December, 2016:

Oakville, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Oakville, Ontario

Oakville is situated on Lake Ontario in southern Ontario.  In 1793, Dundas Street was surveyed for a military road.  By 1807, British immigrants settled the area around Dundas Street and on the shores of Lake Ontario. 

In 1827, George Chalmers built a settlement with water-powered mills beside the Sixteen at the Dundas crossing.  A small sawmill and gristmill were constructed on the valley bottom at the edge of a pond formed by a dam.  In future years, a church, school, ashery, blacksmith shop, distillery, and tavern provided services to the local farmers.  The village continued to prosper with the addition of a tannery, carding mill and steam stave mill until the coming of the railroad to Oakville in 1855.

William Chisholm, Oakville’s founder, was born to United Empire Loyalist parents in Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1788.  After moving to Burlington, Upper Canada, Chisholm fought in the War of 1812, entered politics and tried his hand at farming.

As the village prospered and grew, roads and ships were built to connect it with the rest of Upper Canada. The area was developed by his son, Robert Kerr Chisholm and his brother-in-law Thomas Merrick.

Water transport moved the region’s timber and grain and also its people.  The two hour steamboat trip from York to Oakville was faster than the six-hour stagecoach trip and far more comfortable.

Although the bulk of the town and early development was on the east bank of the Sixteen, from the start the major industries were located on the west side.  It was usual for the workers in the shipyards, brewery, sawmill, and tannery to live there too.  Oakville’s first industries included shipbuilding, timber shipment, and wheat farming.  The town became industrialized with the opening of oil refineries, and Procor (manufactured railway shipping cars), and the establishment of the Ford Motor Company’s Canadian headquarters and plant.


Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
Erchless built in 1858 by Robert Kerr Chisholm on the east bank of the harbor mouth – now part of the Oakville Museum
Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
337 Trafalgar Road – MacLachlan College – Second Empire style – mansard roof, dormers
Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
43 Dunn Street – Cecil Marlatt’s estate – Queen Anne style, towers, bay windows, balcony on second floor, cornice brackets
Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
235 Randall Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers
Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
Downtown – Second Empire style
Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
2441 Neyagawa Boulevard – 1816 – oldest house in Halton Region – Amos Biggar, United Empire Loyalist; original Location: 502 Dundas Street West – Classic Revival style; now The Cork House
Architectural Photos, Oakville, Ontario
52 Burnet Street – Italianate – hipped roof

The End of a Perfect Day

The End of a Perfect Day:  (the surgeon’s report received today)

Barbara and I passed the inspiring attractive, imperial, impressive homes located on Aberdeen and Markland streets.  The architects and builders must have felt the joy of creating such works of art, built to last for more than a century.  We leisurely viewed them while on our way to see the surgeon who had operated on me for prostate cancer three months earlier.  Dr. Matsomoto told us that I had had stage 1 cancer.  I am now cancer free as indicated by the PSA reading, a negative 0.02.

No worries!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanks giving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (book of Philippians chapter 4)

On May 31 Barbara retired from her position as scheduler of the ambulance staff for the Hamilton Emergency Medical Services

Wow! The relaxing out-of-doors, God’s life-giving creation displayed (tended to by the labor of a gardener)

The author’s delightful hobby zooming in on a home in Penetanguishene, Ontario

Relax and enjoy

Enjoy the beautiful architecture of the towns in the comfort of your living room. Dream about what it was like in those by-gone days. Dream about what it was like to live in a mansion like one of these. There are more than 100 towns already photographed which you can visit without moving from your comfortable chair. Where would you like to travel to next?

Hamilton, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Hamilton, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

235 Locke Street North – Castle Doune – Regency Style – Hamilton Book 1

Sir Allan MacNab hired Robert Wetherell to design his Regency residence between 1835 and 1840. Castle Doune, once called St. Mary’s Lodge, was a Gate Lodge for the superintendent of Dundurn. The house was enlarged in 1908 with the turret and rounded bay on the southern half. The chimney and windows are features of Dundurn Castle.

