Special Features

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: The vanishing swimming pool

Evening strolls through Victoria Park often lead to a large stone adorned with a bronze marker laid in 1923. The marker reads “This swimming pool erected by the corporation and citizens of Smiths Falls under the auspices of the Rotary Club”. Antique postcards featuring beautiful images of the Rotary Pool are relatively common. An old […]

Am I the Only One: The teenager

The adolescent stage is between 13-19 years of age. They are filled with untapped potential, but the teenage years are often not seen as positive. It’s the stage of life where we are fraught with insecurity and self-doubt. The stage where we make mountains out of molehills. We sit around feeling isolated, lonely, and believing […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Call the doctor

Agnes woke up in pitch black darkness—she was shivering uncontrollably and drenched in sweat. By morning she was coughing to the point of choking. The 60-year-old could no longer ignore the inevitable. Agnes picked up the telephone receiver and cranked the handle. “Operator, it’s Agnes Lamb, please connect me with 114,” she requested. This was […]

Garden Matters: The frugal gardener

With grocery prices soaring, we gardeners look for ways to feed our families with good nutritious food for less money. Vegetable gardening is a great solution. If you have a plot of land, or a small yard with a raised bed at least 8 inches deep or even large pots, you can grow lots of […]

Am I the Only One: Crisis of confidence

When Jimmy Carter addressed the US in 1979, he talked about a growing doubt about the meaning of our lives and the loss of a unity of purpose for the nation. He said the erosion of confidence is what threatens to destroy countries. The fabric of society used to be woven by strong families, close knit […]

Let’s Eat: Foundry Coffee Bar, a place to connect

In today’s busy and fast-paced world, it’s unusual to find a business (especially in food service) that has a primary goal of getting their customers to take their time and stay a while. That’s exactly what Kaitey and Kevin Cosgrove had in mind when they re-imagined a Bridge Street storefront in Carleton Place and created […]

Beer, Wine & Spirits: St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish

What can we look forward to in March this year? Well, let’s see, there is International Women’s Day on 8 March; setting the clocks forward for Daylight Savings time on 12 March; St. Patrick’s Day on 17 March; the Full Moon on 25 March. So what kinds of alcoholic beverages can we celebrate with as […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Sparkling water at Smiths Falls

Several years ago, I unearthed a strange object in our backyard. It was a disc of pale green glass with the markings “F & G.”  My efforts to research this artifact proved unsuccessful until recently, when I spotted an old, pale green bottle at a local collectable store. The quart sized vessel had the markings […]

Beer, Wine & Spirits: Wines for Valentine’s Day

When you picture a romantic dinner date, what comes to mind… a candlelit dinner, roses, chocolate, slow music, some red wine? Red wine is often associated with Valentine’s Day, so let’s explore some good food pairings that you can celebrate with this year, whether on a first date or over a meal with that special […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: A career criminal’s daughter

In 1884, at the age of twenty-two, Alice Maude Butler (1866-1935) found herself in a United States courtroom with her fifty-four-year-old mother, Hannah Cordelia (Friar) Butler. The courageous mother-daughter duo testified against a man who called himself Dr. Richmond. The man was in fact Ira Richmond Butler, who had deserted his lawfully wedded wife, Hannah, […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: A tale of two Brodies

In 1873 McGill University granted its first Engineering degrees which at the time were known as Applied Science. Robert James Brodie (1851-1938) was one of only six scholars to be awarded this recognition. To this day he remains a McGill posterboy. Photographs of the bearded, Chateauguay-born, Fenian Raid veteran, grace the walls and website of […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Father and Son served in WWI

When Reginald Burroughs moved into the Keyhole House, he left his mark by signing his name, his son Nelson’s name, and the year “1907” into the wet concrete of a basement windowsill. The family’s new three-digit phone number was 218, and they were listed in the Smiths Falls Telephone Directory as R. E. G. Burroughs […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Lying in wait for a new tomb

Agnes Lamb was a wealthy woman when she died of tuberculosis in 1903 at the Keyhole House. The 60-year-old spinster left executors of her estate with some very clear instructions. In her will, Agnes set aside $1,000 as an investment with the Molsons Bank. She asked that the interest be used to maintain the Wood […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Farmer grocer solider reeve

Ambrose Halladay moved into the Keyhole House in Smiths Falls with his wife and three children in 1945. His son, Ace, remembers eating a freshly baked bun while sitting on the porch that same year. “A light rain was falling, the aroma of freshly baked bread wafted through the house, and I felt like I […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Death of a carpenter

John Perrin was a member of the team of carpenters who built the Keyhole House in Smiths Falls in 1892. During its construction, he left his signature on the back of a door frame in a second-floor bedroom. The following year, John married Annie Weekes. Tragically, seven months later at the age of twenty-seven, John […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: The man behind the mantel

On April 12, 1882, John Bourchier Briggs (1882-1938) was born into an affluent and influential family in St. Pancras, London. His father, William Edward Briggs (1847-1903) was a Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons and regularly graced the pages of The Illustrated London News. William’s firm, J. and W. E. Briggs operated […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Anna Gould

