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Month: August 2020

A male geologist shows two children a mineral specimen found from the earth.

On the surface, North Hastings is beautiful. Under the surface, it’s even better

No matter which way you’re coming from, the road to Bancroft is long and calm. Big trees and clear lakes flank the roads towards this North Hasting County town. On the surface, it’s cottage country; a place people live in or visit because they love ripple of the water and a breath of fresh air.

But what lies under the surface makes the region even better. Several mineral species, such as graphite, mica, sodalite and even marble, can be found in the soil. Bancroft was once a town that lured workers to toil in small mines. From the past, to the present, there has been great value in this land. It offers an opportunity to discover – or experience – something unique.

Entrance sign for the Municipality of Centre Hastings, located in Ontario.

End of Summer Family Fun

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 hasn’t exactly gone the way any of us had planned. None of us could have ever predicted what these last few months have thrown at us. So, if you’re trying to squeeze in a few more family days before summer ends, I think a day trip close to home is just what you need!
Take a day to explore the little village in the heart of Centre Hastings, that you are sure to love exploring with your family.

Two woman are side-by-side in a lake with their arms folded on top of a dock, smiling at each other.

5 Cottage Getaways in Hastings County

Mention the word “cottage” to most Ontarians and you’re likely to instantly conjure images of rustic cabins, crackling fires, and sunsets dropping on calm, tree-lined lakes.
The cottage is part of our provincial lore; it’s our oasis in a world moving way too fast. And here in Hastings County, where secluded lakes, dense forests, and sparse populations are the norm, it’s easy to find your cottage sanctuary.

Three people participating yoga with an instructor demonstrating in front of them.

Yoga and the River

We were all seated comfortably in the yoga pavilion – a simple wooden structure with screens for walls where light and fresh air enter freely. The wind in the trees and the sound of the river hushed any unnecessary mind chatter and the retreat began with the simple sharing of how we found ourselves seated here in the woods. One participant said it well when she shared: “I came to see what the yogis in the forest could teach me”.  Learn more about Yoga & The River Retreat at Madawaska Kanu Centre with yogis, Jessica & Nathan Rogers of Creekside Yoga.

Madeline Marentette owner of Grail springs spa smiles for the headshot

Hastings Trailblazer | Grail Springs Retreat

Located just south of Bancroft, Grail Springs Retreat is quietly hidden among the trees, known as a place where guests experience holistic wellness getaways in the serenity and calm of nature.

“It was never in my wildest dreams to ever create something like this,” said Grail Springs founder Madeleine Marentette, adding she originally attended college with an eye for design – a passion that is quite obvious in the unique architecture of the buildings at Grail Springs.

Over time, however, Marentette’s interest in wellness and holistic healing grew. She began a journey learning about yoga, meditation and self-awareness. It was from those experiences that her retreat was cultivated.

The Hella Hastings Tour

I found myself in the saddle, too far in to turn around on a Friday afternoon in October 2018. We had planned a cycling route that would push our limits, but that was still close enough to civilization that we could call for backup if we needed it. That’s how the route – which we dubbed “Hella Hastings” was born. Right in our own back yard.

I’m Laura, part of the team at The Brake Room in Belleville, and I’m sharing the story of my first bikepacking trip, some tips I learned, and our Ride With GPS route.

Picnic on the dock

The Perfect Off-grid Weekend in Hastings

Find a quaint cabin; invite good company; pack a cozy sweater; power down. Outside all weekend? YES. Off-grid cabin? COOL! Lake swimming? Sign me up! This spur-of-the-moment plan my husband, Andrew, and I decided on was shaping up to be the perfect getaway.”

The beginning of Paige Wentworth’s off-the-grid cottage getaway in northern Hastings County, in the summer of 2019. Be inspired to have a cottage getaway of your own!

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Quinn's of Tweed

345 Victoria St. North Tweed, Ontario K0K 3J0

Visitors often ask about the building and it’s name, Quinn’s of Tweed. In fact, tradition dictates that we keep, with honour,  the name Quinn’s of Tweed, the original name of the store and building. The Quinn’s of Tweed building is one of the town’s oldest and most beautiful historic stone structures, dating back to the 1880s. The twelve foot walls allow us to hang paintings in the traditional French salon style. You’ll marvel at the craftmanship of the ash and maple staircase, the old bookeeper’s office, and the stained glass that brings one back to an era when a handshake and promise were as good as gold – today, we still believe in those principles.

gaylord hardwood flooring

228 Victoria St N, Tweed, ON K0K 3J0

Charles Frederick McGowan sold the lot in 1907 to William James Lawrence for $600.00. Shortly thereafter Mr. Lawrence erected the building which still stands there today. He conducted a furniture business until 1912, when he sold the property to the Traders’ Bank of Canada, which within the year, was taken over by the Royal Bank of Canada. It operated out of the building until 1942, when the war forced consolidations and closures due to a lack of tellers (men). The property changed hands a couple more times before local Tweed family, Gaylord Forest Products secured the property in 2003. Since then, they have evolved every inch of the interior into an experience. Each room throughout the building is a real life ‘showroom’ from top to bottom; you simply have to see it to believe it. The stairwell in particular holds a lot of history!

Marmora and Lake Inn

Come as strangers. Leave as friends.

29 Bursthall St, Marmora, ON K0K 2M0

Experience the charm of our 1906 mansion, nestled in the village of Marmora, Ontario, an historic town celebrating 200 years in 2021. The large and stately home was built by Ed Shannon for lumber baron Henry Reginald Pearce (known as “Reginald”) and his family, who purchased the lot for $200. It remained a private family dwelling for many decades and eventually was converted to a Bed and Breakfast by Chris and Lilly Boldly.

It now operates as Marmora And Lake Inn B&B and boasts beautiful, spacious bedrooms with quaint old-world craftsmanship for a luxurious stay. Onsite amenities include an exceptional indoor swimming pool, bubbler tub, infrared sauna, large screen SMART TV’s in each room, wireless internet access throughout, and generous sized gathering rooms. And being a small town, the pool is open to the community and friends for a nominal fee (pre-booking is required).

Our guests enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast including locally baked breads and pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit, an extensive beverage and tea/coffee bar featuring a wide variety of flavours and blends. Great outdoor patio area for fair-weather relaxation and large private events.

Whether planning a romantic weekend for two, a small wedding, a family reunion or a week-long visit to bask in the natural beauty of the region, the Marmora And Lake Inn B&B will help make it a time to remember. (Please note that all bedrooms are on the upper levels and we don’t yet have accessibility assist.)