This past weekend, I went to Carleton Place, the place where I first fell in love with the idea of daytripping after I had spent the day there with a good friend of mine, shopping for her wedding dress. So I decided to go back for a visit, and take a trip down memory lane, so-to-speak. As well, after a certain teacher had jokingly critisized Carleton Place in class, saying it had nothing but two big parking lots, I realized I had to go back. Gentle reader, (hilarious expression! Very Victorian sounding. Where I got that from, I can’t quite remember). Anyhow, gentle reader, I too was stunned by that news as I had been there once before and liked it. Was I delusional, or was it in fact, a charming, little town with attractive sights to see, and not just…two big parking lots like he said it was? What did he mean by that? Maybe two big car dealerships? I don’t know. All l I know is that I went there this past weekend and saw that it was the way I remembered it to be. Positively adorable! Even my coworker Leslie and her husband built their dream house there, which she always speaks fondly of.
I made my down to Carleton Place, a 40 minute drive southwest of Ottawa, and turned onto Bridge Street (the main street for downtown). It’s over one kilometre long, it’s filled with every kind of store imaginable to the tourist, including gift shops, restaurants and cafes. As you walk along Bridge Street, it will lead you to the actual bridge where you can have a look at the falls.
The view by the bridge is simply beautiful and this is where I got a shot of the Mississippi River. I bumped into another tourist on the bridge, who asked me to take a picture of her and her babies, while she took a picture of me for this blogpost. I asked her if she had come to check out the two big parking lots-–of course she had no idea what I was talking about. HA! HA!
Carleton Place is for water sport lovers. Just look at the signpost and what it reads, Riverside, Canoe, Beach, words that are all associated with summertime fun; a place for sumer tourism. I even took a walk by the pier-- in fact, I remember strolling by there with my friend the last time I was here (which happened to be in the summer, and I can only imagine the boating traffic that will take place in a season's time).
Then I walked past many classic, stately Victorian houses with those wrap-around verandas that I mentioned before. They just don’t make them like they used to. Just look at the thick stone foundations, solid brick walls; no shirking on these building supplies, let me tell you. Plus the houses are just so pretty to look at, with decorative, architectural trim, and no two houses look alike.
Nowadays, in the building industry, it seems it’s standard Minto housing everywhere you look, cookie-cutter houses, if-you will, the exact same ones that go up in every new neighbourhood, distinguished only by the different hue in the trim. I call them "Lego" houses--plus, they’re built seemingly overnight, in a hurry, and they’re flimsily together. It's the type of house I grew up in, and I’m sure others have as well; poorly constructed, if you ask me. If it was a windy day, you had to pray that the shingles wouldn’t get blown off the roof, and if they didn’t, then your parents still sent you across the street to pick up the pieces of aluminum siding that got ripped off. Ah yes, a trip down memory lane. Quality craftsmanship…a thing of the past.