Dundurn Staffers Celebrate Ontario and OAC

Dundurn Staffers Celebrate Ontario and OAC thumbnail

Dundurn Staffers Celebrate Ontario and OAC

Posted on July 5 by caitlyn
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Continuing on our 50th anniversary theme for the Ontario Arts Council, some of the staff here at Dundurn have shared their favourite Ontario memories, things to do and authors:

Anoja – Intern

Toronto is the best part of Ontario

A retreat into the woods is only an hour away in Ontario...

The memories, like the corners of my mind are the best parts of Ontario

Watching a bear majestically running across a field is a sweet memory of Ontario


Synora – Inside Sales

I haven’t been in Ontario long, but of all the things I like doing here, one that I most look forward to is visiting outdoor markets. Farmers markets, antique markets… I would have to be in a really big hurry to not stop – you know, for – “just a look”. My sister, sister-in-law and I start a round of emails at the first sign of spring, as we seek out available dates around the annual re-opening of the Aberfoyle antiques market. I still have to find time to repurpose that crate I bought two years ago, and a spot for that blue and gold glass carafe (yes, it may not be an antique, but it is beautiful!).


Carmen – E-Book Designer

One of my favourite things to do is to go to Canada's Wonderland. I love riding the rollercoasters - but not the new ones. There's nothing quite as exciting as sitting jammed in an old seat, safety bar pressing into the top of my thighs, and hearing the click-clack click-clack click-clack click-clack of the coaster being pulled up the big hill. There's that few seconds of contentment at the very top, when it's all silent as the chain has stopped pulling the cars, and then comes the rush of wind, the drop, and uncontrollable laughter. 


Jesse Hooper – Designer

Stratford Festival on a midsummer's eve. Show up in the afternoon, walk along the Avon river, go out for supper, and mill about the Festival Theatre waiting for the trumpets to invite you in.


Laura Harris – Editorial Assistant

Favourite Ontario author: John Steffler (he was born in Toronto, so he’s technically an Ontario author, despite having lived in Newfoundland and Quebec from the 1970s to 2000s – he’s back in Ontario now.) Steffler’s poetry and prose riffs on classic Canadian themes of wilderness, human endeavour, and the relationship therein.

To quote John directly:

Landscape is very important to me. I believe that land (or place) and climate influence human culture which in turn leaves its impression on the land — which in turn influences new generations of humans ... I don’t see landscape as a backdrop to our culture but as a living entity to which we are connected, a kind of ‘character,’ a primitive deity with which we have a complex, deep relationship.

-John Steffler, Open Book Toronto interview, 10-Mar-10


Britanie – Editor

Having grown up outside of Wiarton, Ontario, later moving to Southampton and then Port Elgin, the majority of my Ontario memories revolve around the rural areas of this province, more specifically on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay — the two vast bodies of water that sandwich in the Bruce Peninsula. As a young girl, both of my grandpas were men of the water — one a sailor and the other a lifelong fisherman. I recall, among many bright and wonderful memories with them, canoeing off the beaches of Oliphant; snorkelling at a drop-off for treasured clam shells; excitedly picking crayfish from under rocks; and cutting through the vast, clear blue water on the boat, hoping for a big fish to take home and show off. More than anything about my home (besides the obvious family and friends), I miss these moments on the open water the most.


Margaret – Director of Sales & Marketing

My parents have a summer residence in Muskoka which I’m fortunate to spend as much time at as they’ll allow.  It’s on a smaller lake just west of Muskoka Bay, the home port of the RMS Segwun, Wenonah II and Wanda III.  During the tourist season we hear their whistles frequently leaving port and before entering the only just wide enough Lighthouse Narrows.  If you can’t take a trip in person, the next best thing is http://www.dundurn.com/books/rms_segwun


Shannon – Managing Editor

Sometimes you need a little down time. Sometimes you need a little comfort. Sometimes you yearn for "simpler times." Sometimes you just want some quality time with your couch and your laptop. For those times, I like to visit the Retrontario YouTube channel, where they've mined out all the gold from piles of old VHS tapes. Want to watch TVO bumpers from the '80s? The series of Shoppers Drug Mart commercials starring Bea Arthur? The CFTO news theme? It's all there. And it's glorious. You can easily lose an afternoon or more to this Ontario-themed nostalgia-fest.


Karen – Publicity Manager

My favourite thing to do in Ontario is to visit Prince Edward County (recently chosen as one of Canada’s 8 Great Escapes by Maclean’s magazine!) My parents have an ‘Anne of Green Gables’-style house in Hillier, about half an hour outside of Picton, and it’s bliss. I think I survive living in Toronto as well as I do because I have the option of leaving it all behind to chill out in The County (as the locals refer to it). About ten minutes down the road from us is North Beach – a provincial park that is mostly known by the locals. A little wave therapy in Lake Ontario will cure you of whatever ails you, and is guaranteed to bring out your inner child. From the swing on our front porch (seriously, made out of the white picket fence from my grandmother’s backyard) I love to curl up with my book du jour, often with a G&T in hand, and watch the birds and the bees, and the occasional tractor, fly by.  This is, to the last detail, my plan for the Canada Day long weekend. Give a wave as you drive by!


Duncan – Digital Asset Administrator

I grew up in Kenora, and on Christmas vacation during my first year at University of Toronto I took the VIA train home, spending most of the time in the bubble car chugging through the bitterly cold northern Ontario wilderness. I learned first hand that Kenora was farther from Toronto than Florida.


Laura – Marketing Designer

My favourite thing to do in Ontario, year round, is take a trip to Huron County, where I can live out my fantasy of prancing around the countryside doing whatever the heck I want. It's so beautiful out there, the landscape so varied, the pace so relaxed, that you just can't go wrong.


Caitlyn – Marketing Coordinator

My favourite Ontario author (and one of my favourites overall) is Charles de Lint. He lives in Ottawa, and writes fantasy books. His books were some of the first fantasy ones that I ever fell in love with, and every time I reread one it’s like sitting down with an old friend.