90 Stinson Street – Fearman House – 1863 – Gothic style – Hamilton Book 3

Frederick William Fearman was the son of a shoemaker who emigrated from England in 1833 with his parents at the age of eight. He started his business with a store selling smoked and salted meats on Hughson Street between King and King William, moved to a MacNab Street North location near the farmers’ market, and eventually expanded to become W. Fearman Packing Company Limited, with a large factory at Rebecca Street and Ferguson Avenue on the Grand Trunk Railway line.  The company slaughtered, hung, salted, smoked and canned pork, beef, veal and lamb for shipment around the world. Fearman built his mansion, “Ivey Lodge”, at 90 Stinson Street in 1863.  It is three-story, limestone block with a Mansard-roofed tower as its front entrance; it has bay and arched windows, dormers, verge board trim, and a green metal roof. Fearman used his influence to help establish Hamilton as a major center in Canada’s early days.  He was a philanthropist who fought for the city’s first waterworks in 1855 and led the fight to buy Dundurn Castle and park to save it from land developers.  Fearman served on the Board of Education, city council, the library board, and was a member of the Hamilton Association for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art.  Fearman died at age 81 in 1906.

Hunter Street West – Hamilton Central Public School – Classical Style – Hamilton Book 2

It was built to accommodate 1,000 students, was the largest graded school in Upper Canada and was the only public school in Hamilton when it opened in 1853. The building’s original finely proportioned Classical style was extensively remodeled in 1890 with a steeply pitched roof, round-arched windows and a higher central tower to conform to late Victorian tastes.

Architectural Photos, Hamilton, Ontario

358 Bay Street South – Tudor Revival style – Hamilton Book 4


Architectural Photos, Hamilton, Ontario
46 Herkimer Street – Second Empire – Hamilton Book 5 It has a mansard roof, dormers with decorative window hoods, entrance ways, bay windows, corner quoins, cornice brackets.

Prostate Cancer

Harry went for his annual checkup and after blood tests were done it was discovered that his PSA levels were high. Off Harry went to a surgeon to get checked out. On June 1 we learned that Harry had prostate cancer and the doctor recommended surgery with a 95% success rate.

We were not worried but we made plans to get some travelling in and get some work done around the house before the surgery. We travelled to B.C. in May before we even had the results. I had just retired and this was my retirement trip. At the end of June we travelled to Winnipeg to see my oldest brother and his wife and spent a wonderful six days with them. I made use of my photography hobby and took hundreds of photos.

Surgery was planned for September 19 at 8:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Hospital. I took Harry there for 6:00 a.m. They called him in to get him ready for the operation and said they would call me before his surgery. I had a panic attack around 7:30 when I had still not been called in to see Harry and his surgery was scheduled for 8:00. When I was finally called in, I had just a brief time with Harry, had not even said “I love you” and the orderly was ready to pull the bed away. I asked if I could give him a hug and the orderly backed off and said sure. Then began the waiting.

I never knew it would be hard to see him go into surgery. A skill I had recently mastered was texting and I got my fingers busy texting our sons and daughter. Michael and Zane were on their way from Orangeville and would be there as soon as they could make it. Annette had her daughter to get off to school and her young son to look after before she could come. After texting them and seeing their responses, I was able to pull in my emotions and calmly wait. Lots of prayers went up at the same time.

Zane and Michael were with me when the doctor came out after the surgery. He was pleased with how everything had gone and felt it was a successful operation. Once Harry came home from the hospital around supper time on September 20, there was a challenge for me to do many things around the house that I did not usually do as Harry was not able to do them. Taking out the garbage became a new weekly chore; getting the sprinkler system ready for the winter; finishing up the gardening, including rototilling. We even got involved cutting down our crab apple tree and planting two new pear trees – Annette helped with that job. Our neighbours, Len and Kathy and son Liam helped with cutting the grass. With our first snowfall, our daughter and two of our neighbours helped out. What a blessing to have others there to support us in our time of need.

