The dead roots of Hawkesbury

a Vankleek Hill postcard

I found these roots in an abandoned lot in Hawkesbury, on Spence near Industrial. I think they’re tearing the trees up because someone is building another low-income housing project. Or housing for seniors, which is the small city’s only remaining growth business.

…once upon a time Hawkesbury, Vankleek Hill’s closest neighbour, was a prosperous mill town. Definitely middle class. Roughly nine generations of Hawkesburians (Hawkesburites… Hawkies?) worked for the paper mill. No one finished high school because there was always a job waiting in the mill. Which meant, when it shut down, suddenly there were thousands of people out of work who had done nothing else, or trained for anything else, in almost 200 years. All of that income, those millions of dollars, were sucked out of the economy overnight. And, thirty years later, Hawkesbury ranks at the very bottom of Canada’s poverty chart It’s called institutionalized poverty, think Detroit… or most of the Native reserves in Canada.

2 thoughts on “The dead roots of Hawkesbury

  1. Welcome to the neighbourhood Claire, and thanks. If you ever need a dentist, there’s a great one in Alfred called The Alfred Dental Clinic, it’s an awesome “no pain clinic” which is just as awesome as it sounds. And if you’re ever looking for a milkshake and poutine there’s the Landriault Chip Stand. If you’re in Vankleek Hill on Sunday, July 3, we’ve got a horse and buggy parade and a strawberry social afterwards. The best restaurant in Vankleek Hill is the Trillium Tea Room, on Main Street.

    So there you go… just so you know, for the short version of the tour, I only charge $175. So, ahem, you can send me a cheque, but I do prefer cash.


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