Staying at my first AirBNB tonight, near Kenora Ontario. The country side is beautiful even in that dreary season between winter and spring. Hostess Bronwyn is a lovely, down to earth woman and her dog Hugo is a delight. Son Jared was most helpful with the tiresome chore of bringing in cameras, computer and related gear.
The drive from Thunder Bay was a short one, less than 500 km and the van broke all fuel records, closing in on 8.7 litres per 100 km. Unbelievable. It certainly helps that there are few hills on the highway that stretches through the rugged countryside above the Lakehead.
This part of Ontario is quite sparsely populated with still more evidence of folks abandoning their properties. A lot of For Sale signs on small roadside businesses too. Most of the land along the highway is forested with pine and birch and lots of rock. Not the same massive trees of the west coast but it seems to stretch on forever, with great bare patches that have been logged.
As I drive by some of these very small communities, sometimes no more than a solitary house and outbuildings, I can’t help but wonder how folks survive. Many of the houses are in poor repair, barns in near collapse or little more than a sloping pile of grey timbers. Farming up here must be a very short season.
How do they survive, those hardy few who have not given up and moved elsewhere? Perhaps they’ve moved to a nearby town, maybe elsewhere in Canada. I can understand a local economy tied to a resource industry or seasonal tourism, but where does the cash flow come from in these tiny little communities in the middle of what is otherwise the Canadian wilderness? (Photo credit Jerm IX)
(Once again no safe place to take the photos I wanted to take. Sigh. So I borrowed a few images – again.)