Saturday October 3, 2020 proved to be an ideal day to enjoy Citroën Autoclub Canada’s annual fall outing. The timing was perfect to observe the autumn colours on the backroads of the Durham and Northumberland regions of Ontario and being cool with scattered clouds meant perfect driving weather.

The route this year commenced in Scarborough, just south of highway 401 at Neilson and Ellesmere Rds. From there we traveled east on Ellesmere to Morningside, where we drove by the Toronto Zoo and into the countryside.

You can view a picture gallery of the outing here:

Our first stop was Port Perry on the shore of Lake Scuggog to enjoy a coffee and local fresh baked goods. We then meandered over to Newcastle and Bond Head, going along the north shore road of Lake Ontario to Port Hope where we relaxed for an hour and observed the fish migration up the Ganaraska River, part of the Great Lakes Basin, and a tributary of Lake Ontario.

After leaving Port Hope the next destination was the village of Bewdley on Rice Lake about 30 minutes away. We traveled inland again on Cavan Rd for a few kilometers and then headed north to Gore’s Landing where once again we were on the shore of Rice Lake and took the Rice Lake Scenic Rd east toward Alderville, dropping down into the marvelous hilly region to travel over to Warkworth were we took another break before heading westward to Oak Ridges for a pre-arranged dinner at Villa Conti Oak Heights Estate Winery.

Villa Conti is situated on a 100-acre property where Tomoasso Coni and his wife Bambina operate at both a winery and a restaurant. Tommaso learned how to make wine, cheese and olive oil when he was young, and has nurtured his passion for food ever since. He trained to be a chef in Italy and has co-owned restaurants in Italy and Ontario, including Tommaso’s Trattoria in Toronto, and often dreamed of opening a winery. At Villa Conti, that vision has become a reality, where he combines his knowledge of wine making and talent for preparing the rustic Italian dishes that he loves to share with others.

We chose to have dinner there not only for the food and rustic location, but because we wanted to be as isolated as possible from the Covid pandemic — and for one other very special reason – with our Christmas party cancelled this year due to Covid, our Fall outing seemed to be the best means to pay homage to the late Dave Kane, a legend in our Citroën community in Ontario.  Dave passed away on Christmas Day 2019 (not from Covid). We did so with a special award we created called the Dave Kane – “All it Needs is a Clutch” named after the famous saying we had about Dave’s cars and that of his good friend Glen Fryer, who always exclaimed that no matter how derelict a Citroën he came across.

George Dyke presented the award to its first recipient —Dave’s eldest daughter Crystal, who attended dinner at Villa Conti along with Dave’s widow (Crystal’s stepmother) Riki.

George Dyke presents the Dave Kane – “All it Needs is a Clutch” award to Crystal Kane.

The award will be offered on an annual basis, in Dave’s memory, to the Club member who has come across a Citroën barn find, or has worked to preserve a Citroën from the fate of going to the crusher.

Dave Kane – “All it Needs is a Clutch” award.

As with our Golden Sphere Award it will be handed out (like the Stanley Cup) each year to the winner at our Christmas party along with a certificate saying that person is the winner for that particular year.

Having been constrained by Covid all year and after a day of driving, it was nice to have a Celebration of Life for Dave, enjoy some fine dining after a full day on the road and get to socialize with friends that haven’t seen as much we’d like to this year. After dinner we all made our way back home safely in anticipation of more great outings next year!