Tag Archives: Huron County

Life is a Beach in Huron County

23 Jul

by Diva Calista Powell

It is easy to take for granted the beautiful beaches that we have available to us in Huron County. I have traveled around the world and lounged on some of the most incredible seashores; From Frasier Island’s champagne pools in Australia to Elafonisi’s pink sands in Crete, Greece. As wonderful as these exotic sands are, there really is no place like home.To me, there is nothing better than the freshwater Great Lakes and watching the sun set over the West Coast horizon. Here are a few favourite beaches of mine that I recommend you visit this summer:

The Stegall sisters performing at Summer Sunset Sounds for a crowd of beach go-ers.

The Stegall sisters performing at Summer Sunset Sounds for a crowd of beach go-ers.

Beach #1: Grand Bend Beach

Whenever I have to explain to city folk where my hometown is, I usually say, “45 minutes from Grand Bend”, because everyone is familiar with this lively strip and beautiful waters. From the night life to the soft stretches of sand, Grand Bend never disappoints. After a 27-degree day of sun tanning and water frisbee, I packed up my beach bag and strolled up to the observation deck stage to see one of my favourite bands, Stegall, perform for Summer Sunset Sounds. Summer Sunsets Sounds is a series of free live concerts that happen every Sunday night at 7pm on the main beach of Grand Bend. The sensational sunset and laid back atmosphere complimented the Stegall sisters beats in the most perfect way. To see the line up for the rest of the summer visit: http://grandbendtourism.com/events/summersunsetsounds

The waters of Grand Bend shining at sunset.

The waters of Grand Bend shining at sunset.

Beach #2: Bayfield South Beach (Howard Street Beach)

The sleepy town of Bayfield is one of my favourite places to be in the summertime. This season, I made a point to stroll through Patina Studios to see the fine art and pottery by artists Joan Bailey and Tony Eyamie, stop in to see my friend Jean-Anne Hamilton at The Black Dog Pantry for a snack and then take the trek down the long wooden staircase on Howard Street Beach to soak up some rays. What I like about this beach is that it is fairly secluded and has a much quieter pace, so it is perfect way to recharge and take a mini-vacation from the hustle and bustle of work life.

The Bayfield sunset lights up the South Street Beach shoreline.

The Bayfield sunset lights up the South Street Beach shoreline.

Directions: At Brandon’s Hardware store on the square, take a right onto Howard Street and follow it all the way to the very end lot.

Beach #3: Port Blake Park

This was the first year I have ever visited Port Blake Park, and thanks to Best Host West Coast (a Huron Tourism Association training program) I now know about this Lake Huron gem. Port Blake is a serene, yet lively conservation area equipped with a picnic pavilion and BBQ areas. Over the years, this location has attracted guests from urban centres such as Kitchener and the GTA. Port Blake Park is a great place to bring the whole family for the day, and is dog friendly (as long as they are leashed). Admission is $4 per person or $10 a car load and is most definitely worth checking out this summer.

Address: 71155A Bluewater Highway 21 at Highway 83 (Dashwood Road)

For more information on beaches and to discover many more summer destinations, check out Ontario’s West Coast publications at http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/beta/news/publications-brochures/

Huron County Museum offers great Summer Family Activities

7 Jul the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich
Behind the Bars is a summer favourite … returning again in 2014.

Behind the Bars is a summer favourite … returning again in 2014.

Behind the Bars is a great family event that offers special evening tours. Go “Behind the Bars” and meet some of “Faces of Gaol” on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Huron Historic Gaol. Experience the history as you explore and learn about life at the Gaol between 1841 and 1911. This interactive event provides visitors with the opportunity to explore this National Historic Site while meeting historical figures from the Gaol’s past. Tour the Gaol and Governor’s House to learn more about the men, women & children who lived and worked behind the bars.

Tuesdays & Thursdays from July 10 to August 28 | 7 to 9 PM
Huron Historic Gaol – Admission: Adults $10, Children $5, Family $25

Read about Diva Trista Russell’s experience last year at “Behind the Bars” HERE

 

Read on for more great events at the Huron County Museum and Gaol.

the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich

the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich

Learning and fun! Drop in, Interactive activities to compliment your visit are included with regular admission.

Museum Sundays – 2 PM to 4 PM

Faces of Huron County – July 6 & August 13

Explore the “Our Stories” exhibit while you hunt for clues to uncover the stories of Huron County residents featured in the exhibit. Meet someone you might know have known was from our County.

