Ontario - Kenora


My journey starts in McLeod Park on the west side of Kenora. This tugboat is named after James McMillan, a World War I veteran born in Rat Portage, the former name of Kenora. Kenora was renamed in 1905 using the adjacent towns of KEewatin and NOrman to satisfy a flour company (and probably other industries) that didn't want to associate its product with rats.

Looking east at central Kenora, featuring Notre Dame Church (north of downtown) and the 1910 Kenricia Hotel.

The reason to visit McLeod Park is Huskie the Muskie, a giant fish statue that will eat your babies if you don't visit.

Commencing the driving part of the tour, the 1898 post office and custom house is along Trans-Canada Highway 17 entering downtown. It's now City Hall, a very worthy repurposing.

The sights of Main Street, starting at 1st Street. You may recognize the last one, once again the Kenricia Hotel. The first storey has been remodeled to unrecognizability.

I can't find pre-Pharmasave records of the store on the southeast corner of Main and 2nd Streets, where Trans-Canada Highway 17 turns, but I bet Tilley's was its name.

This old fire station (or "fire hall") at Park Street is now a brewery, but it made it 100 years before being obsolesced. That is remarkable given its unusual history. The first fire station in Kenora lasted all of 4 years before, ironically, burning down. It was immediately replaced only to burn again 2 years later. How can fire halls not put their own fires out? So third time must be the charm, Rat Portage figured, and built a sturdy stone structure. That was 1891. This building says 1912. Guess what happened to the third one? Stone supposedly doesn't burn, but there's now a library where that used to be that says otherwise. Now you know the real saying is "fourth time's the charm." Oh, and "don't build a fire station in Kenora."

See more along Trans-Canada Highway 17

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