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A tale of two Lees, Harper and Fanny (mostly the latter)

When I would visit my friend Neal Evans’s house as a teenager, it was always full of his mother Lee’s presence. This included artistic vigour, lots of projects, and a strong dose of social activism in the air. Read more

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The boy whose breath deserts him when he sleeps

It’s a busy Wednesday night at the Fergus swimming pool. Babies as young as a few month’s old are being introduced to the water in the small, warm pool.

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Sea to sea on two wheels

WE’D RIDDEN WELL into the evening and it was nearly dark, so we threw our bikes over a farmer’s fence at the side of the highway, gobbled a quick pasta dinner chased by a Mars bar dessert, then opted to camp on the open prairie without a tent. Our gear was strewn everywhere as we fell asleep under the stars, oblivious to the tiny flashes of lightning on the distant western horizon.

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Who stole Church of Our Lady from Starkey Hill?

I’ve hiked the Starkey Hill trail many times since I moved to Guelph a decade ago. At first, I was astonished by the sudden appearance of Church of Our Lady on the western horizon as I reached “the summit” of the trail in the last quarter of the 4K loop. (It’s now “Basilica” of Our Lady, but I like the older term.) Read more

Every breath you take

At this time of the year Vancouver is verdant, warm and blooming. And well it should be: spring has already been on the go for two months, or sometimes even four. Read more

Miss you Sarah, now and forever

Ten years ago my wife and I spotted deer in the woods below our house in Elora, for the first time ever. There was also a lot of noisy activity from the crows in the cedars, which seemed odd because it was still late winter. Read more

Who killed Ontario’s Himalayas? There’s a smoking gun …

One of the favourite day trips from our summer cottage on Georgian Bay is to a lakeside patch of granite everyone calls “Painted Rocks,” even though it has no such name on the map. It’s a spectacular place, where the mysterious forces of deep nature are hard at work, on a time scale you can scarcely imagine. Read more