To the Rockwood Academy

I bet I’ve driven through Rockwood hundreds of times on my way to somewhere else. I’ve hardly ever stopped there. Back in the days when I’d take the kids camping, we’d pitch a tent in the conservation area, cook some hot dogs over an open fire, make supper and breakfast on a Coleman stove. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done that. 

More often than not, it’s a picturesque little village on the way to and from Brampton or Mississauga. Highway 7 is a much more relaxing ride than the 401. Sometimes quicker, as well. On the way through, we have stopped at the Eramosa River Cafe for lunch. It’s a nice spot. The park across the road is the place to enjoy an ice cream cone and watch the river flow by.

Saunder’s Bakery is another place. It’s at the lights where you turn right from Alma Street onto Main Street. Unless you’re going back to Guelph. Then you’d turn left off Main and onto Alma. You should always find the time to treat yourself to a baked treat here. I’m a rushing around kind of person, so I could probably count the number of times I’ve stopped for a tart on two fingers of one hand.

That is still more often than I’ve stopped at the Rockwood Academy. My camera club went there on Monday. Afterwards we went to the conservation area and I went to see the caves. Fortunately, the tide was out. In truth, in Rockwood, the tide is never in. The floor of the cave is bone dry. Young kids can stand upright as they explore but not adults. They have to crouch down. If you belong to a senior citizen’s camera club, crouching down is the easy part. Standing up again is the challenge.

Never mind that, though. The Rockwood Academy has an amazing back story. It is home to a sculptor, Andreas Drenters, whose brother Yosef bought the building in 1960 after it fell into serious disrepair. When he died in 1983, he bequeathed the place to the Ontario Heritage Trust on condition that his family would continue to live there. The back yard is an enormous field that is a gallery of Andreas Drenters’ larger sculptures. Smaller pieces are on display in the out buildings.

It’s worth the drive to Rockwood. Take a look at my photos and tell me what you think.