Category Archives: Columns

Column – April – Hometown News

Yoko Ono once said that winter reminds us of our perseverance and spring of our innocence. As Spring sprouts around us here in Carleton Place I look back fondly on a month of running with bunnies, chocolate surprises, tipping maple martinis, welcoming new faces on Bridge St and saying a fond farewell to those who have walked on. What I am left with in my recollection is a renewed sense of hometown pride. I see (and use) the #cpproud hashtag on social media often and in this month of transition, of reflection and new beginnings there is indeed so much that we as a community can be proud of.

We are the town of the Murphy’s and Moore’s, of flying ace Captain Roy Brown, NHL alum Shean Donovan and the man behind some of the Hardy Boy adventures, Leslie McFarlane. Indeed we also have a new generation of talented young people to make us proud. In sports already in this year, our Jr A Carleton Place Canadians are in the semi-finals (again on the road to the Bogart Cup!) and Goalie, Colton Point is the leading net minder in the league. The Carleton Place Vipers Cheer Athletics finished 2nd at the Canadian Cheer Evolution Competition and the Carleton Place Skating Club’s own, Jaclynn Pye qualified for the Skate Ontario Championships. Not to mention the CP Water Dragons who are tearing up the swimming lanes and the Canoe Club rowers haven’t even begun yet but are already destined for great things!

And the talent doesn’t stop there. Jordan McIntosh wowed the crowd at the Canadian Tire Centre on March 19th with his rendition of our National Anthem. He continues to tour with George Canyon and is making his mark on the Canadian country music scene. Brock Zeman has been named as a Folk Singer/Songwriter finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back. He continues to tour and write and garner popular and critical acclaim for his work. Breaking out into the Country Music scene, Brea Lawrenson can be seen next at the Law & Orders benefit dance at the Carleton Place arena on April 17th from 2-5pm. She was recently nominated for Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year (Canadian Pearl), Songwriter of the year (Canadian Pearl) and Album of the Year (#Brealieve) in round 2 of the 2016 CMAO Awards. Both Jordan and Brea will be hitting the stage at the annual Boots & Hearts Music Festival in Burls Creek Ontario from August 4th-7th sharing the spotlight with Country greats like Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw.

Coming up in April we also welcome two new businesses to Bridge St – Giardino Lifestyle Salon and Education Centre and Stiletto Custom Barbering and I hear a new restaurant is due any time! April 17th-24th is Pitch In week. Contact the Carambeck Community Centre for information on how you can “Pitch In” and make Carleton Place a cleaner place to live. April 14th you can join her Excellency, Sharon Johnston at the Carleton Place Library as she debuts her novel Matrons & Madams and finally, why not celebrate Earth Day with a sunrise labyrinth walk at the Carleton Place Labyrinth on April 22nd? Keep up the good work friends and neighbours. You all make me #cpproud.

Column – May – Hometown News

May is the month of flowers, moms, chip trucks and batman?

Finally a hint of warm weather, the grass is green and the first spring flowers are blooming. It is the month of moms, well one day for moms but can you blame us for trying to claim the entire month?

In Carleton Place however, there are two other iconic images of May – French Fries and Caped Crusaders! I have never done the math but I’m certain that per capita – Carleton Place – must rank pretty high in the ratio of resident to chip truck. We are blessed with a plethora of mobile dining options.  From the Wagon Wheel with its enclosed dining area, pulled pork sandwiches and smoked beef brisket poutine to the unique Vienna schnitzel burger, chimichangas or fish tacos at Cravings Food Truck. On the horizon, the introduction of Law & Orders SBU (Special Burger Unit) mobile food truck and the return of the Ultimate Burger Show Down champion, the Rhippo Burger. There is nothing “common” about the Carleton Place Food Truck Scene. Buds Spuds turns the classics on their head with unique offerings like the Mafia Burger and 5 different hot dogs. The Crispy Spud pays homage to our great lake with their Mississippi boats and a unique list of gourmet poutines (like the Newfie). The Potato King lives up to its name as a true Carleton Place fixture, especially for the students of Notre Dame, and focuses on classic chip truck offerings done right. This is just the tip of the foodie iceberg and I challenge you to head out this spring and find your local favourite.

