When I was growing up and spending every summer at our family cottage on Lake Simcoe, I spent a lot of time in Innisfil Park.
Every day, my sister Mary Jane, my cousins John and Ruth, and I used to walk down to the Park to get the mail. There was a store at the entrance where you could buy a few groceries, ice cream, candy, souvenirs, beach balls, pails and shovels, and a counter where you could pick up your mail. Beside the store, there was a dance hall/pavilion and I think it had a few pinball machines in it.
The four of us would sometimes go into the Park and play on the swings and the big slide. We very seldom went swimming but we watched the kids on the big dock jump into the water off the end. There were always a few boats tied up at the dock and others buying gas at the pump. Sometimes, we bought an ice cream cone, a mallow roll or a chocolate bar with the dime that neighbours would give us for picking up their mail.
On Sundays, a church service was held in the morning and evening in the pavilion over in the middle of the Park. I just remember going a few times to the evening service with my family which included my grandparents. It was kind of fun singing hymns by the lake. It seemed to me everybody walked to the Park and as we walked, we met neighbours walking to the service as well.
In those days there were campers in the Park. There were loads of moms with kids camping during the week and the dads would drive up on the weekends. The campers had bikes, row boats, sailboats, big rubber tires and an assortment of floating water toys. The kids played baseball and soccer in the field and spent hours building sand castles on the beach. It looked like a lot of fun. It must have been a great spot for all, rather than being in the hot city all summer.
Do you have any stories of your times spent at your cottage or visiting someone that had a cottage on Lake Simcoe? Maybe you were one of those campers. If so please write your thoughts in an email and I will post it on our blog. Don’t be shy, everybody has a story to tell!