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Merrickville, Ontario

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Merrickville-Wolford in Ontario.

 

Merrickville–Wolford is a village-status municipality in Eastern Ontario, Canada, located in Leeds and Grenville United Counties. It spans both shores of the Rideau River.

The current municipality was incorporated on January 1, 1998 by amalgamating the former village of Merrickville with the former township of Wolford.

The Rideau Canal locks at Merrickville with three locks have a total lift of twenty five feet. On the south side of the locks there is the old blockhouse, which has been restored by Parks Canada as a tourist site and museum operated by the Merrickville and District Historical Society.

In the last two decades, the region has seen a boom in the local economy mostly related to increased tourism. It is famous for its local crafts people and artists.

Attractions

Merrickville was acknowledged as Canada's Most Beautiful Village by Communities in Bloom in 1998, as its charming streets are lined with heritage architecture, artists' studios, specialty boutiques and restaurants. There is a thriving artisan community with more than 30 artists in the area.

Merrickville is considered by many historians to be Canada's best preserved and restored 19th century village,[citation needed] with more than 100 historic and heritage properties. One of the oldest settlements along the Rideau canal, a major feature in the village is the set of three locks on the Rideau Canal. You will find these adjacent to the Blockhouse, built in 1832 to guard the locks against American attacks.

The Blockhouse, a National Historic Site of Canada, was built by Lt. Col. John By as part of a chain of four blockhouses for the defense of the Rideau Canal. The Blockhouse Museum is open during peak summer season. Near the locks is the Industrial Heritage Complex Museum, the site of the original mills.

Merrickville artists include Pat Hardie - photographer & textile artist, Holly Dean - mixed media artist, Barbara Gibson-Dutton - watercolourist & china painter, Laura Starkey - acrylic artist, Martin Green - artist in various media, Pieter Doef - sculptor, Robin Baker - mixed media artist & instructor, Sue Boswell - potter, Jeannette Froese LeBlanc - potter & jewellery, Claudette Hart - the 'she's outta her gourd' lady, potter, Kevin Gray Glassblowing whose gallery is open every day for demonstrations, David Paterson Handblown Glass, whose gallery is open daily, glassblower Bronwyn McNight at Kiss My Glass, and Angelina Wrona - a lowbrow pop surrealist painter.

The Merrickville Artists Guild Studio Tour, the last weekend of September and first weekend in October, is Eastern Ontario's original artists' tour, and features the work of over 30 artists each year.

Gardening enthusiasts can stroll through the Rideau Woodland Ramble, declared one of Canada's Top Garden Destinations[citation needed] with a huge range of rare and exotic plants, trees and shrubs located just south of the village of Burritt's Rapids.

Every summer there is the Merrickville Fair which birngs a Midway, Demolition Derby, FunLight Laser Tag, and other attactions to the town.

As Merrickville is much more than just a day trip, there are a number of delightful B&Bs, as well as an Inn to overnight at. Restaurants range from pubs, cafés and diners to fine gourmet meals featuring local specialties, family Italian cooking and home made gelato and ice cream.

Merrickville is also home to the 1st Merrickville Scout Group. Founded in 1908, and still thriving with over 70 youth involved, it is the oldest scout group in North America.

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