Hespeler's Hidden Secret - The Coombe Orphanage 1905-1947

On this website I have made available on the My Books tab the booklet "Hespeler's Hidden Secret - The Coombe Orphanage 1905-1947". I wrote this booklet about the receiving home for children in Hespeler Ontario for youth that came from Smyly Homes in Ireland.

I used to do public presentations on the booklets when they were released. I recently found the slide presentation of the the Coombe book. Enjoy viewing it and feel free to share it with friends.




Cambridge Goes Beer Crazy with Six Craft Breweries

Cambridge Goes Beer Crazy with Six Craft Breweries


Grand River Brewery

Grand River Brewery
Long before the craft brewery became all so fashionable in Cambridge there was Grand River Brewery. In 2007, owners Bob & Jane Hanenberg  moved into the former factory building of Galt Knife Company and renovated it. They have a wide assortment of beers, including seasonal beers.

Recently they have renovated their lobby. Favourites from our beer connoisseur are the Russian Stout and Curmudeon IPA. They are located at 295 Ainslie St S, Cambridge, ON N1R 3L3 Check out all Grand River Brewery has to offer at  http://grandriverbrewing.com

The New Breed


In the course of two years, five more breweries are opening up in Cambridge and we love it!  Barncat Artisan Ales and North Works Brewing Company are already open and Four Fathers and Rhythm and Brews Breweries are set to open this fall. Here is quick rundown.

Barncat breweries

Barncat  Artisan Ales

They are part of a new breed of craft breweries. They set up shop in a strip plaza in an industrial area are open on Fridays and Saturdays only. Forget about the ambience it is all about the beer at Barncat.
 They are located at 1600 Industrial Rd b5, Cambridge, ON N3H 4W5. Please go to their website to see what they are brewing.  https://barncatales.com/



North Works Brewery

North Works Brewing Company


Similar in style to Barncat in their no frills approach. Located also in a strip mall and open only weekends they too also put all their focus on the beer. They are open Friday through Sunday. 
They are located at 46 Stafford Ct b, Cambridge, ON N1T 1B3 . Their website is sparse, call first and see what they are brewing! http://www.northworksbrewing.com/


four fathers

Four Fathers Brewery


When we announced Four Father Brewery was moving to Hespeler our blog went crazy with our 6,000 hits. Seems Hespeler folks like their beer and are looking forward to when Four Fathers opens up on Guelph Avenue.  Curtis Jeffrey has recently been hired to the position of Head Brewer. Four Father is busy making the rounds at craft brewery festivals around Ontario. Our only question is when are you opening up in Hespeler! Check out their website at http://fourfathersbrewing.ca/



rhythm and brews

Rhythm and Brews Brewery


Personally, I am most excited about the opening of Rhythm and Brews Brewery. At first it seems similar to other craft breweries located in a strip mall at 1000 Bishop Street North. But as the name suggests it will be more than a brewery. It will  have a stage and feature a wide variety of live entertainment. Last time we looked in the windows it still had a way to go to be finished but we love the idea! Their website is very basic at http://rhythmandbrews.ca  


jackass brewing

Jackass Brewing


The latest to join the Cambridge craft beer phenomenon is Jackass Brewing Company. Brothers Wayne and Keith own the brewery. They are growing fast: having moved from their garage into their own facility within 6 months. They are hoping to be ready for a November opening.

The location of their facility is 100 Sheldon Drive, Unit 36. Their website is http://jackassbrewing.ca



All these breweries have facebook pages that in most cases has more information than their websites, so check them out there for more information. I hope we can support all these new breweries in Cambridge!


Lost Community of Glenchristie

Glenchristie, Ontario

I have found the slides I used when my booklet came out titled,"Remembering Glenchristie". I hope you enjoy the short presentation.

School Board Responds to Galt Collegiate Amphitheatre and Tassie Hall Fiasco

GCI Amphitheatre

On July 7th the Waterloo Region district school board responded in writing to the mounting criticism of their failure to ensure the maintenance of the Galt Collegiate Amphitheatre and Tassie Hall.

The letter outlines the investment in maintaining Tassie Hall. The letter states that Tassie Hall is "A highly functional theatre space".

It is ironic that GCI principle Beverly Wood and WRDSB Controller Ian Gaudet (who is responsible for the school board response) have both stated this "highly functional space" is too delicate for the public to use and cannot be rented at night. It is functional for the students during the day.

I would like to give an analogy related to the use of GCI gyms. What if the gyms were only available to the students during the day but were not able to the public at night for rentals due to their delicate condition? Would the school board still call these gyms "highly functional"?

The letter has a one paragraph on the state of the  Amphitheatre. It is hard for the board to defend the amphitheatre that they have let go for over a decade and is in a tragic state of disrepair. There is a study underway to decide to keep it or demolish it.  The study is twenty years too late. I would be surprised if the board restored the amphitheatre to a usable condition.