Heiress to a fortune In 1861, fourteen-year-old Anna Marie Gould (1847-1895) became heiress to William Simpson, the largest landowner in Smiths Falls. At the age of seventeen, she inherited a portion of her father’s (Jason Gould’s) fortune which included a substantial amount of Smiths Falls property. Anna was a very wealthy woman when she married […]

Beer, Wine and Spirits: Orange wine

This is the latest craze in the wine world. I will concentrate on just a few Orange wines from Ontario, B.C., France and Spain. We just returned from a long weekend in Niagara-on-the Lake staying at a beautiful and relaxing B&B. Our first stop was to say hello to the Winemaker, Ann Sperling, but we […]

Let’s Eat: The Galley

No matter how you get there, it’s worth the trip! We are undoubtedly blessed with a proliferation of quaint picturesque small towns and villages and especially fortunate to have the added benefit of those communities located on one of our region’s many breathtakingly beautiful waterways. One such location is Portland on the banks of the […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Benjamin Byram

Building the future The year was 1883, and Benjamin Glover Byram (1862-1943) left his fiancée, Louisa Marion Dean (1861-1936) in England with a promise. He told her that he would establish himself in Canada, build a house there, and then invite her to join him. The twenty-one-year-old boarded a ship and left the country with nothing […]

Smiths Fall History & Mystery: The adventures of Jason Gould

In 1829, Jason Gould (1802-1864) made the journey from Roxbury, New York to the raw, undeveloped wilderness of Smiths Falls, Ontario. He had been hired to work on the Rideau Canal by his future brother-in-law, James Simpson. Within two years, Gould had created the foundation for his future wealth. He constructed “flouring mills on Jason […]

Provincial election candidates for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

Conservative | Green | Liberal | NDP Yes it’s election time again. On Thursday, June 2 Ontarians will go to the polls to choose their next MPPs. Hometown News has contacted the major party candidates (PC, Liberals, NDP, Greens) to get their take on the issues of importance facing Lanark Frontenac Kingston residents. We’re happy […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Hidden killer behind a secret door

When we moved into the Keyhole House, we noticed an odd-looking panel nailed to the wall in the second-floor hallway. A few weeks later, we pried off the mysterious board and discovered two small steps descending into darkness. A flashlight revealed that taking a third step would result in a fall through the kitchen ceiling! […]

Am I the Only One: Corporate greed

Companies are doing a great job rebranding corporate greed as inflation. Take Starbucks for example, which says they are forced to raise prices due to inflation and supply chain issues and yet profits went up 31% and they gave their CEO a 39% raise to $20.4 million.  A corporation’s sole purpose today is to make money. […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Unlocking secrets to your old house

Old houses are keepers of secrets and witnesses to history. They have many stories to tell if you are willing to listen. We bought an old house with a view to restoring it and quickly developed a great passion for the rich history of the house and the community. It began during the home inspection, […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: The spy who lost Smiths Falls

The birth of Smiths Falls begins with a tale of intrigue and espionage. During the American Revolution (1775-1783), the Smyth family were involved in covert spying missions. Working on behalf of the British Crown, they communicated using cipher disks, secret coded messages, and code names. Several members of the family were imprisoned and managed some […]

Let’s Eat: Maverick’s Donuts Company Carleton Place

Elevating a simple pleasure to new heights If you ever wonder if we obsess on donuts, consider that Canadians consume more of them per capita than any other country in the world. Like hockey, maple syrup, and moose, we’ve adopted them into our national identity. So, it really isn’t a surprise that when Shannon and […]

Am I the Only One: Homelessness

The US reached a stark milestone this month of 100,000 people dying of drug overdoses in one year. That is 275 overdose deaths every day.  In Canada, 20 people die every day from overdose. It is considered immoral in some circles to demand anything from an addict; this helps neither the addict or the city. […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: G.T. Martin

Architect extraordinaire When we moved into the Keyhole House in Smiths Falls, we decided that the 1960s chandelier with space-age globes hanging in the front hall had run its course. Retro was replaced with Gothic in the form of a three-foot-tall, hexagonal lantern with translucent gold glass. A local antique store was the source of […]

One-Hundred-Year-Old Golf Ball Links to Poonahmalee Golf Club

Finding a one-hundred-year-old golf ball hidden in the Keyhole House has led to the discovery of some fascinating golf history. During the dining room restoration, an ancient, brittle piece of canvas was peeled off the lath and plaster wall exposing a large hole. An unusual ball with the marking WHY NOT was found nestled in […]

Let’s Eat: Gather

Where friends and great food meet In June, Perth’s beautiful heritage downtown welcomed an exciting new food neighbour, Gather, located at 40 Gore Street East. Owned and operated by the team of Kerri Smith and James Gallant, it has quickly developed a strong following among local residents and visitors alike. Of all the restaurants and […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Message in a door frame

