A trip to Paris France is all about culture and Citroën Autoclub Canada’s outing to Paris, Ontario on May 7, was much about the same. Established in 1850, Paris was voted “the Prettiest Little Town in Canada” by Harrowsmith Magazine. We were treated to a tour of local historical buildings through the eyes of our guide, renowned local historian David Powell.
David showed us examples of buildings with a unique exterior finish – that of cobblestone veneer.
He has worked tirelessly to preserve the architectural masterpieces in Paris that contribute to its charm today.
While some, like the old post office on the main street, have been demolished, others like the Carnegie Library and the Old Town Hall (a newly designated National Historical Site) have been preserved, the latter about to undergo a million dollar plus restoration.
We met in Milton (just west of Toronto) and took beautiful back roads all the way to Paris. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
We even had a Méhari on the outing. Ahmad Joulaie and his wife Kathy actually drove it all the way from their home in Richmond Hill, and considering the Méhari’s tiger-striped paint theme, we found it only fitting to stop for a photo-op as we passed by the African Lion Safari Park.
Arriving in Paris, our first stop was the Wincey Mill where we picked up gourmet lunches that Club member Angela Fusco treated to all on the trip. (Thanks Angela for a most generous contribution!)
And it just so happened that that a local craft brewery, The Paris Brew Company, was located in Wincey Mill, making our lunch beverage a convenient choice!
We walked with David to look at Monteith House — a great example of a cobble-stone veneered home.
We then drove just out of town to see the Paris Plains Church, one of the oldest and totally original examples of cobble-stone architecture.
From there is was just short jaunt down the road to the home of Douglas Stocks where we were able to sit in a spectacular garden setting to enjoy our lunches.
We also had the opportunity to visit his awesome Maus Park Antiques store on the property that specializes in period 18th & 19th century antiques and featuring carefully selected formal English, Continental and North American furniture.
Returning into town, David gave us a tour of the oldest part of Paris, and not the downtown as most people would think, but a section on the upper level of the town first inhabited by Irish Catholics and quite distinct from the what the United Empire Loyalists developed when they subsequently moved into the lower area.
By 3 pm the tour was over, but many of us returned to the Wincey Mill for ice cream, coffee and more conversation before taking another scenic route back home.
It should also be mentioned that this outing was the debut of Eric Haugen’s 1954 Traction Avant 11 Commerciale, found in Welman, Ontario (near Sterling) that was going to be sold to some idiot that had a B&B, was going to paint it white and park it outside all year as a lawn ornament. Sacrilege! It was far too nice for that fate. It had previously been restored and fitted with DS front seats in beautiful soft blue leather and rear seats and door cards are done in the same! As Eric can attest, it’s the most comfortable Traction you will ever sit in! And with the hatchback, Eric can haul wine barrels!!
In all a great day, and thanks again to Angela and David for all their organizational effort.