Friday, August 30, 2013

Cabot Head

It is a long, winding drive from the highway to see some of the light houses of the Bruce Peninsula, and on this occasion the single track road was, while not treacherous, at least a bit nerve-wracking as far too many people drove way too fast. I was glad my friend suggested this day trip (and equally glad she was driving!) as I might not have bothered.

This postcard shows Wingfield Basin, on the Georgian Bay side of the peninsula. That cluster of white buildings with the red roofs on the bottom right shows the "Cabot Head Lightstation and Visitor Centre, surrounded by Wingfield Basin Provincial Nature Reserve and backed by the limestone cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment".
These photos show the lighthouse as it is now at 107 years old.
the lighthouse isn't as tall as you might expect, mostly because it is already 80' above the water on a cliff.
below is a postcard showing the original range light and tower that was demolished around 1970 when a government mandated automated airport type light was installed. A steel tower then replaced the (always precarious in a lighthouse) wooden tower. In the mid 1980s, the light station was completely restored by the Friends of Cabot Head and is now run as a museum and interpretive centre. It is located in a relatively isolated area so was built quite a few years later than many of the other light houses. 

"This unique lighthouse was established in 1896 to guide ships rounding Cabot Head on the often turbulent waters of Georgian Bay. Today it is maintained as a museum by the Friends of Cabot Head"

A separate residence was built in 1958 where a manager now lives. But, you too, could become a volunteer light house keeper giving tours and doing minor maintenance and living at the house for a week from mid-May to mid-October. Apparently there is always a waiting list. You might first want to check out this map here and read about more about the lighthouse and the volunteer program here 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

street signs - Dundas

sometimes, people use street signs for decoration. in this case the owners of this house with a very large garden have a sign from Dundas St in Toronto. what is interesting, is that this is in the town of Dundas, Ontario which is about 50 miles away.
Dundas Street used to go through the town of Dundas, on the Niagara Escarpment, but was redirected  at Waterdown and now goes to Paris. The town was named for Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, (who never actually visited anywhere in Canada) by John Graves Simcoe, the first Lt Governor of Ontario, who was a friend of his. (many streets were named for friends from back home. made everyone look important, I guess) Dundas the street was named for Dundas the town that was its terminus. (yes, I was confused about this and am so glad to have it sorted. see what blogging can do for your education?!) Dundas Street is an irregular street running somewhat southwest and parallel to Lake Ontario from the Beaches area of Toronto before meandering west, then northwards, then southwest again. It was originally intended as a military route (for the War of 1812) from the capital to the western end of Lake Ontario in the Dundas Valley. And now this (stolen?)* sign graces one of the nicest gardens in the valley.

as an aside,  2017 Dundas St W is the home of Fine and Dandy Window Gallery ("we have no insides so we are always open") which seems appropriate as Dundas the town is well known for its arts and is home to the Dundas Valley School of Art. Dundas the street in Toronto is also home to the Art Gallery of Ontario. but now I'm really meandering (a little like the street).

*Toronto is in the process of redesigning all their street signs and these 
old porcelain enamel acorn signs are highly prized items.

this it the fourth in a series of street signs for

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

grave post - Fridtjof Adalbert

The unusual name[s] is what attracted me to this gravestone. 
There is a Frebold House of some historical importance in Ancaster (where I saw this grave stone) but other than that there is no information on the family. I admit I didn't try too hard, though was surprised to see the name appear a few times on (which I am not serious enough into to pay for a membership). But I did do some research of the names.
Fridtjof is a Scandinavian name meaning 'peace thief'. I wonder if his parents thought of that when naming him? Or maybe he was named after Fridtjof Nansen whose interesting life achievements you can read on a post from Badass of the Week.  He did win the Nobel Peace Prize (among other distinctions) which I find a tiny bit ironic.
 Adalbert is an an even lesser used name and is an archaic German variant of Albert and means 'noble bright'. An Adalbert was a mystic and the patron saint of Bohemia back in the 8thC. Except for a Prince or two of Prussia and Bavaria there aren't many listed Adalberts in wikipedia after the mid-12thC. Then suddenly there is a Bulgarian footballer born 1969. So maybe it isn't as unusual as originally thought.

