Tag Archives: centennial park

Riverside Park Comments Larry Clark ‘The Dip’

Riverside Park Comments Larry Clark ‘The Dip’
Photo by Larry Clark Riverside Park

Larry Clark

 This is Riverside Park in 1963. Much different than when I learned to swim there- about 1942. There were log booms delineating the swimming area (s). I think they separated a shallow and deeper area?. If my memory is correct there was a drop off where the middle boom was situated. I learned to swim one day when a wave from a passing boat lifted my foot from the bottom (I was keeping one foot on bottom as I attempted to swim). Of course, my initial swim took place under water and from then on spent most of my time there. Bought my first scuba gear in 1960 and haven’t kept my head much above water since then.

Dan WilliamsThe log booms are there Larry. We called that drop off “the dip”.

Gloria HamiltonLarry Clark I use to swim from what we called the New Park over to the Old Park this picture brings back memories.

Dan WilliamsGloria Hamilton I did it the other way round and back the year I turned 70. A couple of years ago. The funny part was the lifeguard came out just like the old days to tell me to get back inside the buoys. “Really” I said.

Barbara PurdyGloria Hamilton ditto

Gloria HamiltonBarbara Purdy this sure is showing our age😂

Gloria HamiltonDan Williams that is so funny. I remember swimming to a large rock , getting my breath and then continuing .

Dan WilliamsGloria Hamilton the big rock

Yes, the Big Rock- read-The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

The Old Nichol’s Swimming Hole in Carleton Place

The Eeels Named “Ling” of Carleton Place

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place


For a few years I have heard all about “The Rock of Carleton Place” in the Mississippi River in between Riverside and Centennial Park. When I saw Bill Brunton mention on Facebook that he was going to swim out to it on Sunday I asked him to take a picture. A lot of local folks like Tom Bryce said they spent a lot of time on that rock.  Bill said it was put there by a receding Glacier a couple hundred thousand years ago, so I hope it is or we have more than climate change to worry about! Bill figured it was underwater about 10 meters from the shore at Centennial Park and Tracey Thoms said it was still there.

So today Bill found it for us, and now we are documenting it for all that do no know or remember that rock. It’s part of Carleton Place!

Bill Brunton When I was at the Beach it was pretty funny. I swam out thinking I would just step into ” The Rock” nope, twice I got out and then finally told a guy what I was trying to find. Not one person there (10+) knew what I was talking about. They said they lived in town so I told them about it and then I found it.

If you swim out and look back at the park the new reference point is the net on the Soccer Pitch lol.  I swam out and found it, then I swam out with one arm holding the Phone/Camera in 3 plastic bags. I noticed the current while swimming with one arm and couldn’t find the rock right away the second time. Now if I went I could swim right to it! 

Thank you Bill!



Norma Rotzal Used to swim to “the rock” from the Riverside Park all the time as a kid.

Ray Paquette That was another “rite of passage”, to be able to swim to the “rock” from the beach in Riverside Park. The swim to “the rock” from Centennial was no big deal (spoken like a long time “south sider”!!!).

Ruth Drummond Right on Ray. The event of the day was to swim across the river,sit on the rock for a rest ,then swim back. So proud when you could do it.

Lizzie Brunton About 8ft wide and 6ft high…had lots of fun on that rock..doing back flips, trying to stay on it when there was 15 kids pushing and shoving lol–First time I went I couldn’t find it…the river was so high and I’m sure it was 10 feet below..very frustrating lol but I eventually got there

Sandy Iwaniw—When I first came to CP, we had a st. Bernard/Lab cross who loved the water. We lived on Moffatt St. Then so many a summer evening we’d take him to Centennial Park and the river for a swim. He found the big rock right away and used to swim out and stand on it. If it hadn’t been for him, I might not have known about the big rock either.

Jane Churchill Pushing and shoving??? How did we ever survive??? Lmao

Susan Fraser Navin Haven’t seen that rock in many years!! Oh what fun we had!!
Jennifer Carr-TomsJust found “the rock” last week and my 12 year old son is loving it. Of course it’s all about being the king of the rock!
Wendy LeBlanc- We kids of the late 1950s and early 60s always called it ‘The Big Rock’ – never anything else. It was a rite of passage to be able to swim well enough to start out at Riverside Park, swim across and find it. At that time, there was no park on the other side of the river and certainly no lifeguard

Jennie Thom I used to swim out to the rock every time I swam at Centennial beach, and that was often.

Amber Boucher It was our break spot when swimming across from beach to beach.

Julie Carey I grew up on Moffatt street as Bill’s neighbour and we swam to the rock
Philip Lee I remember it well. Some of us who took lifeguard training even attempted to swim across underwater. To be honest I don’t recall if we actually managed to do it. 😀
Linda Gallipeau-Johnston Remember the first time I made it across – thought I was supergirl!
Philip Lee I remember it well. Some of us who took lifeguard training even attempted to swim across underwater. To be honest I don’t recall if we actually managed to do it. 
Dan Williams asked– but while cutting through the kiln we used to look for diving stones. Does anybody else remember these. We used to take them with us when we went swimming. The idea was you would toss them in the water and then go under to try to find them and bring them back up and do it again. The river was deeper in some places than others and some times you couldn’t stay under long enough to find them so you had to keep picking up smallish chunks of limestone to use since it would glitter even underwater. Small things indeed!


Carleton Place 1912 Postcard



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CARLETON PLACE Ontario 1912 Lanark County. River & J.Calvers & Son Mill

I found this on Ebay (again no relation to it) and if you click on the link above it will take you to the auction and you can use their ‘magnifying glass’ and blow up the picture in sections. See the Hawthorne Mill in the distance on the left and J. Calvers & Son Mill. In the distant right you can see what is now Centennial Park with the Abner Nichols Sawmill (opened in 1900) and notice how few trees there are after that in the distance where the nature walk is in Centennial Park. You can also see homes on High Street.

Related Reading:

Before and After at Centennial Park


Tug of War 1970’s Riverside and Centennial Park Carleton Place

Old McRostie Had a Farm in Carleton Place

What Justin Bieber is Missing by Not Coming to Carleton Place

Let’s Build Cabins at Riverside Park!


In 1949 the powers to be in Carleton Place decided another way to attract tourists was to build some more cabins at Riverside Park in Carleton Place. That’s right, James A. Drummond announced that he intended to add to the cabins he now had at the end of Lake Ave West.

Satisfied with the results of the amount of tourists the previous summer, he was not only building more cabins but also constructing a community kitchen, and putting an extension on his refreshment booth.

The new cabins would feature a either a single or double bed. In 1949 there were already 4 cabins and the new proposed construction was considered to be a boom to the Carleton Place tourist trade. The new kitchen would allow tourists to cook their meals by themselves. Sounded like a great idea to me!

Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum







Just Beat It! Carnival Riot in Carleton Place at Riverside Park



Tug of War 1970’s Riverside and Centennial Park Carleton Place



Team Barker— Centennial Park Carleton Place in the 1970’s. Carleton Place built this park in 1967, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Canada becoming a country. Riverside Park is on the other side of the river.

Another picture from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum‘s boxes of photos from the old Canadian basement that Jennifer Fenwick Irwin rescued.