2017 Orillia Museum of Art & History Award, Historical Publications and/or Research — Winner
The history of Orillia, told through the stories of its people, bringing to life the community’s heritage and significance.
The Orillia Spirit:
- Muddling through Canada’s first, and hilarious, experiment with daylight savings time, Mayor “Daylight Bill” Frost had it.
- Creating his own money and dreaming a drainage ditch would become a tourist attraction, Mayor Ben Johnson had it.
- Taking his town’s electric company by force, Mayor J.B. Tudhope had it.
- Inventing early forms of medicare and the first RVs, dreaming of universities and folk festivals, battling for decades over liquor and rinks, ordinary people had it.
Something about the place immortalized in Stephen Leacock’s classic Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
has always inspired its people to reach for their dreams. Turn-of-the-twentieth-century leaders coined the phrase “the Orillia Spirit” to describe their drive to make the town a social, moral, and economic leader of Canada. The results have been comic, tragic, and heroic, as shown in this colourful history of Orillia.