When you hear references to the Mississippi River, your mind, like mine, probably goes to the gulf coast, river boats, hot weather or the Ku Klux Klan. The last place you would think of is Ottawa. Yet the Mississippi River runs through a delightful small town called Carleton Place, about 20 minutes drive from Ottawa.
And this is not a narrow headwater, as you might imagine, but a mighty river already, at least a 100 meters wide at its narrowest points, and billowing out to huge lagoons as it curves its way through the Ontario countryside.
The old town boasts an original weir, and an original mill house. Frame, stone, and brick houses of a past era dot its banks. The narrow main street exudes old town charm, quaint shops invite exploring and serene scenery offers refreshing walks along the river bank. But it is changing.
A new four lane highway from Ottawa invites bedroomers from the Capital to relocate, and the big box stores have laid claim to prime selling spots on the outskirts. Several thousand homes are planned for the town and huge billboards invite Mississippi River living in new condos built along its banks.
Residents of this town love living here and face a confident future, whatever malaise is perceived for Canada’s economy. As our youngest daughter, husband, five year old, and ten day old sons settle here from Quebec, we wish them every blessing as they start new life in Carleton Place.