Tag Archives: lake huron

It’s a sure sign of Spring: Beach Street Station is open

21 Mar

beachstreetstation1By Diva Heather Boa

GODERICH – The main attraction at The Beach Street Station is a bit of a toss up. Is it the intriguing menu of fresh, local foods carefully crafted by Chef James Welsh or is it the spectacular, ever-changing view served up by Mother Nature?

A close third place might be simply to glimpse the inside of this former CPR station, which was moved from one location to another with painstaking precision that drew a crowd daily in the summer of 2013, with its hipped roof over the central portion and a cross-gable and lunette trackside. Original interior features include a true ceiling with three large medallions, wooden screens, interior doors, fixtures, trim and decorative plaster. Its kitchen lies beyond a glassed wall so that diners can see their meals in the works.

On August 3, 1988, the last train stopped on the bridge to blow its whistle for a final time.

mainNo matter the reason, it’s the first Saturday of a new season, and at 6:30 p.m. the main dining area at the Beach Street Station is packed, much to the satisfaction of owner Herb Marshall. He has picked out a table in the middle of the room for us, but offers to seat us elsewhere if the glorious light of the sun becomes too much. But those of us on the west side of the table bob and weave in order to block the setting sun for our dinner companions. It’s the price we gladly pay for a clear, sunny evening in late March.

IMG_0110IMG_0119IMG_0130Herb’s wife, Sherry, and his daughter, Brianna, are also on the floor this evening, serving and visiting with guests.

The menu is expanded this season, with familiar dishes such as Yellow Perch and Chips ($18), and Great Lakes Pickerel ($24), and then there’s Five Spice Duck ($24) and Chicken Milanaise ($19). Vegan and gluten-free items are indicated on the menu.

IMG_0131Our table starts with: The enormous Huron County Charcuterie ($18), a mix of local cheese, cured meat, bread, marinated vegetables and mango chutney all served on a butcher block; a Roasted Beet Salad ($9), that’s divine in its simplicity; and an old favourite, two Crab Cakes ($12), served with a fresh corn relish and cilantro oil.

IMG_0125As a main, I choose the Great Lakes Pickerel, with its perfectly pan-seared fillets resting atop a mixture of roasted red-skinned potatoes, cauliflower and asparagus. It’s colourfully finished with a cascade of fresh salsa and dots of green that I fail to identify.

The fellow beside me passes around pieces of pork back ribs, which fall off the bone as he proffers a forkful across the table. Others also choose the pickerel, something of a must-have in a restaurant on Lake Huron.

IMG_0134By 7:30 p.m., the restaurant is much quieter, and the sun is just giving its final show on the horizon. There’s now a flourless chocolate cake sprinkled with icing sugar and a crème caramel topped with a chewy cookie being shared at our table. Both are delicious, according to those who test them. And the coffee, although not local, is strong and hot.

A perfect end to the day and a promise of a long summer on the lake.


Beach Street Station

Location: Goderich’s Beachfront

Hours: Effective March 16, from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:30 to 9 p.m. Subject to change as the season gets busy. It’s always best to call ahead and ensure the kitchen is open later hours.

Reservations: 519-612-2212

Website: Check online for menus, history, photos and videos.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Morris.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Morris.


Goderich Triathlon: For athletes and spectators alike

25 Aug

By Diva Caroline Thuss

GODERICH – I was up and at it early on Aug. 16 and fuelled by coffee to make it down to the Goderich main beach before the start of the Goderich Tri. Even though I get down there well before 8 a.m., many athletes and volunteers were already there for what would be hours before the event started, getting things set up and going over final details to make this event run smoothly.

triathlon2Everywhere I look I see the orange shirts of the volunteers, so if anyone needs any assistance it’s easy to get some guidance. I can’t even imagine how many hours that Jeremiah Sommer (race director) and the rest of the crew have put in to make this the scale of event that the Goderich Triathlon now is.

Participants come from all over Ontario, even a participant from New York State. The dedication that these athletes put into training for an event that can have athletes swimming 1000 m, biking 40 km and then finishing up by running 10 km is admirable. (Other race categories include the shorter beginner Try-A-Tri and the run / bike only Sprint Duathlon.) traithlonmainLooking at how wavy Lake Huron is this morning, I am sure it would feel like 2000 m for the swim, with the temperature expected to break 32 degrees and the humidex on top of that I can only imagine how spent these triathletes are by the end. A cold beer would sound in order to me:)

It’s exhilarating watching the athletes complete the different sections of the course and push through any negative thoughts they must have to stop and take a break. Many participants cheer on other triathletes as they passed each other and volunteers and spectators keep them going with cow bells, hand claps and cheers. It truly is an inspiring experience. The local triathlon club, the Huron County Tri Hards, are out in full force and sporting 4J on their arms or legs in support of their teammate, Julie Sawchuk, who is recovering from a horrific accident.

