Kingston and the Cataraqui Cemetery – A Special Visit

June 22, 2012

Kingston’s Water Tower

Before I left Kingston, I had to make a visit and pay my respects.  Since I don’t know what McDonald family I am related in Ontario, I do have to make sure I acknowledge all McD’s in all is various spellings.

My goal was to visit Sir John A. MacDonald at the Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston.  There are many websites that describe this man but I think I will send you here.  The Canadians call him Sir Johnny:  http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/politics/pm/johnmacdonald.htm

I entered the Cataraqui Cemetery from the side off of Sydenham Road.  I had a map of the cemetery from a newspaper handout I found at the OGS Conference – “Special Advertising Feature – Cataraqui Cemetery Celebrating 162 years as Kingston’s Historic Garden Cemetery.”  I passed Christ Church and followed the signs to his gravesite.  There is a sign on the opposite side of Oak Ave. pointing to the gravesite.  The map in the flyer had grave site as #9 and that helped.  It is a very large cemetery. 

Suggestion:  I came up Princess Street and went up Sydenham Road and entered the side of the cemetery.  I suggest you turn from Princess onto John Counter Blvd. then a quick left onto Purdy’s Ct. then right onto Purdy’s Mill Rd.  Then you enter from the front gate where the big stone Pillar’s are.  Follow Maple Ave and turn to the right onto East Ave and around to Oak Avenue.  The grave site is almost to West Ave.  Look for the sign below, remember I came from the opposite direction so it would be on your right if you come in the front gate.

The Entrance Sign to Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston

This is the sign pointing to the opposite side of the road toward his grave.

Sign pointing to the grave Sir John A. Macdonald, Cataraqui Cemetery

This is what you see as you approach:

Looking toward the grave site area – Sir John A. Macdonald

Sir John Alexander Macdonald’s tombstone which is surrounded by a black wrought iron fence.  I did not see where I could open the gate to get closer.  I suppose for many people could eventually cause damage. 

Sir John A. Macdonald’s Tombstone

Sir John A. Macdonald and me!

I will add more photos later and provide a link to them showing more of his gravesite when I get my posting done for this trip.  I am almost there.  I have to admit that I am and was affected.  I am not Canadian by birth but my parents especially my mother’s side came from Canada and on my father’s are his father’s family. 

An Overview of Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston

Earlier I had been in the downtown area of Kingston and had seen a historical plaque of another very well-known MacDonell.  The Bishop Alexander MacDonell 1762-1840.  Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Kingston. The plaque was next to the house he lived in while in Kingston.  I did not stand back and take a photo for I was in a hurry to get to Anglican Diocese office for my appointment and still in my car.  This link below will explain the plaque better.

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMEJVM_BISHOP_ALEXANDER_MACDONELL_1762_1840_Kingston

Plaque for Bishop Alexander MacDonell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Macdonell_(bishop) I will be visiting other plaques and will come back to share more about this amazing man. 

The clock was ticking and it was time for me to head for Cornwall to the east.  I headed down the main street – Princess and through downtown Kingston.  

Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario

I crossed over the bridge taking Hwy 2 east.  The bridge is called the Lasalle Causeway Bridge and it crosses the Cataraqui River which is the southern part of the Rideau Canal:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Salle_Causeway 

I was soon driving through and under arches that were part of the Canadian Forces Base.  This was my first notice of anything military in Canada, although in Petawawa there is another Canadian Forces Base.  I did not venture from Pembroke up to Petawawa to investigate.   I think I saw Royal Canadian Airforce Signs.  My dad would have loved that, remember the title of this blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  Very impressive. 

My next milestone was the town of Garanoque where I would leave Hwy 2 for the 1000 Island Parkway.  It was time to become just a tourist.

UPDATE:  July 7, 2012:  Here is a link to more photos that I have taken of Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston.

Cataraqui Cemetery

Lanark County: Smith Falls, Ontario

June 17, 2012

Leaving Ottawa, I took Elgin St. to Hwy 417 and was soon on my way west.  Do watch out for one way streets it can be a little confusing or signs that say “No Left.”

This time I was heading into the interior of Ontario.  Hwy 7 took me to Carleton Place where I stopped briefly to gas up the car and get my bearings.  I then turned down Hwy 15 (Dakers Rd) and made my way to Smith Falls.  I arrived very early and found the Comfort Inn on Centre Street right on the Rideau Canal and they kindly obliged me with a room at that early hour. 

Comfort Inn & the Rideau Canal

The room was a luxury from the Econo Lodge in Ottawa.  It had a table with chairs, a desk, nice comfy bed, coffee maker and it was roomy.  I didn’t feel the urge to start making home repairs.  It also had a lanai which was great, so I was able to go outside and gaze upon the Rideau Canal. 

Yup, right on the Rideau Canal

My goal was the Lanark County Genealogical Society which is housed in the Heritage House Museum.  They didn’t open till 10:30 am so I had plenty of time to relax and settle in.  http://www.smithsfalls.ca/museums.cfm

Heritage House Museum

To get to the museum you go southeast down Hwy 43 (main road in Smith Falls) and turn right at Old Slys Road, cross the bridge and turn into the parking lot which is a little beyond the museum and passed a group of trees  It is not the grassy area where the wooden fence is in front of the museum.  Trust me!

There was something going on.  Two ladies were moving chairs and things around over by the gazebo to the left.  I was to learn they were having a volunteer appreciation day barbecue.  So there was lots of activity.

