(Sorry about the layout of this article – technical problems are being worked on – the French version looks better) On Saturday April 28, 2012, nine members of the Ottawa Citroën Club gathered under sunny skies at the French Café in Manotick. Our organizer Jim McC chose this meeting place so everyone could get coffee and croissants before the drive. The skies may have been sunny, but the air was “crisp”, with an early temperature of -4C. In spite of this, only one 2CV showed up with its woolies on.
After everyone was warmed up and fueled up with coffee, we headed out towards Smiths Falls, then on to Brockville. The group included MichelL and IanC in their DSs, Cor and CarlaB, BruceG, Jim McC, and Bob McL in 2CVs, as well as MikeA and Claire in a Peugeot 505. (if anyone has a photo taken during the brief stop at Jim’s house, please send it) Part way to Brockville, we picked up one more Citroën, as we met up with ChristianT in the famous orange 2CV. The full convoy continued to Brockville, arriving at our destination, Fulford Place.
Leaving the glorious spring sunshine behind, we all entered the mansion at Fulford Place. This was once the home of George Fulford, a Canadian entrepreneur most famous for marketing “Pink Pills for Pale People”. The home itself is a startling illustration of the opulence that was a hallmark of the era for the Commercial Barons. Although photography is not permitted in the house, here are some stock photos from the Ontario Heritage Trust.
And some historic photos also from the Ontario Heritage Trust.
We were allowed to get some photos of the group, standing on the balcony overlooking the St. Lawrence River
Not content with a mere 20,000 square foot 35-room mansion on 10 acres of prime waterfront property, George Fulford also purchased an amazing steam yacht, the Magedoma.
Although the ship is no longer present at Fulford Place, there is a display room dedicated to the story of this stunning vessel. You can read descriptions and the history on a separate site here. After completing the hour and a half tour, we reemerged into the sunshine, and our thoughts turned to food. Only a short drive through the centre of Brockville brought us to Bud’s on the Bay. Jim’s original plan would have seen us eating outside on the rooftop patio, with wonderful views over the bay, but at 7C, it seemed like a better idea to stay inside.
Well fed and watered, we eventually said our goodbyes and each participant chose their own route for the return. Personally, I headed up Highway 29, through Smiths Falls, and on to Carleton Place. A short dash along the newly widened four-lane Highway 7 brought me home.