Getting high

Apart from geography and its potent enterprising images, the cruise industry is foremost abuzz with the pledge of unparalleled luxury. Nor is the epicurean extravagance just for romantic old fogeys. They encourage singles too. And the introductory video shows a suite with a Steinway & Sons grand piano (which once on board I have every intention of seeking out). I have no doubt too that the stimulation of the gastric and neurological sensibilities forms a vital part of this overall picture.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises® has consistently delivered unmatched luxury cruises with the very best value for over thirty years. Unrivaled onboard space. Unforgettable shoreside excursions. Incomparable culinary experiences. Exceptional personalized service. Every lavish amenity is included when cruising aboard The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™.

And while the prodigal attraction is warranted, it doesn’t require a ship and a butler on the open seas to inspire me. For example today was grocery shopping. For this endeavour I have the advantage and distinction of being the driver only. Our latest rage is Metro. It’s a Canadian commercial success not only because of its inspiring history but more because of its recognizable premium products and delivery. I strongly urge you to try the baklava imported from Arz Fine Foods on Lawrence Ave E in Toronto.

In August 2005, METRO purchases all the shares of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Company of Canada (A & P Canada) for $1.7 billion. This acquisition places METRO second in terms of market share in each of the two largest Canadian markets, with 35% in Quebec and 24% in Ontario.

METRO INC. acquires The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. in the Spring of 2018. The combination of the two leading companies creates a $16-billion retail leader strongly positioned to cater to the growing consumer needs in food, pharmacy, health and beauty.

During our brief drive this morning into Kanata to the grocery store on Eagleson Road we counted a minimum of ten Cavanagh trucks. Tommy Cavanagh has “done us proud”. Everything from polished roads to solar panels he has touched meticulously.

Eagleson Road (Ottawa Road #49) is a northwest–southeast road in Ottawa’s west end in Kanata. It starts at Highway 417 and ends at Brophy Drive south of Richmond. North of Highway 417 it becomes March Road. It is a key link, primarily for residents of Bridlewood, between both ends of Kanata where housing developments are growing steadily in the north and the south.

In the past half-century since I came to Almonte and first saw the Cavanagh Construction sign on the hill up March Road I’ve witnessed phenomenal growth on every side of Ottawa (of which the smaller communities are now part). The infrastructure is unimaginable. The roads are broad and smooth. The architecture is rich and inviting. We have the local families of Cavanagh, Tomlinson, Campeau, McIntosh (Neilcorp Homes) and Reid (Giant Tiger) to thank for so much of our development and improvement.

Naturally I now watch the unfolding progress from my country seat. Mine is a retrospective and prospective regard. Both are from a position of tranquillity, physical and cerebral. Physical, partly because I’m immobile or at the very least old and decomposing; cerebral, because it astonishes me that after coming to Almonte as a young lawyer, I have succeeded in my antiquity to this magnificent plateau of observation along the Mississippi River mere blocks from where I first rented Rev. Geo. Bickley’s house on Martin St N over 49 years ago.  I find it easy to get high from this indisputably desirable aspect.  Nor do I reference the additives of nefarious combustibles or alcoholic beverages.  The cognac, sherry and port on the sideboard are now but a metaphoric collection of rich colours in crystal decanters. Ours is a creditable apotheosis.

I supplement my addiction with a weekly review of Country Life magazine mailed to me from England.

Country Life is a British weekly perfect-bound glossy magazine that is published by Future plc. It was based in London at 110 Southwark Street until March 2016, when moved to Farnborough, Hampshire. In 2022, the magazine moved back to London at 121 – 141 Westbourne Terrace, Paddington. Country Life was launched in 1897, incorporating Racing Illustrated. At this time it was owned by Edward Hudson, the owner of Lindisfarne Castle and various Lutyens-designed houses.

I was first introduced to the magazine by Louis Irwin (the man behind the Elizabeth Kelly Library Foundation) who was married to Peggy Maclaren (the pulp and paper people from Buckingham, PQ). I have subscribed to Country Life for years. I have never been able to thrive upon only the electronic version but demanded instead the physical production of the magazine which I now count among prosaic imperatives such as dental flossing.

In 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte initiated a continental blockade which forced Great Britain to look to other sources for importing lumber. Soon, large wooded areas were discovered in Lower Canada, including the area that became the Outaouais region. The lumber industry was central to the region’s economic development for over a century with wood pulp continuing to be important for several decades afterwards. In 1837, the first sawmill was built by Levi Bigelow.

In January 1849, the Hudson’s Bay Company opened a store in Buckingham at the mouth of the Lièvre River. It moved there from Lac des Sables to give HBC staff better control of indigenous traders coming down the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Blanche Rivers, as well as the ability to trade with lumberjacks and settlers. The store closed around 1870.

Maclaren family

Throughout its history, the city of Buckingham’s economy has been dominated by the Albright and Wilson Co (ERCO), which employs most of the people in that area. The Maclaren family may have lived in Buckingham but their industry is part of Masson.

The Maclaren family, who have resided in the region since 1840, have dominated the lumber industry in the Outaouais for over a century. In 1864, James Maclaren launched the family’s activities in Buckingham by building a sawmill.

The celebrity of Mississippi Mills is indeed intoxicating, including in addition to those whom I have already mentioned James Naismith, R. Tait McKenzie, James Macintosh Bell, Leonard Lee, Stephen E. C. Brathwaite, Noreen Young, George and Terry Charos, Gordon Pike, John H. Kerry, N. S. Lee, Stewart E. Lee, John Levi, Kent Huskins, Edith Cody-Rice, Brent Eades, Dale Dunning, Sue Adams, Jeff Semple, Robert W. Morton, Don Vaughan, William Bennett Munro, John Charles McIntosh, the Houchaimi Family, John Manion, Al Phaneuf, Allen Salter, William Mostyn, William Thoburn, Bennett Rosamond, Joseph Jamieson, Raymond Jamieson, John Jamieson, James B. Coupland, George Gomme, JC Smithson, C. James Newton, Earnest Shipman, among others to whom I apologize for omission.

Hardware history
supplement to L.G. Lee & Sons
36 Mill Street

What’s even more serendipitous is the fact that the building has a rich history, housing hardware stores at many different times over the past 100 years, beginning with Kaufman’s Hardware Store, in the early 1900s before a fire destroyed the structure on Sept. 10, 1909. The building was eventually replaced with the construction of three two-storey spaces. Knight Bros. Hardware Store was the next business to occupy the space, and the family were the proprietors until 1924 when Norval Stewart (N.S.) Lee took over with N.S. Lee & Son (no relation).