of the seaway. The mural was painted by Mike Kelly in 2001.
Continuing just past Upper Canada Theatre. Note Murals # 11 and 12 on the Giant Tiger Store. Number 11, the Old Morrisburg Mural painted by Mike Kelley in 2002 is on the west wall of the store. It depicts the North Side of old Main Street.
On the east wall of the store, Mural #12, Painted by Mike Kelly in 2003, features the Troop Train Mural. It depicts soldiers returning home after World War II.
As you enter Morrisburg, at the first traffic light just past Upper Canada Theatre, turn right on Ottawa Street. Continue past the old High School on the right and turn right on Second Street. On your right, Mural # 12, The House Moving Mural, painted by Davis Yeatman in 2003 is on the wall of the school facing 2nd Street and depicts the moving of the Shanette House, the 500th to be moved during the construction of the seaway.
Return back to Ottawa Street, turn left and return to Hwy. #2. On the right, you will see mural #13 Old Morrisburg on the side of the Value Mart store. It was painted by Cathy Cooper-Scrivener in 2001 and depicts the waterfront, a shoreline park and some old ships from the 1950's.
Turn right on Hwy #2, drive past the mall and at the end of the mall, just before the McEwen Gas Bar, and watch for mural # 14 on Dairy Street. The Dairy Bar Mural is just next to the Tourist Info Bureau. Painted by Ross and Anne Gervais in 2003, it depicts the old Presley Dairy Bar which was a popular summer destination in the 1950's.
There is another mural, which we will call # 15 which we were unable to find. It is supposed to be on the side of a drug store and depicts an old Apothecary.
Return to Hwy #2 and continue east toward Upper Canada Village. About 7 km. East, watch for # 16, the Churches of South Dundas Mural . It is just past the sign to Riverside Heights on the right side of the road, with a bit of a turn-off in to see it. This mural was painted by Mike Kelly in 2003 and depicts several local churches; some dating back to the late 1700's. Two of the churches were dismantled stone-by-stone during the construction of the seaway and now stand, re-assembled, about a mile east of the mural.
To see # 17, the last mural, drive one mile east and watch for an access road on the left that leads in to the re-assembled Anglican Church. Take this access road and continue east on the access road in front of the church for a few hundred meters and you will come to the George F. Jowett Memorial Centre set back from the road a bit. On the side of the Memorial Recreation Centre is Mural # 17. This mural depicts George F. Jowett, a local strongman and body builder, who was known world-wide in the 1920's through to the 1960's.
After a long, but very interesting day we returned to our home in Blackburn Hamlet via Hwy 31 in 11/2 hours. We were tired, but pleased that we had seen all these amazing murals-most of them in great condition after exposure to the elements for 10 years- that most people don't know exist. Yet another example of the varied, interesting and educational sites we have in eastern Ontario.
Tags: Ken Harley