When we visited the Keyhole House for the first time in 2018, entering through the Moorish arch was almost like crossing a threshold into another world. We touched the ornate moulding surrounding the doorway to the parlor. We stood back to admire the breathtaking and unusual stained-glass panels highlighting the front hall. It felt like […]

Am I the only one: Division politics

With genuine curiosity I had to google why the Bloc Quebecois leader, Yves-Francois Blanchet was at the federal debate on September 10.  He has no intention or desire to be Prime Minister of Canada. I doubt Mr. Blanchet has any interest in unifying Canada and said as much in the debate. I found information on […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: The man behind the red brick

In 1887, The Toronto Mail newspaper raved about the town of Smiths Falls. They wrote that “there were over one hundred buildings erected in Smiths Falls last year” and stated that “over 1,000,000 bricks were manufactured and used for building purposes in the town during the same period.” Meanwhile, the local press reported that “Ryan […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Outerbridge Station Theatre Magic

The Smiths Falls Canadian Pacific Railway Station was constructed in 1887. The structure was built on what was once swampland belonging to John McGill Chambers. The town was experiencing a population boom during the construction of the station as CPR workers arrived in abundance to work on the new train line connecting Smiths Falls and […]

Am I the Only One: Progressivism

Progressivism claims to be a movement that aims to represent the interests of ordinary people. I’m not so sure about that. We are living in an era with more fences and security, more protests, and clashes. The media separates us into different camps. The working class versus elites, left versus right, black versus white. It’s […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Seize the day

In 1886, the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway yards in Smiths Falls, Ontario created some incredible business opportunities. Matthew Ryan was a local carpenter who took advantage of the situation to make his fortune. He quickly branched out to become a dealer in lumber and shingles, a manufacturer of brick, a contractor, a buyer […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: The Lost Cemetery

For twenty years, Agnes Lamb lived in what was considered to be the finest mansion between Montreal and Toronto. Alexander Wood’s “Glenwood” Mansion was built on Chambers Street in Smiths Falls in the early 1870s and absolutely no expense was spared. This immense structure was built of imported white sandstone and featured a multi-coloured slate […]

Smiths Falls History & Mystery: The Opera House

I have made my living as a magician since I was 19, and the art of magic has been part of my life ever since. Over the last 22 years, my wife Marion and I have had the privilege of touring theatres and performing arts centers in Canada and the U.S., with a few detours […]

Hometown News welcomes student reporter Catherine Poag

I am currently in my third year of a four-year undergrad degree at Saint Francis Xavier University. I am pursuing my literary passions through editing the school newspaper and writing stories about local legends near my hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario. My love for writing started at a young age and grew throughout the years […]

Introducing Hometown News’ newest columnist: Illusionist and Hometown Historian Ted Outerbridge

Smiths Falls is where the magic happens. Not just metaphorically, but also literally; world-famous illusionists Ted and Marion Outerbridge have made this their home. The performers, who have delighted audiences across Canada, in Hollywood, and even as far away as China, moved to Smiths Falls two years ago and immediately began performing to sold-out crowds. […]

Am I the Only One: Discrimination

How is a person with disabilities, mental health issues and addictions supposed to improve their lot in life when the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits get clawed back whenever they go out and work for extra income. We discriminate because we don’t understand the struggle is real for so many Canadians trying to live […]

Perth Inside Out: Perth’s airport dreams shattered after years of bickering

When the president of Eastern Ontario Development Association, J.A. (Joe) Perkins, addressed a large crowd at the grand opening of Perth Municipal Airport on August 30, 1956, he could not have realized his remark that “such an airport would be as necessary as a railroad” would prove to be so prophetic, although not in the […]

Am I the Only One: Personal political manifesto

I think it is a fabulous idea to write your own personal political manifesto.  Am I the only one that gets annoyed when leaders speak ”on behalf of all Canadians or Ontarians”?  How is that even possible?  What I learned through the US election is that the mass media is tilting society towards ‘crazy town’ […]

Perth Inside Out: A tale of a high-speed chase and daring escape from custody

A set of weaving headlights could be seen coming from the east on Highway 7, followed by a string of red flashing lights. The stolen vehicle had a drug-crazed and desperate youth behind the wheel, and the red flashing lights were the pursuing cruisers operated by Ottawa OPP officers. A call had come in the […]

Perth Inside Out: It was like “Dukes of Hazzard” moonshine-runners in Perth

During the middle years of the twentieth century, high-speed chases in Perth and surrounding townships were not uncommon. Some of those chase stories became legends, often discussed among police officers, and probably by the offenders as well. Contributing to the seeming excess of high-speed pursuits during those times was that there were no restrictions or […]

Am I the Only One: The Economy of Mothers

I do not like the narrative that a working mom is essential to the economy.  The Throne Speech promises a national childcare system with high standards that is accessible and affordable for all women. First, I do not believe any government can run a fiscally responsible business like that and it will be a gong […]

