We crossed the bridge from Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, Quebec to Hawkesbury, Ontario mid-afternoon and decided to call it a day. We found a lovely B and B in nearby L’Orignal on the Ottawa River.
It feels strange to be back in Ontario after almost a month on the road. However, since 89% of the people in Hawkesbury are francophone, it still feels like we’re away from home. It is considered to be the third most bilingual town in Ontario.
We started the day in a downpour so gave up plans to explore the view of old Quebec City from the waterfront of Lévis. Instead we took the Pierre Laporte bridge across the St. Lawrence and began our journey west to Trois Rivières.
The skies did clear en route and the vast flat fields began to remind me of southern Ontario.
We wandered around the busy port area of Trois Rivières.
On the side of buildings in the core as well as along the river promenade I saw a number of silver plaques.
Each one was engraved with a love poem, in its original language as well as in French, and gave the name of the poet and country of origin.
I checked it out online and discovered that every September, Trois Rivières hosts the International Poetry Festival with 40,000 participants, events all across the city, readings by poets from around the world and even a “poetry line” (like a clothesline) where you can hang up your poetry for others to read.
We came across this 100-year old covered bridge not far from Berthierville, the birthplace of racing legend, Gilles Villeneuve.
As we drove through Saint-Lin-Laurentides, we saw a small picturesque brick house that turned out to be the birthplace of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first francophone Prime Minister.
It continues to surprise me what you can learn along the backroads of your own country.