by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
Ontario's All Natural Playground...
The following is an excerpt from The City of Orillia website ~ "Recognized as one of the premier outdoor recreation areas in Canada, Orillia is at the heart of Lake Country and home to boating, swimming, skiing, walking, hiking, cycling, and much more."
This is a great place to visit! It’s located on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Its scenic lakeside park is one of the best in Ontario. I know that Judi and her sisters have many happy childhood memories of playing in the park. Judi’s sister, Carol, and the Newmarket Citizens Band, play their once a year. On their main street there are many wonderful shops. One in particular beckons to Judi and I each time we visit Orillia. The shop/restaurant is the Mariposa Market. This time, we visited both the park and the Mariposa Market. This is where my Orillia story begins.
After leaving the park, we travelled up the main street and found a great parking spot close to the Mariposa Market. When we finished, we headed back to our car. On the windshield was a “yellow ticket”! Mistakenly, we had not noticed the parking meter that was located on the far side of the sidewalk. The meter was basically the same colour as the building it was next to. We just did not see it at all. However, it was my mistake, so I decided to go to city hall to pay it. Inside the hall I paid the clerk $15.00 for the ticket and mentioned to her about the challenges of not noticing the parking meter. I had thought she might have been more sympathetic and say something like “that’s too bad, I’ll let our parking people know and maybe they can make the parking meters more noticeable”. Unfortunately, this is not what she said. Instead, she said, “Yes, it happens to a lot of people”. I know it’s not her job to be empathetic, but a little public relations would have gone a long way. So, my warning to visitors to beautiful Orillia, beware of “hidden” parking meters, and unsympathetic payment clerks!