If you’re on the corner of Mill Street and Bridge this weekend, check out the new sign! Yes, it’s true! It’s right there – near the corner – under the tree that’s giving up its golden leaves in celebration of a new season, almost snuggling up to the green bench. Lean in and read what Stuart McLean (1948-2017) said of Almonte while recording a CBC segment of the Vinyl Cafe here in 2013.
“I arrived just as the sun left. I walked over to Mill Street – which for those of you listening at home – is the main street here in Almonte, Ontario; this pretty little village, some 50 odd kilometres to the south and west of Ottawa. And it was while I stood there at the top of Mill that my heart went boom.”
There’s always been a strong affection here and across Canada for Stuart, his appreciation of all things Canadian and for those characters created over the years through his inspired storytelling. For all who attended the recording in the old town hall that July, his magic touched us all.
Launched as an idea by Heather Phaneuf, it quickly became a collaborative effort between Mississippi Mills, Stephen Brathwaite, Pxl Works, local citizens and business folk. The sign gives us Stuart’s take on the magic of Mill Street and beyond. It’s a touching tribute to our town.
And if you want to revisit those lovely stories, run down to Mill Street Books to get, or to order, a copy of the latest publication released this week: The Vinyl Cafe Celebrates by Stuart McLean.
In case you missed it, the Millstone carried a series of pieces on Stuart McLean.
- Stuart McLean and Almonte, 2020
- Stuart McLean Passes & Stuart McLean – A journalist who helped define what’s great about being Canadian, 2017
- Stuart McLean’s essay on Almonte from the Vinyl Café, 2013