Friday, October 3, 2014

Prettiest Town in Canada

In my next book release, Princess and the Ox, the fictional town of Placid is actually modelled after the real town of Goderich, Ontario.  If you haven't ever been, its unique feature is its octagon streets in the core of the city they refer to as the square, even though it is in fact the shape of an octagon.

In the center of the octagon is the courthouse.  The one presently standing replaced the original courthouse which burned down in the 50's.

How Placid would have appeared during the period of my story.

The unique architectural design of the city continues with the historical county gaol (pronounced jail).  Which my hero spends a short stay in thanks to my heroine's grandfather.

This historical site has the proud distinction of being the location of the last public hanging in Canada.

Of course, the town's other distinctive trait is the lake itself.  Goderich is located on the eastern shoreline of Lake Huron and is the location for some of the world's most breathtaking sunsets.

The Maitland River empties into Lake Huron where the Menesetung Bridge sits across the mouth of the river overlooking the lake.

I love old trains and railroads and incorporate them into my stories whenever possible.  My heroine used this bridge often when hiking over to her beloved's farm.  It was also the setting of a romantic scene in the book.  Today, the bridge is no longer used for trains and is instead part of a walking trail, so if wanted, you could follow my heroine's footsteps.

One of the reasons I love this city and used it as my model for the book, was how well they preserved history.  They have a museum that showcases everything from mercantile items to war artifacts.  And, yes, they even have a full sized locomotive inside the building!

The museum itself is located in the historical high school, which became the inspiration for my heroine's cause.

From the historical buildings, to the unusual layout of the streets, to the bluffs with their remarkable views, Goderich is a beautiful town and has many historical houses still standing today preserved in their original splendour.

It's no wonder Queen Elizabeth herself claimed Goderich to be the "prettiest town in Canada".


  1. Wonderful photos. The shape of the city is impressive. That took some planning.

    1. It is impressive, especially for that period in history when a single main street was the norm.

  2. Wow. How gorgeous!
    Enjoyed the photo tour. :)

    1. Thanks Melissa, though all but one image have been stollen from the internet. Don't think I could do the town justice without those aerial shots.