After many years absence, it was a delight to spend 10 days or so visiting relatives who had recently moved from Manitoulin Island to Stittsville a suburb of Ottawa and home of the Canadian Tire Center – the hockey arena that houses the Ottawa Senators . My brother – in – law and I took in a game – overtime and shootout which was quite entertaining in this beautiful venue for hockey. Also in another double rink facility, I saw my nephew Abe score his first goal of the season in the first game, shooting a rocket shot from the blueline. As we travelled from place to place it was nice to see the leaves turning following a fall heat wave experienced in Ontario. Ottawa has many sights to see , most notable was Rideau Hall home of JustinTrudeau and family. I was most impressed at the number of tourists from many countries there who had lots of questions about the history and traditions of Canada.
The photo above shows a golf course in Stittsville with adjacent tennis courts double marked with two pickleball courts and a practice board. The manager of the course toldme ,and the first chap I met there , Roger Morris, that should there be a good response in the spring to a pickleball clinic , the golf course would be pleased to give them 8 courts next year. Bravo fora BC assist. ,As it turned out , I got to play there with Roger who is the head of a new program called “ THE HUFF AND PUFF “ an umbrella outfit for seniors begun in London Ont that has 2000 members and offers access for a flat fee to several sports like Pickleball, golf, tennis, badminton, table tennis, etc for seniors at a reasonable price. They bring new players and improvements to facilities at various venues that sign up for the service . They also provide instruction and sell equipment. Perhaps we should consider something similar in BC. Stittsville has two outdoor locations and oneindoor in a Recreation center that is adjacent to a church and high school.
Prescott Ontario offered fishing in the St Lawrence and very old 150 yr old houses that still looked good . Wakefield Quebec is a delightful touristy town that is the resting place of Hon Lester B Pearson – one of our Prime Ministers and it used to have regular train trips from Hull Quebec to Wakefield with a roundhouse to turn the trains back – still there and in working order. Lots of young families here. Kingston of course is the home of Queens University and was interesting to tour. A Short ferry ride took us to Wolfe Island , the largest of the thousand Islands where we connected with old school mates and their families. The trip was rounded out north of Montreal in Blainville one of the most active Pickleball locations in Quebec w,ho now have many locations and some 2000 paid members. See www.QuebecPickleball.com
We were sad to be coming home having seen how small places that were not even on the map several years ago , are flourishing in Ontario and becoming big centers. Rita and I look forward to returning next year in the Western part of Ontario – Windsor – London Sarnia – Kingsville and perhaps Toronto and look for the development of our sport Pickleball – Nationally.
I believe Ontario is very close to being as big as BC – 360 locations with a big increase in outdoor activities this year.