Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Walk Around Town

Look at these beauties enjoying the early blast of Spring. 

The unusual warm burst of weather has brought the flowers peaking up from the ground, the tree buds sprouting, and everyone out walking around to drink in the sunshine. The unseasonably high temps have encouraged me to wander around our pretty town with my camera.

Spring flowers pop up through winter pine and remnants of fall leaves.

We live in Olde Oakville where the streets are lined with Historical homes and a stunning canopy of aged trees. No matter how many times I walk around town and how well I know the neighbourhood, each day there seems to be something new to discover.

Generally when the blanket of snow begins to melt and the days get brighter, it's enlightening to see the new spring. This winter the snow was so limited that it could be swept away. Although everyone thinks that almost no snow is ideal, if we have a hot/dry summer, it could mean that there will be limits for garden watering.

I took the picture above of the lake line at Oakville looking east towards Toronto. It was very early evening and the sun was reflecting a few final sparkling glimpses of Lake Ontario. I've stood here a hundred times before, but this calm took my breath away. We can hear the thunder of the waves from our home when it is stormy, but last night the lake was as smooth as glass.

The house in the distance is a glass bunky-style house that sits high above the stone wall over the water edge property. Many evenings when I walk along the path, the property owners are tucked up in the glass house with twinkling lights on, enjoying the sound of the lake.

Moss covered stone at waters edge..... a ducks delight.

No skipping stones required. A gull makes his mark on the calm lake.

I veered off of the lake path to take a few pictures of our church, St. Andrew's. The church was originally built in 1840, and it has undergone a recent restoration both on the interior and exterior. The fresh white stucco exterior is punctuated with the dark trim on the windows and dark wooden doors that welcome you into this special house of worship.
I love our church for many reasons beyond the beauty of the building itself, but it really is by far the prettiest church in town.

 I can almost hear our choir singing.... and they are truly incredible.

There is a beautiful park along the shores of the lake on the east end of Olde Oakville. The property which is currently know as Gairloch Gardens was originally part of a 400 acre farm estate.

Gairloch Estate Garden

In 1922 Colonel William Mackendrick purchased 11.4 acres of the land from the original estate. He created a rose garden and landscaped the property with hedges and tree's creating an elegant garden at the lake. The Colonel built a Tudor style home on the hill that offers a clear view of the waters edge.

View from the house at Gairloch Estate

Lanai on the west side of the stone Tudor home.

This gives you an idea of the view of the lake from the lanai. It would be incredible sitting in this porch area and watch a thunder storm over the water.

It wasn't until 1960, three years after Colonel Mackendrick's death that the property was sold. James Gairdner, an investment dealer, bought the estate and named it Gairloch, a Gaelic word that means 'short lake'.
When Mr. Gairdner died in 1971 he bequeathed the estate to the town of Oakville. His wish was that 'the residence and the land be used as an art gallery'. Six years after Mr. Gairdner's death The Gairloch Gallery amalgamated with the Centennial Gallery to form Oakville Galleries.

View of the lanai and lake through the stone arch at Gairloch Estate.

Running alone the east side of the property near the original Tudor house is a stone wall that is covered in vine. Even at this early stage of spring without foliage on the vine, the wall is picturesque. The stone wall is probably 300 feet long and offers a break from the west wind.
There are so many pretty spots on the property that are favored by wedding photographers; in the rose gardens, the bridge over the pond, the stone steps that lead to the lake. But it is this old stone wall that I feel offers one of the most romantic spots to take pictures.

The entire time I wandered the property taking pictures a Cardinal followed me singing his distinctive song. Of course he sat boldly allowing me to watch him for several minutes each time, but was too shy to let me take his picture. {click here to find out why Cardinal's are so important to me}.

On the private roadway that leads up to the gallery there are only four homes, they are beautiful stone/stucco houses. 'Old Stoney's' is what Richard passionately calls them, and indeed they are beauties.
In 2010, two of the homes at Gairloch were used in filming the movie Dream House starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. The two house's were used for the indoor scene's, while a demo house was built at the estate to film the outdoor shots.

I love wandering around our neighbourhood, with so many Historical buildings and massive tree's. It's a pretty place to explore and discover the history behind the families who put the first stepping stones down in our community.


  1. Lovely photos! Greetings from Poland ✿ܓ

  2. Katherine, Oakville,is one of my favourite places to visit, I have several close friends who live there....great shops as well!
    Thank you for sharing this lovely spot, I was not aware of it, we are so fortunate to live in this beautiful part of Canada...I shall be posting about Jordan Village soon! N.xo

  3. Beautiful!
    Looks like I need to put Oakville on one of my places that I need to visit in Canada.