I have long championed Almonte the ideal rural Ontario small town. It borders the picturesque Mississippi River and has everything one requires; viz., hospital (and another nearby), dentists, chiropractors, banks, churches (though no synagogue as yet), walking/bike/ATVs trail, alameda, grocery stores, pharmacies, golf clubs, residential choices, fair ground, beach, bakeries, ice cream shops, coffee houses, funeral home, burial grounds, monumental masons, contractors, restaurants, food wagons, butchers, hair and nails salons, service clubs, Masonic Lodge (whose members adorn their white lambskin aprons with gold braid signifying one of the oldest Lodges in Canada), retail shops (including lately a cannabis outlet), Farmer’s Market, library, parks, art galleries, lawyers, accountants, estate agents, corporate headquarters, hydro-electric plant, arena, acoustically refined auditorium in the Old Town Hall (complete with a Steinway concert grand piano), retirement residence, museums, local electronic newspaper, car washes, auto mechanics and collision repair, nursing home, lawn bowling green and massage therapists. My experience today with the latter was through Warren Vibert-Adams who is coincidentally an Almonte native. He echoes the thoughtfulness, dedication and expertise of his many similarly esteemed colleagues of various arts, trades and professions in the Town of Mississippi Mills of which Almonte is a part along with the surrounding Townships of Ramsay and Pakenham.
Relax Massage Therapy
Warren Vibert-Adams, Massage Therapist
83 Farm St, 2nd floor, Almonte, ON, K0A 1A0
I have since my catastrophic bicycle accident in 2018 ignored chiropractic and massage therapy until now because my broken ribs have been slow to recover. Today however marked the revitalization of this naturopathic or alternative medicine called massage therapy. And it worked! I have as well imbued with new life my unfailing love of Almonte. As my late mother was wont to say, “What’s not to like!”
So, what is Almonte like today?
A scenic mill town. An escape from the busy city. And most importantly, a place to call home. Many sections of the town remain unchanged, which allows its history to live on. In fact, you’ll find a variety of homes along the streets of Almonte. There are new builds, Victorian and heritage homes as well as the usual mix of properties built over the last few decades, some renovated, some perfect for those looking for a renovation project. Though the majority of homes are single family homes, Almonte is building its way into the hearts of those who are in the market for condos that are far from “cookie cutter”… including a growing “boutique” condo market.
Considered to be one of the most cultured towns in the Ottawa Valley, Almonte is certainly a sort of “arts hub”, appealing to millennials, families and retirees alike. If you’re one for the arts, pick up a copy of the The Humm; an arts and entertainment guide for the Valley that features monthly artists, local food, music festivals and what’s playing at the community theatre (to name a few).
Almonte regularly qualifies as the site of Hollywood movie productions! This I mention because it authentically captures what otherwise stated may be dismissed as nose-in-the-air; namely, that compared to other bucolic environments not all share with Almonte its unmistakeable and sophisticated Arcadian appeal. Almonte is a far stride from the rustic background and transcendentalism of David Henry Thoreau’s “Walden; or Life in the Woods“. But I am remiss not to mention the proximity of a multitude of undeveloped lakes surrounded by idyllic hamlets and villages. Each of us in Almonte can justifiably proclaim, “Mois, je suis le centre du monde!”
Without in any way diminishing the singular enchantment of Almonte and all that it has, one notable vacancy is that of a new car dealership. Within my vivid memory (this is going back 45 years) there was once here a very attractive domestic car dealership where I purchased several passenger automobiles. The dealership was located on Bridge Street across the street from the Almonte Legion Branch where Almonte Bicycle Works (Bill Barrie, Jr.) is now located. Though the dealership had a succession of owners it is best recollected as Burn’s Pontiac Buick GM owned by the late father of RE/MAX realtor Kathi Norton (another of our celebrated natives).
It occurs to me – no doubt I am the last to see the light – that we residents of Almonte would do well to align within our current perspective of home territory; and, specifically that within that scope to lionize the many advantages of Almonte. I have every reason to suspect that in the list of resources noted above I have unwittingly left unspoken more than one service, benefit or attraction. This limitation is naturally the result of the narrowness of my own needs and interests. But by that very token derives the purpose of which I now speak; namely, to elevate the personal knowledge of others about what is within reach. My ambition I should say is neither intellectual nor romantic. The scheme fulfills two pointed objects: 1) share with our neighbours the enviable and often unimaginable resources at hand; and, 2) promote the businesses of our fellow countrymen. There is in my uneducated economic view no reason we need either bear the deprivation of superior goods and services or suffer the indignity of not seeing the providers thereof prosper. As much as the so-called nationalist’s may focus our politics on general identity, an even more appropriate focus is one upon our insular habitations and the real meaning of participatory local government. Basically if we stick together we have every hope of remaining a corporate success.