There is a small  fee which was either $2 or $5 and they showed me where the genealogical collection was located.  Of course it was down a very steep staircase but you can go around to the left of the museum and come in the door at the basement. 

I set to work trying to stay out-of-the-way of their preparations.  A little later the Librarian, Shirley Somerville appeared and shook my hand.  She started pulling items from the stacks. 

The Lanark County Genealogical Society website:  http://www.globalgenealogy.com/LCGS/  I think they have a wonderful website so please check it out.  They have links and information about the Archives Lanark, a separate entity which I did not really have a reason to visit at this time since I did not know for sure if my family had been there or settled there? http://www.globalgenealogy.com/archiveslanark/  The website explains how to find them and more.

Don’t forget about the Smith Falls Public Library which also has some information at this link: http://www.smithsfallslibrary.ca/genealogy.html

I wanted to learn more about Alexander McDonell who settled at Sand Point in Renfrew County and new the Laird of McNab.  He was supposed to have settled in Perth first, then went to Glengarry and then up to Sand Point.  I did find a book:  “Renfrew County People and Places” by a Carol Bennet and D.W. McCuaig.  It has a whole section on McNab township which I will need to review.  You never know what you will find at each archive or library. 

The stacks of the Lanark County Genealogical Society, Smith Falls

This trip had been very difficult to plan and prepare for and I didn’t get to really learning about some areas of Ontario like Lanark County and the Scottish settlers who migrated there.  It was settled very early and I need to do more studying.  So I mostly collected interesting tidbits that had anything to do with McDonalds, McPhersons and Camerons.  I left a copy of my McDonald booklet with Shirley. 

Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue – Smith Falls Museum

The guests had arrived and the program had begun so Shirley headed out to get a seat and some food.  I probably could have asked if I could join them by offering some money but I decided I needed to get some rest and relax for the next day was going to be extremely busy and I had a lot of territory to cover. 

As I was working in my room, I started to hear rumblings.  I looked out and storm clouds were approaching.  It was not long after that the rain started coming down.  Yes, it was a downpour.  I had to close the lanai door because the rain was bouncing everywhere and threatening to come into the room.  You can see from this picture that it had rained, note the rooftop of the restaurant.

After the storm

Dinner time came and I kept it simple and headed for the restaurant next to the Comfort Inn.  I was able to get a booth by the window so I could look out on the Rideau Canal and enjoy the view.  My dinner was delicious a lovely salmon served by a pleasant tall and thin waiter.  It was the best dinner my whole trip!  The name of the restaurant Chuckles Jack.  I am not kidding!  http://www.chucklesjack.com/


Ottawa: A Pub and the Rideau Canal!

June 17, 2012

On Sunday night, May 27th I wandered down Rideau Avenue in search of the Highlander Pub.  While planning this trip I was studying the various restaurants and pubs in Ottawa and getting a big kick out of the names.  I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing the real thing.

The Highlander Pub, Ottawa

The Highlander is the first pub for another another mall area with more restaurants like The Dubliner and shops.  Souvenirs shops that had T-Shirts but they all had Ottawa stamped on them. I was looking for just Canada which would cover a lot of ground for my ancestors came from many areas of Canada.  

The Highlander is right on the corner of Williams and Rideau, the northwest corner.  They lead me to a seat in the back where I could view all the action and the comings and goings. http://www.thehighlanderpub.com/

My Aunt Eddie loved her Scotch so she would be very proud of me for at least visiting.  I know she would have sampled the menu, which is very detailed and amazing.  I was tempted to try some of their offerings but resisted the urge.  The bartender was wearing a kilt with a sporran.  Yes, I am telling the truth, honest, I checked.

Ottawa is indeed a very interesting and colorful city.  My walks along Rideau Street were always an experience for a people watcher like me.  I would return to Ottawa at the end of my journey and do a little more exploring.  It was time to move on.  I would be heading west and south to Smith Falls in Lanark County, Ontario. There was a large Scottish settlement in the area of Perth and I was curious to learn more about it. 

Inside the Highlander Pub

 The Dubliner is next door, maybe another time! 

The Rideau Canal is not too far from these two establishments and I did do some exploring after visiting the LAC.  The Rideau Canal and I would meet on several occasions as I journeyed through Ontario.  Too bad the Culbute Canal is gone and hard to reach, sigh!  Archibald McDonell my great grandfather was lockmaster for the Culbute which is located between Allumette Island and Chichester Township in Pontiac County, Quebec. 

The Rideau Canal travels from the Ottawa River down to Smith Falls and further down to Kingston.  It was built to connect the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario.  It is still in use today mostly for pleasure craft.  It is located where Elgin Street meets Wellington and meshes with the big fancy hotel that looks like a castle the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. I was tempted to go inside and see it and maybe have dinner there?  It would be expensive!  I had considered staying there.

The Fairmont – the west side is next to the Rideau Canal

In the photo above there is a  rectanguler structure and on the far side of the Fairmont is a staircase that leads to a balcony area were you can enjoy the view but the massive railing is too tall and I was having trouble getting good photos over it. It is where Wellington meets the Rideau Street:

A meshing of streets

They had a timeline display of Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Canada along the wall which is part of the Fairmont Hotel.  I believe it was in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee? http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/

The Queens Wall – A Timeline of her visits to Canada

There is the Bytown Museum right on the Rideau Canal.  It does have an archive you can visit by appointment:  http://www.bytownmuseum.com/en/main.html  To the right there is a trail for more exploring.

Bytown Museum & Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal where it meets the Ottawa

 

 


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