QR code signs installed at Metcalfe Geoheritage Park

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by Neil Carleton

Metcalfe Geoheritage Park is located below the lower falls in Almonte on the Mississippi River.

QR code signs were recently installed at Metcalfe Geoheritage Park (MGP) in Almonte.  Along with a site brochure and a guest rocks leaflet, visitors to Canada’s first municipal geoheritage park now have access to a wealth of digital information about the display rocks.

Each display rock at Metcalfe Geoheritage Park has a unique QR code sign.

A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a two-dimensional barcode, a machine-readable optical label.  They’re in use around the globe at museums, galleries, monuments, conservation areas, and world heritage sites.


22 QR code signs have been installed at Metcalfe Geoheritage Park.


Scanning the QR code signs with a camera phone or iPad will open web pages with 
photos, graphics, video, and text.

The links to the detailed descriptions and explanations of the display rocks can be saved too so the web pages are available again for viewing at home or in the classroom.


The 22 samples on display at MGP are sedimentary rocks of Ordovician age, about 450 million years old, along with older igneous and metamorphic rocks of Precambrian age, from about 2.5 billion to 1 billion years ago.  Their collective story about the geoheritage of the Almonte region is a journey far back through time to colliding continents, towering mountains, tropical ocean depths, and a landscape locked in ice.


The QR code project of display rock signs and accompanying web pages was supported by a grant of $4,166 from the APGO Education Foundation https://www.apgoedfoundation.ca/uploaded/ed-fund-files/apgo-ed-fdn-pr-metcalfe-geoheritage-park-sep-2016.pdf.

The website was designed and built by Brent Eades.

Silver Shingle http://silvershingle.com/ of Lanark Highlands designed, produced, and installed the QR code signs.  Chad Clifford and Tania Marsh of Silver Shingle were on site July 29 for the installation.

The content of the web pages was prepared by volunteers of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, and the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee.

Along with Canada’s sesquicentennial, 2017 is also the 175th anniversary of the Geological Survey of Canada.

The official inauguration of the QR code system is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, by Dr. Daniel Lebel, Director General of the Geological Survey of Canada.  He will be arriving by canoe in 1840s costume as a dramatization of a special visit to MGP by the GSC’s founder William Logan.  Following his public presentation, Dr. Lebel will also unveil a plaque to commemorate the inauguration of the QR code system as a GSC 175th anniversary event.

William Logan (1798-1875) was the founder and first director of the Geological Survey of Canada, established in 1842 just two years after Upper and Lower Canada were joined to become the United Province of Canada.  He was the first geologist to explore and describe the surroundings of the Mississippi River during his great expedition up the Ottawa Valley in 1845. 

Mount Logan, Canada’s highest mountain, was named in Sir William’s honour.

Further details of the special event on September 16 will be posted later in August on the Millstone News.

Metcalfe Geoheritage Park was made possible by the support of the Mississippi River Power Corp., the Municipality of Mississippi Mills, the Canadian Geological Foundation, the APGO Education Foundation, and the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee.

QR codes tested by Mississippi Mills Youth Centre Team

Georgia, Olivia, and Connor were part of the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre team that visited Metcalfe Geoheritage Park in Almonte on August 3 and successfully tested the new QR code system with iPhones.  Photo courtesy of the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee. 

Adam, Giulia, and the other MMYC team members also completed assessments of the web pages content.  Photo courtesy of the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee.

Supervising the MMYC outing to Metcalfe Geoheritage Park were Matt Healey, Youth Worker; Kaila McCormick, Coordinator; Hannah Smithson, Youth Worker; and Janet Morrison, Manager.

As a thank you for assisting the project, each MMYC team member received a prepared collection of Champlain Sea shells, about 12,000 years old, that were discovered locally during subdivision construction.  Photo courtesy of the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee.