Friday, June 12, 2009

Natural Heritage - The Comfort Maple

Heritage is most often associated with man-made things like buildings, but on a recent country drive I was able to see for myself an incredible example of natural heritage. The Comfort Maple tree is approximately 500 years old and incredibly, still stands today. It is nearly 100 feet high and measures 20 feet around the trunk. It is believed to be the oldest sugar maple in Canada. This tree was already a century old when Champlain was exploring Canada. In 1816 the Comfort family, settlers near Pelham in the Niagara region, obtained the land on which the then 300 year old maple stood. Luckily the family never felled the tree (cannot imagine the task that would have been) and today it and a small grassy area around it make up a Niagara Peninsula conservation site. If you would like to find the Comfort Maple, click here - you will surely need the detailed directions. It is not easy to find but once there an inspiring site to see.

Restricted Hours of opening at the Archives of Ontario

The new building is beautiful, the facilities are state-of-the-art, the exhibition space is great, the staff are helpful.... but for many historians and genealogists, the new hours of the Archives of Ontario may prove limiting. Current listed hours of opening are Monday to Friday 8:30 to 5 pm. Gone are the previous evening and weekend hours. In a recent issue of Global Gazette published by Global Genealogy (an on-line Family History magazine), professional genealogists Kathie Orr and Ruth Burkholder discuss the issue and the importance of making the Archives aware of the need for longer hours.”