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Rosina!! Need I say More!

September 15, 2010




A special thanks to mxyzptlk for recomending this fine establishment!!! Definitely a person of good taste!

The food was better that Marj’s, course I wouldn’t tell her that as she is pretty good with a knife , a rollin pin and a fry pan!

The menu is grand resonably priced with a great variety! The wine list extrordinary for the area and again resonably priced.

The ambiance is that of a European vintage and the service was incredible.

World Class

 698 Goderich Street, Port Elgin


 The food was out of this world! I had the Rack of Lamb and it was to die for. The veggies fresh and local and the potatoe’s were exceptional! The presentation was memorable!

The staff was super friendly and professional they even had my favorite Cab and the Waitress knew the wine and could carry on a conversation about it!

I pushed my luck and got to see the kitchen and meet the Chef, a real pro and the kitchen was spotless!

Now the owners Eugene and Noel Barone, were a little shy, but I was pretty pushy. Although they have only been there for 3 years they had a good crowd and everyone seemed happy.

I would suggest reservatioms!

I am in awe!! Don’t have enough good words to say about this place except I will become a regular!!!

A big thumbs up from Bruce!!

Come on up to the Bruce you’ll be glad you did!




Cape Croker Pow Wow 2010

September 14, 2010

I stole this Blog Fair and Square from :

Gem is a nice guy and works very hard at promoting the Bruce!

A native pow wow is a colourful event –a celebration of First Nation culture through drumming, singing and dancing.  The Cape Croker Pow Wow is really something to see and enjoy!
At a pow wow, First Nation men, women and children dance all together at the beginning ceremonies and throughout the day in ‘intertribals.’ Listen to the MC for instructions on when anyone, (Yes, you too!) can get up and try dancing to the beat of the drummers. The dance steps are closely tied in to the rhythm, tone and pitch of the music. If you listen closely to the music, you can hear the difference in the songs that correspond to each unique style of dance – fancy, shawl, jingle and traditional. The competition dances are usually arranged throughout the day and is chance for the different styles of dancing and age groups to strut their stuff. This can be a highlight to watch and learn the different dance moves.
The dancers’regalia (outfits) are magnificent.  Girls and women dance in three general styles. Jingle dresses – dresses covered with tiny metal cones that jingle as they move, or shawl –  brilliantly coloured and elaborately decorated long, fringed shawls or traditional style, which can be made from cloth or deer hide.
cape croker 2010

The men’s dance categories are traditional, grass or fancy. The mens’ fancy dance features dramatic spins and leaps that show off their colourful regalia, including elaborate feathered head dresses.  In the grass dance, their long flowing fringes and dance movements are reminiscent of grass blowing in the wind. Both men’s and women’s dances involve rapid spins, difficult, rhythmic foot tapping and other precise, highly controlled movements.
If you go, remember your pow wow etiquette – no drugs or alcohol, and no dogs.  For certain songs, you are asked to remove your hat. Ask permission, or listen to the MC, before taking photos or making recordings.  And abide by the seven grandfather teachings:  humility, respect, love, wisdom, honesty truth and bravery.
If you’ve never been to a pow wow, the Cape Croker event would give you a chance to learn a bit more about the local Ojibway First Nation culture. There are many food vendors, arts, craft  and community booths. We know you’ll enjoy it.

There are many things to see and do up here on the Bruce!

Good food, good people good times!

Come on up to the Bruce, you’ll be glad you did!


Switzer Studios

September 12, 2010

If you are driving north on highway 6, you come to a little place called Clavering.

There isn’t much there except for an old book store, a ball diamond 34 munchkins and a troll!

But back behind the bookstore you will find an interesting site:            

                                                                      A CHICK WITH A CHAIN SAW!!!

Bobbi Switzer is a well known Chainsaw Carver in Southern Ontario and illustrator in the North American publishing industry. She has carved in Orangeville, Perth County, Huron, Grey-Bruce and Minto Township. She has been featured in numerous newspapers, radio and magazines.  Bobbi is available for commissions for  custom carvings.

Drawing ever since she could hold a pencil. Bobbi has developed  her skills and is currently illustrating for a few major publishing companies. She started her career at the age of 17 entering Conestoga college for graphic design and advertising.

 Working for a number of print & sign companies she has absorbed enough business knowledge to start her own sign and print shop. “Switzer Signs”

Managing and designing for her sign shop Bobbi took up a hobby on the side. Chainsaw Carving. 

After a few commissions Bobbi’s work gained a lot of attention and the demand for her carvings has her carving almost 7 days a week.

 Travelling all over Southern Ontario performing live shows and carving for residential and commercial clients.

 She has been carving for over 4 years now and has earned the title of Chainsaw Sculptor.

