Killarney marks 200th anniversary with a heartfelt visit
SUDBURY -- Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell is in northern Ontario for two days to mark the Municipality of Killarney's 200th anniversary and celebrate its rich history.
Children from the community presented Dowdeswell with gifts, including maple syrup - known as Killarney gold.
"The first impression is obviously people, and how generous and welcoming they are. (I'm) very pleased to be part of this and some wonderful stories that they have got to tell," said Dowdeswell.
In true Killarney style, fresh whitefish, caught locally, was served for lunch.
"It's a particularly important time because we are all just trying to help each other through this COVID-19 period. People here are following the rules, as am I. And just still finding ways to share it with each other, to look after each other," said Dowdeswell.
This summer, 200th anniversary events in Killarney had to be postponed to next year due to the pandemic.
"We have an incredible program set up for everybody. And we welcome all those who might be interested in being part of the celebration," said Gary Michalak, Killarney's 200th Anniversary project manager.
Municipal officials said Killarney has a rich history as a coastal community on the shores of Georgian Bay.
Despite the age of the community, the only road in and out of the town, Highway 637, wasn't built until 1962.
"If you think, we are 200-years-old, there has been people settled here for quite some time in isolation and all travel was by water or air or over the ice. So, you know that really impacted supply chains and economic opportunities," said Nancy Wirta, the mayor of Killarney.
The community showed it's civic pride, taking Dowdeswell on a tour of the town by road and water and then lit up a fireworks show.
The community plans to celebrate its 200-year milestone with a number of music and heritage events next summer from July 3 -11.