Thursday, August 11, 2011

Let me show you ‘round my town

So.  A lot of you already know where I live.  Some of you even live in the same town, or in the area.  And right now, I know what all of you are saying.

“Whhhaaaaa???  Why, Jill?  Why do we need a tour of Quyon??”

You don’t.  But the other night, I was out for a walk, and I thought, Y’know, this isn’t such a bad place.  In fact, it’s kind of pretty in it’s own way.  At least in some areas.

So today, when I went for my walk, I took my camera and photographed the highlights of Quyon. 

For those of you who are NOT in the know, that’s the name of my town.  Quyon.  (Pronounced “Kwi-oh”.  Yes.  I’m serious.)  Outside of our little city limits, it’s often mocked and mis-pronounced.  I believe it’s been traced back to some old native language to mean “muddy waters”.  Makes sense, considering we aren’t supposed to drink the water in our town 97% of the time…

It’s  a quiet little mostly-English-speaking village in Quebec (Canada),  nestled along the shores of both the Quyon River and the Ottawa River.  Despite being small and having lost most of our businesses over the years, we do have several claims to fame, which I will point out a long the way.

I only took pictures of what I considered to be “pretty stuff”.  You won’t find any pictures of the abandoned house on Main Street that the Municipality is threatening to tear down, or my neighbour’s house where people sit on the front porch and drink all day.  Nothing like that.  (Although that might’ve made for a more entertaining blog post…)

Also, I had a bit of paranoia, afraid that people would think I was being a stalker, taking pictures all over town, and that they’d call the police, so I was constantly looking around like  a weirdo to make sure no one was watching.  But I think I caught most of the points of interest, if you can call them that.

Here we go…

This is me.  iPod on.  Ready to rock.


And a picture of my house.  This is the church Manse, but since our student minister (and frequent commenter on the blog – Hi Nancy!),  already lives within driving distance, they rented it to me.  (Please note how tidy my bushes and flower beds are…wonder why…)


I live right next door to the church that I go to, Quyon United Church.


A view of main street from right outside my house:


This is a little further down the street.  The big brick house with the black roof is the home my dad grew up in when his family moved into town when he was a kid.


This is St. John’s Anglican Church.  Such a shame this beautiful church closed in the past few years…


Here is one little local business that has a big reputation:  McCann’s Chips, or “Mae’s” as it’s more fondly known to locals.  Mae has owned the chipstand for over 40 years, and people come from far and wide for the poutines and chicken burgers.  (It’s a two-minute walk from my place, and a big reason for my summertime fatty blahs…)


We’re also well-known for our watering hole, the legendary Gavan’s Hotel.  I’ve spent many  great weekends here!   In the picture below, you can see the mural that a local artist was commissioned to paint on the hotel to commemorate the history of the town.


Outside the front of Gavan’s:


Next we have Marcotte’s, the only depanneur in town and the hub of most of the activity, as you can see!


This shot is looking out at the soccer fields and fairgrounds:


Here is the Ag Hall, or as I call it, “The Elvis Building”.  Yes.  We have a giant Elvis.  On the left side of the building, you can see a stage where the annual Jamfest is held in early July every summer.


Some people in town are embarrassed by our giant Elvis.  I, personally, think it’s pretty cool.  The summer I turned 18, I was the student hired to look after the grounds down there.  At the time, Elvis was in pieces inside the building, and I spent many rainy days stuck in there with him as my only company.  We got to be good friends…


Skate park in the summer, outdoor rink in the winter:


The ball field, home of the Quyon Flyers, and where I spend many a summer night.


We have a rough campground.  As you can see, not too popular on a Thursday in August…


Here’s a picture of the park, and the Lions Hall in behind it.  We are currently trying to raise money to replace that old building, more commonly known as “The Beach Barn”.  It’s none too pretty, but I have many fond memories of events held there.  That old barn has seen some good times…


I love these signs at the park:


This is the flag pole at the Ferry dock, where we have our flag raising ceremony every Canada Day.  I love seeing that massive flag flying in the wind!!!


Scenery down at the river, at the boat docks:


There was a heron in the water!  At least, I think it’s a heron…


This is the Quyon Ferry dock, home of the Quyon Ferry, another of our claims to fame.  The Ferry runs during the spring/summer/fall months, taking passengers from Quyon to the Ontario side of the river.