Discover unique artifacts at the Huron County Museum

Discover unique artifacts at the Huron County Museum

That’s So Weird! – July 13 & August 10

Discover quirky artifacts from the Huron County Museum’s collection. Will it be neat, gross, or just plain weird?

Enjoy old sounds at the Noteworthy Exhibit

Enjoy old sounds at the Noteworthy Exhibit

Melodic Doodads & Gizmos – July 20 & August 17

Try out a variety of different musical instruments and start creating your own music in our “Noteworthy” exhibit.

Enjoy a Victorian Tea Party

Enjoy a Victorian Tea Party

Victorian Tea Party – July 27 & August 24

The Huron County Museum would like to extend their cordial invitation to a Victorian Tea Party. Enjoy fine teas, crafts, and sweet treats for all.

The Huron County Gaol has a significant history and designated a heritage site by Canada … learn more about the Gaol at these great events.

The Huron County Gaol has a significant history and designated a heritage site by Canada … learn more about the Gaol at these great events.

Gaol Mondays – 2 PM to 4 PM

Escapes! – July 7 & August 4

How would you to escape from our Gaol? Over the wall, through the front door or on the run? Discover how some inmates managed to escape.

Building a Gaol – July 14 & August 11

Learn about our architect, his designs and the Gaol committee. Using a brick Gaol model, add on your own modifications and special touches.

Larceny, Spoil & Destitution – July 21 & August 18

Discover some of the unique laws and charges that would have landed you in our Gaol from 1841 to 1911.

Hangman’s Noose – July 28 to August 25

For more serious crimes some of our inmates spent their last days at the Gaol. What would it have been like to witness their public hanging and learn about the man who had to do the job.

This small museum located at the main beach and harbour area, in Goderich is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

This small museum located at the main beach and harbour area, in Goderich is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

Marine Museum Fridays – 2 PM to 4 PM

July 11 to August 29 – Marine themed crafts & activities such as Harbour Silhouettes, Semaphore and more.

Loving I HATE TODD and the Fermented Oranges at the Livery

29 Jun
Headliners I HATE TODD. Pictured are Nelson Sobral on guitar, Troy Larabie on percussion, Kev Carney on bass and local musician Capucine Onn on violin.

Headliners I HATE TODD. Pictured are Nelson Sobral on guitar, Troy Larabie on percussion, Kev Carney on bass and local musician Capucine Onn on violin.

By Diva Calista Powell
Since I have moved back to the county in March, I have been absolutely amazed at the talent that this area has to offer. I have always been a local music fan and enjoy checking out new artists so I was pretty excited to see I HATE TODD perform live at the Livery with special guests the Fermented Oranges.

The fellas from Fermented Oranges (whom I have had the pleasure of working with before with Blyth 14/19’s HuronSound Festival) rocked the house with their original songs and never cease to amaze the crowds they play for. Their punchy rock/funk riffs were striking, and that carefree beachy vibe was captured especially as they jammed out barefoot and in board shorts. It’s never a let down to see these guys play.

Cappy Onn’s violin school kicking off their set.

Cappy Onn’s violin school kicking off their set.

Next up was the headliner, I HATE TODD, the indie-alternative rock band out of Toronto. It intrigues me to see how a variety of instruments and musical styles can collaborate to make a unique sound-and they nailed it. Capucine Onn, local violin virtuoso had her Suzuki violin school start their performance with a beautiful symphonic rock piece and it was great to see kids of all ages showcase their talent. Then the party started as eccentric frontman Todd Preston came out with the rest of the band members to play their popular hit, “Zombie Love”. Their performance was theatrical and captivating to say the least, and their genuine good-time attitude was contagious. After watching their set, I came to the obvious conclusion that there are very few things cooler than a zombie-loving, violin-shredding, pop-rock band. It’s basically a scientific fact.

Thank you Cappy for setting up this unforgettable show!

To check out I HATE TODD’s tunes and lineup check out their website at http://www.ihatetodd.com/ For Fermented Oranges http://fermentedoranges.bandcamp.com/

The guys of Fermented Oranges. Aaron Voskamp on lead guitar, Dylan Bellinger on drums, Adam Wendler on lead vocals/guitar and Dean Reynolds on bass.

The guys of Fermented Oranges. Aaron Voskamp on lead guitar, Dylan Bellinger on drums, Adam Wendler on lead vocals/guitar and Dean Reynolds on bass.

