The change of weather was brutal. On Friday, it was still around 35°C, and we walked around in shorts and t-shirts, sweaty and tan. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was shivering – overnight, the temperature suddenly fell to 15°C. Bye-bye summer… here comes fall.
To celebrate the last long week-end of the summer (Labour Day was today), we decided to take a short trip to rural Canada. We hit the road on Saturday morning and followed the bumpy Trans-Canada highway. Our first stop was in Pembroke, Ontario, 150 km from Ottawa.
We parked outside the town and strolled along the main street. The many murals painted on the buildings caught my eye: indeed, Pembroke dubbed itself the “city of murals”, with 30 full-scale murals depicting the town’s history from the early 1800’s to 2000. Except for the ubiquitous Tim Horton’s (where we had parked the car), the main street definitely had a small town feel: no franchises but small businesses, such as the local bakery, sports store (selling golf equipment in the summer and hockey gear the rest of the time), cafés etc. Forestry and farming are still the backbone of the local economy, and many stores sell fertilizer, heavy farming machinery and… yes, bear baits. Note to self: do not go deep into the forest.
Pembroke is also nicknamed “Canada’s Hockey Town” because it is the birthplace of several NHL players, including Harry Cameron, Hugh Lehman and Frank Nighbor. There was something going on at the arena when we walked by and we could definitely hear people cheering – celebrating an early hockey season start, maybe.
We had another surprise driving by the baseball field: hundreds of R.Vs had set up camp and four-wheel drives were parked on the shoulder of the road. I guess many people didn’t want to drive to far because of Hurricane Earl and took a short holiday in Ontario instead of going to the U.S.
You can see the whole Ontario Travels set here.