The grand lady has been there for almost 150 years, we’ve been here for almost 20, and it was only recently we availed ourselves of a tour. It is not for lack of encouragement from our friend Lindi Pierce, heritage writer for this magazine and Chair of the Friends of Glanmore. “Come visit,” she invited. “We’re having a tea, bring Florence,” she suggested. “You haven’t seen Glanmore yet,” she asked rhetorically and a little incredulous.
Locals sometimes make lousy tourists. I grew up two miles from the world-famous Santa’s Village. I’ve been there twice, and both were class trips. People travel thousands of miles to visit Santa’s Village. Me, twice. Class trips. When we travel, and at home, people ask where we’re from. “Bracebridge,” I answer, often to a blank stare. “Santa’s Village,” I suggest, awakening stories of childhood visits. For the last 20 years, the answer has been, “Brighton.” Blank stare. “Presqu’ile Provincial Park?” Ah…
Like cherished friends, local attractions will always be there, won’t they? We’ll go next year. We’ll wait for the Christmas decorations, we’ll get around to it, some day. Later, but not today, and tomorrow isn’t looking that great, either.
We, like so many of our neighbours, make regular pilgrimages to Boldt Castle and Algonquin Park. Both are worthwhile destinations, yet we have so much to see right here at home. Darryl and I stole a day in mid-October when leaves were at their peak for a drive through Algonquin, and it was stunning. Driving north of Brighton to Campbellford was equally colourful, but those are local leaves, not famous leaves.
It was a beautiful day, full of wonderment, but mostly at the overwhelming use of selfie sticks, which in my humble opinion should be outlawed. Banned. Destroyed, never to be spoken of again. Ever. Busload after busload of tourists at every stop in the park advanced, selfie sticks brandished. We fled to quiet little Dorset on the far side of the park, where we were two of the five tourists in town. One guy brought his dog. Two women brought their selfie sticks. One of them asked me to take a photo of them. With the selfie stick. Wrap your head around that.
Glanmore bans selfie sticks. Another reason to love the place. There are many more. She is a gracious grand old girl, and every Christmas she is draped in vintage decorations. Last year, Daniel captured it all for this year’s winter issue, using cameras and tripods and not a single selfie stick was allowed. Glanmore was built for entertaining, literally. The owners knew it would make a statement, inside and out, and it does. It is breathtaking, from the exterior hinges to the copper tub to the ornately plastered and painted ceilings. It’s eye candy, and worth a visit, even if you’re, you know, from here.
When I mentioned we were going to visit for the typewriter shot, most people I asked had heard of it, but hadn’t been there. Yet. They’ll get around to it.
Go. Go to Glanmore. Take friends. Go this Christmas, step back in time, cross it off your bucket list, because it should be on it. We have 100-mile diets and hashtags cajoling us – and rightly so – to think local first.
#VisitGlanmore. There is beautiful architecture all over the world, including this gem, right in Belleville.
Lindi wrote a lovely fantasy Christmas piece about Glanmore. Read it, visit, and rejoice in everything our precious region has to offer. Your neighbours are very welcoming.
Thanks for turning the page.