Up the Valley

The Indian Curry Pot was not what I had expected to see mid-afternoon today on this brilliantly sunny Friday in the Ottawa Valley as I nonchalantly drove up the hill from Burnstown to Renfrew. Yet in spite of having been arrested by the unanticipated sign I blankly continued driving past the property where the sign appeared. Moments later however my curiosity overtook me.  I turned back.  As I prepared to drive onto the property – which looked suspiciously abandoned – another car from the opposite direction also turned into the property. The driver of the other car alighted and approached.  She explained that she was the owner of the property where the Indian Curry Pot had formerly been housed. The retail venture, so she informed me, has since relocated to nearby Calabogie. She spoke glowingly of the food and kindly detailed further contact information for the eatery.

This commercial intelligence gratified me for several reasons among the more important of which is naturally the dietary invention and the relative novelty of such exotic provision at our back door. We have already commissioned ourselves to undertake a more acute visit to the site.

Of less remarkable observation was what I was subsequently able to discern while passing through the business section of Renfrew. The street was lined with numerous independent businesses affording a welcome alternative to the proliferation of box stores in the larger urban centres.

Renfrew is a town on the Bonnechere River in Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada located one hour west of Ottawa in Eastern Ontario named after Renfrewshire, Scotland. In approximately 1848  Renfrew was settled largely due to logging in the area in the early 19th century. The river was used to drive the lumber to locations such as Ottawa.

From the most casual navigation through Renfrew it is soon apparent that the town attracted wealth. The so-called “lumber barons” undoubtedly had inalterable connection with the Montréal directors of Canada’s earliest railway lines such as the B&O (Brockville and Ottawa) Railway. The grand brick homes on large wooded lots speak to the lineage. Amusingly I recall years ago being informed by the tradesmen who installed broadfaced pine floors in the study of our home that the timber was reclaimed from the chilled depths of the Ottawa River, apparently discarded relics of the capital being ferried down the river over a century ago.

There was a pervasive celebratory atmosphere throughout my prolonged drive up the Valley today.  Unquestionably the idyllic weather forecast for the week has promoted the holiday industry. Even Patrick of Halo Car Wash™ fame enthused to tell me yesterday that he is going to Algonquin Park for a short break. Meanwhile I am content to exhaust my habitual indulgences here at home.

And Chef has been studious in the interim. I find the flavour of a homecooked meal is enhanced by a measure of cool autumnal air. The solicitous drama of the season beacons!