Am I the Only One: Labels are for clothing not people

We are too complicated for simple labels. I think we should just stop trying to put people in categories and subcategories before we get so divided, we forget which way is up.   People want to cram your whole identity into a single term, “Liberal” or “Tree Hugger” “Feminist” “Transgender” “Social Anxiety Disorder” “White Supremacist” “Karen”. […]

Perth Inside Out: Lessons learned from the Spanish Flu – or not

When this column appeared in November, 2018, the subject was the deadly pandemic which began in 1918, commonly known as the Spanish Flu. My closing remark was: “Stay healthy, my friends”, little knowing that another global pandemic would rear its ugly head so soon in far-off Asia, and spread like wildfire around the world. On […]

Perth Inside Out: VE-Day celebrated in Perth after surrender of Germany

On May 8, known as VE-Day (Victory in Europe), we again remembered the fallen, the wounded, and all those who fought in World War II. The negotiations leading up to the surrender of Germany to the Allies on May 8, 1945, were led by Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes, who would be a visitor to Perth […]

Am I the Only One: Civil Society

I work in a little store and people come in and want to talk about the president. Donald Trump does not care about political correctness and uses Twitter as his playground. People are obsessed with him and he loves all the attention. His provocative leadership style has turned civil society on its head. What is happening online […]

Perth Inside Out: Perth Girls’ Softball Club prevailed in the 1960s

An era which was best known for the counterculture and Vietnam war, also saw the birth of organized women’s softball in Canada in the 1960s, and Perth was in step with the evolution of the game. Playing in the St. Lawrence Ladies’ Softball League, the Perth Girls’ Softball (fastpitch) Club won the trophy in 1968, […]

We are “Community Strong”

I believe as we go through this pandemic, self-care is very important. One thing I do is go for a walk. Even before the pandemic, walking every day has been as important to me as oxygen.  When we began this pandemic, restrictions and directives were put in place to keep us safe. If we follow […]

Am I the Only One: Ready… Set… NO!

The green rush is on while Ontario is busy reinventing the wheel. Alberta has 400 Cannabis stores while Ontario loses $42 million setting up a website and making stickers. A short drive down the road you can purchase cannabis in creams, soaps, gels and bath bombs. They sell cookies, chocolate, candy and tea. The CBD oil is […]

Perth Inside Out: Military presence in Perth at an all-time low

From its beginnings as a British-influenced military town in 1816, Perth citizens continued to march through two World Wars with the 42nd Field Artillery Regiment and its various incarnations. Many area residents served, so the ties between the regiment and the town were strong. Then came the top-secret military base during the cold war, located […]

Am I the Only One: The impossible standard of beauty

Am I the only one that thinks there is an implicit connection between the blown-up beauty industry valued at $530 Billion and the increase in anxiety and antidepressant use in young girls?  The impossible standard of beauty in movie stars and advertising models is now, whether we like it or not, unavoidable.  There’s an online […]

Pretty Town of Perth not without violent crime

Perth, like most other small communities, has two faces it would seem. One face is the “Prettiest Town in Ontario”, with heritage building galore, and beautiful parks. The other – the dark face – speaks of a past with no shortage of violent crimes against citizens of Perth and the neighbouring townships. Here are just […]

Perth Inside Out: “Perth Remembered” book was Centennial project

The book titled “Perth Remembered”, a 1967 Centennial project, was not seen as a history of Perth, but rather a series of anecdotes and snippets of news past accompanied by sketches and photographs. The items were lovingly selected and incorporated into the book’s pages by an editorial committee, of which County Court Judge Edward M. […]

Am I the Only One: Polite Canadians

On a vacation the first question people ask you is where you’re from. We proudly boast Canada because we know confidently that Canadians are known for being polite. This is a widely held belief and longstanding virtue and I wonder, as Canadians what other associations we could aspire to. Unified would be nice. They say […]

Thoughts on the Year Ahead…

Happy New Year, Dear Readers!Just like every year, this year at Hometown News has started by taking stock of 2019, considering what has added value and what has detracted from it.  More than ever, we have found ourselves busy in the endless stream of social media. As a voice in local media, we see the […]

Am I the Only One: Culture wars.

Mainstream media is constantly pushing narratives that wind people up because strife sells better than unity.  Competing for eyeballs is like catching crabs: they throw us click bait and see how many they catch in the net.   Here’s a recent example of how they get our attention.  Mainstream media took a moment on Coach’s Corner, […]

Climate change activism comes to Perth

Although Perth could never be thought of as a hotbed of activism, the recent Global Climate Strike saw an enthusiastic group travel to Ottawa by bus and by car on Friday, Sept. 27. The climate change combustion chamber was ignited by 15-year-old Swedish sparkplug Greta Thunberg in the summer of 2018, and the movement soon […]

Jewish Community in Perth, Part Two

Last month we discussed the early days of the Jewish Community in Perth. The Hoffman and Karakowsky families were the backbone of the group, and went on to be successful merchants, giving back to their community at the same time. To recap: David and Rebecca Hoffman came to Perth in 1928, and opened a store […]