For a large photo of the Amphitheatre CLICK HERE.

Stay tuned, we will get a copy of the Amphitheatre study once it is done.

VIA RAIL $5.25 Billion Milk Run Route to Stop in Sharbot Lake

Passenger Rail Service Returns to Sharbot Lake. Are You Ready Campers?

We have done stories previously on VIA Rail fundamentally flawed plan to run slow trains from Toronto - Tweed - Peterborough to Ottawa.

Now comes news that the VIA Rail will be stopping at Sharbot Lake. Good news for campers without tents!

Please read our previous story on VIA Rail and Sharbot Lake.

Here are a couple fun facts about VIA Rail.


1. VIA Rail High Frequency Rail Plan is More Dangerous than true High Speed Rail.

 VIA Rail plan is not grade separated. Their plan has trains on the same grade level as autos. Having VIA Rail  tracks at level crossings with roads increases the chances of an auto/train collision. In high speed rail, trains and autos are grade separated eliminating the chance of an accident occurring. That is why the high speed rail system in Japan has never had a fatality after over a half of century of operation. The safety of Canadians traveling by rail should be paramount importance to VIA.


2. VIA Rail Plan Doesn't Address Their Fundamental Problem - High Fares.


People will not ride the train due to the high ticket prices. Especially when travel times are ridiculously slow.

Here is an example to embarrass any Canadian:
  • Japan Railway Tokaido Shinkansen High Speed Rail - Tokyo - Kyoto - Distance - 513km -  Time - 1hr. 40min. - Speed - 320km.hr - Price: 154.059 Canadian Dollar

  • VIA Rail Canada - Toronto to Ottawa  - Distance - 449km, Time 4hrs 31min - Speed 120-160km - Price - 168.37. 

NOTE: It is not possible to evaluate VIA Rails new plan has they will not provide details on it. There is no evidence to suggest VIA Rail will reduce fares to make rail travel more affordable to Canadians.

How can VIA justify their ridiculous high prices?

Where Will the Next VIA RAIL Stop Be?


The news that Sharbot Lake will be getting a stop on VIA Rails proposed route clearly illustrates the line is fast becoming a "milk run" with stops in Tweed and Sharbot Lake. We love history at HSRC so we will give you the LINK again to the original 1967 schedule of the line and we will let you pick out where the VIA Milk Run will have a stop at next.

We doubt they will open the mine at Sulfide,ON and it seems the glory days in Ungava ON are over so we will eliminate those two locations.
Ungava Ontario is not getting VIA Rail service


We are putting our money on Maberly Ontario being the next stop on  the VIA Rail Milk Run. Why? One reason is the Maberly Station Road is still there. We also like the area. It is beautiful there. Okay not a lot of rationale to stop in Maberly. For all you history buffs that remember the old days when Maberly had trains, here is a photo of the station.

Maberly Railway Station


To read more about the exciting news about VIA Rail stopping at Sharbot Lake. Read this ARTICLE by Elliot Ferguson of the Kingston Whig-Standard. Here is the latest non specific map of the line.
VIA Rail latest  map of their proposed line

We sincerely hope the federal Liberal government will give a reality check to this flawed VIA Rail plan. Canadians deserve better. We deserve what the rest of the modern world has had for over 50 years: High Speed Rail.

Vera Causa Opera 2017/2018 Season Announced for Waterloo Region

Vera Causa Opera has formally announced their third season of opera in the Waterloo Region.
https://www.vcopera.ca/single-post/2017/07/13/Vera-Causa-Opera-20172018-Season-Announced

WireService.ca Press Release (12/07/2017) Waterloo Region, ON - Vera Causa Opera (VCO) is proud to announce their 2017/2018 season. The season includes:

Don Pasquale – November 24 & November 25
Little Red Riding Hood – February 17
The Italian Girl in Algiers – April 6 & April 7
Canadian Opera Fest 2018 – June 22 & June 23

Each production, with the exception of the Winter Kids show, takes place in both Cambridge and Waterloo. Here is a link to more details on the VCO season, and to purchase tickets online. Season Passes are now available.

Artistic Director Dylan Langan commented: "As we enter our third year, it seems the fun is only beginning. Last year's productions were met with laughter and standing ovations. The warm response from the region has encouraged us to continue our expansion, and now each opera will be shown for two nights. 

We are continuing to provide opera that is enjoyable, affordable, and accessible to everyone. With the introduction of our Canadian Opera Fest, we have created even more opportunities for arts-oriented individuals to be involved in our productions and organization.”

Season Passes (all 4 nights of opera) are $50 for General, and $25 for Friends of VCO. Individual Tickets are only $15 for General Admission, $10 for Friends of VCO, and free for students. Season Passes and Tickets can be purchased at http://www.vcopera.ca/season.

r more information, contact The VCO Team at vcopera@gmail.com or by visiting www.vcopera.ca.