“Exploring ~ Spotlighting ONTARIO Communities and Events Since 2007″

Land Activities

August is Here?

How can that be! I ask myself that question each year and I never get a clear answer! Is it because I’m so busy? Is it because I’m having so much fun? Is it because as you get older, time seems to go by quickly? Perhaps it is all these things combined. Whatever the answer, I wish it was when I was a kid. Time just happened, and I didn’t think about it.

This month’s Nomad’s feature talks about the weather, or I should say, “the weather forecaster”. You go onto your “trusty” weather app, check the weather, “it says sunny all day”, and you start planning. Your plan is simple, get up at 7:30 (look out the window, the sun is shining and the sky is blue), wash up and get dressed by 8:00 (look out the window again, the sun is shining and the sky is blue), have a quick bite to eat, gather up everything you want to take for the day, it’s now 8:30 (look out the window again, the sun is still shining and the sky is blue). Now it’s time to pack up the car and head out. The weather is still pretty good, a few single, fluffy clouds, nothing to worry about! Then, are you pull out of the driveway, you hear a far-off rumbling! Now, you start to worry, was the “weather forecaster” right? What to do, go forward or, go back?

In addition to the Nomad’s rantings, this month’s INSIDER is all about “good things”, a video about some of “summer land and water” activities. The beautiful community of Campbellford (Community Spotlight presented by All-Purpose Realty and Ontario Visited) and almost, finally, our guest writer is from the amazing city of London Ontario. Sean Murray, tells us all about “Summer and Fun in the Forest City”!

And now, really, the final story, is all about me and my memoirs. A few months ago, I said that I had started a “Memory” blog. I did, and now I’m in the middle of talking about my time at Appleby College. I’ll give you a “taste” of how things went during those “young” years.

If You Can’t Trust the Weather Forecaster…


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

If you can’t trust the weather forecaster, who can you trust?

We visited two different events. One was in the south western part of Ontario, Port Dover and the other was in Central Ontario, Oshawa. The first festival we visited was the Marine Heritage Festival (retired) in Port Dover. The drove three hours to attend! The festival included a marine/military re-enactment on the shores of Lake Erie. This was the main event we wanted to see. Acquaintances had told us that last year’s re-enactment was exceptional, so we were really looking forward to this year’s event! The battle re-enactment was scheduled for twilight (8:30 PM). The whole day was mainly sunny (as forecasted). About 7:00 PM we walked to the beach with our lawn chairs to settle in and wait for the battle. We set up our chairs on the beach. The sun was still shinning and the lake was quite calm. About 7:30 PM event organizers came onto the beach and staked out the battle area. We moved our chairs back behind the “Caution Tape”. We had just settled into our chairs when we noticed a dark cloud across the lake! Then there was thunder and lightning! Then the winds started and the temperature dropped! Waves started to roll in and the wind began to blow harder! Finally, the dark cloud was over us and the rain started! Someone shouted that everyone should take cover! We ran for our car and made it just in time before the heavy rains started! The time was now about 7:45 PM. We sat in the car debating whether the battle re-enactment would take place and should we start now on our long drive home. I felt that it was worth waiting as we had driven so far just to see the main battle, so we waited! At approximately 8:25 PM the rain had stopped and organizers were starting to set up the battle area. At 8:45 PM, the battle had begun! People had flocked to the beach to see the battle. We stayed to then of the re-enactment then started on our trip home. Was it worth the time and wait, you bet it was, but no thanks to the weatherman! The next day we went to the Canadian Aviation Expo in Oshawa (Note: it was moved to Waterloo, but I think it’s now been cancelled permanently). This event included an air show that was scheduled to start at 3:00 PM. It was like “déjà vu” all over again! The weather was sunny and warm (just like the weather forecaster said)! At 3:00 PM the announcer told us that the show was good to go. There was a little dark cloud off to the west, no problem! The air show started. Two of the scheduled participant completed their flybys. Then the announcer came back on the PA to tell us that the show had been suspended for one hour and that we should all take cover in the buildings (déjà vu). Once again we debated and waited. Finally, at a little after 4:00 PM, the air show started again. The first performance went off without a hitch. The second performers, 4 Harvards, took off to darkening skis. They just finished landing when the announcer once again came on the PA system and declared that the remainder of the air show was cancelled! We had just enough time to reach our car before the heavens open and the heavy rains came!

Did the weather forecaster really mess up this weekend or was it the “Weather Gods” just having a little “fun” at our expense?

Summer Activities ~ Land and Water…

Ontario is such an amazing place to live and play! Especially in the summer months. I sometimes wonder if we really appreciate all we have. Over the years Scoop (Judi) and I have traveled throughout Ontario. We have boated on the Severn-Trend Waterway, waterskied in the Kawarthas, visited several provincial and federal parks, and have enjoyed many baseball tournaments. We’ve been very lucky to have experienced so many places and activities. We hope, this year, that your Ontario adventures create many happy memories for you and your family.

The video shown below contains only a few of the amazing adventures ~ on land and water we have experienced.

Ontario Community Spotlight ~ Campbellford

This month’s Ontario Community Spotlight, presented by All-Purpose Realty and Ontario Visited, is the Community of Campbellford.

You’ll Find It All Here

This is one of the most picturesque towns along the Trent-Severn Waterway. As you enter Campbellford from the south on County Road 30, you encounter a long park strip that is nestled between the county road and the waterway.

Follow the park (Old Mill Park) far enough and you come to the downtown area plus you will be greeted a giant replica of the Canadian “Toonie” (two-dollar coin).

Campbellford was the hometown of the Toonie’s creator, internationally collected artist, Brent Townsend. In the summer, the park is a beautiful place to stop and have a picnic lunch! Judi and I try to do this a least twice a year.

