As you travel north on Yonge Street from Bradford, you’ll pass through two hamlets, both home to two churches sitting atop a hill.  One, is the very aplty named Churchill.

Churchill, Ontario, Curling Club, Highway 11

Who knew curling was even invented in 1878?

Churchill is pretty tiny.  There isn’t a gas station and there might have been a variety store, although I don’t recall one.  But with its two churches and a couple of old buildings, it’s kinda quaint.  There is a curling club, a store named Steeples that sells home decor, fudge, and pies, a garden centre (gotta love those multi-faceted Highway 11 stores), “Skydive Toronto” (isn’t that a bit misleading?), and, most importantly, a cowboy boot store.

Yes, you read that correctly – a place that sells western boots.  In a town that doesn’t even have a gas station.  If that doesn’t scream Highway 11, what does?

Churchill, Ontario, Wild Wild West Western Wear on Highway 11

Does this medium-sized replica of a cowboy boot count as Churchill’s “big weird thing”?

I had to do a double-take.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  I pretty much pulled an immediate u-turn on Highway 11 – this is a big deal because there was traffic and when driving I’m cautious to the point of anal.  (You don’t know how many cool photos I’ve missed because I’m unwilling to slow down, pull over or pull a u-ey.  I missed going into Eagle Canyon in Dorion simply because I missed the turn and then didn’t feel comfy u-turning til I hit Thunder Bay, and by then I was too far away!)  I couldn’t believe that there would be two western boot stores in between Toronto and Barrie (the other is in Innisfil.)  I had dreams of finding a form-fitting pair of Tony Lama Regal Americanas in Antique Peanut or a pair of 11 EW Dan Post Justins in Cognac.  But sadly for me, I was driving on a Monday afternoon.  And in the off-season, Wild Wild West (which seems to run out of someone’s home) is only open on Saturdays from 11-5.

If you’re looking to venture off Highway 11, turn east onto Killarney Beach Road.  A ten minute drive will take you to Lefroy, a cute little beach town (with a great fish and chips shop) that reminds me some of the little shoreline towns on Lake Erie. my western boots

A few years back I needed to buy riding boots for a ranch vacation. They wouldn’t fit in my luggage so I had to wear them on the plane. Despite being the cheapest boots I could find they were the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Not to mention the coolest looking too. So I’m a convert. I even have a fancypants pair for work!

Farms near Churchill, Ontario, on Highway 11

Although Churchill does have its modern subdivision just north of town at the crest of the hill, by and large it’s still an aggy community

Churchill, Ontario, St. Peter's Anglican Church on Highway 11

This is church #1 in Churchill when driving north up Highway 11. I did not get a photo of church #2.  It probably would have made more sense to put this photo up at the top where I refer to the churches.

6 thoughts on “Churchill

  1. From 1968 to 1974, On the way from Don Mills way down in Toronto, we passed farm lands and green spaces on our way to my parents friend’s farm near Lake Simcoe. My favourite part of the trip was when me and Dad stopped at a small store on HWY 11- at Churchill, where I got a bottle of Coke and something other cold treat like a popsicle. Sometimes my younger brother would be with usas well as our mum.

  2. I 209-2580 Emerson St
    I lived in Churchill for many years there was a gas station and a store where mr Jackson made the best cheese
    one end of the street was a old hotel turned to duplex probably gone now
    across the road was the sturgons the maintained and operated the bus service for school
    mom played curling at the rink
    I have nothing but amazing memories of this magical place miss it

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