Goderich, Ontario: As summer sun worshippers
relax on the beach and munch on fresh lake perch from the ‘fish and chip’ truck parked near the base of the pier, an incredible natural phenomenon hides beneath them. There is a deposit of salt so vast, it supplies ‘The World’s Largest Salt Mine.’ Above ground portions of the mining operation can be seen near the mouth of the harbour. The mine itself is 1,750 ft below surface, extending 7 sq km under Lake Huron – that’s roughly the size of the town itself. To date 150 million tones of salt has been produced from the mine and by 2012, after recent investments, it will be able to produce 9 million tons a year. This all started in 1866 when prospector Sam Platt was searching for oil and discovered rock salt instead 300 metres under Goderich Harbour. Just over 50 years ago the harvesting of the salt began. The town’s excellent Huron County Museum (I heard there was a eight-legged kitten there, but I never did spot it) does include a full-size locomotive, a WWII Sherman tank, an extensive military collection, and a small exhibit related to the salt mining. Goderich is also the home of the Celtic Roots Festival (275 volunteers help make this happen) and Celtic College (more than 50 teachers at summer event). This is one of the top three Celtic Festivals in the World, and the oldest of them. About 8,500 attend the event.
Goderich’s historic jail ‘The Huron Historic Goal’ is an intersting National Historic site that can be visited. It’s said to be the site of the last public hanging in Canada. It is also where Stephen
Truscott was first incarcerated. Where: Goderich is located on the eastern shorth of Lake Huron 73 km from Stratford, 98 km from London. It is known for its Victorian homes and gardens. One Victoria home, The Astoria, is now a lovely bed and breakfast. The heart of town is the ‘octagonal-in-the-square’. A popular Sunday flea market held on the grounds if the square in summer. The town, pop. 8000, has three beaches. The tourist information office is located at 91 Hamilton St. (corner of Hwy 21 N) 1 800 280-7637. Astoria Bed & Breakfast Goderich is in Huron County which is part of a tourism region known as Shakespeare to the Shoreline. Just a 30 minute drive away is the Blyth Festival, known for its popular theatre festival – an incubator of Canadian talent and content. Itʼs fitting that the theatre, which is in their Memorial Hall (dedicated to those local residents that gave their lives during conflict) is currently presenting Vimy – with four soldiers reflecting on the grueling 1917 storming of Vimy Ridge. Also currently being presented: Hometown, written by a group of playwrights from across Canada. They were asked simply: what does the word “hometown” mean to you? Check the Blyth Festival website for current productions.
Cool communities you could also visit in on the shore of Lake Huron south of Goderich include the historic village of Bayfield (award-winning author Alice Munro ‘one of the world’s formost writers of fiction’ comes from this area and and has been spotted dropping intaf in The Village Bookshop.) Continuing south, 1.6 km before St. Joseph, the play ‘Narcisse, a new play about St. Joseph’ is being presented , on the grounds of St. Peterʼs Roman Catholic Church until July 30, 201. Further south is the beach village of Grand Bend – lots of family fun & Nat Geo said one of The World’s Best Sunsets.
Ice Culture in the village of Hensill is a world leader in the ice industry, creating, shipping and setting up ice lounges from Sydney, Australia to South Africa, Dubai and Thailand. Currently Iceculture welcomes groups for pre-arranged tours, and and in the future will be open to individuals.
310 North Harbour Road West, Goderich, Ontario N7A 2L9, Canada