Secret Garden to be discovered

25 Jun The Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast

SecretGarden4Last fall I had the pleasure of visiting Josef and his son at the Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast in Bayfield.  This 1860 cottage on Clan Gregor Square has been a Bed and Breakfast for many years (prior name Clair-on-the-Square).  I asked Josef where he got the name and it was inspired by the book and movie of the same name.

see these great photos at trip advisor.ca

Located just steps from Bayfield Town Hall, this comfortable bed and breakfast promises all the amenities of home.  There is a common room and if a party chooses to book the entire Bed and Breakfast, kitchen access is included.  For single bookings, breakfast is included.  Air conditioning promises comfort during the hot sultry days of summer.  And, each guest room has its own bathroom.

Josef shared that he has a wide variety of guests from Canada and the United States … and abroad including international travellers from South Africa, Belgium and England.

SecretGardenOutThe back yard gardens are spectacular and they attract beautiful birds and butterflies.  Josef enjoys watching the hummingbirds in particular, as there are none in Germany where he grew up.

Josef invites you to Bayfield to enjoy his warm hospitality and encourages you to experience great food at one of Bayfield’s popular restaurants – many of which have really creative chefs dedicated to serving local foods.  There’s also unique shops to pop into on main street, a Writers event and summer Festival events taking place all summer long.

The Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast
12 The SquareBayfield, Ontario N0M1G0
Phone : 1 (519) 565-2113
http://www.bbcanada.com/13963.html

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SecretGarden2  SecretGarden3

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May is Museum Month

14 Jun MuseumOut

MuseumMonthlogoby Diva Claire Carter

As the weather gets nicer, the people of Huron County start spending more time outdoors and enjoying the unique characteristics of our area.  Another reason to get out and explore this May is Museum Month!

The International Council of Museums started International Museum Day in 1977.  The excitement grows each year, and in 2012, about 32,000 museums in 129 countries participated.  The theme for 2014 is, “Museums Make Connections.”  In Ontario, one day isn’t enough, so the Ontario Museum’s Association has decided to make May the month for celebrating museums.

Huron County has a number of fantastic museums and heritage sites to visit.  I’ve also included sites that open later in the summer season.  Plan a day of learning and having fun with your family at one of these great sites:

  • The St. Joseph Museum and Archives is open by appointment through the Hessenland Country Inn.  The St. Joseph Museum and Archives is maintained and operated by volunteer members of the St. Joseph Historical Society, who are members of the Ontario Historical Society.  They are located at 72981 Bluewater Highway, R.R.2 Zurich.    StJoseph

Blacksmith building in St. Joseph (photo from stjosephmuseum.ca)

  • Huron County Libraries are partnering with the Huron County Museum to celebrate Museum Month with the popular Museum on the Go program.  Three interesting themes will be explored – Mystery Artifacts, Toys and Games and Huron on the Homefront.  The program will be at the Blyth (1-2 p.m.) and Wingham (10:30-11:30 a.m.) on May 10, Kirkton (May 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m.), Goderich (May 24, 2-3p.m.), Clinton (May 20 and 27, 6:30-7:30 p.m.), Exeter (May 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m.) and Bayfield (May 31, 12:30-1:30 p.m.).
  • The Huron Historic Gaol has opened for the season, and along with the Huron County Museum will be celebrating Museum Day on May 18 from 1-4:30 p.m. by offering visitors admission by donation.  Learn about past prisoners at the Historic Gaol, celebrate trail #6275 at the Museum and enter draws for family memberships.  The Huron County Museum is located at 110 North Street, Goderich, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday evenings, and on Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m.  The Historic Gaol is a National Historic Site and located at 181 Victoria Street North, Goderich, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and from 1-4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

MuseumOut

Huron County MuseumGaolfront

Entrance to Historic Gaol

 

Opening Soon

  • The School on Wheels Railcar Museum allows visitors to climb inside an artifact that will be 100 years old this July.  From 1926 to 1965, Clinton native Fred Sloman and his family educated students in remote areas of northern Ontario in this railcar.  This site is open Thursdays through Sundays and holidays, starting Victoria Day weekend until the last weekend in September from 11:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The School on Wheels Railcar Museum is located at Sloman Memorial Park, the perfect place for a post-visit picnic (76 Victoria Terrace in Clinton).
    RailCar
  • Van Egmond House is one of the oldest homes in Huron County.  Visitors can explore each floor of the charming house.  Each room is filled with period furniture, artifacts and history.  The Van Egmond Foundation hosts many wonderful meals and festivals throughout the summer.  The site is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday through Monday, from July 14- August 15 and by appointment. Admission is by donation.  Van Egmond House is located at 80 Kippen Road, Egmondville.
  • The North Huron Museum features exhibits that tell the story of Nobel Prize winning author, Alice Munro, local military involvement in WWI and WWII, CKNX, development of local business and the Wingham police force.  The Barn Dance Entertainment Museum is also located within the North Huron Museum.  The North Huron Museum and Barn Dance Entertainment Museum are located at 273 Josephine Street, Wingham.  The Barn Dance Museum is open May through August,  Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Hours for the North Huron Museum are expected to be Monday 1-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Garden Centres in Full Bloom

