Do you ever watch a movie, set in a small town where people go into a restaurant or pass each other on the street and greet each other? You wish for instant that you lived in a town like that and Almonte is that with the Superior Restaurant and Pakenham is that sort of town with the Centennial. That is what these restaurants should be best known for. It is the place where families gather, where people go after church, where the guys gather before they go hunting. It’s where people greet one another when they walk in the door. For a moment you can feel like you belong and just take in the laid-back friendliness. Let’s keep these restaurants alive!!!!
The Citizen, Ottawa, Tuesday, September 6, 1977 An artistic salute to a good restaurant By Robert Smythe
The women at the Centennial Restaurant in , Pakenham, Chit., have been serving up good restaurant food and motherly advice for some time, and it is in recognition of their service to the community that the owners of Andrew Dickson’s craft ; store and gallery have put together a month long “Salute to the Ladies of the Centennial Restaurant”. Of course the show’s food theme affords the perfect opportunity to display predictable plates, goblets and place mats all of which abound at the Salute, in the earth tone chunkiness that you come to expect from local potters.
But those who have abandoned this homespun functionalism have done so with a good deal of humor. Their totally impractical tributes to the Centennial are the brightest of this group effort. Ice-cream is really the restaurant’s ace special, and so it is only natural that Paddy Mann’s vanilla cone banner should be hanging outside the old stone building. The image has also found its way onto colored T-shirts, screened by Jane Bonnell.
Gail Bent has made Gobelin tapestries of a stove and a Scottish frugal fridge (with only one carrot in it), but her funniest piece is Holstein By Any Other Name. It is a white wood udder, whose four generous teats are delivering a gushing stream of fibre milk down the wall into a waiting galvanized bucket. Across its side is emblazoned a silver MOO. Alice Paige’s jars of jam jelly look luscious sitting in the window with the sum streaming through them, especially when their deep clear color is echoed by a pair of ruby red satin lips hanging nearby.
Other clever and cute stuffed toys include some glossy eggplants, halved avocados, and a delicious chocolate wafer ice cream bar with a large bite taken out of it. Regular stuffed sandwiches come in several separate layers one for the lettuce, one for the meat, two for slices of bread. Inedible food was also heaped onto brooch pins. Of these, Neil Stewart’s jewelery work was exceptional. Using ivory, silver and brass he has assembled a miniature breakfast of bacon and eggs sunnyside-up, on a tiny round plate. Another piece features a slice of pie (a la mode?) and accompanying fork. At the other extreme of scale is Wayne Cardinelli’s oversized Blue Ribbon Pie in the Sky Award for the Centennial. The medal, which is at least one foot across, has been struck in clay for the occasion.
Sally TuffinI remember when it had red and white checkered tablecloths and shelving where local hand crafts were displayed for sale. Food was excellent.Then when I was a student at Pakenham Public we used to go out with friends to lunch at the Centennial.At the end of the schoolyear our bus drivers used to buy us all an ice cream at the ice cream counter. Worked there for a year when I was a teenager.
Heaps of ice cream in the biggest cone in the country (maybe in the whole world) goes for 50 cents at the Centennial Restaurant in Pakenham. Ont., on Highway 29 and it’s big. People come from all over the Ottawa Valley, and beyond, to try the cone they’ve heard about at the Centennial, as its name suggests, opened in 1967, and Elsa Stewart, its proprietor, explains: “We started serving the big cones around 1970. Some of the girls at the restaurant began scooping out larger cones and I encouraged them to continue.” She describes the cones, modestly, as “two, good-sized scoops.” Some of her customers liken them to softballs and its Sealtest and it’s good, but it’s the hefty scoops that really impress everybody. The restaurant keeps three freezers packed with tubs of ice cream and there’s good variety chocolate, vanilla, tutti frutti. strawberry, chocolate-walnut, maple, and heavenly hash a devastating mix of marshmallow-chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips and a few nuts. One of the nicest things you can do on a warm summer day is stop at the Centennial, pick up a cone and stroll two blocks to the lovely, old stone bridge that crosses the Mississippi River at Pakenham.
Bev Deugo I worked at Centennial Restaurant in Pakenham in the summer when Elsa Stewart owned it…scooped ice cream until my fingers froze ….Cones were huge, lineups were long, we scooped for hours on a hot summer day.
CLIPPED FROMNational PostToronto, Ontario, Canada14 Jul 1979, Sat • Page 10
An Almonter doth protest!!!
This arched landmark is one of only a few such bridges in North America. Built in 1903 across the Mississippi River, it is less than eight metres wide and was designed for horses and wagons. As the years went on, motor vehicle traffic put such stress on the bridge that it was threatened with demolition. Instead, after history lovers protested, the stones were taken down, catalogued and then replaced over a reinforced concrete structure in 1984.
Details: The bridge is near the intersection of Kinburn Side Road and County Road 29, just as you come into Pakenham.
While you’re in the area: The grey tower of St. Peter Celestine Roman Catholic Church dominates the village. The lovely stone building opened in 1893.
Who has been to the Centennial in Pakenham??? Carebridge Community Support1 min · So happy to work with community builder Omar of Pakenham’s Centennial Restaurant. Using donations from our MMTogether fund initiative we purchased gift certificates for tenants of 5 Arches Housing and members of the Pakenham SeniorsClub. The Centennial and Omar have been fixtures in downtown Pakenham for over 25 years!
Elsa Stewart former owner
Art and Elsa Stewart
Pakenham’s Stewart Community Centre was named for Art and Elsa Stewart who greatly contributed to the restoration and revitalization of Pakenham in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. It was opened in 1974, replacing the old Community Hall. Art and Elsa were awarded the Order of Canada in June of 1983. Operators of a model livestock-breeding farm, the Stewarts were active in many farm organizations and founded university entrance bursaries to the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph for local students.