wawa   7 comments

Posted at 8:12 am in Uncategorized

two “Grandma Doors” in Wawa, Ontario

Note: This is my second “on the road” post after leaving the farm in early September. I’m doing a bit of catch-up while I have a net connection. It seems unlikely that I’ll have one for another spell after I leave my current spot, so I’ll try to put up another post or two before I’m back on the road.

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When traveling the TransCanada highway route, it’s easy enough to get the impression that there’s nothing much out there other beyond the rocks, trees, water, wheatfields and mountains. Of course, that’s not the case. If you take any one of dozens of turn-offs marked as such-and-such business section, you’ll find yourself in Small Town Canada. It’s not practical to take every turn-off, but I do try to drift down the main street of more than a few. Usually, it’s to restock our fresh food supply, load up on ice for the cooler, or fill up the gas tank. On this passage along Lake Superior’s northern shore, I stopped at Wawa, one of the larger towns, to look for fresh vegetables. On my way into town, I pulled into the visitor center – one of the largest ones you’ll find along Lake Superior. I soon noticed an exhibit on the grounds and had to check it out. It’s called the Grandma Door Project and you can read more about it here.

two “Grandma Doors” in Wawa, Ontario

I took some time to photograph both sides of all of the doors displayed around the visitor center – probably about thirty. From what I understand, the rest are displayed throughout the town. Each one was very unique, both in how the artists had chosen to depict their grandmothers, but also when you regarded each of these doors for the person they represent. Many of the doors included biographical notes about these women and they relate some pretty interesting stories. Keep in mind that Wawa was quite a remote area at one time — some would say it still is, but not really by what now constitutes remote in Canada.

two “Grandma Doors” in Wawa, Ontario

To me, the doors made for a very powerful exhibit. I was a little surprised that other visitors weren’t spending as much time as me studying these pieces. I’m thinking that it would be very nice to see these works go on to be displayed in some place like the Canadian Museum of Civilization. They certainly would make an appropriate temporary exhibit.

fire truck in front of Wawa General Store.

Just before leaving town, I stopped at the General Store to pick up a couple of items. I couldn’t resist photographing this old fire truck.

Okay, one or two more posts sometime soon (I hope), and then it’s back on the road for awhile. I’m hoping that my USB modem stick is going to work better after I clear the north shore of Lake Superior, but that remains to be seen. If it does, the posts should become a little more regular in a few days. Thanks to all leaving comments to these posts. I do enjoy reading them when I get a chance to connect to the net. Again, sorry if sometimes they end up in the penalty box. I’m not sure why WordPress is sending some of your comments there, but I do see them and release them whenever I have a connection.

Written by bev on September 23rd, 2009

7 Responses to 'wawa'

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  1. That is an incredibly interesting exhibit, bev. The artwork is lovely. And, I love the concept of doorways. What a cool idea to imagine grandmothers as doorways, hinged between past, present, and future.

    Good journeying to you.

    robin andrea

    23 Sep 09 at 11:10 am

  2. The grandma doors project is certainly someone’s stroke of brilliance. They’re very individual. Much better than a giant steel goose!

    It occurs to me that we started out with something not too far futureward of that ancient pumper. Wooden ladders, too!


    23 Sep 09 at 2:28 pm

  3. Wonderfully colorful beloved bigger-than-life grandmas, bev. Thanks so much for posting these!

    Here’s a link to the Columbia Gorge pictographs I mentioned:



    23 Sep 09 at 5:29 pm

  4. robin – I loved these doors. Super idea and so neat to see that so many young people from the town became involved in the project.

    wayne – Ha, I was thinking that it wasn’t too far off from your pumper truck! Agree, I think the doors are a lot more interesting than the goose — actually, there are several in town now!

    am – When I get some time, I’ll try to put up a bunch of the door photos in a gallery on pbase. Thanks for the link to the Columbia Gorge pictorgraphs. Maybe I’ll be able to go and see them at some point during this trip.


    23 Sep 09 at 6:34 pm

  5. Bev, I love the Grandma Doors! I agree that it would be appropriate to put them where more people would see them and take time to enjoy. I’ve only glanced through your last couple of posts during fleeting visits, but they, too, are wonderful and full of power. Enjoy your adventure, Bev!

  6. John – Good to see you came by for a visit to see how the trip is going. I am enjoying this trip — more about that in the next couple of posts.


    27 Sep 09 at 4:59 am

  7. I, too, love the Grandma Doors! I wish that my city would get involved with such a project, but perhaps it works better in a smaller, close-knit, community than one laden with politicians. I checked on the Wawa site to see if they had a special link for this, but there was nothing… I would love to have seen more pics.


    27 Sep 09 at 9:36 am

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