Bobbi is a friendly girl, when you’re not a chunk of wood! A free spirit if you will! Creative and always willing to talk about this carving or that project.

From this

To This

or this

Maybe this

how about this!

Bobbi is a prize full of surpises! Stop by and see her, tell her Bruce sent ya!

Come on up to the Bruce, you’ll be glad you did!


Keady Market

September 8, 2010

Every Tuesday morning Marj gets me up early to do the chores so we can get to the Keady Market!

I polish up my good tooth and get all fixed up in my Sunday go to meetin jeans, we fire up the old Ford and head out!

The freshest of Fresh, the best of the best gets to the market log before Marj and I do. They set up their wares and service about a million people every Tuesday with veggies, sausage meats and gaked goods that are enough to to turn a vegan to beef!

Ya godda come and see this it is incredable!

Come and visit our farmer’s Market at Keady Ontario. Take a stroll through rustic alleys packed with 250 vendors selling a wide variety of produce ranging from Niagara peaches to deli meats, home baking, crafts and a broad assortment of other goods. And while you’re there, check out the three livestock auctions beginning at 9 am.

Come on out and see us… Those of you who have a GPS, use ” 117012 Grey Rd 3 ” as your destination address for the market. We’re at the intersection of Grey Rds 3 & 16
Market Images

At Keady Market this week. Cost of a lot 10×26 feet is $20 per Tuesday until end of June. As of July 6th, cost of the lot is $27 per Tuesday (includes HST). As of Sep 7, cost is $22 per Tuesday (includes HST) The Farmer’s Market runs from 7 AM until about 2 PM. Anyone considering becoming a vendor at Keady market should know that prepared food sales are restricted. Vendor access to the market is 1000 feet West of the stop signs ( there’s only one ) and watch for the girls in the highway vests. You should be at the market between 5 and 6 A.M. Public parking is immediately North of the livestock buildings on the left. There’s 15 acres of free parking and access by bridge right into the heart of the market. FYI: The farmer’s market remains open and active right thru the fall. Although the market is outside and at the mercy of the weather, if conditions remain good there will be lots of vendors. The pictures displayed each week reflect the previous Tuesday’s market. See you next week…..

Market Images

 Market Images

Market Images

Come on up to the Bruce you will be glad ya did!


Chimney Ridge Buckets and Blooms

September 3, 2010

The more you dig the more you learn!

Here is an interesting couple that have come to the area and added so much!

When our children were little we often read to them from our collection of Berenstain Bear books, written by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Random House, New York). Often the books would begin with a paragraph that included these words, . . . “down a sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country . . .” and then off we would go on another adventure with the Bear Family. Well, that line aptly describes our location too. At the bottom of a hill on a meandering gravel road (yes, in bear country) you’ll find Chimney Ridge Buckets and Blooms.

We fell in love with this idyllic setting when, wanting a lifestyle change for our family, we journeyed and relocated north in the late ‘90’s. It’s a decision we’ve never regretted. We enjoy the peace and stillness of the countryside – in fact, it’s so quiet here, we can often hear the drone of motor boats as they navigate Colpoys Bay some 6 kms away. Wildlife and songbirds abound and there’s always something going on at the wetlands – a donation left by our industrious beavers.

It’s here in this backdrop that we developed our maple sugar bush and tour gardens and we invite you to visit and enjoy this setting with us. Ten years in the making, with lots more projects to be developed, we now feature:

  • Perennial sun and shade gardens
  • A potager garden featuring vegetables, herbs and edible blooms

Future Projects

Old barn foundation to be developed with gardens which will likely be a three to five year project. Visit regularly and watch us progress. 

Continued expansion of maple syrup business including a self directed bush tour and DVD of the syrup making process

. . . and a new garden or two may just appear along the way as well

Granny’s General Store When a friend from Tara, ON, heard that one of our goals was to open a General Store, she firmly announced, “Every General Store must have a pot-bellied stove!” With that she led me up the stairs, where, in a corner of the room, was the most beautiful pot-bellied stove I’d ever seen. It now sits in a corner of the store and we now affectionately refer to it as “Granny’s” General Store. Besides the pot-bellied stove there are also many other interesting antiques on display. The store features Nellie’s handicrafts including quilts, garden rustics, bucket lamps and, of course, our home grown Maple Syrup. Purchases may be made by Cash, Mastercard or Visa. Sorry no Interac.

Charity Quilt Stash Exchange Quilters take Note: If you’re a quilter then you likely have a stash of fabric stored away somewhere in your sewing room. Why not participate in a Charity Quilt Stash Exchange? Here’s how it works. Bring us any fabric you’re just tired of looking at or know you won’t ever do anything with. Pieces must be at least the size of a fat quarter – 20″ x22″. Donations will be cut into fat quarters and then added to “Granny’s Stash” at the store and made available to shoppers for a minimum donation of a toonie ($2.00 Cdn) per piece. In September, all proceeds collected will be donated to a local charity that supports a women’s cause. A great way to clear your own stash, find some new gems and support a local charity.


