10.17.2005

we drive (slightly) north

Yesterday, after presents, we bought a map of Ontario (which we needed anyway), drove around the corner and kept driving. It's kind of funny - the main north-south street near us is Hurontario, or Highway 10, which stretches from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay.

We were wondering how far we'd have to drive before the suburban sprawl and fast-food chains disappeared. Mississauga bleeds into Brampton, which has a pretty stretch of original town on Hurontario, but looks poised to be overwhelmed by sprawl. (We looked at houses in Brampton last year, and you could practically see the open space being devoured by townhouse developments in front of your eyes.) But slightly north of Brampton, the development thins out and you're in rural country.

We found a roadside diner, our favorite kind of place when driving around. Eating at a joint like that, you could be anywhere. Rural people look the same everywhere in North America, only the accents change.

Further on, we poked around the town of Orangeville, which has preserved its little main street apart from the development near the highway. I love little towns with main streets - the old church, the original town hall now used for something else, the storefronts. I noticed this town's library was originally a Carnegie library. I didn't know they were in Canada.

At Orangeville we turned back. We stopped at a roadside pumpkin and fruit stand to pick up some autumn colors for the house. We also stopped at a provincial park called Forks of the Credit. That's the Credit River, from which our town of Port Credit gets its name, because the river empties into Lake Ontario here.

The parking lot was nearly full, and there were a lot of people setting out on trails with cameras, which was nice to see. We only took a short walk - it was getting late to keep the dogs waiting, and we weren't really dressed for a serious hike. But it was great to see where nice country hiking spots are, a relatively short drive away. I noticed several provincial parks on the map in this general area. These are good places to take the dogs and spend the day out when we're not exploring.

The autumn colours were beautiful, but muted, not the brilliant, knock-out colours you sometimes see. I don't know if that's the variety of tree or this particular autumn, because the strength of the colours does vary from year to year. (I had to go back and add all those us.) But it was terrific to be out in the country, to feel the sky and space all around us, and to know this is only a short drive away.

I don't have a lot of foliage photos, I didn't know folks would be asking for them! But here's a little taste of our day.

P.S.: a big thank you to James for suggesting this little jaunt and heading us in the right direction.

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23 comments:

James said...

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the drive.

The colours may brighten up in the next week or two, but much longer than that and they'll be gone. Get 'em while you can.

G said...

That whole area, in and around Orangeville, makes for some great day trips.

Another fun trip is the small town of Elora. I say this with some bias because I'm originally from that area, but it is a historical town set in a beautiful area - and the gorge is one of Ontario's most beautiful nature spots. And the Elora Festival has theatre and singing throughout a large part of the year (a few years back I caught the original silent Phantom Of The Opera with Lon Cheney Sr, played in a candlelit church to live organ music - fabulous).

More info:

Village of Elora

Elora Festival

L-girl said...

Thanks, G! Elora was also on the little list James made me. Maybe we'll hit it on our next drive up there.

What a pretty place to grow up. That Phantom performance sounds amazing!

Lone Primate said...

The best map book you can have is MapArt's Golden Horseshoe map book. I've been a fan of their maps since 1990. They're consistent, colourful, easy to read and easy on the eyes. You can find them at most gas stations and Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire. They also have ones for Western Ontario (which I also have), the roadways of the whole province (ditto), and Northern Ontario (which I haven't bought because I'm rarely north of the GTA). They also map all the major metropolitan areas of Canada, for those of you living elsewhere in the Peaceable Kingdom. :) Check 'em out: http://www.mapart.com/

L-girl said...

MapArt is great. (James also recommended them when he posted about this drive.) We bought their Toronto area map book on one of our exploratory visits up here and have lived by it ever since. We use it constantly.

Yesterday, though, we bought a MapArt fold-out map of Ontario. I like the foldout format better for longer drives, when you need to see the whole area laid out, but don't need the streets of individual towns.

Marnie said...

Glad you had fun Bunburying! I think the excruciating summer weather was hard on the trees, and the colours aren't at their finest this year.