For those who are interested in other area events check these upcoming events:

Gateway to Health and Wealth trail run and walk Aug 29th



The Bad Thing Trail Race Oct. 31

If you are like me and would like to start training for next year’s Goderich Triathlon, check out these two local groups for training sessions, tips, and inspiration: Huron County Tri Hards and Huron County Endurance, both are on Facebook.

Goderich’s shoreline the perfect stage for air show

28 Jun
The Snowbirds fly in diamond formation over the shoreline of Lake Huron, much to the delight of a crowd gathered on the beach in Goderich.

The Snowbirds fly in diamond formation over the shoreline of Lake Huron, much to the delight of a crowd gathered on the beach in Goderich.

By Diva Christine Harris

GODERICH – We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for the Goderich and Region Air Show.  It was warm and sunny, and the spectators were lined up all the way down the entire beachfront; some on benches, some on their lawn chairs, and even a few in the water!

The SkyHawks, with their trademark Canadian flag parachutes, make their way to a landing at Goderich's beach.

The SkyHawks, with their trademark Canadian flag parachutes, make their way to a landing at Goderich’s beach.

First up were the Canadian Armed Forces SkyHawks.  They are Canada’s only military parachute demonstration team.  The SkyHawks have represented Canada for over 40 years with their signature Canadian flag parachutes.  It was amazing to see how they got so close to each other and then hooked themselves together to make formations.  They flew the Canadian and Ontario flags behind them and also used smoke during their descent.

Next up we saw the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.  This is a name that most Canadians can recognize and they are a treat to see!  Flying the Canadair CT-114 Tutor, the pilots of these jets top out at speeds of 750km/hr.  During shows, they range in speed from 185-590 km/hr and get as close as 1.2 metres (4 feet) when flying together and 10 metres when doing a solo cross.  We got to see some of their signature formations like the Big Diamond, Arrowhead, and Big Arrow.  What was especially enjoyable for the kids was how low these jets got to the ground when they came around, and the beach was the perfect spot with its slope for them to hug the ground a bit more

The Snowbirds fly in tight formation over Lake Huron's shoreline.

The Snowbirds fly in tight formation over Lake Huron’s shoreline.

when they passed by while coming out or going into a manoeuvre.  We also learned that there was a pilot who had flown over his hometown while he was here.  Captain Bart Postma is originally from Clinton and flies Aircraft Number Three in the inner left-wing position.

Unfortunately I was unable to stay to see the RCAF CF-18 Hornet demonstration.  It was piloted by Captain Denis Cheech Beaulieu and tops out at Mach 1.8, which is 1,800km/hr.  As I was leaving Goderich I could hear it all the way out to Highway 8 and see some of the locals looking and pointing to the sky.  The CF-18 is known for its sheer power and its loud jet engine.  It can accelerate vertically after take-off and the interesting part is that you won’t actually hear the jet until it’s past you because of the speeds it travels.  After seeing this demonstration at another air show, I’m sure it didn’t disappoint the crowd.

The air show has been called an “Overwhelming Success” by the 532 Maitland Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, which organized the event.  Perhaps this will be an annual event!

For more information on events along Ontario’s West Coast, click here.

Clusters of people lined the beach and the bluffs at Goderich, getting good seats from which to watch the air show.

Clusters of people lined the beach and the bluffs at Goderich, getting good seats from which to watch the air show.

What to do on rainy day in Goderich: Paint the Lake

22 Jun
Artists immerse themselves in the process.

Artists immerse themselves in the process.

By Diva Heather Boa

GODERICH – You’ve make the trip to Lake Huron and have grand plans to spend endless hours lying on the beach, reading a good book, maybe napping for a bit, walking over to The Beach Station restaurant for a bite to eat, and taking a dip in the refreshing waters.

Then it rains. And it’s not looking like there’s any end in sight.

What to do? Head on over to Elizabeth’s Art Gallery in Goderich and paint the lake instead.

At right, Elizabeth Van Den Broeck gives an assignment to the aspiring artists.

At right, Elizabeth Van Den Broeck gives an assignment to the aspiring artists.

In this new program, aspiring artists are given a blank canvas, apron, selection of brushes and choice of acrylic paints to create a masterpiece in two hours, under the skillful direction of artist Elizabeth Van Den Broeck.

