|Brighton, Ontario, Canada|
Located approximately an hour east of Toronto, the province's capital city, the small town of Brighton, Ontario, recently celebrated the bi-centennial of it's first settlement in 1796. A stone cairn now keeps permanent vigil at the entrance to Presqu'ile Provincial Park, officially commemorating Obediah Simpson (who just happens to be my ancestor) as being the first settler in Brighton.
Brighton has grown considerably in the last few years, virtually doubling in size in just a few decades. (There are no parking meters... yet... but three stop lights have recently been installed.) Within easy driving distance of Ontario's major industrial and commercial centres, many people have found the pleasure in making their homes in a small town far away from the hustle and bustle of 'big-city' life which often rules their lives, where they can raise their families in the quiet and security of 'small-town Canada'.
Originally known for it's fertile land allowing for a vast agricultural industry, Brighton was, at one time, a major apple-growing community with orchards lining the highways in all directions. Despite the fact that the apple industry has all but disappeared in recent years, Brighton still celebrates 'Applefest' every September, with visitors gathering from all over Ontario and the northern United States to join the festivities.
Brighton is known as 'The Gateway to Presqu'ile Provincial Park'. (Translated from French, "Presqu'ile" means 'almost an island'.) Brighton welcomes thousands of visitors to Presqu'ile each summer who spend their vacations camping, enjoying long hikes through protected wilderness, taking a leisurely walk along the harbour-side boardwalks, or simply lazing away the hours on over a mile of sandy beach with the refreshing waters of Lake Ontario lapping at their toes. (Trust me, this page did not start out as a 'travelogue!)
'Canada, The Land of Polar Bears and Igloos', is a relatively common misconception. We Canadians are quite used to it and take the whole thing in stride, often poking as much fun at ourselves as do others. It is, however, rather difficult to stiffle a smile when we see a car drive by with skis strapped to the roof racks in the middle of July.
No, you may rest assured that a visit to Brighton during our summer months (July and August for those of you in the other half of the world) will allow you to bask in temperatures upwards of 30° C (85° F) while the cooling winds of Lake Ontario wash over your bodies.