Monday, January 21, 2019

New Wheelchair Trial

Today I received a new wheelchair to trial for a week.  The main difference is that the new chair will lift me straight up about a foot.  Just stop for a minute and think what a difference that might mean.  In public I can lift the seat and stare you straight in the eye.  I can reach the bottom of the kitchen cupboards and the top half of the fridge.

Here is the scissor mechanism underneath the seat that does the work.  At the same time it will tilt a long way back so I can have an afternoon nap without getting out of my chair.  I'll let you know how well it goes.


Winter Weather - Just for those of you snowbirds down south, the windchill today was down to -38°C.  At this level we're approaching the point where Celsius = Fahrenheit, so it's -36°F.  I think winter is really here.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

From Ship-building to Luxury Townhouses

The grain elevators in Collingwood still stand, and there's a chance they will be usefully re-purposed yet.  The local council is still debating.  But there is mighty little evidence of what was once a large and busy shipyard.  Between 1882 and 1986 when the business closed, 330 ships were built here, mostly bulk carriers built as lake freighters.

These two long narrow slips are all the visible evidence you can easily see today.  They've just been cleaned up roughly and abandoned except for the brand new development on the left.  Plans call for them to be surrounded with luxury townhouses in the future.  And so we move from the shipyards, their jobs and history, to luxury townhouses with price tags to suit the top 2%.

This one building, the 'Side-Launch',  has been built to resemble the 'factory loft' style of the shipyard that was actually here years ago.  The rest of the townhouses seem to have no such distinguishing design features, just a very distinguished price tag!

This is the first phase of public access to the site, the promenade where Great Lakes Freighters were once built and launched, sideways into the adjoining slip.

Here's a historic photo just to give you the idea - HMCS Collingwood, launched from the other side of the slip.  Collingwood has a local craft brewery known as 'Sidelaunch'.  I didn't catch on to the name of the beer until now.

I love sorting out what we're actually seeing on Google Maps.  This first view shows the entire harbour area, the pier we drove out on past the grain elevators to Millenium Park on the right.  The shipyards occupied the lower right-hand quarter of the photo for decades where you can see the two long narrow ship slips from those days.

The townhouse development replacing the old shipyards is situated in the lower centre of the photo.  Some townhouses show up as completed; other area are still gravel fields.  The land between and beyond the two old ship slips will be developed last.

But what amazed me, and will draw me back in the future, is this huge area of public parkland to the west of the development.  This is the Harbourview Park, with wheel-chair accessible trails throughout the area.  An Arboretum is being developed in the centre.  We will definitely revisit here when better weather arrives.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Collingwood Harbour

Our destination last sunday was the old pier and shipyards of Collingwood's Harbour.  I knew the shipyards had closed and development for townhouses was taking over, but I didn't know how much public access was allowed.  Turns out, quite a bit.

Heading east we passed below the Georgian Peaks Ski Club, the highest and steepest of the slopes that make up the 'Blue Mountains'.

It didn't take us long to get over to Collingwood's Harbour, though there's not much of a harbour left compared to 50 years ago.

We discovered immediately that you could drive out along the long pier sticking out into the bay, on a now public 'Heritage Drive' that ends in Millenium Park.  Along the way we passed the ole now-unused grain elevators.

The backside is not nearly as clean as the front.  The elevators have stood empty now since 1993, but the town hasn't decided what to do with them.  Dismantling a huge cement structure like this is not easy or cheap!

In the distance we could see a number of the ski runs at the Blue Mountain Resort, the only remaining public ski hill here.

They have saved a few bits of old machinery from the shipyards, but not much!  Tomorrow we'll look at the sad remnants.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


PSW arrived at 6.30 tonight; destroyed my blogging hour.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thornbury Icicles

Leaving Meaford we headed to Collingwood, but dropped down into Thornbury Harbour on the way.  There only a few small shrubs protected by the boulders that line the shoreline had accumulated an icy covering.

A flock of gulls in front of one of the local fishing tugs.

 And on we went past blue Mountain towards Collingwood.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Would you believe more ice?

Two days later we stopped by the harbour as we left town.  It was a sunny, and the ice was amazing.

I wasn't the only one taking pictures!  There was a steady stream of locals stopping by the shore to photograph the ice.

Monday, January 14, 2019

More Ice Sculptures

I gathered lots of pictures of ice along the shoreline, so here are a few more for your viewing pleasure.  There'll still be more too.  These are all in Meaford.

Recognize the Meaford tortoise?  A little covered up at the moment.