Randy Richmond is an Orillia journalist. He wandered from job to job for several years after graduating from Carleton University. When he reached Orillia, he knew he was home. So he got married, bought a house, had a daughter, and started to listen to the cityÂ’s stories.
The Orillia Spirit
The history of Orillia, told through the stories of its people, bringing to life the communityâ€™s heritage and significance.
Planning a battle that would destroy one nation and change another, Samuel de Champlain had it. Muddling through Canadaâ€™s hilarious first experiment with daylight savings time, Mayor â€śDaylight Billâ€ť Frost had it, too: the Orillia Spirit.
Turn-of-the-century leaders coined the phrase â€śthe Orillia Spiritâ€ť to describe their drive to make the town a social, moral, and economic leader of Canada. Sometimes they succeeded, sometimes they erred â€” as when they decided that the horse-drawn carriage, not the automobile, would be the vehicle of the twentieth century.
For better or for worse, something about the place immortalized in Stephen Leacockâ€™s classic Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town has always inspired its people to reach for their dreams. The results have been comic, tragic, and heroic, as shown in this colourful history of Orillia.
Through the years, the Orillia Spirit has continued to inspire the eccentric and the noble alike, fueling battles and creating characters that would make Leacock proud.
How locally-generated power changed our community from a sleepy lumber village to a thriving industrial centre is an engrossing read â€” as entertaining as it is enlightening â€” in Randy Richmondâ€™s The Orillia Spirit.