INSIDER Spring 2017 Header.fw
 "Oh Canada Eh! Game video ~ photos taken during our trips to Southampton."

Canada 150…

Judi and I have been thinking and talking about Canada 150 for at least 4 years. Our original plan was to buy an RV and then travel across Canada, visiting and writing about as many Canadian communities as possible. Unfortunately those plans never materialized. However, still wanting to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday, we created, on June 1st, 2015, we posted our first Oh Canada Eh! Game


"Oh Canada Eh! Game video ~ photos taken during our visits to the McLean and Buckhorn Berry Farms."

Since then, we have visited almost 100 Ontario communities and posted, on You Tube, Oh Canada Eh! Game videos about each of our visits. During our travels we have learned a lot about Ontario communities, their people and their history. Our future plans are to continue visiting as many new Ontario communities as possible. Who knows, maybe the next one will be in your community! 


"Oh Canada Eh video ~ photos and video taken during our visit to Sarnia and ARTZscape by the Bay Festival."

If you want to see what communities we have visited, check out our Oh Canada Eh! Game website (http://www.ohcanadaehgame.ca/). To date, we have actually posted 99 videos! Hopefully you will know some of the answers to our CANADA EH! Questions. If you do, please e-mail the answers to me at gary@ontariovisited.ca. By the way, answers to all Oh Canada Eh! Game questions can be found on the internet. So, happy CANADA 150. See you on “the ROAD”!


Spring Blossoms

"Apple Blossom time in the Blue Mountains."


Spring Forward!

I’ve said this many times in the past, but I LOVE spring! It’s all about the “newness” of the season! This is especially true in the Blue Mountain area. Here are some examples of what I mean. The beaches on Georgian Bay, which had piles of snow and ice on its shores for much of the winter, is now becoming clear. In the Marina areas, boaters are now coming to their boats to check on them and to make them ready for launching. The snow covered hills of the Blue Mountains are slowing turning from “white” to “brown” to “green”. Buds on the apple trees are sprouting and will soon turn into amazing blooms! All around us flocks of birds and coming back to the trees and new born chick are “singing the songs of spring”! And, finally, residents of the Blue Mountains are shedding their heavy “winter” coats and dawning “spring” jackets. As the “old” expression says, “Spring is Sprung and the Birdies have Sung”!


Hay Ride

"Hay Ride during Buckhorn Maplefest."


Festival Nomad Again ~ A Role in The Hay…

I had never really thought about it before, but “festivals” and “hay ride wagons” were made for each other! Of the 100’s festivals we have visited over the years, many have had some sort of wagon transportation. Festivals used them for a variety of different reasons, shuttle service, entertainment, sight-seeing and general transportation. Different modes of locomotion are used, horse power, tractors and trucks. All have one thing in common, fun! Perhaps the wagon takes us back to our roots, to gentler times, where transport was slow but the scenery was beautiful and the smells were intoxicating.  I am sure you all have your own memories of “Hay Rides Past”, but I thought I would tell you about some of our Hay Ride Adventures

Our first hay ride adventure was during our first Ontario Festivals Visited event, the Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival. After visiting the first maple sugar farm on the tour, we were transported to the next farm on one of two horse drawn hay wagons being used for that purpose. The air was crisp, so the mist from the horses’ nostrils was visible. Although the trip was not very long, the joy of the open aired wagon ride was evident on the faces of our fellow travelers!


Plowing Match

"Our wagon ride at the International Plowing Match."


The tractor pulled wagon ride at the International Plowing Match took us from the parking lot to the festival grounds. The ground was very uneven and we were all standing up, weaving back and forth and holding on the wagon’s bars for dear life. I felt like a prisoner being transported to the gallows

The wagon ride at the Bala Cranberry Festival was much gentler. A tractor pulled two covered wagons around the ground of the cranberry marsh. As we traveled through the marsh, the tractor driver pointed out areas of interest.


Bala Cranberry

"Our wagon ride at the Bala Cranberry Festival."


The Waterford Pumpkinfest wagon ride transported visitors from one festival venue to another. The wagon ride carried us through the Town of Waterford, giving us a wonderful opportunity to discover the charms of this beautiful little town! 

