Posts in Our People Our Stories
An English Girl's Journey to Fenelon Falls

Submitted by Andrea Strachan

I immigrated from England to Canada as a young girl with my family in 1957. We lived in the Toronto area and in the mid-60s my parents bought a cottage in Gooderham. My journey to Fenelon Falls had begun!

We would shop in Fenelon on our way to the cottage and I got to enjoy many of the town's offerings and of course, the people. My parents eventually retired to Kinmount in the early 80s after buying a house owned by a Kinmount celebrity (he owns the Highland Cinemas!).

In 2000 my partner and I made the big decision to return to Ontario from Victoria, B.C. after living out west for just 3 years. The housing market had started to go crazy out there and every house purchase became a bidding war. We found the perfect house back east and moved to Fenelon Falls where we opened Pandy Bear's Bed & Breakfast on the Burnt River. I had been a legal assistant in downtown Toronto and out in Victoria and gave it all up to start my new career as a B&B owner, something I had wanted to do since the mid 90s. We received a warm welcome by the community, the business network here, and of course our wonderful neighbours.

We advertised the B&B as a "stay and play" accommodation. We offered the entire first floor to our guests - 3 bedrooms, a full kitchen, a bathroom, living room and dining room plus sauna with a bathroom and an enclosed sun room. People enjoyed swimming and boating, hammocks and lounge chairs, a deck with barbecue and of course a full breakfast with fresh produce from our garden, all homemade items, including jams and breads. They could rent canoes and kayaks and would arrange a boat ride along the river into town for lunch or dinner.

We arranged tours for our guests to discover Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, Kawartha Country Wines, Whetung Ojibwa Centre, Gallery on the Lake and the many hiking and biking trails that surround the area. We also had guests arrive by boat through the Trent Severn Waterway and would drive them to town to enjoy many dinners with them at the wonderful restaurants. We had a lot of return guests and met people from all over the world.

We did not do a lot of business in the wintertime, so I worked part time at Sobeys in their old location as a fish monger, sample lady, and cashier, offering more opportunities to make lasting friendships in Fenelon. Sobeys was where The Red Apple is now when we first moved to Fenelon.

In 2013 I retired and closed the doors to the B&B. It was bittersweet but the memories are lovely to look back on. In 2015 I moved to my own beautiful apartment in the seniors building on Murray Street where I am happily making more friends, and enjoy volunteering, and still bake for anyone who will let me! I have slowed down and am so happy it is in Fenelon Falls.

I hope you enjoyed this condensed version of an English girl's journey to Fenelon Falls.

Photo Round Up - July 18

Every week, we share a photo round up of photos that were submitted to us.

We’ll select our favourite as that week’s feature photo.

Let us know which pictures you love and why in the comments!

Welcome to Fenelon Falls!

Submitted by Marylee Boston

Fenelon Falls is a destination for day trippers, cottagers and local tourists alike and sometimes they need a little help making the most of their visit. The goal of the summer Tourism Ambassador program is to welcome, inform, direct and have fun with visitors so their time here is memorable and those great memories that will bring them back time and again. 


The Tourism Ambassador program launched in the summer of 2018 with only two Ambassadors. Last summer was a success and showed that there was opportunity to expand and grow the concept so this summer there are 5 Tourism Ambassadors! The TA’s are local students who bring their own experience, enthusiasm, tech smarts and hometown knowledge to the job. You will see them all around downtown Fenelon Falls, at the museum, the beach park, and the locks in their bright blue uniforms. They are also helping the Horticulture Society volunteers take care of the many beautiful gardens in the village. 

Whether you have family coming to visit, you’re a long time cottager, or a local; the Tourism Ambassadors can help you find restaurants, accommodations, attractions and event information. They can also be convinced to give clues to help you solve our summer Mystery Adventure - The Hunt for the Jewel of the Kawarthas. Their home base is the Tourist Info Centre on Oak Street in Fenelon Falls. The Chamber of Commerce is excited to promote Fenelon Falls and area with the help of our Tourism Ambassadors. Please say hello when you see them around town.

