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Welcome (back) to Kenora



March 22nd, 2013

CreComm has a kind of traditional assignment, as we’re told, in the travel ad and article, though I understand it used to involve a component with the small town’s newspaper. That’s a whole different discussion, though a sign of the times overall due to social medias such as this blog.

Through the summers (and some holidays such as Christmas and Easter through the winter) I grew up in Kenora. My grandparents had a cottage on Lake of The Woods with about an acre near Redden’s and Longbow Lake on Storm Bay Road. Kenora seemed like a place I could re-discover, and in a lot of ways, I did. When my grandma died, it became too much to care for, and so he sold it.

That Tuesday morning, after a brief detour to pick up Logan’s camera and some McBreakfast, Dan, Eden, Jon, Amanda and headed out on the TransCanada East in Dan’s minivan. Unfortunately, the Ontario border information centre was closed for the season, so we stopped at a new tourism centre on the outskirts of Kenora. Here Eden and I bought some city-branded merch.

We parked at Zellers after learning the city was originally called Rat Portage and had a hockey team named the Thistles (or as we seem to pronounce, the thif-sles), then split up to explore the city. We got our angle and interviews at the chip truck (article forthcoming), then visited the Daily Miner and News where we met editor Lloyd Mack and got some historical articles on the chip truck and the robber who blew himself up on Main Street 40 years ago this May.

After that, we drove out on the lake. No big deal. No, it was just an ice road to Coney Island. We also tried to drive up a hill in the minivan, but she didn’t have enough juice and we ended up rolling down the hill backwards back onto the lake.

Starting to feel worn down, we decided to grab a beer. We walked on in and sat down in a corner of the Lake of The Woods Hotel. Little did we know, you had to be a regular to drink there. We were pretty much asked to leave by the bar mistress, but she did tell us there was pool upstairs. For some reason, we went upstairs, and the higher we climbed, the smaller and narrower the stairs became. It was very Alice in Wonderland. My gut was telling me to get out of that building, so we fled to the spot that was formerly Haps for a few brewskis.

All in all, it was a real blast from the past for me. I totally saw Kenora in a different light and hope to spend at least another summer in the future in that city and lake.


kaileybarron says: March 22, 2013 at 11:13pm
As far as I know it's just closed for the season!
Andy Mac says: March 22, 2013 at 11:12pm
Thanks for the clarification. That's too bad. Do you know if Manitoba's stop at the border is also now closed permanently?
kaileybarron says: March 22, 2013 at 11:08pm
The province has actually closed the tourism centre at the Ontario border for good (they closed a number of tourism centres throughout the province); the new tourism centre in Kenora is run by the city, which is why it's still open. :) This sounds fun!

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