Gemmill Park Skating Rink May Be Illegal–1947

Gemmill Park Skating Rink May Be Illegal–1947
The original site of the Almonte Community Centre
Almonte-Photos from Mill of Kintail Conservation Area
Lanark, Ontario

December 1947 Almonte Gazette

The open air rink to be built in Gemmill Park has cost the taxpayers of Almonte $908.00 up to the present -time and will cost considerably more before it finished was the unwelcome news unfolded before the Council at its meeting on Tuesday night. This large sum of money is made up of two items—$563 for work done by Harry Metcalfe’s bulldozer in levelling the site chosen by the Committee and $345 for lumber and other material.

The rink has been an unfortunate project from the start so far as the Council is concerned. There was considerable criticism over the site selected. Unofficial and some semi-official critics who have viewed the large area composing Gemmill Park (98 acres) express astonishment that the Council Rink Committee and the Parks Commission should pick on a spot which would require the expenditure of $563 to make it level. In doing this those responsible not only ran into difficulties in preparing the terrain for flooding but raised the animosity of the Roman Catholic community by locating the rink so close, to the convent that it may be a nuisance to the sisters of St. Joseph.

It is said by those opposed to the site chosen that the rink could have been put out in the middle of a field which was already level or so nearly level that it would cost little to make it satisfactory for flooding. Others feel that as it is to be a temporary expendient —so it is hoped—the rink might have been put on the town hall lawn a second time. Argument against this latter alternative is that the ice sheet there would not be large enough for hockey. Maybe Illegal.

There are citizens of the town with considerable municipal experience who feel that the building of a rink is ultra vires so far as a municipal council’s authority goes. They say a town council has no right to engage in private enterprises such as building rinks any more than it would have to build a large dance hall or bowling alley. If this contention is correct then the money spent on the open air rink has been expended illegally.

Gemmil Park, a true testament to the devotion to physical activity in the town. At any time, in any season you will find someone in the Park. Tennis courts, track, soccer fields, football field, play structure, baseball diamond, horshoe pits, basketball courts and the recently added skateboard ramp. The hills beyond the tennis court are the site of winter fun; sledding here is the ultimate.

John Gemmil, prominent town citizen, once owned a stately home and farm where the park is today. After his death, the property passed to his daughter Winifred Gemmil. Upon her death in 1943 the farm or Homestead was bequeathed to the town of Almonte that they might “construct, establish and maintain a Public Park or Recreation Ground.”

Prior to this park being established numerous other sites through out the town had been used as playgrounds. The most used field in town was the N.L.A.S (North Lanark Agricultural Society ) grounds on Water Street in Almonte. The field was large and the grandstands provided good seats for spectators. In the 1920’s and 1930’s sporting events were typically played on McCallum’s Sports Field.

The Almonte Arena where it stands today, near Gemmil Park, was opened in 1950. Through the years it has seen its share of activity. Hockey players, Broomball players, Figure Skaters, Ringette Players, call this there second home in winter months. Roller hockey and ball hockey enthusiasts use the surface in the summer months

Almonte-Photos from Mill of Kintail Conservation Area
Lanark, Ontario

Amanda Pulker-Mok
July 1, 2018  · Almonte  · 

Last stop of the day, the main stage at Gemmill Park and fireworks! Thank you to everyone who organized events this weekend. You all did such a fabulous job! Happy Canada Day!!
— at Gemmill Park Almonte.

Clippings of the Almonte Bombers

So What Happened to Miss Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill’s Taxidermy Heads?

The Homestead – a John Dunn story

Jessie Leach Gemmill -The “Claire Fraser” of Lanark

History of McLaren’s Depot — by Evelyn Gemmill and Elaine DeLisle

Next Time You Drive Down Highway 15–Gemmils

From Gemmil’s Creek to the Riel Rebellion

Orchids in Gemmils Swamp June 1901

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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