During our search for the perfect Fall Colors we ventured all over Central Ontario. The first day our Mother was the Navigator. She forgot to bring her reading glasses, and was directing from a 20-year-old map! We circled many destinations, took roads un-explored and mutually discovered magnificent beauty! We didn’t know that Ontario had Cranberry Bogs – wow! During our adventures, we stumbled upon Highway 13 which is twisty road from Bala to Orillia. The first drive was harsh light. We went back every day to get the perfect shot. On day three we left the Collingwood area and shot straight to Highway 13 – it was raining in Collingwood and over the Horizon this road beckoned another visit.
We would have loved to go to Algonquin Park – we have Canoe Camped there often. It is breathtaking! This leads to this image of the colors and railway.
Construction of the Ottawa, Arprior and Parry SoundRailway (O. A. & P. S.) through the park in 1896 provided the first easy access to the area. While the park’s purpose was to control settlement within its boundaries, the families of railway workers as well as those of the lumbermen took up residence in the park. The village of Mowat on the west side of Canoe Lake was first established in 1893 as a logging camp for the Gilmour Lumber Company. From there, logs were driven down the Oxtongue River towards Lake of Bays and eventually on to Trenton. In the same year the park headquarters was established near the logging camp. The arrival of the railway had provided easy access for the lumbermen as well. The Gilmour firm decided to put up a sawmill closer to their source of timber. By 1897 the village of Mowat had grown to 500 residents and there were eighteen km of railway siding.
The same year saw the official opening of the railway between Ottawa and Depot Harbour. Park headquarters were also relocated in 1897 from Mowat to a point of land on the north shore of Cache Lake, adjacent to the railway. The O. A. & P. S. put up a station there it named Algonquin Park. The railway, taken over by the Canada Atlantic Railway in 1899, was in turn sold to the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in 1905.
This part of Canada is just Natural Beauty – if you are inclined to camping, fishing, hiking, or just soaking in the gorgeousness, it is a must see destination!