|◘ Orillia in Black and White||◘ Artistic Views of Orillia||◘ Orillia's Famous Figures|
Images in black and white often give a nostalgic touch to even the most modern of scenes, but in the case of these images from Orillia and her surrounding areas, the nostalgia often comes from the scene or buildings. This area is rich with heritage buildings and rural scenes that have changed little over the last 50 or more years. This is just one of the things I love about this area - it has an "old time" charm that isn't just a look, but a way of life.
Some may prefer the hustle and bustle of the cities, but I love the slow and lazy feeling on a summer's day when one wanders down the main street of town to find themselves in the waterfront parks; and the lonesome and solitary feeling you get from the waterfront on a chilly winter morning. I also like the unhurried pace here; the older I get, the more appealing it becomes. Here, just walking down a residential street you may find boulevards planted with small gardens - a delightful change from the usual grass or paving stones; and homeowner's who have thoughtfully positioned a garden bench for those who need to "sit a spell".
The familiar pavilion at the water's edge in Couchiching Beach Park. Shown here in black and white, the image has a distinctive "heritage" aura, made possible by the buildings themselves, which have changed little since their construction. While the pavilion and gazebo are well maintained, changes to their design have not been made. The date plaque reads 1909 - an era when family outings to the park and open-air music was the rage, and Orillia was the "summer place" for most city folks.
The bandstand in Couchiching Beach Park - partially hidden by mists rising in clouds from the snow-covered park. On this particular morning, the park was shrouded in solitude; a quiet so deep you could hear the moisture touching the trees.
This black and white image of Couchiching Beach Park taken in 2005 shows a view of the park area that hasn't really changed much since the late 1950s/early 1960s. Timeless and beautiful.
Orillia's Island Princess moored for the winter at the town dock at the Port of Orillia. Here, Lake Couchiching is frozen over with a heavy covering of snow, and the Princess will rest here until spring, when the waters open up and the people return to her shores.
The Island Pricess is one of the most familiar sights in the Port of Orillia - moored here all summer, she runs touring cruises and dinner cruises, and is available for hire as wedding and party venues. A trip along Lake Couchiching and through The Narrows to Lake Simcoe with views of lakeside estates, cottages and islands.
Port of Orillia during the winter months - bare trees with their branches laden with ice and a snow-covered park are a common sight in winter months, as is the mist rising off the lake in the background. During sunny days, the park is frequented by walkers, joggers, dogs and their owners, and sometimes children. In this town, winter doesn't necessarily mean hibernation; it is a winter playground, as well as a summer holiday spot.
Winter at the Port of Orillia means frozen water and often fairly deep snow. The park is a winter playground for those who love the snow, but the barren trees make a sparkling sight with their branches covered in ice on winter mornings.
Another view of Couchiching Beach Park in the winter - here to the left you can see the Samuel deChamplain monument, and the Couchiching Beach pavilion in the background to the right. Winter snows all but cover the picnic tables left out over the winter months.
Winter trees in Couchiching Beach Park have a coating of ice on many winter mornings. Once the sun hits their branches, the ice will sparkle like diamonds for a short time before the sun's rays melt away the thin coating on the branches.
Ships in the harbour in inverse black and white give these cruisers and motorboats a ghostly feel. From spring to early fall the Port of Orillia is often crowded with visitors who arrive by water on their way to another destination. Many end up staying at the Port longer than planned.
An old willow in the morning mists of winter, her "weeping" branches coated with a ice, at Couchiching Beach Park, Orillia, Ont.
The old swing bridge at The Narrows in Orillia. This bridge no longer moves, but she stands like a sentinel between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe.
A concrete moose statue with a maple leaf on it's side. In colour, the moose is white and the maple leaf is red. To find this, one would need to boat along the canals at Lagoon City. The canal areas reveal a number of interesting "garden" additions - in one yard, you'll find a large-eyed alien, and in other spots, live cranes standing at the edge of the waters.
Winter scene; ticket office for the Island Princess closed for the winter season.
The Island Princess in the rougher waters of Lake Simcoe on one of her cruises.
The condominiums at Invermara Bay, near The Narrows. A pretty spot to live, and many of the condos have boat-docking at their doors.
The incised wooden sign at Couchiching Beach Park lays out the rules for using the boardwalk, the park and the park area at the Port of Orillia. Here, winter is loosening it's grip and signs of spring in the form of bare spaces can be seen.
A curved gravel pathway through trees on the walking/nature trail in Orillia. This portion of trail is near the old Huronia Regional center and just ahead of this view, it crosses the gateway between their main grounds and their beach area.
A cool dawn at the Port of Orillia along Centennial Drive. Central Drive begins at the point where Mississaga Street ends (at the entrance to the park) and runs along the edge of the Port Orillia. Just past French's Hot Dog stand are more parking areas.
Misty trees covered with frost in a farm field at the edge of Orillia. When one leaves Orillia (the city proper), there is little transition between city and countryside; one second you are staring at plazas and shops, and in the next, farms and countryside.