Top 115 Unusual Things to See in Ontario

Overview

Featuring 15 New Destinations.

[The author] has the gift of finding lots of things interesting and of them being able to write beautifully about those things.
Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay)

Ontario is full of hidden treasures. Down village streets, in city lanes and along quiet country roads lie the province's most unusual sites -- a river that disappears, log cabins in the centre of a major city, even a ...

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Overview

Featuring 15 New Destinations.

[The author] has the gift of finding lots of things interesting and of them being able to write beautifully about those things.
Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay)

Ontario is full of hidden treasures. Down village streets, in city lanes and along quiet country roads lie the province's most unusual sites -- a river that disappears, log cabins in the centre of a major city, even a high-rise privy. All await the curious explorer. In his relentless quest to discover the unusual, Ron Brown has traveled nearly every road in Ontario. This book features 115 of his very best trips.

Thoroughly researched and written in an inviting style, each description offers a fascinating story with background, location and accompanying color photograph. Most places are easy to reach from Ontario's major population centers, but there are a few for more adventurous explorers. Among the all-new locations featured in this edition are:

  • Peterborough's canoe museum
  • Ontario's longest small-town train station
  • A ghost town worth visiting
  • Camp 30 and the Battle of Bowmanville
  • The Mimico Asylum, with its new lease on life
  • The Little Current railway swing bridge

In Top 115 Unusual Things to See in Ontario, existing entries have been updated and all places are now grouped by location (Eastern Ontario, Southwestern Ontario, Central Ontario and Toronto Area, Cottage Country and Northern Ontario). As well, detailed maps pinpoint every location in this engaging, informative book.

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Editorial Reviews

Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay)
[Review for previous edition:] [Brown] has the gift of finding lots of things interesting and of them being able to write beautifully about those things.

— Linda Turk

Muskoka Today
[Review for previous edition:] Brown's books are always interesting and bring to mind adventures.

— Lois Cooper

Shelf Life
[Review for previous edition:] With 100 places to see, along with facts, figures, and photos, this would definitely offer a great gift for the traveller who wants to see impressive sights close to home.

— Joan Sutter

The Ottawa Citizen
[Review for previous edition:] [For] travellers who want to stay close to home but still enjoy an adventure.

— Canwest wire story

The Toronto Sun
[Review for previous edition:] Few people know more about Ontario's oddities than Toronto-based author Ron Brown...[and] they're almost all here in this new revised edition.

— Diane Slawych

Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay) - Linda Turk
[Review for previous edition:] We can hope that [Brown's] efforts to celebrate Ontario's past and present wonders will attract a new generation of readers and travellers.
Muskoka Today - Lois Cooper
[Review for previous edition:] Brown's books are always interesting and bring to mind adventures.
Northern Life
[Review for previous edition:] Most locations are easy to reach from Ontario's major population centres, and a few are for more adventurous explorers.
Shelf Life - Joan Sutter
[Review for previous edition:] With 100 places to see, along with facts, figures, and photos, this would definitely offer a great gift for the traveller who wants to see impressive sights close to home.
The Ottawa Citizen - Canwest wire story
[Review for previous edition:] [For] travellers who want to stay close to home but still enjoy an adventure.
The Sun Times (Owen Sound, ON) - Andrew Armitage
[Review for previous edition:] [Brown] collects the very best trips from the most unexpected and surprising sights in the province.
The Toronto Sun - Diane Slawych
[Review for previous edition:] Few people know more about Ontario's oddities than Toronto-based author Ron Brown...[and] they're almost all here in this new revised edition.
Toronto Star - Andrea Gordon
The sights stand out for their splendor or quirkiness. Some are natural wonders, others are man-made. They might be tricky to find, or perched so close that you'll wonder how you missed them.... If your holidays are over and the budget is maxed out, the dog days of summer may be a perfect time to go exploring unusual spots close by.
Guelph Mercury - Jon Fear
The table of contents alone will make you curious to see such places as Ontario's Taj Mahal.
Midland Mirror
Thoroughly researched and written in an inviting style.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770850170
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Edition description: Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Brown has written a dozen books on Ontario's ghost towns and roadside attractions (both natural and unnatural). He is a frequent contributor to CBC Radio, and his travel articles have appeared in North American newspapers and magazines. He lives in Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