Friday, August 23, 2013

crowds at the Ex

One reason I don't particularly want to go to the Ex is the crowds of people there. Though, really, the crowds are not nearly as massive as they used to be back before there was competition from so many other festivals and another (all summer long) amusement park. There was a time, when if you wanted to see the newest and most innovative products of the year, this was the place to see them.

The Government Building would later be named the Arts and Crafts and Hobbies Building (that's how I remember it) and now is called The Medieval Times Building. It is one of several throughout the grounds designed by George Gouinlock, "built in 1912 to showcase the exhibits of local and foreign governments".

the fountain was a popular spot for meeting up with your friends. it was named for George H Gooderham who was president of the CNE Assoc when it was built in 1911.
(it's now been replaced by a more modern fountain. not sure why)

the card above was sent Aug 29, 1951, 
while the other card showing the fountain was sent Sep 4, 1937 (though I suspect the postcard is much older)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

street signs - Centennial

thousands of streets in Canada were named Centennial during the giddy year of 1967 (or thereabouts) as we celebrated our 100th birthday.

if you look closely at this sign you can just about make out the faded 'Orillia' at the bottom. the design at the top is the sun over a lake. Orillia is known as the Sunshine City. (Orillia was used as the fictional town of Mariposa in Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, an amusing little book)

here is a lovely Google view of Centennial Drive and Lake Couchiching in winter

third in a series on street signs for signs,signs

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

grave post - Margaret H Brown

From this simple stone with the intriguing description 'Missionary in China' I learned that Margaret H Brown (1887-1978) had a distinguished teaching, writing, and publishing career in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and West China. She was born in rural Tiverton, Ontario and was a teacher there for about four years before moving to China to teach within the Presbyterian Church of Canada. From1916 to 1929 she lived and taught in Henan Province until she was appointed to the staff of the Christian Literature Society Shanghai and worked there as an editor. During her time there she published a number of books in Chinese, including Stories of Jesus and Mrs Wang's Diary which was published in English in 1936 (and is available at Amazon, for a steep price)

There was very little personal information on her which makes me think she was very much a career woman. Although Miss Brown retired in 1956, and was possibly back in Canada since the missionaries were sent packing after the Communists took over, she devoted her time to researching and writing, publishing an account of the life and work of the Canadian Presbyterian missionary and editor of the Christian Literature Society, Donald MacGillivray. MacGillvray was a prolific scholar and writer, translator and editor, who wrote a popular dictionary, A Mandarin-Romanized Dictionary of Chinese in 1907.

Taphophile Tragics

Friday, August 16, 2013

let's go to the Ex!

Today is the day the Canadian National Exhibition, or the CNE, or 'the Ex' as it is affectionately called, opens for the 135th year. It runs for 18 days up to and including Labour Day. The next day is the first day of school, so around here 'the Ex' symbolizes the beginning of the end of summer.
For PostcardFriendshipFriday, here are three postcards of the eastern entrance graced by the Princes' Gates.

this first one is a "Canadian Art Deeptone" series
The Canadian National Exhibition has been held annually since 1879 and is the  greatest annual exhibition in the world. It is international in scope. The investment in grounds and buildings is about $20,000,000 with almost 100 permanent buildings covering 350 acres and with a mile and a half  of lake frontage. Annual attendance is over 2,000,000 with annual receipts over a million and a quarter.

this "Colourpicture" card was part of a booklet as you can see from the perforated edge

Incorporated in 1879, the C.N.E. is staged annually at a cost of $2,225,000; covers 350 acres 1 1/2  miles along Lake Ontario; has 14 miles of paved streets; 2 1/4 million sq feet of display space. Coliseum Arena seats 12,000; C.N.E. Grandstand , 26,000. Record attendance 2,723,000.

finally, a "Plastichrome" by Colourpicture which is newer and has none of the statistics favoured by the above written on the back. 

There are nine pillars, representing the nine (at the time) provinces.

Princes’ Gates was opened in 1927 to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII, and his brother Prince George, the Duke of York, crowned King George VI after his brother’s abdication.

and just to continue with the stats theme..... from the website - 
Over the course of its 18 day run, the CNE attracts more than 1.3 million people each year. so, slightly less than during the 1940s(?) when these first 2 postcards were produced.

