“Exploring ~ Spotlighting ONTARIO Communities and Events Since 2007″

Winter Activities

A New Year ~ 2023!

Judi and I wish everyone a happy and heathy new year!

2022 has been a transitional year. It started from COVID-19 and ended with HOPE. During this period, most of us have had to make some adjustments.


  • consolidated our front page to make the website more user friendly
  • made the secondary information page easier to use and understand
  • changed our newsletter to monthly from quarterly
  • reduced the size of the monthly newsletter
  • offered Ontario Visited partners to be guest contributors in our INSIDER Newsletter
  • successfully launched our 2 Event Information APPSEvent Listings and Community Event News
  • discontinued some of our older Blogs and articles and placed them on our new “Archive” page

Memories of Past Times (The Blog)

As I mentioned in last month’s INSIDER, I created a new Blog, Memories of Past Times. This is a fun look at some of my past “adventures” or “misadventures”, as a child, as a young boy, as a teenager and as a young adult. I hope that more will follow, given time. Each week, I will post a new adventure. The link to the Memories of the Past blog is memoriesofpasttimes.blogspot.com/.

Memories of the Past…


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

“A Funny Thing Happened…”

One of the perks of visiting festivals is people watching! It is always interesting to see how people react to different situations. In a way it’s like being a “fly on the wall”. Music concerts seem to bring out the best (or worst) in people.

The Beaches Jazz Festival is a perfect example of this. There was one lady was really thrilled by the music. She decided that the music would be great to dance to… alone! She went down to the front of the stage and started to dance up a storm. She made moves that I didn’t know the human body could make! She was in a world of her own and it was fascinating to watch!

Then there was the little girl at the Oshawa Celtic Festival. There was a lively band playing on the main Bandshell stage. In front of the main stage a lower stage had been set up for am earlier Celtic dance demonstration. The lower stage was empty when the band first started to play. Part way through their first song, a little girl ran from the audience and climbed onto the stage and then started to dance to the music. The audience and band loved it! The little girl beamed as the audience showed their appreciation! She was such a hit that other children emerged from the audience and ran to the stage. Each climbed onto it and started to dance. The original little girl was upset that others had joined her that she stopped dancing, stomped off the stage and ran to her parents crying. Apparently, she didn’t like to share the spot light. The other children danced on undisturbed! Animals also create good people watching material.

We were at a International Plowing Match. The first attraction we came to was the Canadian Raptor Conservancy Show. There were two handlers who brought out different birds to show the crowd. Some of the birds would fly off one handler’s arm, fly over the crowd and then land on the other handler’s arm. The shear delight (terror) on the audience was great to see! Imagine my surprise when one of the birds swooped down from its flight and landed on MY HEAD!! The tables were turned! I was the one who was being WATCHED!

Winter Activities…

Ontario in the winter is a “wonderland”, so much fun for the whole family! Think about it, hockey, skating, sledding, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, skiing and so much more!

Below is a video that some winter activities that you might not have thought about! Go on a winter picnic and have some great family fun!

Ontario Community Spotlight ~ Palmerston

Our visit to Palmerston brought back memories of my “youth “! No, it wasn’t all the snow. And, it wasn’t their Farmers’ Market. I’ll tell you what it was shortly.

In the meantime, we reached the downtown area. Like most rural communities, Palmerston’s downtown caters to local residents and the surrounding farm community. Shops and restaurants lined the main street. Soon other buildings came into view. And then, there it was! No, not the Palmerston Water Tower that was almost hidden by a huge snow pile! It was “old Number 81” chugging down the track!

That was when my “youthful” memories click in! You see, I grew up in Toronto when “Steam Engines” were still running. There were a large number of railway tracks leading in and out of downtown Toronto (there still are!). Trains, pulling by steam engines, travel along these tracks. My father use to take me to the Bathurst Street bridge, where the trains passed under. We’d stand on the bridge for long periods waiting for a train to pass. When the train did pass under, the smoke (steam) would come up and encase us for a few moments. The experience for a young man was very exciting!

Palmerston is the home of the Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum. The Museum is housed in the only original railway station left in Wellington County. It is a tribute to both the Grand Trunk Railway and the Canadian National Railway. In fact, there is a whole Heritage Park dedicated to the preservation of “Railway History “. It is a wonderful tribute to the town of Palmerston and its residents that they are maintaining this part of Canada’s amazing railway history!

I can’t wait to return to Palmerston to explore more of Canada’s rail history. Perhaps I’ll hear the “far off whistle of “old Number 81” as it chugs off to some “exciting Canadian adventure “!

Winter Activities