Jewish community finds success in Perth: Part One

It had been a long road, fraught with sorrow and hardship, for many of the Eastern European Jewish people who began arriving in Perth and Ottawa area during the second decade of the twentieth century. They had suffered persecution in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries, only to find they would be met with the same […]

Blue Devil basketball camp celebrates 30 years

Long before the Toronto Raptors captured the attention of Canadians on the way to a 2019 NBA championship, Perth and District Collegiate Institute teacher-coach Kevin Bellamy was already focused on the sport of basketball. He was coaching and working at camps by the age of 15, and knew by then he wanted to teach Physical […]

Open letter to Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

In the August 8, 2019 edition of the Recorder and Times and in your letter addressed to me of August 7, 2019, I note your concern about the impact of the Board’s recent budget cuts. It is good that you are finally concerned. Yet it is immediately clear to us that your recommendation for addressing […]

Distinguished World War II Commander General Foulkes visited Perth

One of the most famous World War II commanders, Lt.-Gen. Charles Foulkes, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O. (at the time), made a visit to Perth not long after the end of that devastating war. He visited again in November of 1950, which says something of the great General’s connection to Perth as a military town. The Perth […]

Am I the Only One: Possessive relationships

True authentic love isn’t anxious. It’s not headachy or hard. It never second guesses. It’s beautiful and loving. It’s easy and free flowing. You’re best friends and lovers. It’s wonderful and supports your well-being and the health of your family and other relationships. Although it can be hard to admit that you have a possessive […]

Perth Inside Out: “The Whip” came to Perth in 1967

When “The Whip” came to Perth on June 29, 1967, he was in the twilight of his career. His downward journey over the previous few years had carried him from the boisterous crowds of more than 10,000 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, to a few hundred polite souls at Perth Arena. A Perth Courier advertisement […]

Am I the only one: Climate change

Scientists from all over the world have confirmed that climate change is deeply transforming our world and swift action is required. Climate action has finally reached the top of the heap of priority issues and we’re now part of a generation that is going to form policy around it. It’s one of many topics that […]

Hometown News reader writes letter to the editor concerning behavior and actions of council

Majority of the council voted not to read the letter Monday night. Mayor Pankow and Smiths Falls Town Councilors, I am writing this evening to express my concerns regarding the recent behavior and actions of members of Town Council. I have lived in this town for 35 years and I have never once felt compelled […]

Perth’s Hall of Remembrance unveils unique display

The Hall of Remembrance military museum at Perth’s Legion has unveiled a unique display for its season opening on Friday, May 3. The exhibit features soldier William Del Donegan, who was one of 2,100 Canadian men killed during the 10-day “Battle of Hill 70” in World War I. Donegan, who died on Aug. 16, 1917, […]

Tips for dealing with flooding on your property

Recent heavy rains across the province have swollen lakes and rivers across several watersheds and resulted in water ponding on many properties.  Some properties have been affected by flooding. Flood water and water ponding around wells and septic systems can affect the safety of your drinking water and how your septic system works. The Leeds Grenville […]

Freelance Reporter-Photographer wanted

Hometown News is a leading community media provider covering Lanark and Northern Leeds Grenville Counties. Our team is growing and we have an opening for a Freelance Reporter-Photographer. This is an ideal position for a retired journalist or someone looking for flexibility in their job. This is a part-time freelance position based in Smiths Falls with […]

Multi-media B2B Advertising Sales Representative

PDG Media is a leading community media provider based in the heart of beautiful downtown Smiths Falls. Our community is growing and so are we! We have an opening for a Multi-Media B2B Advertising Sales Representative.  We will be expanding our team by 1-2 experienced and enthusiastic individuals.  This is an ideal position for a […]

Perth Inside Out: Sergeant Major’s missing trousers

The Sergeant Major knew he was in a pickle when he went to dress for the Queen’s inspection of his troops, and the trousers were missing from his full-dress uniform. You see, he had been very forceful addressing the men beforehand, about making sure they brought all uniform and kit to the event. “You must […]

Am I the Only One: Self-motivation is the new super power

Opinion: I grew up in an ordinary middle-class blue-collar home. We had street smarts and work ethic. There were no hand-outs. We were ruled by the Law of GOYA: Get Off Your A……android. Yes, the good old days when parents still ran the household. We were self-motivated because of scarcity and boredom. I quit lower-paying jobs […]

Perth Inside Out: Army Signals Corps base was known to few Perthites

A Canadian Army facility in one of Perth’s neighbouring townships from 1962 until 1994 was known to few local residents, and even fewer have ever set eyes on it. There was little to see anyway, as most of it was underground. The Richardson bunker, and installations at Dunrobin and Almonte, were satellites of the well-known […]

Freedom of speech

  Political correctness is suffocating free speech. I wonder if Seinfeld or The Office, two hilarious shows that poked fun at ethnicity, gender and sex would even be produced in this today’s politically correct climate. Censorship is a slippery slope. There are alarm bells going off on higher education that the liberal arts progressives are […]