CNE Lets Go to the Ex 1982 by Retrontario

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

street signs - Second

Sauble Beach

Not all the streets here are named for numbers, which I personally think shows a singular lack of imagination. Here is a map of the area. You can see that Second St S does not go all the way through and becomes a dead end. This is a heavily treed area full of small cottages, some winterized into permanent homes, some seasonal rentals. The town stretches along the beach in a north south direction and as a result there are no streets designated east or west. Only the numbered streets that are north or south of Main Street have a designation.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

grave post - Cohen

God only knows how much I love you

Two weeks before Matt Cohen died, his last novel (Elizabeth and After) won the Governor General's Award for English language fiction. He had, during 30 years, written over 30 books, including novels, short stories, poetry, and children's books as well as translations of French-Canadian literature.

Mr Cohen was born December 30th 1942 and died December 2nd, 1999. One of his major accomplishments besides being a founding member of the Writers Guild of Canada was, as president, convincing the government to establish the Public Lending Right that ensured writers were paid each time their books were borrowed from a public library. A literary award In Celebration of a Writing Life is presented each year in his name.

I still have one of his short story books, a satirical telling of Sir Galahad's virtuous character.

Galahad was the perfect knight. He spent his life in search of the Holy Grail. When he died he found it. It happened at the last possible moment. Just as he was losing consciousness an angel appeared to him and said, Galahad, one more thing.

What is it?

The angel whipped out a silver necklace and slipped it around Galahad's neck.
There, said the angel, now you have it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

colourful stamps

Colourful stamps were the theme this week. The problem was an overflow of choices..... until I found this lovely set of UK stamps from 1993 commemorating Inland Waterways
from top left, clockwise-
Valley Princess and other Horse-drawn barges, Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal, 33p
Midland Maid and other Narrow Boats, Grand Junction Canal, 24p
Yorkshire Maid and other Humber Keels, Stainforth and Keadby Canal, 28p
Steam bridges including Pride of Scotland and Fishing Boats, Crinan Canal, 39p

Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal is 33 miles long in the south of Wales. It was abandoned in 1962, but re-opened in 1970.

The Grand Junction Canal was built between 1793 and 1805 to improve the route from the Midlands to London. It's now used mainly for leisure travel and there is lots of information and a cool map on wikipedia

The Stainforth and Keadby Canal is in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Passing through a largely rural area it was a centre for boatbuilding until 1984.

The Crinan Canal was built for commercial sailing between the industrialized area of Glasgow to the West Highlands villages and islands. It has 15 locks and is crossed by seven bridges, six swing bridges and a retractable bridge.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

foreign felines

kittens from Thailand

 from The Netherlands, this little one is missing his mouse
and finally, from Germany, the perfect card for someone with a cat and a turtle (even though this is actually a tortoise)
"Luck is to have a strong friend who takes care of you when you need help"


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

street signs - Alfresco Lawn

This would be a dream address - Alfresco Lawn. It's my favourite street name of all time. And unlike many other lovely, dreamy sounding street names, it is much closer to reality than say "Meadowlark Lane" or "Forest Drive". (I've no idea where those streets are, but they nowadays are likely to be so named for the things that were replaced when the developer moved in rather than for it's natural surroundings.)
And just for fun, here is a photo of 2 Alfresco Lawn
This street can be found in the beaches area of Toronto, in the east end. It is not very long and I believe there are slightly more than a dozen homes on it. Many were built in the early 1900s and look similar to #2. As a bonus, it is only a spit away from the lake and the beach/boardwalk.

This is a new series I'm working so I can do something with the street signs I collect. It may be weekly, or monthly, or infrequent since the collection is a bit sporadic and I want to show it alphabetically. I may give up on that part (the alphabetical part, though it would hurt my brain to do so). I may or may not have information or interesting insights into the name or the sign. You'll just have to keep returning to see.

a post for signs,signs

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

grave post - Captain Hugh

Hugh and Annie MacKinnon were married in Kincardine on January 2, 1878. Their marriage certificate says that Hugh was born in Tyree, Argyleshire, Scotland and was 29 years old. He was also a bachelor and a sailor. Annie was 19 years old and born in Bruce County. No profession was listed but curiously, also not listed was whether she was a spinster. We could assume that were she a widow, that would be included. But what is interesting is that the stone says Hugh was born in 1845 and Annie in 1858 which would make him 13 years older not 10. The genealogy chart I found lists their birth dates as Nov 11, 1844 and Aug 20, 1858 respectively. Perhaps he was a little vain about the age difference when he met her? Annie's maiden name was also MacKinnon and I wonder if they were cousins but then, she would have known is true age, surely. Or maybe it was just a simple matter of someone writing down the wrong information and it was never corrected.