As you can probably tell from my enthusiasm, Campbellford is a wonderful place to visit (and live)! There are lots of interesting shops in the downtown area including Bennett’s Furnishings and a “to die for” bakery!

I can still feel the “sugar rush” from their decadent donuts! So far Judi and I have visited two of their annual events, the Polar Bear Plunge (January) and their Canada Day Celebrations (July 1). Other annual events make Campbellford a great place to visit and explore.

Nearby, “must see” attractions include Westben Arts Festival Theatre and Ferris Provincial Park.

Westben Arts Festival Theatre is renown for its “World Class Music and its Wide-Open Countryside”. The following is an excerpt from their website. “Bringing culture and nature together in perfect harmony, the magnificent 400-seat timber-frame barn opens onto a lush meadow, surrounded by the gently rolling hills of Northumberland County.” and “The stage hosts an incredible array of renowned Canadian and international artists, from full symphony orchestras & choruses to chamber music and soloists.”

Ferris Provincial Park is located just outside of Campbellford. Its trails are open summer and winter. The 300-foot-long suspension bridge, 30 feet over the Ranney Gorge, gives all its visitors an adventure to remember!

If you are looking for a fun place to visit, take a trip to Campbellford and enjoy all if has to offer!

Click HERE for the Google Map of Campbellford.

Read more about this great Ontario community by clicking HERE.

Summer & Fall Fun in the Forest City!

by Sean Murray – Tourism London – Culture, Entertainment & Marketing Assistant

Discover the hidden gems of London, Ontario and indulge in a remarkable blend of attractions and experiences. With a vibrant arts scene, delectable culinary offerings, refreshing local breweries, captivating galleries and museums and the designation as Canada’s first and only UNESCO City of Music, London, Ontario has all the ingredients for an unforgettable getaway.

Embrace the warmer weather and engage in a plethora of fun summer and fall activities. Explore natural beauty at one of London’s many Environmentally Significant Areas or 500+ parks, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll amidst picturesque landscapes, vibrant flower beds and serene bodies of water. Pack a picnic and soak up the sun while savoring delicious treats.

Food lovers will delight in the diverse and flourishing restaurant scene. Experience a culinary adventure with an array of international cuisines at your fingertips. From trendy farm-to-table establishments to hidden gems offering global flavors, there’s something for every palette. Covent Garden Market is a favourite for locals and travelers alike. Located in the heart of downtown London and open seven days a week, this gem is bursting with local produce, artisanal goods and mouthwatering delicacies.

Or maybe quench your thirst with a visit to one of London’s local breweries and distilleries. Immerse yourself in the craft drink culture and discover a variety of unique brews and spirits. Take a tour, learn about the brewing process and savor handcrafted drinks made with passion and precision. From hoppy IPAs to smooth spirits and refreshing ales, the breweries and distilleries in London offer a delightful experience for craft enthusiasts and newbies alike.

The music and entertainment scene in London can’t be missed, bolstered by its outdoor patios that come alive with local performers during the warmer months. As a UNESCO City of Music, London proudly embraces its designation by hosting a wide range of musical events, festivals and concerts throughout the year, showcasing the city’s dedication to promoting and supporting music in all its forms. From bustling downtown venues to cozy cafes, London offers a diverse range of spaces where both local and international musicians can captivate audiences with their talents, making it a destination that music lovers truly appreciate.

Another great way to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of London, Ontario is by exploring one of the many galleries and museums. At Museum London you can delve into London’s past and marvel at the extensive collection of regional artwork and historical artifacts. Labatt Memorial Park is the world’s oldest baseball grounds, where you can experience baseball history with an award-winning guided tour.

With its vibrant arts and music scene, culinary delights, local breweries and captivating galleries and museums, London, Ontario is an ideal destination that promises unforgettable experiences for all.

Don’t forget to visit the Tourism London website www.londontourism.ca for all the best spots to eat, drink, play and stay in London! Escape the ordinary, get out and #ExploreLdnOnt!

The following is an excerpt from my “Memories of Past Times” blog.

Appleby College


Now, here was a sport I did enjoy, sort of. I was normally the “bowler”. That’s the person, for those not familiar with the sport, who throws the ball (bowls) at player who is standing at the opposite end of the “pitch”. His job is to hit the ball as far as he can, while the bowler’s (me) job is to hit the “wicket” and get the player out. If you are confused (I am, just thinking about it!), then you can read all about the game and its rules “on-line”! By the way, we didn’t have “on-line” back in the “good old days” (sigh). Although I liked being the bowler, I wasn’t too fond of being a “wicket keeper” or a “fielder” (there are lots of funny names for them!). You might remember from a few segments ago that I was hit in the forehead by a puck. Pucks are quite hard, put I think cricket balls are just as hard or, maybe a little harder, plus their surface is bigger. Cricket players don’t have the type of protection that hockey players to. In fact, the only position with some protection is the wicket keeper. He gets to have gloves (not very thick ones) and leg pads (not very thick ones). However, the hitter can hit the ball in whatever direction he can. That means, if he hits it back towards the wicket keeper, who is very close to the hitter, if could be “lights out”! Image a very hard ball, traveling very fast, coming straight at you (yikes”. It’s almost the same for fielders, who don’t have protection. As for the bowler, he at the far end of the pitch and hopefully has time to get out of the way! It was easier for me, I was a “professional” goalie!

The best part of the sport, for me, was visiting other schools. After each game there would be a table full of great food, set up for the players and we would all dig in and help ourselves!

To learn more about the Festival Nomad, visit my BLOG!

Water Activities