Introducing the Winners of the Legion's first Literary Contest for Seniors

Submitted by Arlene Colman

Heather Roxborough, Paul Leduc, Nancy Louiseize

Heather Roxborough, Paul Leduc, Nancy Louiseize

Arlene Colman, Seniors Chairman for the Fenelon Falls announced the winners of its first Literary Contest for Seniors as follows:

Placement Name Category

First Place Nancy Louiseize Poem

First Place Paul Leduc Short story

First Place Mary Greaves Memoir

Second Place Heather Roxborough Short story

These talented and creative people are pictured above, with the exception of Mary Greaves who was in France for the D-Day Commemorations. Mary received her flowers and certificate upon her return.

We hope to run the contest again next year so put your thinking caps on and get started on your entry in 2020. There’s something for everyone: poetry, short stories, memoirs and essay. What a great project to fill those long winter months!

1960's Summer Trip to Fenelon Falls

Submitted by Sandra L. Silva, Written by Linda Gorrie

The Sulpician Namesake: Bliss, Your Name is Summer

The Sulpician Namesake: Bliss, Your Name is Summer

The good Abbe Fenelon gave his name to the town that three hundred years later came to be synonymous, to our family, with summer.

Several summers before, during and after the summer of love, our family of four packed up our gear and piled into any one of a number of North American-made four door sedans for our annual trek to the cottage. We’d drive the well worn path between home and the super highways of Toronto soon bypassing the great City. Soon we’d be meandering along roads that snaked past pastoral, green fields much gentler than the sharp edges of the Canadian Shield, which was the backdrop scenery of our other family trips. 

Like salmon returning to their spawning grounds, our family headed inexorably toward the Kawarthas until we were at our destination; Fenelon Falls. We’d pass the mechanic’s garage, drive over the bridge spanning the locks, continue past the Dairy and ice cream parlour on the left, the bakery just up the road, and we’d leave the main drag travelling onto a bumpier narrow dirt road.  We’d stop at the water tap by the side of the road where we would fill up water jugs. This was always the last part of the trip. We would be unbearably, wonderfully happy when in just a few long, short minutes we would see the sign that said “England” and would turn down the tree covered lane which led to the cottage.   

The air smelled like the lake: cool and damp. By the time we arrived it was early evening with the edge just off of the brightness of the summery, sunshine-y day; a hint of meat smoke on the BBQ and the sounds of ice dropping into glasses full of cocktails and soft shimmery grown up laughter. The day still bright enough, we would tumble out of the car and run along the well worn path to explore the haunts of the previous summer: the familiar never changing cottage next-store and the one next to that and so on – all the way down the beach until we couldn’t go any further. Docks fanning out from the water’s edge like the teeth of a comb, wanting us to run to the end, run back. Laying on our stomachs and watching minnows, fry, frogs and crayfish. The water creatures venturing out from their shady hiding as the sun began to fade and day turned into night: magic time, twilight time. Swishing finger tips into the water that was still warm on top, cooler down below.

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We would be called back for dinner then bed in the room thick with the musty smell of sheets too long on the shelf and wool blankets still smelling like lanolin and the empty closed up winter cottage which never quite dried out. Tucked in and waiting for sleep to come. bringing with it the promise of morning, and with each morning day after endless summer day and memories that would last and last.

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Photo Round Up - July 11

Every week, we share a photo round up of photos that were submitted to us.

We’ll select our favourite as that week’s feature photo.

Let us know which pictures you love and why in the comments!

Say Hello to the New Owners of The Cow and Sow

The Cow and Sow is one of Fenelon’s longest-running businesses, and as of this season it is under new ownership. Here is a brief Q&A to introduce you to the new owners, mother and daughter Lorraine and Emily Forbes, and give you a sneak peek at what you can expect from the famous local restaurant this season.

Town Crier: Tell us a little about you guys and why you chose to buy the Cow and Sow?

Cow and Sow: It was always my mom's dream to own her own restaurant. She worked in the hospitality industry her entire life prior to having my sister and I. Timing sort of worked in our favour because I was just finishing up university and didn't have a plan for what was next and my mom asked me if I wanted to go in on purchasing the restaurant with her. I said yes and that was it! She and I are best friends so it is a dream for both of us to get to work together and build a business together. The Cow has always been our family's favourite restaurant as well so it really worked out perfectly.

