By George Dyke…..
Due to Covid pandemic gathering restrictions in Ontario, Citroën Autoclub Canada decided to move its 2021 spring outing from May 8 to June 19. This year, the annual “tour” event focused on the Halton Hills and Hockley Valley areas, located just Northwest of Toronto ending with a very special stop at the exotic car collection of Tony Burgess.
As it turned out, moving the drive the second-to-last day of spring resulted in pleasantly warm weather that co-operated with the date change by being sunny and becoming just slightly overcast in the afternoon.
We were also fortunate that Phil Miller and his wife Wendy, both classic car enthusiasts, reached out to us last year inviting us to gather at their Scottish bakery in Georgetown, if we were planning an meeting in the area. With a big parking lot and plenty of room to social distance, it proved a to a great location to meet. We gathered for 10:30 am at Miller’s Scottish Bakery (330 Guelph Street [HWY 7], Georgetown, L7G 4B5) and Phil and Wendy hosted us with lovely selection of tarts, cookies and sausage rolls, along with breakfast beverages — a most kind gesture and greatly appreciated.
Phil and Wendy also organize a Classic Car Meet & Toy Drive on the first Sunday in October each year at the foot of Niagara Escarpment in Country Heritage Park in Milton. Toy donations (or cash) go the local Salvation Army, and they make it a fun day for all with, live entertainment, usually a magic show, Santa turning out to give some pre-Christmas treats to the kids, food vendors for adult appetites and an organized afternoon driving tour of the Escarpment area. Citroëns are always a welcome marque among the cars that gather.
Our road tour of the Halton region got underway at 11:15 am. We headed north through the village of Glen Williams and over Terra Cotta, then on to Belfountain, before beginning a loop of the Forks of the Credit road with the famous Ontario “twist-back” turn and hill that all the Citroëns were able climb without issue.
On the outing we had a model variety; five 2CVs, two SMs, a DS23, a Traction Avant 11B and my GS 1220 Club.
From the Forks of the Credit we ventured over to Alton, stopping at the historical mill that has now become an arts centre. After a brief rest there, we scooted around the west side of Orangeville, headed north and then turned east to take the Hockley Valley road over to a lovely section of King Township where we snaked through a series of country roads that landed us just west of HWY 400 and Teston Rd, putting us on the edge of City of Vaughan’s urban development. From there, we went along Teston Rd, turning south on Keele St. going into Toronto and almost all the way to Downsview Airport.
Just shy of there, we stopped for the final destination of the day. Tony Burgess and Josephine O’Brien who had been with us all day in their 1974 immaculate SM, invited those of us that stayed on course for the day to view Tony’s amazing garage. The SM is one of the many exotic and race cars that Tony has there along with a full machine shop and calibration equipment — all there in a clean “operating room like” environment where Tony tweaks and hones his marvelous car collection to his heart’s content. He spent over an hour with us showing his cars and answering a number of questions that we had. Thanks to Tony and Josephine for letting us take peek inside. It’s a facility that left all of us in awe.
All good things must come an end, and we formally concluded the day just before 5 pm, bidding goodbye to Tony and Josephine, and hopping in our cars for a very satisfying drive home.
Check out our photo gallery of the day courtesy of pics provided by George Klein, Phil Miller, Josephine O’Brien, Jim Sciberas, Simon Walker and yours truly;