10 strategies for inspired living

Column: Am I The Only One Life is a gift and it should not be taken for granted. We must accept the challenge to improve the quality of our life. We should not wait for a brick to fall out of the sky and land on our head before we make a change. I’m a […]

Am I the only one: Tobacco addiction

Carrie Wynne In April of 1994 on the front page of the New York Times there’s an infamous picture of 9 tobacco executives standing in court declaring under oath that Cigarettes Aren’t Addictive. In November of 2017, after successfully delaying for 11 years, the tobacco companies began a court-ordered advertisement campaign admitting the variety of […]

What you auto know: Working with your repair shop brings better results

Brian Turner Taking your daily driver in for routine maintenance or something more serious is right up there with root canals and extended in-law visits on our lists of things to avoid.  Even if you’ve struck gold with a great service provider who never lets you down and always provides reasonable prices and superior results, […]

Pilot William Kyle honoured at museum

Terry O’Hearn One of the most prominent exhibits at the Perth Legion Hall of Remembrance Museum commemorates Perth’s Flying Officer William Kyle and five other crewmen, who went missing during World War II over the jungle of what was then known as Burma, and is now Myanmar. They were delivering supplies to allied troops in […]

Garden Matters: Use the bounty of fall leaves to enhance your garden

Submitted Now’s the time to start thinking about all the leaves that will be coming down shortly. They make valuable compost, leaf mould, or can be used as a mulch. Gone are the days when we used to make large bonfires, fill the street with smoke and stand and gossip while the leaves slowly dwindled […]

Empty nester – Don’t kid yourself it’s fabulous

Carrie Wynne The drop-off was a moment of triumph and pride. It felt like an ending to a very long chapter that went by way too fast. I took advantage of the time that was offered to me and now that it’s over I’m so glad I did. As they settle in I can’t help […]

Soper Theatre – Smiths Falls

by Arlene Stafford Wilson It was 1914 when local man, Bert Soper, opened the Rideau Theatre on Chambers Street, at the corner of Beckwith, in Smiths Falls.  Stanley McNeill was the first manager.  He was a local lad, son of Harry McNeill and Alice Butler, and he ran the theatre like a well-oiled machine. Photo: Steven […]

Am I the only one: The cottage life

Carrie Wynne I cherish the memories at the cottage on the Magnetawan River every summer for two or three weeks. The smell of the rain-soaked leaves and the soft blanket of pine underneath my shoes reminds me of the carefree nature I once had as a kid. I feel more like myself at the cottage. […]

Perth Inside Out: A Step Back in Time to the Old Print Newspaper

Terry O’Hearn The printed newspaper has gone through some rough times during the last few years – for the most part due to advances in technology, and specifically the Internet and Social Media. It is increasingly difficult for publishers to predict the precise direction to go, or to gauge the correct timing for making changes, […]

Life on the Farm: Pickling

Millers Bay Farm It’s getting to be that time of year! You know, the time when your social media feed becomes speckled with photos from friends showing off rows and rows of jars containing carefully and lovingly packed and pickled produce. Does the very thought of pickling or canning make your heart race? You are […]

Am I the only one: Ontario work doesn’t work

Carrie Wynne The government is very good at sending cash to large numbers of people every single month. Perhaps they might get better at helping people integrate back into the workforce. People will try and figure out a way to increase their household income but if the government takes it back where’s the incentive for […]

World War I soldier George Stokes remembered

Terry O’Hearn Perth’s George James Stokes was but one of many young Canadians whose lives ended on the Somme battlefields in France during World War I. Stokes was recorded as born on September 18, 1895, in the Town of Perth, to George and Minna (Jemima) Stokes. The greatest battle in Canadian history was yet to come […]

Life on the Farm: Lettuce

Millers Bay Farm Isn’t it interesting how we change our eating habits with the seasons?  In this kitchen, it’s already been weeks since the crockpot has seen the light of day.  Once the warmer weather arrives, the soups, stews and chilis of winter quickly give way to fresher, cooler tastes of summer. Salad becomes exciting […]

Thank you teachers and coaches

Carrie Wynne Being a teenager is hard. I would never want to go back. I was nothing special. Kind of struggling and definitely ignored. Am I The Only One? I was pleasantly surprised when we moved here that teenagers at the Smiths Falls High School are not only given the time of day, they are […]

Perth’s first telephone remembered

Terry O’Hearn terry@pdgmedia.ca Perth’s first telephone system has an interesting story behind it that has sometimes been told incorrectly in the past, and some elements of the related events and connections can be confusing. In this column we will attempt to present the facts with as much clarity as possible. The location of the telephone […]

Listen to understand not to respond

Carrie Wynne People who listen to understand are rare and valuable.  They are life rafts we swim to when we’re drowning and for some of us we actually are. Do your opinions matter?  To some people they might but as the famous Theodore Roosevelt quote says, “People don’t care how much you know until they […]

