Ontario: The Strange and Interesting. The Search Continues

Base31, Picton

My search for strange and interesting places continues. Come along and see what I found this week traveling Ontario. You are going to love it!

Base 31

My next adventure brings me back to Picton and Base31. History mixed with innovation for the future. I love it! Base 31 was built in 1940 as a training facility for air craft crews around the world during WWII. On 700 acres there are over 40 buildings including barracks, mess halls, a huge drill hall and even airplane hangers. As you walk down the paths and drive through the facility you almost expect to see an airman from the 40’s walk around the corner. The buildings have been kept so original it is truly a walk back in time.

Airplane Hangers

As I was marveling at the size of some of the buildings and the way they were crafted, I thought I heard a small plane. No I must just be lost in the history. Then I heard it again. Nope not my imagination. As I looked to my right, behind the airplane hangers a small plane was taking off. It was cute. It still serves as a small airport today and home to the Prince Edward Flying Club. Oh so cool.

Plane taking off at Picton Airport

As you walk through there are pictures of airmen who were stationed here and signs still on the buildings of a time gone by.

Signs of the times

Base 31 has changed hands and names a few times. An airmen training facility owned by the Canadian goverment but operated by the British Royal Navy during World War II. In 1946 it was transfered to the RCAF (Royal Canadian Airforce) to train anti-aircraft warfare and renamed Camp Picton. It changed uses and names again in 1962 when it was used as a base for the First Battalion of the Canadian Guards and was renamed CFB Picton. It was decommissioned in 1969 and sold to the Mayor of Picton who happened to be Scottish, renaming it Lock-Sloy Business Park. This is where the innovation starts. The beginning of a historical save and a blend of making it a viable business.

In 1999 it again changed hands again. The name.. Lock-Sloy Business Park and Airport. Keeping and restoring the buildings and turning them into small artesian studios and gallery’s as well as a good use for industrial companies. In 2021 it again changed hands and PEC Partners continues with the innovation. It was exciting to walk down the rows of buildings and see a yoga studio and artists galleries. The Friday before I got there David Wilcox was playing in the drill hall. There is a concert line up. It is constantly being added to. Hop over to their website and take a look! I cannot wait to see who is playing when I go back in September to get the full history tour and an update on the new ways they are creating to keep the history and keep it viable! Hats off to them and I cannot wait to meet you all in September. Look for a feature blog on this interesting destination.

Sharron Temple

Sharron Temple, Sharon

Sharron Temple popped onto my radar from scanning, you guessed it, Google Maps. What is that? The pictures looked like no other Temple I have seen before. What was the story behind this? It was open to the public, I had to go have a look.

From what I read it looked interesting and the story…a little strange. The temple was built by a Quaker Sect by the name of the “Children of Peace”. Started in 1825 and completed by 1835, it was not just a temple but a series of buildings to hold a community. The temple was made a museum in 1918. Never more than 350 members, they fought for peace, equality and social justice. Opening the first Ontaio Credit Union and developing land-sharing opportunities so people could thrive. A truly caring community they also built the first homeless shelter in Ontario. They sound like a beautiful Canadian community. I could not wait to see it.

Well, I got to see the outside and read a little history in one of the out buildings. The day I went there was a huge car show. I love car shows as well as strange and interesting places. So I thought, bonus, a two for one. Ummm ya no! Lol. The Temple itself was not open and there was no one really to talk to about its history. It was a really good car show though and there were a few friends of mine there. We hung out for a few hours and then I left but I am definitely going back.

Haliburton Wolf Center

Haliburton Wolf Pack

It was time to go north to cooler temperatures. Where better to go than to a forest. Haliburton Forest is 100,000 acres of privately owned forest. Thick with trees and with over 100 lakes it truly is a magical place.

I love a beautiful forest and have a special place in my heart for wolves. They are a beautiful majestic animal that on the one hand is fiercely independent but also belongs to a community. They hunt and live in a pack but each is still their own. I so admire that. The Haliburton Wolf Center takes you to the Wolf Pack. A 5000 square foot museum and educational center brings you through the history of the Haliburton Wolf Pack, the history of Wolves both conceived and factual and their importance to a balanced ecosystem. A large glass lookout allows you to see them up close and watch their interactions. I really could have stayed there all day and just watched them. I strolled through the museum, there was a lot to see. Wildlife exhibits as well as a cinema, a classroom and a souvenir shop. It was an interesting story about how the Wolf pack arrived. A gentlemen from Michigan had Western Timberwolves he had acquired. He started with two and nature happened. Lol. As he aged he found he could not care for them and contacted the owners of the Haliburton Forest and asked if they would take them. They did and what started out as a couple of wolves is now a pack. The complex is such that the animals live in the wild and the humans come to visit. It is a great educational facility and the staff are willing and eagar to answer any questions. The one, well one of maybe a couple, question I asked of the wonderful staff member was “What would you like people to take away after visiting your facility?”

The answer: “To know that wolves are not the big bad wolves of fairy tales but a unintrusive beautiful animal that gives balance to this unbalanced world.” Beautiful!

The Haliburton Forest offers so much more I really feel I must dedicate a blog to this place. Keep an eye out for a feature blog. Be sure to go my home page and subscribe. You will not want to miss this. Find out how wolves once saved my life.

Haliburton Sculpture Forest

Haliburton Sculpture Forest

As I was driving I noticed a sign that said Haliburton Sculpture Forest. What on earth is that??? You know I had to follow that sign. Located in Glebe Park, it is a trail through the forest with 22 sculptures done by both Canadian and International artist spread along the trail. When you first enter the grounds there are old log cabins that in the summer are open for viewing. Wonderfully restored I knew this was going to be the beginning of a wonderful walk.

Log cabin

Even these guys wished me a wonderful walk.

Deer wishing me a wonderful walk

As you walked along the trail there are sculptures set amongst the trees. Each with there own shape and meaning. Some were made of metal, some of stone. Each crafted beautifully and seemed to blend into the setting. You had to really look for some of them. This one I almost missed. Can you see the metal sculpture of the man in the trees?

Can you see the sculpture?

There were so many interesting sculptures along the trail. The sign as you walked in read Haliburton Sculpture Forest…Touched by Magic. It truly is! How and why is it here. You will have read my book! 😉

Sculptures in the forest

The Shaw Woods

Shaw Woods, Eganville

I love a forest. The feel, the smell, the sounds of a dense forest is something that exilerates me. Shaw Woods is what they call an “old growth forest.” An easy walking trail that leads you through a forest filled with old sugar maples, beech and hemlock trees. A preserved piece of our forests that is also used for educational purposes as well as research. As I look up at the canopy of these trees that are 100’s of years old you get a sense of ahh. Through it all they have grown both in strength and size. It was a beautiful walk through history!

Walking the trail

This is where the adventure stops for this week. Come along next week as I take a walk back in time, go to someplace I have already been but just had to go again and visit a misum about 5 little girls with an interesting and somewhat tragic story . Do not forget to go to my home page and put your email in the box so you do not miss a Chipmunk Adventure!

Thanks for coming along. See you next week.


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