Very small note: just say "Georgian Bay," not "the Georgian Bay."

If you like ice skating, you could head back to Brampton this winter. They flood the path around their nice park in the middle of town, and people skate on it. I've even seen a little Zamboni there.

My local library was a Carnegie library too.

L-girl said...

Very small note: just say "Georgian Bay," not "the Georgian Bay."

Check! :)

If you like ice skating, you could head back to Brampton this winter. They flood the path around their nice park in the middle of town, and people skate on it. I've even seen a little Zamboni there.

I cannot skate. Not at all. It sounds very nice, though - maybe worth seeing. It's a really nice town/city park.

My local library was a Carnegie library too.

Neat.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

The autumn colours were beautiful, but muted, not the brilliant, knock-out colours you sometimes see.

It's this particular autumn. The colours aren't nearly as bright as they normally are. I wonder if it has something to do with the summer heat extending into October.

L-girl said...

Marnie: I think the excruciating summer weather was hard on the trees, and the colours aren't at their finest this year.

Kyle: It's this particular autumn. The colours aren't nearly as bright as they normally are. I wonder if it has something to do with the summer heat extending into October.

It makes sense. I know the colors vary depending on the relative temperature and rainfall during the summer. It was still lovely to be out there. I don't want to criticize the poor trees!

James said...

One of my favourite things about MapArt's Toronto maps is that every highway ramp is marked accurately. This can be important as some Toronto ramps might have four branch points on them! "Ok, get off to the right here, then left at the first fork, right at the second, left at the third, left at the fourth, and you're in." You can actually tell that from a MapArt map.

You can see examples at the QEW/427, 401/Allan Expressway, or 401/DVP interchanges.

Expat Traveler said...

Laura - love the pics. Now we get to see around Toronto :) You little ones are so adorable. Oh they must love to play and walk a lot!

G said...

Phantom was excellent - very atmospheric, with the candles and the organist. Lon Chaney Sr is still the master of the mask.

Jubileee said...

Orangeville! That's me! Small world.

L-girl said...

Orangeville? All this time I thought you lived in Oakville.

It's so beautiful up there. Lovely town.

Victoria Galn/a said...

we also have a Carnegie Library here in Victoria. Carnegie was a great philanthropist and endowed many cities in Canada with libraries. However, the original Carnegie here in Victoria became to small for the collection so another library was built. However, the building still shows his name.

L-girl said...

Carnegie was a great philanthropist and endowed many cities in Canada with libraries.

A great crook and a great philanthropist, the two often go together.

However, the original Carnegie here in Victoria became to small for the collection so another library was built. However, the building still shows his name.

They've all been converted to public libraries, but most of them still keep a plaque or a name or something that shows its roots.

hemlock said...

Some day you should try Fergus and Elora. They're just a little west of Orangeville. I grew up in Fergus, and spent a lot of time in Elora as well. Nice place to go on a weekend!!

Oh jeeze....I just noticed that 'g' told you to go there too! Seems like I'm not the only one!

L-girl said...

I just noticed that 'g' told you to go there too! Seems like I'm not the only one!

And others have told me as well. Lots of reinforcement - always good!

gito said...

Yeah! Nice pictures... wow I just pictured everything you just said... eerie!:-)

Scott M. said...

How'd you like the neat switchback on Forks of the Credit Sideroad? If you didn't get to travel it, next time you're up there go from west to east on the Sideroad. It'll catch you by surprise!

One other thing, you were so close to the moon and you missed it! Just south of Forks of the Credit Sideroad is Olde Baseline Sdrd. Take it west from Hwy 10 and, as you go up and down the hills you'll peak out near some weird pavement markings and a little parking lot on your left. It's the moon!

Ok, actually, it's the Cheltenham badlands. But it looks like the moon!

L-girl said...

I didn't see those, Scott M, but now they'll be on My List. The moon, eh? Go figure.

Welcome to wmtc, btw. Thanks for stopping by.

James said...

Here's a photo of The Badlands.

L-girl said...

Whoa! Wild.