Now if treating mom to a box of chips is not your mother’s day plan this year don’t fret. May 8th is the day of the traditional Mother’s Day brunch at a number of local venues. The Barn on Highway 29 is offering a brunch in support of Lanark County Interval House with 4 buffet style seatings at $30 per adult, $15 per child (6-10yrs) and free for children under 5. Temple’s mother’s day brunch features 3 seatings at a cost of $30 per adult, $15 for children under 10 and free for children under 2. Finally, something a little unique is the Vegetarian buffet at the Ginger Café, open seating from 11am-2pm with lots of Vegan and Gluten free options available and its pay per weight.

For the nerd-inspired mom and her brood there is the annual return of Free Comic Book on May 7th. This fun family tradition is ideal for comic book heroes and fans alike as participants can visit downtown businesses between 11am and 2pm and receive free comics and bump into some of their favourite caped heroes along the way. In conjunction with Free Comic Book Day, Super Hero Saturday returns to Murray’s Flea Market on High St. where visitors can enjoy a special edition of the Annual Geeked Out Toy and Collectible Sale along with freebies and some super special guests.

May in Carleton Place is hard to beat. The Farmer’s Market opens, The Carleton Place Canadians kick off their 3rd Fred Page championship run, The Wally Classic returns with some of the strongest real life supermen you will ever see up close and Valley Granite and Tile throws one heck of a free family party to celebrate their grand re-opening on Industrial Ave.

However you choose to enjoy May, as always Carleton Place has a lot to offer the whole family! For this mom, some poutine with a side of Superman sounds like just about the best day ever.




Column – June – Hometown News

And the town is alive! Suddenly there are flowers and leaves on the trees and kids splashing at the Riverside Splash pad and Carleton Place is once again the busiest little town in the valley. Bridge St is a hum of activity and every weekend there are a million and one things to do and if you’re bored…well…I just can’t imagine how?! No matter your age, interest or aptitude there is something for everyone. It’s the time of year we reach out to neighbours in other towns and welcome them to come and “Meet us on the Mississippi”. Wednesday night cruise nights are back at Market Square and they have become an annual tradition for many area car and truck enthusiasts. Why not head out for a stroll in the evening, take part in the 50/50 to support the hospital and check out some of the coolest rides in the area. The Farmer’s Market has returned every Saturday morning from 8:30-12:30 with fresh veggies, fruit, berries, herbs, local meat, baking and artisans of many sorts. Be sure to check in often as seasonal produce ripens and each week a new theme or special display enters the fray. Without even taking into consideration the overwhelming number of planned community events this month – Movie night in the park, The Man Cave, Lambs Down Festival, Farm to Fork, I Love My Park, The Art of Annie E.Duff Exhibit at the museum, Mighty Machines, The Bed Pan Classic and Bike Safety with Chase from Paw Patrol – we also have live music somewhere up to 5 nights a week. The Waterfront Gastro Pub, Slackoni’s, St. James, Chesswood, The Thirsty Moose have great patios to meet friends for a drink and a snack. Since June is the month for being outside we should chat about how Carleton Place also delivers in that category. With 16 parks, two beaches, a splash pad, skate/bmx park, 5 ball diamonds, batting cage, Canoe Club, Tennis courts, half a dozen soccer fields, a Labyrinth, life-sized Chess and Checker board and trails to walk, hike and bike there are not many towns that can compete with the level of activities available to the outdoor enthusiast. In June residents can grab a $40 season pass for the public boat launch at the end of Lake Avenue and enjoy evening boat trips down the river, drop a line in as bass season opens mid-June and June 19th the Shootout fishing league bass tournament returns to the waterway. As a family our favourite activity in the summer is an afternoon at Riverside Park. We do a little fishing and frog catching and some nights we luck out and get to watch the canoe club members training for an upcoming race. The splash pad, playground and beach are always fun as is tossing a Frisbee or ball around the yard. A packed picnic to nibble and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in Lanark County rounds out a perfect summer evening outside. So get out there Carleton Place, window shop down Bridge St, enjoy a meal and some live music on the water at The Waterfront Gastro Pub or go for a family bike ride down the Trans-Canada Trail. There is no need to fight traffic or over pay for activities, you are sure to find the best summer fun steps from your front door!