Life on the Farm: Strawberries

Millers Bay Farm It’s June!  Strawberry lovers rejoice!  This is the time of year when it is permissible to eat strawberries for three meals a day (PLUS snacks…AND drinks…).  Go ahead and enjoy. There is no shame in it. Have you heard of ‘Eating the Seasons’? That’s the whole premise of the idea:  Eating WHAT […]

Life on the Farm: Rhubarb

Submitted by Millers Bay Farm Have you ever paused to think about it?  How, by the time the snow melts and things begin to turn green, we are desperate for anything – anything at all – that is growing and edible. We search the cool, damp earth in the garden for a sign of them. […]

Am I the Only One: No one has to die alone

Carrie Wynne No One Has to Die Alone by Lani Leary is a book I read shortly after my aunt was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I really wanted to call and I picked up the phone and realized that I didn’t know what to say to her. What don’t I say? Should I be […]

Perth Inside Out: Stewart family gave much more than Jessie the Silver Maple

Terry O’Hearn terry@pdgmedia.ca Much has already been said about Jessie, the elderly silver maple in Stewart Park which was taken down Thursday, March 15, by arborists. However, some updates on the removal, and insights into the remarkable life of the tree’s namesake, are in order here. Jessie was cut down because her health was deteriorating, […]

Bees A-Buzzing

Submitted by Lanark County Master Gardeners I look out the window at Mississippi Lake and think that spring is officially here.  It’s snowing out and the lake is frozen solid, but yes, spring is almost here. The silver maple buds are almost in bloom and back on February 28 there were two, count them, two […]

Life on the Farm: Family, Farming & Food

Submitted by Miller Bay Farm Meet the Millers, Shannon and Robert, who own and operate Miller’s Bay Farm at Lombardy, Ontario. Robert represents the fourth generation of Millers working the family farm.  It’s located on the Rideau Ferry Road – just between Lombardy and the picturesque hamlet of Rideau Ferry. Growing crops on 400 acres […]

Letter from the editor: Thank you readers

Janelle Labelle editorial@pdgmedia.ca Hometown News would like to thank April Scott-Clarke for serving as editor for the past two years. Hers was a voice from our community, to our community, about our community. Our team will miss her efficient and encouraging leadership. April, we all wish you the very best as you move on to […]

March editorial cartoon

Cartoon by Patrick Labelle

Grab attention when you speak, join Toastmasters

Carrie Wynne Am I the only one that has sat through a meeting completely disengaged? The speaker was behind the lectern with his head down reading pages and you had a hard time hearing him? Did you try not to fall asleep or check your phone, but the content and delivery was so boring that […]

Clarifying the role of Medical Officer of Health

Submitted by Paula Stewart MD, FRCPC Medical Officer of Health Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit To clarify the concerns raised in the letter by Myrna Lee in the March edition, my role as Medical Officer of Health is to provide information to the municipalities about the possible human health risk of spraying the […]

County not consulting real experts on roadside pesticide spraying

Myrna Lee, Chair, Lanark Fights Lyme After assurances that she has no influence in this matter, Dr. Paula Stewart has once again weighed in on the contentious roadside spraying program in Lanark County. And after repeatedly denying that chemicals would enter our wells – or indeed, any of our watersheds, she gently dropped a bombshell […]

Fraudsters are testing my spidey sense

…And how about those Pee Wee Bears April Scott-Clarke  april@pdgmedia.ca Within the last month, I’ve almost been the victim of two scams — one via telephone and one via email. The first one was when I got a call from “Bell” letting me know about a new promotion. It sounded good — not too good […]

Bully proof your kids

Carrie Wynne I was raised in a household in 70’s where nurturing a child’s self-esteem would be considered laughable.  I remember hearing, “good kids should be seen and not heard” and my father would get a few laughs saying that “the joys of raising kids are grossly exaggerated.” I know that my father loved me, […]

Letter from the editor: New Year’s Resolutions

April Scott-Clarke april@pdgmedia.ca I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions but this year I am — to be more disciplined and stick to a schedule. I have personal and business goals I want to achieve and I think a lot of being successful in doing so is to have a more routined life. Over the […]

Community news isn’t a money maker but it’s worth it

April Scott-Clarke The news of Postmedia and Torstar trading community papers and shutting most of them down was big news, but not entirely surprising. Money talks — or in this case, silences — and to be honest, there’s no real money in community news. In the deal, where no cash was exchanged because all the […]

We’re hiring : Multi Media Advertising Sales Consultant

PDG media is an independent newspaper and digital media publisher. We are looking for a reliable and results-oriented person to join our team. We need someone who knows how to sell print advertising packages that compliments editorial in edition to understanding the opportunities on the web. Responsibilities and Duties Th person we hire must be […]

Fall means coats and camouflage

April Scott-Clarke april@pdgmedia.ca Fall is here and with that comes brisk temperatures (although we haven’t seen much of that yet), hats, coats and camouflage. Granted, the last might not be part of everyone’s wardrobe but I’m going to guess that it is for a large part of our readership. Hunting is as much of a […]

Blast from the past: Carleton Place

Never before see photo of Carleton Place from the Guelph Public Library Archives (ON00126c6-0-0-0-0-766).

