BLUE WATER COUNTRY
Sarnia is located at the junction of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, and because we are part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, ocean liners from around the world are a familiar sight as they pass by our shores – a moving United Nations. At any time of the day or night ship watching enthusiasts can be found sitting along the shore line watching these majestic giants as they move through the waters beneath the Blue Water Bridge.
Sarnia is known throughout the industrialized world as the “Chemical Valley”, having provided employment for many people since the end of the second World War. It is a transient city, with people staying for short periods of time on their career journey. But for those of us who have permanent roots here, it has given us a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world and make lasting friendships with many.
Sarnia can lay claim to Alexander Mackenzie who resided in Sarnia before he became the second Prime Minister of Canada.
Our parks are second to none and over my life time have provided for me and my family many hours of pleasure. Centennial Park is located along the St. Clair River and offers a colourful array of flowers from spring to fall that border the brick walkway along the waterfront.
Canatara Park is a large parcel of land on the shore of Lake Huron which was donated to the city by a most generous lady – Mrs. Hannah. It provides beautiful sandy beaches for families to enjoy during the summer swimming season and parkland situated in a forest like setting for picnics and barbecues. I look back on the quality time that I spent with my children on these sandy beaches, as they explored the sea shells, skipped the flat black stones over the calm water and jumped gleefully in the waves. They spent many hours building sand castles and learning to swim under the watchful eye of mom – I am so thankful that I was not born in an inner city!
The animal farm and historical log cabins are a wonderful addition to the park, where children have the opportunity to visit and feed the animals and wild birds who have taken up residence there. Lake Chipican is nestled in the midst of Canatara Park, and some of my best memories are from the hours I spent ice skating there as a young girl. To visit this little lake during the winter months is like stepping back in time to a scene from Currier & Ives, as young and old flock to spend leisure hours skating and playing hockey.
Sarnia hosts an annual “Festival of Lights” during the weeks’ preceeding the Christmas season when hundreds of visitors travel by car and bus to view this spectacular sight.
Not to be forgotten are the original inhabitants of this area the Aamjiwnaang (Chippewas of Sarnia First Nation) who add their culture to many community events held throughout the year.
Sarnia is where I was born, received my education, worked and raised my family. I have been very fortunate to have spent my entire life in these beautiful surroundings, and have learned to love and appreciate all that nature has entrusted to us.
By Marilyn Palmer (Sarnia)