25 Peter St. S.
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Ontario Tourism Region : Bruce Peninsula, Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe
- Pop. 27,882. In Orillia T., Simcoe C., at the S end of L. Couchiching and Hwys 11 & 12, 38 km. NE of Barrie.
- Samuel de Champlain spent the winter of 1615. at the Huron capital of Cahiague, 14 km. W of Orillia. Settlers didn't begin arriving untill 1832, after the British government had built a reserve for the Chippewas at The Narrows.
- The place was known by early settlers as Invermara, but when the post office was established in 1835 the settlement was called Orillia, belIeved to be taken from the Spanish word orilla, meaning riverbank.
- For a time the settlers and Chippewas shared the site, but in 1838 the settlers petitioned the govemment to relocate the First Nations Peoples at Rama on the other side of L. Couchiching, and a village was built for them there in 1839.
- Canadian economist, historian and humorist Stephen Butler Leacock, head of McGill University's faculty of Political Science, spent his summers at nearby Old Brewery Bay.
- In his best known comic novel, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, he parodied many of Orillia’s leading Citizens, some of whose descendants still have not forgiven him.
- In 1957, Leacock's house and library were bought by the town and turned into a museum, the. Stephen Leacock Memorial Home. In 1906 the Tudhope factory was producing high-wheeled automobiles called the Tudhope-McIntyre.
- These were followed by the Everett and the Fisher. During the First World War the factory turned to the manufacture of war supplies and did not resume automobile manufacturing after the war.
- Leslie Frost, premier of Ontario 1949-1961 was a native of Orillia. Writer Mazo de la Roche attended school here and songwriter/singer Gordon Lightfoot was born here as was one of the world's greatest rowers, Jake Gaudaur.
- Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945), a founding member of the Group of Seven, was a native of Orillia.
- Historian and writer Goldwin Smith (who died in 1910 and donated his Toronto home, The Grange, for the first Art Gallery of Ontario), gave land to Orillia for an unusual opera house, which was built in 1895.
- Smith stipulated the opera house must be combined with a farmers' market; both are still in operation.
Natural Resources Canada in Simcoe County.
Address of this page: http://www.stirling.ruralroutes.com/orillia