When Chris or one of our children see me crossing a bit of grassy lawn with the garden hose in tow and a can of spray paint in hand, they know that it’s just a matter of time before another garden appears. They’re used to it now expressing idle curiosity at what might be up my sleeve (the kids) or wondering just how many rocks need to be moved into place this time (Chris). My passion for gardening is ignited by the design element of landscaping and for me, there is nothing more satisfying than to take a piece of barren land and create something beautiful.




For a number of years now, I’ve been “creating” and the result is a country garden that bursts into a riot of colour and attracts birds, bees and butterflies alike. Various rustic structures and pathways dot the gardens as does a garden pond and waterfall, much loved by frogs (one day we counted over 100) as well as a few opportunistic garter snakes (yikes).

While I’m not a collector of plants and prefer an eclectic mix of plantings I do have some favourite varieties including the ruffled and regal blooms of peonies, the varied foliage colours of Huchera (coral bells) and Oriental and Asiatic lilies including lily trees.

I was indeed fortunate to be planting new gardens at the same time that two other gardeners, whom I knew, were redesigning and downsizing their garden plots. I was very privileged to come away with literally carloads of plants and bulbs that really helped establish the gardens here at Chimney Ridge Buckets and Blooms.
A hit with visitors last year was our new potager garden featuring vegetables, herbs and edible blooms, companion planted for colour, leaf texture, etc. Come visit and see cucumbers and squash scrambling up trellises and how much can be planted in a small space.


When taking possession of our house for the first time, our real estate agent left us a 4L jug of maple syrup as a house warming gift. Then, tucked in a corner of the basement we found a number of sap buckets left by the previous homeowners. That’s all it took to get Chris hooked and he began to research and develop our ever growing and expanding maple syrup business.

We began humbly, hanging buckets on trees and using sleds to collect and transport sap, trudging through knee deep snow, to a three sided, barely standing, ramshackle sugar shack on the hill. It was a family affair with everyone helping. Our youngest daughter was about five at the time and found it difficult to traverse the bush and in the course of collecting sap, spilled several buckets of it.
Impatient, Chris had words with her and in tears she came through the back door, explaining that the reason the metal buckets had slipped through her hands was because she was wearing two different coloured mittens.

That was the first and only year we used buckets. We now have a pipeline system in place tapping 1550 trees and hope to tap an additional 500-700 trees this summer.  Each year we try to grow a little more and our goal is to expand to 3000 taps, enlarge our sugar house, replace and update existing equipment and develop a DVD of the syrup making process to show our summer visitors.

Come visit, see our current set up, learn how we make syrup and have a leisurely stroll through the sugar bush. Visit every year and watch us grow!

Syrup is available on location


250mL $ 8.00
500mL $12.25
1L $20.00


Selected specialty gift bottles and plastic containers suitable for packing and travelling are also available.

Come on up to the Bruce you will be glad you did!


Why the Bruce???

September 3, 2010

A site worth a visit

Figure A.1:  Christopher R. Graham, author of “Postcards From the Bay” (c. 2004)

Although I was born in 1975 in London, Ontario and spent most of my young life living in that area, my ties to Colpoy’s Bay and Wiarton go back as far as I can remember. In fact, my lineage goes back to the founding of the village in 1857, nine years before Wiarton was settled.* My fondest childhood vacation memories are of family trips “up north” to Colpoy’s Bay to spend weeks at the old family farmhouse…the Kalbfleisch house. I was always fascinated with my great-aunt Marjorie’s big old white brick house on the north shore of Colpoy’s Bay (which I later found out was built in 1884 by my ancestor and village pioneer, John Wood).* The entire environment was exotic to me, from the limestone cliffs to the shimmering waters of the bay. I spent much time exploring what was left of the old farm lot, wandering along the bayshore, meandering up nearby Colpoy’s Creek and imagining long-dead townsfolk walking in and out of the former Whicher’s general store. On top of that, the sunken barges in front of the house and the old rusty flywheel on the former site of Whicher’s sawmill piqued my interest in the history of the area at an early age.

Figure A.2:  Me, at about age 7, cruising Colpoy’s Bay in my grandfather’s boat. (about 1983)

I was about 10 or 11 years old when I first read Sheila Gatis’ little red book “‘Days of the ‘Mud Hen’ and Other Memories of Colpoy’s Bay Village”. I was so fascinated with the old pictures and the stories about the same buildings, the same beach, the same family home I’d enjoyed so much all my life. I still have my own well-worn copy of that first printing of the “Mud Hen” on my bookshelf. Over the coming years, my great-aunt was involved in the research for and writing of “Albemarle: A history of the township.” When that excellent book was published, my interest in the village and my family’s historic place in it was deepened even further.

