Introducing the Ontario Lakes Project
For some time now much of Hypenotic’s work and our volunteer efforts have been connected to food, sustainability, travel and culture. Over the summer an idea bubbled up; what if we made promotional gear for Ontario places that people would actually want to wear or frame on their wall?
Then two critical things happened. First, we became involved in working to stop the proposed Mega Quarry in Melancthon County and in the process developed a better understanding of the food and water issues that are at stake. Around the same time we came across Nicole Meyer’s 10,000 Lakes initiative where she is creating a logo for a different Minnesota lake every day. Along the way we heard Maude Barlowe speak, watched the documentary Flow and started to think about water a little differently.
A quick Wikipedia search revealed that Ontario has less than 10,000 Lakes, but we have enough of ‘em to warrant giving them the love they deserve.
This week we are starting with Lake Abitibi, the first lake in the alphabetical list. Every week we will work our way down the list creating a new logo for each lake to give you a new perspective on this amazing province we live in and the incredible resource that is water.
Lake Gibson, located in the Niagara Region is home to two historic bridges, one of which is up for demo in 2014. Beaverdam Road Bridge boasts v-lacing, battens and riveted built- up beams, and is ranked a 7 on 10 from the Historic Bridge Organization. This bridge is to be replaced by ‘a mundane structure’ instead of being repaired.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a bridge architect. I would make models of all kinds of bridges out of spaghetti and glue because they had such fun designs. Reflecting now, those fun designs make so much sense. The act of crossing a bridge is awesome, and bridges should boast something of this in their physical design.
However nowadays, new bridges lean towards the ordinary. Has the joy of traversing across river, land, and lake IN THE SKY gotten old? I think not. But if we’re not going to invest the time to make designs that give thought to usage in more ways then functionality, then we have no business designing. In which case, repairing old bridges seems to be the only good option.
The deadline to oppose this project passed on Oct 5th, but click here for more information on getting involved!
The Prehistoric Fish That Got Away
Lake Gananoque is approximately located where 5 forests meet, where the 401 has 4 lanes, and where one prehistoric fish lives.
Many have seen the forests and travelled on the 401, but only man has seen the fish. His name was Jake Brennan. Jake was a famous fishing guide from Gananoque. The fish he caught were the type you stuffed and hung on the wall, because no one would believe you otherwise. The greatest fish that Jake ever caught only gave him a scale to show for it, but people believed his story anyways. Perhaps Jake was just that good of a fisherman.
Jake was on the water one day, casting his line, when the giant bit. The fish was too strong for him to reel in. Instead Jake hung on to the line, and as the hours passed, he waited for the fish to die. Maybe the fish was waiting for Jake to die too, however in the meantime it worked on an escape plan. The fish extracted itself from the lure, and left just one scale behind. After all the rage and disappointment passed, Jake examined the scale, hoping to find some clue as to who his opponent was. On it was a ring pattern that suggested the fish came from prehistoric times. Jake returned to town to tell his story, and the great fish was named Old Moss Back.
Old Moss Back is believed to currently live near the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
For more information on this legend and for other local tales, click here.
Loons and Lemonade at Four Mile Lake
The residents of Four Mile Lake, near the Bobcaygeon, are pretty proud of their lake being home to more than one pair of loons. When loon babies are hatched in this community, you hear about it. However its still rare to see the loons, let alone get close to them, and so what are the odds that a boat would hit one, let alone 2 simultaneously?
Shockingly- that’s exactly what happened last August on Four Mile Lake.
The loss of two 8 week old loon babies was devastating news to the community. Something had to be done. So 6 year old Avery Spitz had a lemonade stand. Avery promised to give the money she made from the stand to the local Wildlife Sanctuary, and thirsty neighbors poured in. 400$ and an unknown number of lemons later, Avery was local news and a local hero. And when two new baby loons were spotted on the lake later that season, Four Mile Lake residents had happy news to talk about once again.
To read more about Avery’s story visit: http://www.fourmilelake.ca/loons_on_4ml.html
Hypotheses on the etymology of Fairy Lake:
The first, and most obvious guess is that the name is an ode to the size of the lake. Fairy Lake is a mere, 1757 acres. Then again, the lake might be named in reference to the nearby town of Muskoka. Just the sort of quaint and friendly place that might set the scene for the beginning of a great fairytale…probably one that involves a lot of fish. Alright, that one was a little far fetched…. More farfetched still is the hypothesis that the trails around the lake offer a variety of activities from hiking to cross country skiing and was thus named after the active and sprightly Fairy. Following this somewhat irrational train of thought, maybe the lake was named after a fictional creature wrought by the human imagination because the lake too, was wrought by human hands. I guess we’ll just have to settle with the hypothesis that the elusive nature of fairies (which must be the reason no one has proven their existence) is the inspiration behind this elusive lake’s namesake.
Wha-what go-where? Wa-shai-go-mog is the original name of Fairbank Lake, named by the Ojibwe tribe that lived on the lake banks until the 1930s. Wa-shai-go-mog means “clear water”, a fitting name for the oligotrophic lake that is bait for snorkelers and scuba divers every year.
If you think that’s interesting, wait until you hear about its past. The lake was allegedly created when a meteor crashed into the earth, leaving a crater now known as Fairbank Lake. How is that for historical impact? And people are still vying for camp sites around its banks today.
Lake Eugenia, the largest inground lake in Ontario’s Grey County, owes its name to a woman who had a very special relationship to water. Eugénie de Montijo was married to Napoleon – III and was the last empress of the French and was a Spanish countess. Eugénie believed her son was miraculously cured from a fever after being sprinkled with water from the spring at Massabielle in Lourdes France.
Eugénie frequently visited the grotto and claimed to be in the grips of a divine power when in its presence.
The grotto of Massabielle, is still visited by more than six million visitors each year who share Eugénie’s belief in its miraculous healing powers.