Annie and Hugh would have 11 children in the next 20 years.
Donald was born in Dec 1878 followed by Neil the following December, Sarah Ann (Aug 1881), Jean (Oct 1883), Margaret (Sept 1886), Archibald (Aug 1888), Mary Flora (Jan 1891), Ethel (Aug 1892), Catherine (Dec 1894), John Hector (Feb 1896), and Hugh Clarke (Oct 1898). There is no date of death listed for firstborn Donald, or 6th born Archibald, and apart from Sarah Ann, who died in Saskatchewan in 1922, the others all lived until the at least the late 1960s with Mary and Margaret being the longest surviving children (1984 and 1980 respectively)

The site also says that Hugh was also known as "Captain Hugh" and that he sailed the Great Lakes for 50 years.

you can see a photo of Annie and Captain Hugh here

Sunday, August 4, 2013


This 1990 stamp series from Mongolia features the white-naped crane (grus vipio pallas), the fourth rarest crane in the world. It breeds in Mongolia at the borders of Russia and China and winters along the Korean peninsula around the DMZ of South Korea and also in Kyushu in southern Japan. It is threatened mostly by development and loss of wetlands. Agricultural expansion and the demand for water at both the breeding and wintering grounds is not helping, Neither is the prolonged drought that is expected to last until 2015 helping. Their preferred breeding areas are marshes, wetlands and flooded meadows. In winter they live in rice paddies, mudflats and brackish marshes. Apparently the switch from spring to autumn ploughing of rice paddies in Korea has affected their foraging. Grass seed, rice, wheat and insects, worms and grubs are what they like to eat.

The male and female look the same with a slate grey body, white throat and vertical white strip from their crown down the neck, all set off with a prominent red face. Their most distinguishing feature is their pinkish legs (no other crane has this).

They can grow up to 4' and weigh 12 lbs and there are less than 5,000 of them left.


Saturday, August 3, 2013


We are enjoying a holiday weekend in these parts, though I will not be going anywhere. 
Because I hate having to deal with holiday traffic and crowds. 
But, let's pretend you are going away and need to find some accommodation for your road trip. 
You will want to stay in a modern, luxury motel.
And just for fun, let's pretend that you are back in 1953 or 1963.
And that you are cheap, and will send the free AAA postcard you find in your room.

First off, you need to know how many of you will be travelling together. If there are five of you, then this may be a good option for your first night. It is The Peace Bridge Motel and has a 'Family Room suitable for as many as five people' It is the 'largest and most modern motel in Western New York, located at the Buffalo exit from the Peace Bridge, minutes from Downtown Buffalo. Free television, telephone and air-conditioning in every room. Restaurant, Cocktail Lounge, Coffee Shop, Free parking. Owned and operated by Herman and Sarah Weinstein.' card sent April 1957
See how each person gets their own bed? No roll away or - shudder - camp cots for your party. This way everyone gets a good nights sleep and wakes up refreshed and happy!

Because it is about a 7 hour drive to your next destination.

Where you can stay at this new luxurious motor hotel

with 74 rooms, completely air conditioned, restaurant, heated swimming pool, TV in every room. One mile from downtown Washington, near Memorial and Key Bridges, Iwo Jima Statue, Tomb of Unknown Soldier, and Robert E Lee's House.' It is the Iwo Jima Motor Hotel (now a Best Western, though at one time was a Quality Inn). Then again, you may reconsider after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor. There were quite a few, even up to July and August 2013, and most were not exactly glowing. Judging by the picture, it is hard to tell that this is a ten minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro Station. Apparently there is not much else in the area so you may be glad of the train into Washington DC.

Have a good weekend, everybody!
Postcard Friendship Friday