PHOTOlog | gingerbread house in winter SIMCOE

ontario gothic farmhouse, historical mill

Paint required in Hillsdale, Ontario. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, September 2011

ontario gothic farmhouse in winter, gingerbread bargeboard

Cozy brick farmhouse tucked against a ridge on Line 8 North. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, February 2015

SIMCOE County | Medonte Township

PHOTOlog | early settlement on old waterways SIMCOE

colonial history, historical Canadian waterways

Innisfil township overlooks Cook’s Bay on Lake Simcoe – an important historic waterway – Samuel de Champlain came through here as did Sir John Franklin. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, May 2015

early Ontario fieldstone construction, first post office, fire

One of four heritage-designated buildings in Innisfil, the 1841 Barclay House, the township’s first post office, was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve 2014. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, March 2016

SIMCOE County | Innisfil Township

PHOTOlog | sunset on second empire SIMCOE

second-empire architecture, ontario, canada

Second-Empire architectural style – Lount’s Castle was the home of parliamentarian William Lount – built for him in 1877 at a high point in Barrie, curiously now called Valley Drive. For many years it was divided as apartments, now being restored (2015). Photo credit: Lisa Rance, April 2012

SIMCOE County | Vespra Township

PHOTOlog | timber lost SIMCOE

early lumber industry, ontario history

A distant pastoral scene in Flos Township belies this area’s origins as prime timberland in the 1870’s. The Flos lumber mills supplied building materials to all Great Lakes ports via Mr. O. A. Phelps (Phelpston). An M.P.P. for Simcoe County, Mr. Phelps had business holdings in Niagara, and operated his own fleet of ships! Flos ancestors are sure to have participated in these enterprises, and felt the loss of this industry to devastating forest fires. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, August 2015

SIMCOE County | Flos Township

PHOTOlog | spun gold SIMCOE

Spun gold in North Orillia. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, August 2015

SIMCOE County | Orillia North Township

PHOTOlog | mill in the valley SIMCOE

historical mill, water power, early Ontario settlement

Utopia grist mill outside Angus. An effort is underway to restore this mill. Just like an effort is underway to return Spring to this valley (it was green up top)! Photo credit: Lisa Rance, April 2015

SIMCOE County | Essa Township

PHOTOlog | heritage celebrated village SIMCOE

ontario, historical village, heritage-designation, walking tour

Show me a house in Bond Head that wasn’t open for a tour or offering costumed-interpretation, on that town’s 175th Anniversary in 2012? Photo credit: Lisa Rance, July 2012

SIMCOE County | Gwillimbury West Township

PHOTOlog | industrial revitalization SIMCOE

derelict industrial building revitalized in collingwood

The historical Tremont Hotel in Collingwood; a fascinating restoration – now a studio-gallery and cafĂ©. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, October 2011

SIMCOE County | Nottawasaga Township

PHOTOlog | irish wild west SIMCOE

ghost town, ontario, mercantile, irish

Ballycroy was once a hopping hive of industry and decadence. Established in 1820 by Irish immigrants, its population dwindled after the rail route directed in favour of Palgrave. The Ballycroy General Store and post office, apparently built in the 1830’s, is now a private residence. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, June 2011

SIMCOE County | Adjala Township

PHOTOlog | early military outpost SIMCOE

ontario military history, stone barracks

Naval Officer’s Quarters at the Naval Establishment at Penetanguishene, built 1830’s. Settlement along the Penetanguishene Road was influenced by this outlying naval settlement. Photo credit: Lisa Rance, January 2011

SIMCOE County | Tay Township