2 Jun
A few of the heirloom tomatoes that Plant Paradise sells.

A few of the heirloom tomatoes that Plant Paradise sells.

by Diva Calista Powell

Planting season is now upon us as the warm weather is finally here. I went out to Plant Paradise in Vanastra to pick up some fresh herbs and had a little chat with co-owner, Marie VanDorp. In between servicing customers, Marie gave me a quick tour of the several greenhouses on the property and explained that they grow 50 varieties of tomatoes and 40 varieties of peppers; both of which are top sellers along with their hanging flower baskets. To ensure close to wholesale pricing, Marie and her husband Gary strive to keep their overhead down by having a small staff and working through the winter season.

What stood out to me during my talk with Marie was her dedication to philanthropy and her strong desire to support local businesses within in the area. She said that as a business owner she feels they have a responsibility to give back to the community that supports them. Motivated by her morals, each year at the Mother’s Day grand opening of Plant Paradise, Marie and Gary donate all of the barbecue proceeds to a charity of their choice. In the past they have contributed to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and as of this year, the Vanastra Rec Center renovation fund. As if this isn’t enough, Marie and Gary manage their own personal hobby farm and grow 1 acre of fruit and vegetables which they donate to local food banks. She stated that although they are in their busy season she finds the time to manage both her business and philanthropic work because, “that’s part of being a community, you pass it on”.Plant Paradise is located at 20 Fifth Avenue in Vanastra, Ontario and they are open generally from 9-5, 7 days a week unless stated otherwise. Come out to see their beautiful selection of annuals and perennials.
PlantParadise1s
 Plant Paradise sells a variety of hanging flower baskets and potted plants.

 

Plant Paradise
20 Fifth Ave
Vanastra, N0M 1L0

Click this link to find more Garden Centres/Nurseries in Huron County.

 

Great things come from ‘Out of the Blue’

7 May

 

Sue showing off their wide variety of imported seafood and talks about the lobster tails from Cuba that customers have coined as “The Ohmygods”

Sue showing off their wide variety of imported seafood and talks about the lobster tails from Cuba that customers have coined as “The Ohmygods”

by Diva Calista Powell
It was fishing on the river where Sue Larson and Don Voisin met, and today this married couple continue to share their passion at their fresh fish and seafood market ‘Out of the Blue’ in Bayfield, Ontario. Six years ago, Sue and her husband noticed that Huron County was lacking a supplier of freshly caught fish and wanted to open up shop and bring in their own fare from the Great Lakes. Since then, they have cast their net wider to import the best lobster tails from Cuba and even catfish from North Carolina that they cure themselves in their at-home smokery. It has been claimed by the residents of our area that they sell the best quality and variety of fish on the West Coast, which is supported by the many restaurants in Huron County that feature their local fish on their menu. This claim is also validated by returning international tourists that stock up before they head home to South Africa, China and Jamaica to name a few places. While chatting with Sue, she said that their claim to fame is definitely their wide variety of smoked fish, so I decided to take the plunge and get the smoked catfish. Even though I can be a picky eater and was hesitant to try catfish, I was blown away by the moist light flavour and have even been back to get some more since writing this article. It was at that time where I also decided to turn up the heat in the kitchen and try out local Lake Huron rainbow trout. Sue gave me a fail-safe recipe that she swore by, and even laughed a little when I jotted down her straightforward directions on my notepad. As promised, this recipe turned out fabulously and the trout was perfectly flaky and had a nice delicate flavoring. If anyone else would like to test their culinary talents and support local, I too highly recommend buying from Out of the Blue Fish and Seafood Market.

Out of the Blue’s fresh fish display case with varieties of bass, halibut, perch and pickerel among others.

Out of the Blue’s fresh fish display case with varieties of bass, halibut, perch and pickerel among others.


Sue Larson’s Simple Baked Rainbow Trout:

Ingredients:
2 cuts of fresh rainbow trout
Soya Sauce
Sea Salt
Pepper
4-6 thick slices of tomato
2 lemon wedges

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
2) Place the trout on top of the foil and drizzle on soya sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with thick slices of tomato.
3) Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes and serve with a lemon wedge.