Column – July – Hometown News

Welcome to the “dog days of summer” Carleton Place, that glorious period between July 3 and August 11 when the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the Dog Star. It was once believed that the star and sun conspired to make the days hotter. The heat was blamed for causing madness in dogs resulting in the lore. The busiest town in the valley has plenty to help you pass the time and avoid madness. There are regular social gatherings this month like Tuesday afternoon cribbage at the Legion from 1 pm-4 pm. Just $5 per person and that includes snacks and prizes! Carleton Place Cruise nights is back at Market Square on Wednesdays at 6pm. Come out and satisfy your inner gearhead and support the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital. Also at Market Square every Saturday from 8:30 am-12:30 pm is the Farmer’s Market where you can grab a basketful of seasonal produce, homemade treats and enjoy weekly entertainment and special features. July 8th you can check out the Retro Rockers and enjoy a steak BBQ at the Legion for only $20. If you are looking for a few more thrills the midway at the Carleton Place Funfair opens at 4pm and goes all weekend in the yard at the Woolgrowers. Keep rocking through the weekend with “Rockin’ the Mill” at Slackonis. From noon until 10:30pm enjoy live music with the 5 Man Electrical Band headlining, a Beach Volleyball tournament, Rib Fest, Wippersnapper Ale Beer Gardens and some special visitors from the Ottawa Senators and our own Carleton Place Canadians. July 16th you can start your Saturday off at 10am at Findlay Park with the next installment of “I Love My Parks” followed by a picnic lunch in 1916 at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. At 1 pm join your neighbours in the Victoria School Gardens at the museum for $2 enjoy live music, heritage displays, games and raffles. Bring a picnic, a period costume (or try some provided) and enjoy a lovely summer tradition. Top your busy weekend off on July 17th with a Sunday spent on the banks of the Mississippi at Riverside Park for the 1st Annual Carleton Place Truck Show. From 10am -3pm enjoy displays, vendors and of course trucks in every category from classics to lifted 4x4s. Can you believe that only brings us to the middle of the month? July 20th Carambeck has a special surprise for all our young adventurers. Between 6pm-7pm children can experience Jungle Sports rope course and rock climbing inside the gymnasium. Only $10 but pre-registration is recommended as the spots will fill up fast. Thursday July 21st is another full day of CP fun starting with the Rynestone Magic Show at the Town Hall Auditorium at 10am ($4 at the door), one of Linda Seccaspina’s famous Walking tours at 7:30pm entitled,“Wine, Women and Song it is sure to be well worth the $20. Finally, head out to Riverside Park for a free outdoor screening of “Zootopia” presented by Turpin KIA. Enjoy a movie under the stars, face painting, crafts, games and of course popcorn! If summer for you means riding then join the folks at March Ford for “Rock n’ Ride” for food, prizes and live music. Finally, the crown jewel in July’s cap is the 11th Annual Bridge St bazaar on July 30th. Tour Bridge St like you never have before as the entire downtown is closed to traffic and filled with vendors, live entertainment, a petting zoo, pop up patios and more! There are far too many things happening in July to ever be able to share them all in one column from library lego drop ins, reading programs and day camps, public swimming, the beach, splash pad, weekly mixed slo pitch, trails, boating, and fishing you’ll be having too much fun to notice the heat.