A view of the mighty Ottawa:


I took a little break on this bench and watched the Ferry for a while:



This is St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  I’m not Catholic, but my God, what a gorgeous building, and definitely one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in town.


Here is our little library, which I just recently started going back to for the first time in years!!


Next we have St. Mary’s School, one of two elementary schools in town.  When I was a kid, it was considered the “Catholic” school, but now the religious denomination is no longer considered of importance.  It’s the French Immersion school.


This is just a picture of my feet… ;)


This is another loop I take down by the river…so peaceful down there. 




Coming up the hill to my place again…this is my back yard! 


Here is Kelly’s Funeral Home, which is kitty-corner to my house.


This is looking down the Mill Road, where the old Mill still stands, though it closed over a year ago.  The Quyon River runs under that bridge.


Looking up Main Street.  The building on the left used to be a grocery store that my aunt & uncle owned, but now it’s an apartment building.


Yet another funeral home.  This is Hayes’ Funeral Home.


And this is Onslow Elementary School, which was considered “Protestant” but is now the English school in town.  This is where I spent Kindergarten to Grade 6!


This is a snapshot heading back home again.


I know.  Kind of a sleepy little town, right?  Not too much excitement.

But I love it.  I walk these streets and every few feet, I have to raise my hand and wave at another friend or neighbour.  It’s not perfect, but it’s where I call “home”.

And hell, we have a giant ELVIS.  Seriously.  How cool are we?!?

Yeah, where I was born, where I was raised.
Where I keep all my yesterdays.
Where I ran off 'cause I got mad,
And it came to blows with my old man.
Where I came back to settle down,
It's where they'll put me in the ground:
This is my town…


Sharon said...

Just want to point out that the ball fields are also home to the Quyon 3-Pitch league, the T-beall league and many other smaller leagues as well as the Flyers.

Lindsay said...

Aw...I love the wee town of Quyon, run down or not!! Great post!

Leslie said...

I love the stability and history you and your family have with the town, how one building can house generations of memories. Great post!

Anonymous said...

THIS was such a fun post! I just may have to steal this!!-- VERY cool.

And your little home.. is so cute! SOO homey! :)

Papi said...

I am ashamed that you didn't walk up to the best part of Quyon...STANTON RD.....You know the one you grew up on!!!

Nicole said...

The Catholic's know how to build churches don't they! The one in our town is gorgeous too!

And I was taking a drink of water when I saw the dog sign thank you very much. That almost didn't end well.....

Plus I was way off on the pronunciation! And on top of all of that hmm... now I forgot what I was going to type.

Mom2MemphisAndRuby said...

I love, love, love the giant Elvis! ;)gr

Jill said...

@Sharon: Yes, it is home to many other leagues, but as you know, the Flyers are my team!! ;)

@Kenny: Too far to walk up to Stanton Road. I already did an Ode to my Road, remember? lol

Date Girl said...

I love the town tour! What an excellent idea. It's a very cute town and I love that you have an elvis! My favorite pictures are of the river. Looks like a beatiful place to visit!

ashley said...

Great post Jill, love Quyon. I definitely have some fun memories and of course Mae's is by far the best chipstand ANYWHERE! Her chicken burgers rock my socks off.

Amber said...

What a fun post, more people should do this!

I love that your town has a giant Elvis, it's totally random. Poutine is disgusting, there I said it. You crazy Canadians!!!

Jen said...

Great post Jilly!!! OMG - should delete Amber's post!
(..just kidding....)

Kristine said...

I'm from Arnprior. We used to party at Gavan's all the time.
Your post made me homesick. :(

Kristine said...

I am awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award!
See my blog for details!

nancy said...

Hi Jillian,
I am SO glad you live in the manse! I would not be as comfortable if it was someone else, you are the perfect housemate!Great post, Quyon is so pretty. I noticed you took the picture of main street without anyone wheeling a baby buggy buggy full of empties to Marcotte's.

I am Canadian, but hate even the look of poutine.

I kept looking at the picture of the no dogs pooping allowed sign and wondered how you do that. We need one on the manse lawn, sorry, I could not bring myself to pick that pile up today. BTW I noticed a weed in the flowerbed. I meant to pull it for you, but forgot until now. I'll grab it Sunday!