“Exploring ~ Spotlighting ONTARIO Communities and Events Since 2007″

Christmas Memories

Happy Holiday Season

It’s December, and a time to look forward to Christmas and the holiday season. Judi and I wish everyone a wonderful December, as we enter the winter season.

Throughout the past year, we have been promoting Ontario communities, their events and their facilities. We have done this through our Information websites and APPS, and through our various Social Media platforms. Frankly, it’s been a challenge to keep up with the changes.

As a result, we have been re-evaluating our Social Media strategies. To optimize our Social Media presents, we have made the following adjustments.

FACEBOOK – In the past, we have used Facebook to feature our own material (articles, photos and videos). We have also posted articles and information about our partners. We have found that by boosting many of these posts, our viewership has increased steadily. We plan on continuing this strategy and expanding where possible.

INSTAGRAM – At the present, we only post our own material, again, articles, photos and videos. In the new year, in addition to our own material, we include information and material from our partners. We will constantly look for ways to expand this platform with new and creative material.

YOU TUBE – As many of you are aware, we have an extensive library of exclusive original videos on our Ontario Visited You Tube Channel, all produced in-house by Ontario Visited. In fact, we have over 800 videos and are continually producing more.

TWITTER – After much thought, we have discontinued our use of this platform. We feel that concentrating on our other programs will be of more benefit to ourselves and our partners and our web and APP visitors

  OV NEWS – As of December 1st, we will expand our own community and event news platform (aka Ontario Event News). This service is available on both Ontario Visited website and on our Ontario Event News APP. Currently we post our own information, information from our partners and from various other communities and organizations that have news to share. We will be aggressively promoting this service to every event group or community who wish to get their information and news updates out to the public. This is a FREE service that is available to all community and event organizers.

Memories of the Past…


Article by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad               Original Artwork by K.C. (Susan) Caron

It all started years ago, my life, but that’s not what I’m writing about! I’m actually writing about some of my favourite “memories”.


I was about 13 when my parents purchased a cottage on Lake of Bays. The cottage was located on the west end of the lake. That is, the Baysville end. Even though the village was quite small, for me, it was a fun place to visit. There were a lot of stores to visit, but the one I liked the most was Langmaid’s General Store. We went there for “yummy” ice cream. The store had a great atmosphere. Miss Langmaid, the stores owner, always greeted anyone who entered with, “Up for the summer?” Since then, Judi and I have visited Baysville and Langmaid’s a number time, and yes, for the “yummy” ice cream. Unfortunately, Miss Langmaid is long gone and so is her friendly, “Up for summer”, but still a wonderful memory to cherish!

Calgary Stampede

When Judi and I were first married, we travel to Calgary for the Calgary Stampede and to visit our Calgary friends, Dick and Melody. Dick was a member of the Calgary Jaycees. The Jaycees were the organizers and the managers of the Stampede Hot Air Balloon Races. They not only over saw the raising of the Hot Air Balloons, acted as “chasers”. This job entailed, following the balloons and then helping the balloonists pack the balloon and basket into the chase truck. Dick invited Judi and me to be part a his “chase team”. What awesome adventure! To say the least, this was the “highlight” of our visit.

Buckhorn Wildlife Festival

We first discovered the Buckhorn Wildlife Festival (now called the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts) through a business associate. We were living in the GTA at the time. A little later we moved to the area. This allowed us to spend a lot of time at the festival. We spent hours enjoying the art and getting to know the artists. Many of whom became life long friends. Since our first visit, we have been back several times. As result of our visits, our walls are full of “fond memories”.

Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and College

The Goderich Celtic Roots Festival is one my (our) most recent “favourite” memories. We first learned about the Celtic festival from Cheryl Prashker, the event’s Artistic Director/General Manager. Her enthusiasm was overwhelming! Right then we decided that it was an event we wanted to visit. This festival is actually a 3-part event. The first part is a “Celtic College”, where music enthusiasts get to learn more about Celtic music from the very best musicians and artists. The second part is for “the kids”. It’s a “Celtic Day Camp”. Here the kids learn all about Celtic music, dance and traditions. Two of our grand children attended the camp and had a great time. They, with the other children, were able to show off what they learned at the festival, itself! The final part of the event is the “Celtic Festival”. A 3-day festival that is loaded wonderful Celtic music and dance. Musicians and attendees from all over the world came to Goderich to enjoy this fantastic experience!

More of these “specialmemories are now posted on our NEW blog, Memories of the Past .  The new blog can be  found at the bottom of the Ontario VisitedWelcome” page. I believe, as we wind our way through good and bad times, that these “specialmemories help make our lives more enriched.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights and home decorations have always been special to me. When I was growing up, I lived in a community that loved the Christmas season and encouraged all of the residents to participate in their annual Christmas decorating contests. I say contests because there were 3 categories – Christmas Lights, Christmas Door Decorations and Christmas Lawn Displays. It was a time a magic. We would load into our car and drive throughout the village, It was amazing! No one thought of the costs or time needed to create and put up the lights and displays. As Christmas approached a big party was held at the village clubhouse. There we ate, sang Christmas Carols and the winners of each of the contests were announced. It was a joyous time of the year.

We weren’t the only area where lights and decorations were part of the holiday season. I can remember driving around various neighbourhoods, discovering all the spectacular decorated homes.

Some residents of our try to light up their homes, but it’s not the Christmas seasons of my youth. It’s too bad, times change.

Journey into Enchantment
“Christmas – Holiday Drive Thru Light Show”

By Natasha Alam
Guest Contributor

Journey into Enchantment has now started. It is a “Drive Thru Light Show” that features wonderful Christmas and Holiday characters. The 2 million lights will show you the way!

This spectacular festival runs from November 25, 2022 to January 1, 2023 and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your car at two locations – Meadowvale Go in Mississauga and Richmond Hill Go in Richmond Hill.

Like the SpooktacularDrive Thru Light Show”, Journey into Enchantment a dedicated amount goes to charity from ticket sales. By purchasing a ticket, you will not only be getting access to an incredible event, but you will be helping us give back to the community!

Ontario Community Spotlight ~ Hanover

I hadn’t been through Hanover in years, so I was surprised at much the town had grown and how modern it had become. Hanover is located in Grey County, between Durham and Walkerton. We had already visited Durham, so Hanover was our next stop. After we had passed the “Big Box Stores” and modern retail, we came to Hanover’s downtown area. Our first stop was at the Hanover Heritage Square. This is a beautiful public space that celebrated Hanover’s Centennial (1904 – 2004). The “Square” was designed to be both functional and inviting. Across from the Square is the Hanover Public Library. After enjoying the Hanover Heritage Square, decided to continue our journey “of discovery “. Unlike the “outskirts” of town, the downtown has retained its “rural charm “. Hanover still preserves its link to the outlying farm community. There “Eat Well (Framers’) Market” is operated by framers who “focus on healthy local food “. Speaking of “healthy “, Hanover’s P & H Centre offers residents a whole list of healthy activities. Beside the P & H Centre is the Hanover Raceway. In addition to racing at the Hanover Raceway, there’s Gateway Casino and a “casual dining” restaurant (Coach House). Hanover is a great place to “visit” and “discover “.

Christmas Lights