Katie and Debra are Jealous Pumpkin Walnut Gluten Free Loaf

Katie and Debra are Jealous Pumpkin Walnut Gluten Free Loaf

Well, I had some pumpkin to make into a loaf.  I rarely use recipes. Katie was home so it had to be gluten free. Debra and Katie pressured me to use a recipe. So I went on the internet, found one, then changed it!!!

It turned out fantastic. Also it is all in one bowl!

1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

mix the above together then add

1 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil

then mix them together with egg/sugar mix , then add

1½ cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of walnuts or more!

mix all that in one bowl, could for 50-55min. at 350. wait for them to cool at least 10-15minutes.

The Mystery of the Missing Hespeler Hockey Trophies

Hespeler Minor Hockey Association (HMHA) is the one of the oldest hockey associations in Ontario celebrating over 80th years of operation in 2017. There is even photo evidence of the game being played in Hespeler 106 years ago!

Even before the original Hespeler arena was built was built in 1947-48 on Queen Street, Hespeler teams played in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) on the open air rinks on Kribs Street.

The Legendary Hespeler Special Angels Playing in Old Hespeler Arena
The success of Hespeler teams resulted in them getting approximately 40 OMHA championships and finalists league titles. Many of the trophies were on display at the old arena.

Then in October 1988 the ill-fated decision was made to tear down the arena. Visitors came from all over to bid farewell to the arena on Queen Street. There was displays, plaques,banners and even bands were playing in the arena. 

A new arena opened up on Ellis Street and that is where our mystery begins. As a history buff,  I have periodically tried to find out what happened to the Hespeler Hockey trophies from the old arena. Emails, phone calls to people who were involved at that time and and even searching the Ellis Street arena has not resulted in any good leads on the missing trophies. 

The history of the community of Hespeler is strongly linked to hockey. The world's oldest hockey stick factory still operates on Sheffield Street. Losing these trophies would be a blow to the heritage of Hespeler.

I have came to two possible scenarios about the fate of the Hespeler hockey trophies.

1. Someone took them home and they are sitting in boxes in a basement.
2. They were thrown out by city staff who simply did not realize their importance.

If anyone has leads on where the trophies are feel free to contact me. This article also appeared in the Cambridge Times.

Is there any solution for the current passenger rail crisis in Canada?

It seems that ever since VIA Rail Canada was formed in 1977 the same problems and grim realities
continue to exist.

Without any legislation to support their existence, VIA Rail seemed doomed from the start. Then came the disastrous decision to privatize our national railroad  CN Rail in 1995. There were no safeguards in place to protect VIA Rail our passenger rail service provider.  CN wasted no time in ensuring VIA was treated poorly: running second fiddle to freight operations.

It did not matter if it was the Liberals or the Tories in power federally. Each party has made draconian cuts to VIA's funding.

VIA Rail has done little to help its cause over the years with ridiculous high pricing and an arrogant management style that has made them unaccountable and out of touch with the public. The auditor general report identified deficiencies in VIA's project management systems and practices.

Today the status in Canada of our national passenger rail company VIA Rail must be considered as critically endangered. They need over $1 billion dollars to update their aging fleet. Their flagship train The Canadian has become a punching bag for CN with on time performance around 25% and delays between 10 and 24 hours do occur.

In desperation, VIA Rail's lawyer turned CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano has resorted to a $4 billion plan to run slow trains along a half a century old abandoned passenger rail corridor. Small communities like Sharbot Lake have been told by VIA Rail they will get passenger rail service returned. Other communities like Pontypool, Perth and Tweed are fighting for a stop along the route.

Poor treatment by CN of VIA trains running on CN tracks has been a serious problem for VIA but this extreme move to the former Ontario-Quebec Railway line has a myriad of its own problems.

Matty Moroun and the Michigan Central Station Chicago to Windsor HSR Fable

The Station 1982 photo Jessica Trevino
Billionaire and one time jailbird Matty Moroun has his son Matthew floating a fable to the media and  public. This fable suggests that high speed  trains will run from Chicago through the abandoned Michigan Central Station in Detroit through the Tunnel to Windsor.

Unfortunately some simple facts make this fable difficult to believe.

  • The Moroun family themselves have clearly shown a total disdain for for cooperating with officials in the past. They have owned the Michigan Central Station since 1995 and have left it to rot. They only recently replaced the windows in it because the City of Detroit was agreeing to sell them some nearby land.
  • Matty and Matthew Moroun (owners of Detroit International Bridge Company, who own the Ambasador Bridge) were held in contempt of court and spent the night in jail January 12, 2012 due to their delay in allowing the Michigan Department of Transportation complete Gateway Project. That project would build connecting roadways to the bridge and take trucks off the residential streets near the bridge entrance on the USA side. Jail seemed to work as the Morouns began to cooperate and the much delayed project was completed in November 2012.
  • CP Rail and Borealis Transportation Infrastructure Trust (a venture of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) own the current rail tunnel and use it exclusively for freight trains. The chance of passenger trains using the tunnel now is zero.
  • The decade old Continental Rail Gateway $400 million plan by CP and Borealis to build a new twin rail tunnel for freight and use the existing old tunnel for trucks between Detroit and Windsor is dead. Besides the plan never considered that passenger rail would be part of this now doomed project.
  •  The Michigan Central Railway Station would cost over $100 million to restore. 

So let us put this fable to rest….

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!