Almonte Visited
by Gary McWilliams

 The below video documents our Almonte “adventure”!


 "Almonte Visited video highlight our trip to Almonte."


Driving into the town of Almonte was an adventure! The Canadian Mississippi River was flowing fast, as we crossed the bridge that lead us to Almonte’s downtown. The road traveled upward into the downtown area. A large church dominated the hill top. The stores that we passed held the allure that most historic towns offer. Judi and I were entranced!


Almonte 1

"Crossing the Canadian Mississippi River to Downtown Almonte."


After entering Almonte, our first objective was to find the Almonte Fairgrounds. The Almonte Fair was one of our great advertising partners and we wanted to meet the organizers in person. Unfortunately, it was later in the day and the fairgrounds were closed.


Almonte 2

"Traveling upward towards the hilltop church."


Undaunted, we decided to explore more of the town. The Canadian Mississippi River dominates the landscape of this “historic mill” town. The river, which normally ambles majestically, through the town, was running fast and high! It was a “dramatic” sight!


Almonte 4

"No one was HOME!"


We wanted more, to be close to the river! Fortunately there was a walkway that ran down the side of the river’s embankment. Judi and I decided to explore the curving walkway as it traveled downwards toward the flow of the “chaotic” river. The sounds of the “thundering” water filled our ears. The sensation of the “boiling” river, as it scrambled towards a far off water fall, was inspiring!


Almonte 5

"The river rushed by!"


The land and river had melded together perfectly, making an impressive image! As we followed the walkway we noticed an auxiliary stream winding past a “mill factory” that had been converted into condominiums. I pictured a resident sitting on his balcony fishing for an evening meal! Further downstream a restaurant was “perched” on rivers edge. Customers were sitting at the outdoor patio, enjoying the afternoon sun. It all seems so surreal!


Almonte 6

"I imagined catching fish from the balcony!"


As the day moved on, we left Almonte and it magnificent Mississippi River. Images of future visits filled out thoughts.

Since visiting Almonte, the Ontario Eastern Events Centre has moved from Brockville to Almonte. It is now under the management of the Almonte Civitan Club. We hope to visit the Centre on our next trip to Almonte.


 Almonte 7

"Lunching by the Canadian Mississippi River!"


The following is an excerpt taken from the towns website ~

Almonte is an historic mill town of about 5,000 people, 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa.

Once a thriving textiles centre — known in its heyday as “North America’s Manchester” — Almonte is now primarily a commuter town.

Almonte straddles the banks of Canada’s Mississippi River, which flows into the Ottawa River. The Mississippi drops 65 feet as it passes through Almonte in a series of dramatic waterfalls and rapids; this powerful torrent first attracted millers and other industrialists to the area early in the 19th century.

Almonte is in the “Ottawa Valley”, a loosely-defined region encompassing rural areas to the east and west of Ottawa, following the course of the Ottawa River.

The Valley is a unique and lovely place, still closely in touch with its Irish and Scottish roots. The prosperity that typified much of the 19th century throughout the Valley is apparent in the many large Victorian homes and limestone public buildings here in Almonte — many sections of the town remain essentially unchanged from a hundred years ago or more.

Almonte is also notable for being the boyhood home of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball.


James Naismith with a basketball

"Dr. James Naismith, inventor of Basketball."