All right, that heading is a bit tabloid. Sorry but I couldn’t resist.
When you head west out of Collingwood into the Town of Blue Mountains, you quickly come to an area known as Craigleith. On the north side is beautiful Georgian Bay where I swear the shades of blue in the water are never even remotely the same from one day to the next. On the south side is the Niagara Escarpment; a world biosphere reserve dotted by the many private ski clubs and golf courses the area has become famous for. If you’re lucky enough to be here at this time of year, you can’t help but be mesmerized by the huge stand of century old lilacs growing around The Depot; one of the last standing old wooden CNR rail stations.
This week, I’ve listed a remarkable home set on the ridge rising above the shoreline. This area, which includes Georgian Woodlands, Aspen Way and Nipissing Ridge, was developed by a gentleman named George Fleming. Since the area was originally settled by the family of Sir Sanford Fleming, I wondered about a possible connection. A quick phone call to Mr. Fleming opened up the doors of history to me and I’ll never look at Craigleith the same way again.
Mr. Fleming is indeed the great nephew of Sir Sanford Fleming and he has a remarkable knowledge of the area that stems back to 1856 when the Fleming family first came to the area. They summered here and named it Craigleith, which is a Gaelic word meaning Rocky Bay. He explained to me that the area was originally fully under Lake Algonquin which was a proglacial lake that existed during the last ice age. As it shrunk, it drained through Lake Nipissing and what remains today is Lake Huron including Georgian Bay. The ridge was the original shoreline of Lake Algonquin and now when I drive west, I can imagine exactly a lake bottom rising to a rocky shoreline.
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