TC: Are there any new changes to the menu you’d like to announce? Or are you sticking with much of the same classic pub food people have come to expect from the Cow and Sow?

C&S: The menu is pretty much the same! We condensed it a little bit, and will probably add the warmer items like soup and shepherd’s pie back during the winter time. We did add chicken souvlaki back on to the menu and called it "Dickon's Chicken" to honour the previous owner Dickon Robinson, as it was his favourite item on the menu.

TC: Any special events or weekly specials going on this summer at the Cow and Sow?

C&S: We will be having live music every weekend. Every Friday or Saturday or both! We also have some special events with live music throughout the week later in July. There will be lots of promotions through our beer reps and chances to win cool prizes. We will soon be doing a promotion through Sapporo which will give our guests a chance to win a Sapporo mini fridge. In addition to these we also have daily drink and food specials!

TC: Fantastic! Thanks for sharing

Everyone be sure to drop by the Cow and Sow this summer to check out their live music, specials, and events - and say hi to Lorraine and Emily!

Photo Round Up - July 4

Every week, we share a photo round up of photos that were submitted to us.

We’ll select our favourite as that week’s feature photo.

Let us know which pictures you love and why in the comments!

Simcoe Days 2019: Reach Into History

Press Release Submitted by Bev Means-Jeeves

Last year, Fenelon Live (a group which holds membership to the Kawartha Works Community Co-Operative, Inc.) put on a new event in Fenelon Falls: Simcoe Day The event was a huge success, with over 4,000 people attending. This year, we want to dedicate the event and its growing success to Bob Pennock, our Chair who passed away in April. Bob was a leader and believer in community, and Simcoe Days 2019 “Reach Into History” is a community event open to all.

The first weekend in August in Ontario is “Simcoe Days.”  This year organizers are expanding our event’s profile and reach by promoting awareness of the settlement of Fenelon Falls, and Simcoe’s influence in Canadian history before, during, and after his role as First Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. This year represents the “UN Year of Indigenous Languages” and settlers to Upper Canada and Lord Simcoe would have met many First Nations people.

In honour of the U.N. Year of Indigenous Languages, Kawartha Lakes Art Council (KLAC) will have an interactive display of Mississaugas of the great Anishnaabeg (uhnish-nahbe) nation.

The “Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada” will again have an 1812 encampment that will operate and be set up at Lock 34 of the Trent Severn Waterway the evening of August 2nd. On August 3rd there will be three 1812 re-enactments and cannon exhibition/firing to coincide with the Peterborough Concert Band’s playing of “Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture.” At the conclusion of each, there will be children participation within the encampment. This year the encampment will be open on Friday night to allow visitors to see and participate in setting up and living in an encampment of 1812.  

The Fleming College Varsity Lumberjack team will be putting on various displays in woodcarving, axe throwing, competitions, and pole rolling both on Lock 34 island and also at the beach at the end of Oak Street.

There will also be exhibits and interactive activities with Kawartha Settlers Village, Maryboro Lodge; the Fenelon Museum, Minden Fur Harvesters, TSW Youth Group, and Lindsay Legion. There will be free ice-cream from Kawartha Dairy from 2:00-4:00 pm, apple pressing, and bee pollinating. The Fenelon Museum will be hosting an exhibit on renowned local artist Anne Langton and will host children’s activities. A shuttle bus will be provided from the parking lot located off Helen Street.

There is also a social media campaign called “Reach Into History” to collect and emphasize Fenelon’s rich cottage history on the water, cottaging and events.  We would love to share your stories on social media on our Facebook page “Simcoe Days 2019, Reach Into History”  For stories, advertisement or sponsorship, please contact Bev Jeeves at or call 905-431-5394 for more information.

Photo Round Up - June 27

Every week, we share a photo round up of photos that were submitted to us.

We’ll select our favourite as that week’s feature photo.

Let us know which pictures you love and why in the comments!