Jun 16, 2015

Out and about with Willow -- Bissell Park

I shouldn't neglect to highlight one of Elora's local treasures:  Bissell Park.  Not as gloriously shady as Victoria Park and without the splashy grandeur of the Gorge, Bissell Park sits on the bank of the Grand just as you leave Elora heading towards Fergus.  It's across from the Elora Centre for the Arts and about a 10 minute walk from our B&B.  It's best known as the outdoor location for the Elora Farmers' Market and for the site of Riverfest.  When it's not busy during the week, this is where Willow likes to go for gourmet rabbit poop.  Yup.  

A well-maintained boardwalk loops around the outer edge...
...where you can admire views of the other bank, with its upside-down cedar trees clinging for life.

The dam is often a rush of noise in the Spring, and there are benches and picnic tables scattered about to take a moment and appreciate the beauty, singing birds and flitting butterflies.

One of my favorite spots is the stream or off-shoot of the Grand that runs through what I think was once a mill race.  There are ruins of a stone building nearby, possibly a mill, and various chunky machinery bits scattered about the waterside that indicate a larger waterworks... Anyway, these ruins are lovely.
Here's some history from a site my sister Doris found: "Elora Ontario industrialist T. E. Bissell powered his 1894 farm implement factory beside the Grand River. It became Fleury-Bissell Ltd. (1937- 1954). In 1964, Muriel Bissell donated the site to the GRCA, today's 38 acre Bissell Park." (from
And Willow didn't mind posing.

Continuing along the path, 
you can take a foot bridge over the water (a great spot for photos of the Grand) and walk back along Water Street to to Metcalfe and cross the bridge back into the Village. 

Or stay in the Park to investigate smaller side trails and great views.

If you do stay in the Park and cross the parking area, you'll be treated to one of Elora's most community-minded and unique projects, the Kitchen in the Park Project, or KIPP.  
This outdoor kitchen is for the community to share, whether for fundraisers or private parties.  What a novel idea, I hope to attend the next bake just to see how it all works!  As it says on their website, "There is a great deal of potential with the creation of a gathering place such as a public kitchen."

See you in the Park!


  1. I know this park! It's nice that it is so close to the downtown.
    Lovely shots of Willow!

  2. I know this park! It's nice that it is so close to the downtown.
    Lovely shots of Willow!