All Along Main Street

With this issue we go urban – or as urban as it gets in our small towns and villages.

September 13, 2012 | | Autumn 2012 | Back Issues | Departments | Editor’s Desk | In Every Issue

More often than not, this magazine features stories about life in the countryside – the people, places, wildlife and issues related to the natural landscape that defines our rural community. But with this issue we go urban – or as urban as it gets in our small towns and villages.

We start with a trip along the main streets of Erin, Creemore and Orangeville. Two decades ago, these streets, once the heartbeat of the community, were all but moribund, bullied aside by suburban malls and big box stores. Not anymore. They are once again vibrant with independent retail shops and restaurants – and the revitalization is almost entirely due to women entrepreneurs. Julie Pollock talks to some of them about why that is.

Next we look up – to what’s going on behind the historic Victorian façades that line Broadway in Orangeville. Tony Reynolds finds a community of downtown denizens who live in contemporary urban apartments and love the convenience of their lofty life above the street.

Tony also interviewed lifelong Orangeville resident Eleanor Jamieson, who grew up downtown in a former hotel her father had converted into apartments and a garage, with its gas pumps right on Broadway. Accompanied by just a few of the many photographs from her family album, her recollections about downtown life in the mid-last century are a rare treat.

Finally, we visit the local library. The traditional cultural centres of small town Ontario, our local libraries have lost no ground. They’ve taken to the age of technology like fish to water – vastly expanding their ability to deliver literature and information, without losing track of their role as cultural guardians. Ken Weber spends a day at Caledon’s library and discovers a place bustling with activity for people of all ages.

As always, our fall issue also pays tribute to the local arts scene. We take a peek inside PAMA, the renamed, beautifully renovated and expanded Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives in downtown Brampton, set to reopen this month. We offer our annual preview of the Headwaters Arts Festival Show & Sale. And we visit with two pacemakers of Canadian culture: iconic actor, singer and playwright Dinah Christie, and Mulmur filmmaker Michael McGowan whose latest film Still just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.


About the Author More by Signe Ball

Signe Ball is publisher/editor of In The Hills.

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