My delicious rainbow trout creation!


My delicious rainbow trout creation!


For more information about Out of the Blue visit their Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/OutOfTheBlueFishAndSefoodMarket

Out of the Blue
Hwy 21, Bayfield
(519) 565-4240

 

“You can give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; you teach a man to come over to Out of the Blue and he is happy for a lifetime”.                              – Sue Larson

Situated right off of the Bayfield square makes this a great location for County residents and summer tourists to stop in and acquire a taste for their product.

Situated right off of the Bayfield square makes this a great location for County residents and summer tourists to stop in and acquire a taste for their product.


Sue wraps up my rainbow trout and catfish in newspaper and calls it “the old English way”.

Sue wraps up my rainbow trout and catfish in newspaper and calls it “the old English way”.

photo 3

Before and After: Undiscovered Gardens

25 Apr

by Diva Gwen Richardson

Are you waiting for this,

Early Spring

Early Spring


to become this?


(spring-photo-with-allium

While you wait for the beauty and warmth of (spring? summer?) to return to
Huron County, organize a carload of friends and get ready to discover the “Undiscovered Gardens of Huron Perth”.   For a full listing of participating private gardens and gardening  businesses, check out the website:  gardensofhuronperth.com

Spring is here!

7 Apr

by Travel Diva Jenna

Hiking Guide Cover

Finally we have reached temperatures above 10 degrees! I am excited to get out and Hike this year. Did you know that Huron has 29 hiking trails? What a great opportunity we have in the area! I haven’t decided what trail to start with, so please send me your recommendations. Take a look at the Hiking guide here: www.hikehuron.ca

Winterlicious Getaway at Brentwood – Part 2

24 Mar Entrance to Brentwood
Peter & Joan with Sof & Olga (seated) (Photo courtesy of Brentwood's FB page)

Peter & Joan with Sof & Olga (seated) (Photo courtesy of Brentwood’s FB page)

by Diva Trista Russell

Earlier this month I wrote about my overnight stay at Brentwood on the Beach, and I promised another post with some stories about the interesting guests I met. Well here it is!

Betty & Pat: These two ladies were from the Harriston area, and I had a chance to chat with them during dinner on the Sunday night. They found Brentwood online, saw pictures of fellow quilters on the website that they knew, and decided to make a reservation! These two lovely ladies enjoyed manicures, pedicures, and massages during their stay. Their praise for Brentwood was recently posted on Brentwood’s Facebook page: “What a great winter getaway we had at Brentwood. The Winterlicious dinner was awesome and the brunch the next morning was wonderful. It was so relaxing and soothing to be pampered and cared for by your staff. We had a lovely time and will certainly be back again.”

Guests relaxing

Guests relaxing

Gwen & Don: This couple was from Stratford and I sat down to talk with them during brunch. This active couple loves to run and won a stay at Brentwood as door prize from the Pinery Provincial Park Road Race.

Andy & Michelle: From the Kitchener-Waterloo area, this couple enjoys outdoor activities and were excited to head to the Pinery Park to do some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

 

Gwen looking out at Lake Huron

Gwen looking out at Lake Huron

Anthony & Daphne: Anthony is Brentwood’s computer expert and he and his family lives in London. After they were married, they spent their honeymoon at Brentwood!

Sof & Olga: This has to be one of the craziest stories! This couple from Toronto were repeat Brentwood guests. Sof said he booked the Winterlicious getaway after he saw the picture of the Rouladen dinner on Brentwood’s newsletter. Before their stay, they decided to spend some time cross-border shopping. On their way back from Michigan, their truck broke down in Michigan. After a 1.5 hour wait, they were towed to the border, but the driver had no passport so they were left at the border. Another tow truck driver arrived almost an hour later to tow them. After a long and stressful afternoon, you would expect they would have headed home and cancelled their stay. Instead, this couple was focused on heading to Brentwood! The tow truck driver towed them over the boarder to St. Joesph’s, where they arrived after dark when dinner was just finishing. When Peter and Joan heard about this, they invited the tow truck driver in for dinner. While it was a bit later then they would have liked, Sof and Olga enjoyed some dinner and some Brentwood hospitality. Such dedicated guests!

Joan feeding the tow truck driver (Photo courtesy of Brentwood's FB page)

Joan feeding the tow truck driver (Photo courtesy of Brentwood’s FB page)

Entrance to Brentwood

Entrance to Brentwood

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