Over the next few years, unfortunately, my visits “up north” became a bit less frequent as I moved away to attend university in Waterloo, Ontario eventually ending up in Ottawa, where I have lived since 1998. It was perhaps a bit of homesickness and thoughts of fond childhood memories that led me to start collecting old Colpoy’s Bay and Wiarton postcards in 1999. At the time, I was intrigued by the idea of having my own website and thought it might be a great way for me to be able to “return” to Colpoy’s Bay any time I wanted. So, in April of 2000, “Postcards From the Bay” was born.

I built the website thinking it would be something I would share with some family and friends who might also be interested in the area. As such, in the early days the site focused more on Colpoy’s Bay, with Wiarton as a bit of an afterthought. Only later, did I tackle the time consuming project of developing the Wiarton portion of the site. Today, the site has grown far beyond what I had imagined back in 2000. As I delved deeper into the available history books on the area, I realized there was a need for a single easy-to-access resource on the history of Wiarton and Colpoy’s Bay. For Wiarton, in particular, their was much room to expand on what had already been written in various books. As the site has grown, so has the attention it has garnered. The hit count has increased tremendously and I regularly receive emails from all kinds of visitors looking for information or just reflecting on dear memories of their own childhoods in the area. In September of 2005, I was honoured to receive a Spirit 125 award from the Town of South Bruce Peninsula for the role “Postcards From the Bay” played in the celebration of the town of Wiarton’s 125th anniversary.

So, after all that has come since I first wandered the shores of Colpoy’s Bay, I am proud to say that I still get excited each time I drive around the bend at the top of Spragge’s hill and take in the vista of the bay and the village I have always loved. I hope that, regardless of whether or not you have ever visited the bay, you can feel some of that excitement through the words and pictures I have put together on this website. As always, I will continue to add to its content as long as I can find new and interesting information and pictures to share. For those of you who live in Wiarton or Colpoy’s Bay, I hope this website helps you gain an appreciation for all that has gone on before now to build up the place you call home. I hope too, that it motivates you to work together with fellow citizens to ensure a bright and exciting future for both Colpoy’s Bay and Wiarton. Just as we now reflect on the history of the area, so will others reflect on what you do in the days to come.


Chris Graham
Ottawa, ON

The magic is here for you to capture!

Come on up, you will understand!

It’ll grap ya and keep ya!

The Bruce you will be glad you did!


Northern Confections!

August 31, 2010


Todd and Heather are two of the greatest people you ever want to meet. Full of energy and ambition, these guys are the greatest!!

They love their community and represent a clear picture of People on the Bruce!

Located at 651 Berford St. in the small town of Wiarton, Ontario, Northern Confections opened its doors an May 3rd, 2008.  They offer a wide range of fine confections including handmade fudges and brittles, caramel corn, toffee, jellies and other gourmet confections.  If you are traveling in the area, stop in to enjoy this full service Candy Store, Ice Cream Parlour and Coffee Bar stocked with all of your favourites from today and years gone by.

Owned and operated by Todd and Heather Gibbons, they strive to offer their customers a shopping experience and taste bud work out second to none.  Customer service is as important as the quality of the products they serve.  I hope  you will drop by, when you visit Wiarton, but remember if you are not in the area and would like to enjoy some of their fine confections, please contact them by phone or email and they will be sure to help you with your needs.  They make gift giving simple for the easy to buy for and the one on your list that has everything!

The idea for Northern Confections was probably years in the making, but it didn’t actually happen until Todd Gibbons, owner of Northern Confections found himself as an unemployed candy maker in 2006.

Determined to create a retail store that was built on friendly service and reasonable prices that encouraged customer loyalty, Todd and his wife, Heather sat down and started creating their vision.

 With a solid business plan and a vast amount of knowledge in the candy business, particularly handmade fudges and brittles, he scouted out a location in Wiarton, Ontario and set up shop in May of 2008.

The business was an immediate success and Todd and Heather contribute their achievement to offering exceptional customer service. They both have strong beliefs in offering honest, courteous service and that is demonstrated in the way customers are greeted each time they return.

Well into their second year of business, Todd often remarks that he wished he did this years ago. Heather still maintains her full time job, but is there on weekends and off hours and they now reside with their three children in Wiarton, home of Wiarton Willie, Canada’s famous prognosticating groundhog.

Stop by on your drive through Wiarton; enjoy the cool colours and warm atmosphere inside the store!

Just another reason to come vist the Bruce!