Blast from the past: Whitney’s Office Supply

From the Lanark County Museum Network Whitney’s Office Supply at it’s Beckwith Street location circa 1960. The kids are lined up for their back to school shopping. – Also from the Smiths Falls Heritage House Museum collection.

We want community ambassadors and writers

Hometown News is looking for reliable freelance writers and reporters who are interested in writing articles and attending events within the communities of Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Perth. This is a flexible gig but we are looking for people who are interested in writing two to four articles per month. We want these people […]

Letter from the editor: I eat pork

April Scott-Clarke april@pdgmedia.ca There’s been a lot of commotion in the news lately over the treatment of farm animals — pigs in particular. Last month the Lombardy Fair (among many others across the country) was pressured by a farm animal advocacy group to cancel its pig scramble, which would have happened this past weekend. I […]

Vimy Ridge boots on display at Perth’s Hall of Remembrance

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca Four rows of modern-day combat boots seemed to stretch forever across the idyllic green expanse of Vimy Ridge in France this past April 9, lovingly placed there by the hands of French and Canadian students. Each row represented one of the four divisions of the Canadian Corps that fought at Vimy Ridge […]

Don’t sweat the sales stuff

By Carrie Wynne Sales is really quite simple and not nearly as frightening as some people think. If you’re a new business owner or just starting out in sales you may be feeling a little intimidated by the sales activities involved in promoting your product or service, but don’t sweat the sales stuff. You just […]


Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca Pat Evans is quick to encourage anyone who has Parkinson’s Disease to go public about it. It helps raise awareness about the prevalence of the nasty affliction, and she points out that the Parkinson’s problem is only going to get worse as our population ages. Evans would also like you to come […]

Do you ever wonder how violence impacts our behaviour and attitudes?

I went to find something to watch the other night.  Every type of violence you can imagine was on the menu; human trafficking, terrorists, torture, shootings, rape, revenge, kidnapping, serial killers, bombs and guns. There are forests that aren’t as shady as some of these shows. I might never recover and I just read the […]

Truth and consequences of the all encompassing cell phone

I watched someone check Facebook during a business meeting the other day.  I felt so insignificant and unimportant I wanted to throw my hands up in the air.  We’re acting like a bunch of teenagers; drunk on cell phone drama and convinced it’s more important than the people right in front of us.   If […]

Conlon Farm Recreation Complex is showcased – Part IV

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca Construction on Conlon Farm Recreation Complex commenced in 1988, and long-time softball enthusiast Neil Fennell watched closely to see if his dream of Perth hosting a tournament for competitive teams might finally come true through the availability of suitable facilities. Soon Fennell thought he had his answer, and he began to educate […]

Five strategies for inspired living

It takes discipline and practice to create a mindset where inspiration thrives. Most of us have been hardwired for struggle. Life can be discouraging at times and we allow ourselves to get depleted by these bad mental states. We need good habits and routines that keep us on track.  Here are five strategies to create […]

Farm Recreation Complex & the little town that could – Part III

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca It seemed improbable back in the mid 1980s that the little town of Perth could raise more than $1,000,000 to fund a recreation facility. Especially given the fiscally conservative mindset of many town officials. Recently I caught up with John Willson and Lana March, who were both on the Conlon Farm Recreation Area fundraising […]

Pills should be the last resort

OPINION There’s a pharmaceutical solution for every problem. But not every problem needs a pharmaceutical solution. What’s wrong with being a little crazy? Pills are a quick fix. Our fast-paced society doesn’t value or support the kind of deep work that’s necessary to help people navigate through turbulent waters. It’s more convenient to give a […]

Conlon Farm Recreation Complex fundraising begins – Part II

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca “Conlon fundraising starting now” blared the headline under the Perth Courier Oct. 8, 1986 masthead.  The story went on to say that “Although a total figure to be raised through donations has not been determined yet, a fundraising drive for phase one of the Conlon Farm recreation project is quickly gearing up. […]

Eric Devlin: A life of dedication to country and community, Part 2

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca Read part one of the two-part series. Current and past Legion president, war veteran, and long-time member Eric Devlin recently mused about his early days growing up in Perth, revealing that he had been a proficient roller skater at the height of that sport’s popularity. He was one of the few local […]

Conlon Farm Recreation Complex is born – Part I

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca “Conlon fundraising starting now” blared the headline under the Perth Courier Oct. 8, 1986 masthead.  The story went on to say that “Although a total figure to be raised through donations has not been determined yet, a fundraising drive for phase one of the Conlon Farm recreation project is quickly gearing up. […]

Eric Devlin – A life of dedication to country and community

Terry O’Hearn editorial@pdgmedia.ca This is part one of a two-part series. Read part two.  Perth Legion President Eric Devlin gave more than 42 years of military service to his country at various times in the previous century.  He served in the Canadian Army during World War Two, as well as in Japan, Korea, Germany, and […]