We continue pressing forward with smiles on our faces and a happy outlook on life as we move forward with plans for the coming years. We anticipate a good doctor’s report on December 23 with positive results from the blood tests.

London, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

London, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

London was the first city in Ontario where I photographed the old buildings. Why did I choose London? My girlfriend moved from Stoney Creek to London and I saw some of the old buildings when I visited Linda. I decided it was a good place to start my photography. London is located in southwestern Ontario on the Thames River.

Architectural Photos, London, Ontario
Queen Anne style – tower with cone-shaped cap, verge board trim
Architectural Photos, London, Ontario
St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, begun in 1880 and dedicated in 1885, is in the 13th Century French Gothic style. Some of its notable features are the massive bell towers, high transepts, an imposing sanctuary, and the rose window built in Innsbruck, Austria.
Architectural Photos, London, Ontario
165 Elmwood Avenue East – The Normal School – This 3 story building was designed in the High Victorian style in 1898-1899. The London Normal School provided teacher training until 1956.
Architectural Photos, London, Ontario
Brescia Residence, University of Western Ontario – Nuns lived in the left portion, students in the right; as the nuns died and no new ones took their places, the remainder of the building became residences for students.
Architectural Photos, London, Ontario
Downtown – Dichromatic brickwork, decorative capitals on pillars, cornice brackets
Architectural Photos, London, Ontario
Talbot Street Baptist Church erected in 1881. It is now a Christian Reformed Church.

Dundas Ontario My Top 6 Picks

Dundas, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Dundas was originally known as Cootes Paradise, named after Captain Cootes of the Kings Royal 8th Regiment and was incorporated as a town in 1847.  Its tree lined streets, heritage homes and picturesque downtown reflect the nostalgic quality of the past.  Businesses, found in renovated Victorian buildings, were mostly built of limestone or brick after a fire in 1881 destroyed original wooden buildings.  Downtown consists of two blocks along King Street West with specialty stores.  Fran White, the owner of Heirlooms Bridal Saloon, says the building used to be Hugh Walker’s Hardware Store built in 1883.  They renovated the building in 1987 but kept the original 14-foot ceilings, wooden floors, long counter and sliding rail ladder.  Mickey McGuire’s Cheese Shop offers a wide selection of cheeses from around the world.  Inside the Ukrainian Store there are pirogues, traditional meats and delicious biscuits.  The arts helped shape the destiny of Dundas which is home to many artists who have achieved international fame.  Off the main street is the Dundas Valley School of Art set in an 1830s one-time munitions factory on Ogilvie Street.  Learn more Dundas history at the Dundas Museum and Archives on Park Street West.  Drive slowly down Victoria Street to admire gorgeous stately historical homes.  Taylor’s Tearoom is a great place to have lunch or afternoon tea.  The Keeping Room is a fabulous kitchen shop.

Architectural Photos, Dundas, Ontario
The Collins Hotel, in the Classical Revival style, has a front portico with four fluted Doric columns; the roof has a series of dormers with Florentine pediments. There are two floors to the hotel with a balcony running the full length of the building on the second floor. On the street level there are shops and a restaurant in the back. Dundas Book 1
Architectural Photos, Dundas, Ontario
262 King Street West – Ontario Cottage style – Old Stone Cottage built 1830 – Dundas Book 1
Architectural Photos, Dundas, Ontario
Dundas Town Hall – Renaissance Revival style – Book 1
Architectural Photos, Dundas, Ontario
63-65 Sydenham Street – Gothic Revival – Dundas Book 2
Architectural Photos, Dundas, Ontario
Italianate with two-and-a-half story tower-like bay, hip roof – Dundas Book 3
Architectural Photos, Dundas, Ontario
37 Cross Street- Second Empire style – mansard roof with dormers – Book 1