Even if you’re not an aspiring artist, it’s still well worth the experience.

In the very first class, about 10 of us – including Solo Traveller blogger Janice Waugh – chose a photo taken along the lake and used it as a reference for a painting. I chose a photo of the front of a boat that was moored in murky green water. It reminded me of a painting from the recent Alex Colville exhibit at the AGO, in which he took an aerial perspective of a woman climbing a ladder from a small motorboat to dockside, while a man sat on the dock, his feet dangling over its side.

As Elizabeth helped to squirt blobs of paint on our Styrofoam plates that would serve as palattes, she warned, “There’s only one rule. No Jackson Pollocks. No splatter painting.” (Pollock was an American painter whose abstract expressionist works look like a frenzied collection of splatters and drips of paint.)

With each brush stroke, an image begins to take shape.

With each brush stroke, an image begins to take shape.

She instructed us to paint the canvas with one colour – whatever colour makes us happy – to break the barrier. I chose orange, using a wide brush to slap on long strokes of the bright colour.

And then I immersed myself in the art.

Around me, I could hear snippets of conversation as I worked.

Block the space so we don’t run out of room on the canvas… Brush strokes are like musical notes, and can be choppy or long… Foreground is the place where all the action takes place… Put energy into your stroke… Get more paint on the brush so those leaves don’t look like little sponges… Don’t worry the paint.

When I finally stepped back, I saw there were gorgeous paintings developing around me – tranquil scenes in delicately defined brush strokes.

paint4Then there was my painting. Bold reds, yellows and blues with streaks of black through them. Broad brush strokes of thick and uneven paint. The resultant work looked more like the “V” of a graduate’s gown than the bow of a boat.

Although my mother would like to hang the painting in her house, it’ll probably land under my bed, where it will gather dust and get damaged by other stuff thrown under there. But that’s okay. What was far more important to me was trying something new, having fun with a group of people, and discovering a bit about myself through the process.

What: Paint the Lake

Where: Elizabeth’s Art Gallery, 54 Courthouse Square, Goderich

When: On rainy days, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Groups of four can reserve space anytime.)

How: Just call 519-524-4080 by noon on a rainy day to book your spot.

Cost: $25 per adult, $20 per child. Includes 16×20 canvas and paint. Includes inspiration and instruction.

Collage courtesy of Elizabeth Van Den Broeck.

Collage courtesy of Elizabeth Van Den Broeck.

Bayfield’s Pioneer Park is the picture of tranquility

11 Jun

Pioneer Park from Heather Boa on Vimeo.

By Diva Rachel Lynn

BAYFIELD – Pioneer Park is located on a beautiful bluff in the village of Bayfield. On the morning I arrived, there was a couple
pioneer park bike racksitting on the south end looking out to the water and another couple on the north end reading books. I could hear sailboatsthe birds chirping and the sweet smell of summer was in there air.

According to the park’s website, in 1945, Lucy Woods Diehl, a long-time resident of Bayfield asked friends of the community to preserve the last piece of undeveloped lakefront property overlooking the Bayfield River and Lake Huron. In the end, Lucy gathered eight friends along with herself to purchase the park land. Lucy thought the land should be owned and operated by an association, not by individuals contracted out.
Activities take place at the park to help raise money, including the rummage sale (originating in 1948). In the first 30 years, there were also film nights, outdoor plays and puppet shows. Today, Saturday night steps down to beach pioneer parkentertainment and weddings are among the activities that take place.

The 68th annual rummage sale takes place on the second Friday in July at the Bayfield Arena and Fairgrounds. Admission is free.


About the Park

Location: on the bluff overlooking Lake Huron bordered by Bayfield Terrace to the north, Tuyll St to the east, and Colina St on the South.

Driving distance: One hour north of Sarnia or Port Huron, Michigan

For more information: www.pioneerparkbayfield.ca


Bayfield hosts The Tall Ships

14 Jul

Tall_Ships_Bayfield5Diva Christine visited Bayfield to get a glimpse of two Tall Ships that docked here for the weekend.

Per CKNX Radio, the Tall Ships were hosted by ten local service clubs including the Optimists. Chair of the Optimists Tall Ships Committee, Mike Dixon described the ships:  “both two-masted square riggers, 72 ft long, and both with a permanent crew of about ten. Each ship also carries a temporary crew of a dozen students who sign on for one to two weeks.”  Bayfield is the first of eight stops the tall ships will make on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes this summer.




Secret Garden to be discovered

25 Jun

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

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