Orillia Packet Archive online at Simcoe.com

Banner headline from the Orillia Today weekly news bulletin.
I noticed a little blurb in the Orillia Today last night mentioning that the Orillia Packet & Times articles have been archived on Simcoe.com. I checked it out this morning and while there are a lot of articles from the Packet there, I haven't been able to come up with the number the Orillia Today said should be there. (Note that Simcoe.com also has articles from the Orillia Today archived.)

They said 26,000 files from the Packet have been uploaded to Simcoe.com's website, but my searches produced just over 18,000 results, a couple of them from the Barrie paper and the Alliston paper.

It is definitely helpful to be able to access the old news articles online easily, however the earliest dated article I can find is dated in 2011 and goes forward to 2018. Maybe I'm not using the right search terms (tried the Orillia Packet, the Packet & Times, the Orillia Packet & Times archive, etc.) and haven't been able to come up with 26,000 results.
Newspaper cover from 2017, National Section (Kathleen Wynne) Orillia Packet & Times.
Searching for "Orillia" on it's own generates just over 34,000 results but ... a larger number of those come from the Barrie Advance.

When I moved from searching the "articles" archive to the "entire site" and used only Orillia as the search term, I found 10 additional listings (mostly opinions and letters).

(One dated 2006 is still something that's being discussed in Orillia: it's about the costs associated with the "Murf".)

At any rate, I'm thankful some of the older articles are accessible for research without having to go to the public library ... there are listings online for the library, but I haven't been able to actually access an article that the library has archived (yes, I do have a library card) and the library website says they are only available in the library.

Another interesting one I ran across was dated 2015 (a letter to the editor from an Orillia resident) ... and skimming that letter, I noted it also had something interesting in it ... an urging to be careful about the historical references we think should be removed in Canada.

To quote the letter (See Beware of Cultural Amnesia):

"I want to alert Packet & Times readers to "Vanishing Canada," the cover article in Maclean's magazine, Sept. 28 issue. Their blockbuster investigation tells Canadians, "It's not just the census. Ottawa's been destroying research, wiping clean websites and deleting government records." Maclean's continues: "The attack on information threatens our economy, our reputation and what we know about ourselves."
Sound familiar? Are we, too, threatened by a dark age of lost knowledge and cultural amnesia?"  
I find that interesting, because lately some of us in Orillia have wondered if we are trying to vanish some of our history.
One of the most beautifully situated towns in central Ontario is Orillia, which is located on the shores of Lake Couchiching near its junction with Lake Simcoe.†
Personally, I think it's worth keeping this town's history alive. That doesn't mean Orillia can't be a progressive or growing city ... but don't obscure or remove those things that point to our history. Embrace them, and learn from the mistakes of our forefathers.


Couchiching Beach Park in Orillia, winter 2005. ©J. Gracey Stinson



†"Industries of Canada"
pg. 79, publisher 1887
M.G. Bixby & Co. Tor.





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