Eastern Ontario

1. Ontario's Goat Pastures
The Alvar Communities

2. Ghosts of the Gold Fields
Ontario's Eldorado

3. The Disappearing River of Peterborough County

4. A History of Paddling
Peterborough's Canadian Canoe Museum

5. Kingston's Little Round Forts

6. It Came from Outer Space
The Holleford Meteor Crater

7. Trenton's Big Boulder

8. Rails under Brockville
Canada's Oldest Railway Tunnel

9. Smiths Falls' High-rise Privy

10. The Ruins of St.
Raphael

11. Ontario's Smallest Ferry

12. The Lake on the Mountain

13. The Dune That Ate a Town

14. Waterway from the Past
The Rideau Canal

15. The Teaching Rocks
Peterborough's Petroglyphs

16. Boats in the Air
The Kirkfield Lift Lock

17. The Lost Settlement of Newfoundout

18. The Strange Serpent Mound of Rice Lake

19. The Hell Holes of Eastern Ontario

20. Wartime Ghosts
Camp Picton

21. Marmora's Big Hole

22. Pakenham's Stone Arch Bridge
North America's
Longest

23. A City for the Birds
Picton's Birdhouse City

24. Canada's Gibraltar
Bon Echo Rock

South-Western Ontario

25. London's Blackfriars Bridge

26. Castles of the Cuesta

27. Woodstock's Death Mask

28. Secrets of the Swamp

29. A Touch of Holland
The Bayfield Windmill

30. Carved in Stone
The Apple Park Farm Statues

31. The Hole in the Hill
The Strange Story of the Eugenia Arches

32. Point Pelee
Where Canada Begins

33. The Telltale
Grave
The Donnelly Tombstone

34. Ontario's Black Gold
The Petrolia Discovery

35. West Montrose
The Last Covered Bridge

36. Sloman's School Car
The Schoolhouse that Rode the Rails

37. The Southwold Earthworks
A Pre-European-Contact Village Site

38. Ojibway
The Case of the Missing Town

39. The Last of a Kind
Blair's Sheave Tower

40. Kitchener's Pioneer Tower
Cultural Cooperation

41. The Cryptic Gravestone
Rushes Cemetery

42. The Sudden Splendour of the Elora
Gorge

43. Fossil Hunters' Fantasy
The Rock Glen Gorge

44. The Big Sand Pile
Houghton's Sand Hill

45. A Bit of "Old Mexico"
Sparta's Adobe Blacksmith Shop

46. Ontario's Worst Roads
The Forgotten Corduroy Trails

47. The Smallest Union Station

48. 3-D-Ception
The Trompe l'Oeil Murals of Castle Kilbride

49. Death from the Tap
Walkerton's Memorial of Tragedy

50. The St. Thomas Train Station
Ontario's Longest Small Town Station

51. Normandale
A Ghost Town Worth Visiting

52. Wroxeter
A "Former Ghost Town" Brought Back to Life

53. Ruthven
A Mansion in a Ghost Town

54. Port Dover's Ghost Mausoleum

55. Paris Plains Stone Church

56. The Magical Cyprus Lake Grotto

Central Ontario and Toronto Area

57. The Swamp That Feeds the World
The Amazing Holland Marsh

58. Size Matters
The Battle over the Country's Smallest Jail

59. The Comfort Giant
Canada's Biggest Maple Tree

60. Chiefswood
The Poet's Two-Sided Palace

61. Dwarf Cedars
Ontario's
Oldest Trees

62. Ontario's Taj Mahal
The Thomas Foster Memorial

63. Belfountain Park
The Stamp Man's Legacy

64. Guiding Light
Beautiful Point Abino Lighthouse

65. Rockwood's Potholes

66. The Floating Mansions of Lemonville

67. A Utilitarian Beauty
The R. C. Harris Filtration Plant

68. An Industrial Survivor
Toronto's Gooderham and Worts Distillery District

69. Cottage Country South
The Toronto Island Community

70. Midland's Giant Outdoor Art Gallery

71. The Cheltenham Badlands

Ontario's Painted Desert

72. Fort Mississauga
The Forgotten Fort

73. Temple of Light
The Sharon Temple

74. The Dutch Chapel
The Pillars of the Scarborough Bluffs

75. Toronto Island's Haunted Lighthouse

76. A Horse Palace
The Casa Loma Stables

77. The Yorkville Rock

78. Perfect Purification
The Elevated Wetlands of the Don Valley

79. The Lake with No Waves
The Strange Story of Crawford Lake

80. Markham Heritage Estates
A Suburb of Last Resort

81. James Bond and the Secret of Camp X

82. The Feeling of Being Watched
Toronto's Old City Hall Gargoyles

83. Orangeville's Tree Spirits

84. The Mud Bay Church of Shanty Bay

85. The Guild Inn's Garden of Ruins

86. Tiny Town
Toronto's Smallest Houses

87. The Last of the Water Mills
The Tyrone Mill

88. Camp 30 and the Battle of Bowanville

89. Barrie's Allandale Train Station
Ontario's Grandest Wooden Station

90. Ansnorvelt
A Touch of Holland in the Holland Marsh

91. Grimsby Park
Ontario's Chautauqua

92. The Mimico Asylum
A New Lease on Life

93. Neptune's Staircase
The Welland Canal's Twin-Flight Locks

94. Father of the Peace Bridge
Fort Erie's Mather Monument

Cottage Country and Northern Ontario

95. Nicholson
A Ghost Town Worth Visiting

96. Dyer's Dedication
Muskoka's Wilderness Memorial

97. The Log Castle on White Otter Lake

98. Grand Canyon North
Ouimet Canyon

99. The Algoma Central
A Train Ride from the Past

100. The White Crests of Killarney

101. Moose
Factory's Floating Church

102. Boats on Rails
The Big Chute Marine Railway

103. Those Perplexing Pukaskwa Pits

104. Emo's Unusual Norlund Chapel

105. Monument to Murder
Massacre at Reesor Siding

106. Algonquin Park's Incredible Barron Canyon

107. A Green Sudbury

108. Ontario's Ghost-Town Train

109. Eight Sides to a House
Woodchester Villa

110. A Legacy in Log
The Madill Church

111. Temagami's Tall Pines

112. Depot Harbour
A Ghost Town Worth Visiting

113. The Return of Muskoka's Portage Flyer
The World's Shortest Railway

114. The Little Current Railway Swing Bridge
Cars Only

115. Ontario's Stonehenge

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Preface

Introduction

Ontario is full of hidden treasure. Down village streets, in city lanes, and along quiet country roads lie its most unusual sights, houses that seem to float, a river that disappears, log cabins in the centre of a major city. All await the curious explorer. Monuments to murders, massacres and mysterious spy camps bring to life the lesser-known aspects of Ontario's hidden heritage.

This book features my pick of Ontario's top 115 unusual things to see. Most of the listings are easy to find and are open to the public.

In this revised and updated edition, the places are grouped into four geographic regions. Maps pinpoint each location within the region.

So head out and discover whichever treasure appeals at the moment. Temples, towers and quirks of nature offer insight into an Ontario that few even know exists. And that's what looking for treasure is all about.

Ron Brown, Toronto

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