Basketball was invented by James Naismith of Almonte Ontario

Invention of Basketball

Almonte, Ontario - Head for Bridge St. in this little village in Lanark County, 50 km southwest of Ottawa, and for one day each August don't be surprised if you find it closed and lined with 40 to 60 basketball nets. The sport basketball was invented by a local resident, James Naismith (Historical video), and for one day each summer the town holds a street competition. Naismith was born in Almonte in 1891 and taught physical education at McGill University in Montreal, then at the YMCA gymnasium of Springfield College, Massachusetts. He invented the game as a winter diversion for the young men at the 'Y', using a soccer ball, two peach baskets, and a set of 13 rules. For over a decade the balls were retrieved manually until open-ended nets were invented. The village's Naismith Museum and Hall of Fame collection recently moved to its new location at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. It is open from 10.30 to 4.30 pm, until Thanksgiving. Photo: Lanark County Tourism

Where: The historic village of Almonte straddles Ontario’s Mississippi River. This is one of a number of heritage towns in Lanark County, a rural region of rolling countryside that starts at the western boundary of Ottawa. Visitors exploring the region can learn about maple syrup production, discover artisans studios, paddle the extensive waterways or relax at a spa. The Mill of Kintail Conservation Area is a 154-acre natural heritage site in the Ottawa Valley, 10 minutes from Almonte.

In the News: The typed rules for basketball, written by James Naismith in Dec. 1891, were auctioned in Dec. 2010. They had been owned by his family and were sold for $4 million US, with the money going to a children's charity: (CTV Report). The 20th Annual Naismith 3 on 3 Basketball Festival, which draws as many as 100 teams (rookie to 35 categories), will take place on the streets of Almonte on Saturday Aug 10th, 2013.


Lucy Izon

Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page

Canada’s Coolest:

Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!

The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives

Here are some of my favorites...

Icefields Parkway - the world's most accessible glacier

The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.

Algonquin Moose Viewing

The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.

Cape Breton Cabot Trail drive

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.

And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...


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'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:

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  • Haunted Hotels
  • Hotel Special Services

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