MACTIER — It was all aboard for the proud citizens of this tiny, once mighty train depot.
Ontario’s Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell motored into the west Muskoka community Thursday, May 23, to help mark the 80th anniversary of the arrival of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in MacTier.
The Royals arrived in 1939 while on a Canadian tour.
And while the crowds this year may not have rivalled the numbers back then, the Queen’s representative drew an equally enthusiastic crowd, despite some rain.
Children in colourful rain gear greeted Dowdeswell with big waves as she toured the community that was for years a major rail hub on the Candian Pacific Railway line north and west in Canada.
Dowdeswell was greeted by Georgian Bay Township Mayor Peter Koetsier and they cut a ribbon, at 11:15 a.m, on the Royal Hudson 2850 steam train mural, which commemorates the Royal visit.
At noon she brought greetings at a public reception at the MacTier Public Library, where she talked a bit about preserving small places like MacTier, as part of a United Nations initiative on sustainable communities.
She also toured the MacTier Heritage Railway Museum, an old CP Rail caboose, at 1:30 p.m., and visited the MacTier Public School.
The old railway station remains in limited use for CP Rail staff, but is not open to the public.
Each fall the annual CP Holiday Train does still make a 25-minute stop for a performance and receive food donations on its colourful cross-Canada Christmas trek.
MacTier is just off Hwy. 69, about 20 minutes south of Parry Sound, on Lake Stewart.
Photos from Dawn MacDonald’s Facebook page. Her dad Don was a CP brakeman and conductor.