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Jewels of the North
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The Island of Crete

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Ancient Rome
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Some tips on
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Lucy Maud Montgomery
Southern Ontario

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By Pat Mestern

Until the publication of her journals, few people knew that Lucy Maud Montgomery moved permanently to Ontario in 1911. After her marriage to Ewan Macdonald at age 36, Lucy Maud lived in the village of Leaskdale, several thousand miles away from her beloved Island.

This village, twelve kilometres north of Uxbridge, was Montgomery’s home for 15 years. She wrote - ‘Leaskdale proper is a small - a very small - village, called after the Leasks who originally settled here. I have always hated the idea of living in a small village. But Leaskdale is so small - only ten or twelve houses - that it is almost as good as pure country. It is quite a pretty place.’

Lucy Maud continued writing popular novels, poems and short stories in the white stuccoed manse which sits prominently among the handful of dwellings on Country Road #10. Eleven of her 22 books were published while she lived in Leaskdale, including the autobiographical Emily series and Rilla of Ingleside.

In 1926 Lucy Maud and Ewan moved to Norval. In the new manse, she commandeered a bright upstairs room with a marvelous view of pine-crowned hills and the languid Credit River. She penned - ‘Norval is so beautiful now that it takes my breath. Those pine hills full of shadows - those river reaches - those bluffs of maple and smooth trunked beech - with drifts of wild white blossom everywhere. I love Norval as I have never loved any place save Cavendish. It is as if I had known it all my life - as if I had dreamed young dreams under those pines and walked with my first love down that long perfumed hill. ’ The nearby villages of Glen Williams and Terra Cotta were included in the author’s list of favourite "secret havens."

When her hauntingly personal journal entries were published, kindred spirits from across North America came to Ontario’s heartland to experience Montgomery’s provincial connection.

Leaskdale Manse, recognized by the Ontario Government in 1965, as designated a national historic site by the Federal Government in 1997. An archeological dig in 1999 will preclude complete restoration. A permanent display of Montgomery material, including the portrait "Moment with Lucy Maud" by the late Arnold Hodgkins, a miniature of the Leaskdale manse and postcards, written by the author is housed at the Uxbridge-Scott Museum. Visitors love to retrace the route Montgomery took to the pretty high-country village of Zephyr, where Ewan also preached.

The first stop in Norval, now part of Halton Hills, should be at Crawford’s Bakery for information on special Montgomery events, heritage driving tours through scenic Halton Hills and area hiking trails. Check out the baking too! Norval Manse is located on Draper Street behind Norval Presbyterian Church with its beautiful old iron fence. Area residents contribute heritage plants for the Lucy Maud Montgomery garden located one block west of the church property, where an appropriate plaque is mounted on a granite boulder that faces her pine-crowned hills.

Montgomery aficionados can enjoy the same country charm as they retrace the author’s connections with Glen Williams and Terra Cotta. Leave time for an enjoyable hike, as Lucy Maud did, along the river valley, utilizing the new Credit Valley Footpath.

Lucy Maud possessed a sense of humour and would heartily approve the restoration of her homes and celebrations of her life. She would bestow upon visitors her favourite toast - may the moon like a pearl from an Indian shore, to hand for a lantern above your door.


  • Information on Leaskdale Manse and Uxbridge events write
    • Uxbridge Township
      P.O. Box 190
      51 Toronto St.
      Uxbridge, Ontario, L9P 1T1

  • Uxbridge-Scott Museum can be reached by calling
    • #905-852-5854

  • Information on Halton Hills can be obtained by writing to
    • Halton Hills Tourism
      170 Guelph Street
      Georgetown, Ontario, L7G 4A7

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