Photo Post – Woodstock, Ontario, 2011

When visiting Canada, many people recommend the big cities – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and so on.  Don’t get me wrong, they are fantastic cities to visit, but sometimes the idea of a holiday is to get away from it all, not just go from one metropolis to another.  This is where Woodstock comes in.

Woodstock is a small town located between Toronto and Detroit in south-west Ontario.  The town was established in 1851, and promoted to a city in 1901.  The town has a population of just over 40,000 at the time of writing, and is proud of its dairy farming heritage (as shown with the statue of Springbank Snow Countess).  I know it because of some friends I had in the town, who were gracious enough to show me around.

Woodstock Heritage Buildings

There are many heritage-based buildings, most of which as aligned along or close to Dundas Street, running through the main part of the town.  These include:

  • City Hall (built 1901, originally as a post office)
  • Woodstock Museum (built 1853 as the original Town Hall)
  • Old Fire Hall (built 1899)
  • Woodstock Public Library (built 1909)
  • VIA Rail Station (built 1914)

But special mention goes to …

Oxford County Court House

Woodstock 2011 - Monkey on the Court House
Woodstock 2011 – Monkey on the Court House

The Court House is on Hunter Street, and dates back to 1892.  You can see several monkey heads carved into the stone facade of the building.  The story goes that there was a dispute over payment between the county council and the building contractor as the building was being completed.  Frustrated by the dispute, the contractor added the monkey heads in protest.  The supposed quote from the contractor was “They won’t make a monkey out of me!”

I have no idea of the outcome of the dispute, but the monkey heads are still in the building.

The City of Woodstock website can be found here if you’d like to know more about this quaint little Canadian town.