BARRY’S BAY – Things we experience delight us. But things unseen, like buried treasure unearthed, contribute to the fullness of our experiences.
Snowy paths, green vistas and meandering rivers have greeted visitors to Algonquin Park for over 100 years.
Author and retired secondary school teacher, Roderick (Rory) MacKay has spent a lifetime not only enjoying the park but also bringing light to the history that formed the foundation for today’s Algonquin Park experience.
His passion for the park propelled him on a 30-year journey to write several books. The latest, Algonquin Park – A Place Like No Other, was published in 2018.
According to Chief Administrator Officer of the District of Muskoka (retired) Bill Calvert, the book
“offer[s] a multi-faceted window into the Park’s rich past.”
MacKay was raised and educated in Toronto, but at the ripe old age of five months, became a park regular. Through the years, he visited the park on school holidays and, along with his brother and mother, became a seasonal resident during the summer school break.
Most of his time in the park was spent in a cottage, which his father built in 1954, on leased land. The connection with Algonquin goes back farther than that as MacKay’s grandparents also built a cabin on the north shore of the Lake of Two Rivers in 1949.
“The leaseholders were an important group involved in the formation of The Friends of Algonquin Park,” MacKay said.
The non-profit Canadian charity formed to help fund the interpretive programs at the park as well as produce educational books and materials.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the January 23, 2019 Valley Gazette or subscribe online.