At the Lang Pioneer Village’sChristmas by Candlelight” I was able to watch my grandson climb onto the horse drawn wagon that was going to take them around the villages square. They all sang Christmas carols along the way! 


Lang Wagon Ride

"Wagon Ride at Lang Pioneer Village Museum."


In Brighton, at the Brighton Winterfest, horse drawn wagons crossed the ice covered bay to take visitors to the “Tyke Pond” Hockey Tournament. 

The horse drawn wagon ride at the Bruce’s MillSugarbush Maple Syrup Festival” took us into the heart of their sugarbush. On the ride back a father and his baby quietly slept to the rhythm of the turning wheels!


Sugarbush Ride

"Wagon Ride at the Bruce's Mill Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival."


And finally, on our latest tractor pulled wagon ride at one of the Maple in the County Sugarbush participants, we traveled down a long lane from the parking area to the Sugarbush and Pancake Breakfast. During the trip the temperature was below zero and there was a chilling breeze. I think the attitude of the passenger next to me summarized all of our wagon adventures. Her comment to me, as she first sat down, was “It’s great to have this many people so close, we will all keep warm!” and as we moved along, we all chatted comfortably as old friends.


Canadian Bushplane

"Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre ~ Sault Ste. Marie ~ We've BEEN THERE!"


Ontario’s Official BEEN THERE Websites!

When we talk to people about our Ontario Visited websites, we try to explain why we are “different”. Yes, there are a lot of websites who promote Ontario communities and their festivals and events and they do a good job going this. However, right from “day one”, Judi and I decided that we wanted to visit Ontario communities and their events and tell fellow “visitors” about our experiences. That’s why we created the Ontario Visited websites (Festivals, Fairs, Heritage, Attractions and Communities). Our name, VISITED, tells why we are “different”. Each of our “Visited” articles is personal. We, and our “Festival Nomad Correspondents”, have traveled to each community and event, have taken photos and videos and the have written about our experiences. We are proud of this distinction


Catch the Buzz

"Catch the Buzz"


To help tell our story, we have created a new website page, “Catch the Buzz” (http://www.catchthebuzz.ca/). On this page we show visitors the ways in which we are different. First, as described above, we have our personal “Adventures Visited”. Then there is our Ontario Event News page (helps event organizers “get out the Word); the Oh Canada Eh! Game (telling visitors about Canada’s/Ontario’s great communities); our Ontario Event Directory (lists Ontario festivals and events); our “Diverse Experiences” (festivals, events, fairs, heritage, attractions, re-enactments and communities); our “Video Adventures” series (see Festival Nomad’s Report); our various “Social Media” platforms (Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Instagram and “Blogs” (The Inside Scoop and Festival Nomad Again). And, finally our INSIDER e-Newsletter (gives quarterly updates on what is happening at Ontario Visited).


"A Video Adventure (Fair Visited) ~ Port Perry Fair Visited (ADVENTURE LINK)"

Festival Nomad’s Report…

Believe it or not, it’s been a busy winter. No, we haven’t visited a lots events, the weather has been too “iffy”, but we have been working on improving the Ontario Visited websites. The Ontario Event Directory was giving us challenges, but with the help of our web expert, I think that we have removed most of the “bugs”. Time will tell! 


Scenic Caves

"A Video Adventure (Atraction Visited) ~ Scenic Caves (ADVENTURE LINK)

I think that the best improvement has been the creation our “Video Adventures” series. Simplifying our “Ontario Visited” articles and adding video(s) and large colourful photographs have helped create a better “visitor experience”. Over time, we hope to update all “Visited” articles. In the meantime, all new articles will be posted in the new format. 



"A Video Adventure (Community Visited) ~ Kincardine (ADVENTURE LINK)"

I think that the best improvement has been the creation our “Video Adventures” series. Simplifying our “Ontario Visited” articles and adding video(s) and large colourful photographs have helped create a better “visitor experience”. Over time, we hope to update all “Visited” articles. In the meantime, all new articles will be posted in the new format. 

To date there are over 50 “Ontario Visited Video Adventures” posted (or coming soon). To see what is available, please visit our “Ontario Visited Video Adventures List” page (LINK). More Adventure Videos will be added weekly.