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November 6, 2009

A Trip to Chisholm Township

The other day I was questioned, in a friendly way, about why I wrote about many places in the Community Voices area but never much about Chisholm Township where I live. So here is a short trip through the township.


Wikepedia states that Chisholm , according to the 2006 Census, has 1318 people up 7.2% from 2001, has 573 dwellings and an area of 205.26 square kilometres .

Chisholm is hugged by East Ferris on the north with Nipissing and Bonfield Townships touching briefly on the north end.  To the west is  Powassan (formerly South Himsworth) and to  the east is  Boulter Townhip.  Ballantyne Township is on the south end.  Boulter and Ballantyne are unorganized townships.  The Algonquin Park boundary touches the eastern half of the Balantyne/Chisholm boundary. Chisholm like many other townships is named after a former MPP-Kenneth Chisholm (1829-1909).

Life in Chisholm

There is no longer a  central gathering place with a store, post office, church etc. as was the case in the past. People head for Powassan or Astorville or on to North Bay for for their needs  Many work outside of the township.

Cutting the ribbon on one of Chisholm Township’s road and bridge  improvement projects. Cec Reid MC (L) ,MP Anthony Rota, Mayor Barb Groves, MP Monique Smith, Powassan Mayor Bob Young , Nipisssing Councillor Lee Straus, Steve Boyle, Dave Wills from Wills  Engineering and Roger Bolton from Bolton Construction

There are still many regular farms and hobby farms but many homes just enjoy their acreage with gardens and trees.  Recreational vehicles abound.  Many of the homes and many summer cottagers are located on Wasi Lake in the north end of the township.

The south end of the township has the Almaguin Highlands with high rolling hills and minimal population.  I live on a hill on lot 6 concession 3 on Bear Mountain Road which puts me about 3 kilometres from Algonquin Park which provides for some interesting over flow animal life of all sorts. My property and a neighbour's are the farthest south in the Township. There is a summer road to Powassan but I usually take the 20 km.  long way to town. I bought 86 acres of recreational property on Concession 2 in 1972 and built a log cottage with two of my sons.  When I retired in 1989 I bought 46 acres on Concession 3 on a maintained road (Bear Mountain).  The property was originally the Bear Mountain Canoe Company which produced and continues to produce (in Peterborough) beautiful canoes.  My daughter and her husband and two children moved on from a second house on the property after my daughter and her husband graduated from NipissinU and my wife and I are very content with lots of peace and quiet and lots of good neighbours and many local festivities.

Chisholm Activities

The Township website (www.chisholm.ca ) profiles some of the “Things To Do” in Chisholm – all terrain vehicles, summer beach program, camp grounds and cottages, Clear Springs Golf Course, tennis courts, equestrian facilities etc..  Chisholm is a partner in the excellent Library in Powassan and some northern residents pay a small fee to join the East Ferris Library in Astorville where there is a post office nearby.

The Chisholm Council is a hardworking and progressive group under Mayor Barb Groves, and Councillors Heather Ward, Cec Reid, Doug Penny and Steve Boyle.  The office staff under Clerk Treasurer Linda Ringler and Deputy Lorena Thompson and the receptionist/ secretary Alice lauzon provide excellent service as does the Public Works Department under Murray Rose.

A current Council crisis with Barb Groves resigning as of December 31 for health reasons and Doug Penny moving to another community is being dealt with.  Leo Jobin, a former Councillor has come back to fill out the last year of the 4 year term in one of the positions.  Heather Ward is on sick leave as well and will be back in the new year.


Chisholm has an excellent 5 year plan and has done well on acquiring Federal and Provincial funding for road and bridge projects. Chisholm is on the Wasi River Watershed which requires over 20 bridges on our roads  On October 23 MP Anthony Rota and MPP Monique Smith and others cut the ribbon on two great improvements in Chisholm.  River Road has been widened and paved which helps the locals but also those heading to the golf course from out of the Township.  The  bridge and several miles of road has been improved on Memorial Park Drive and with the million dollar rebuild on Alderdale road last year and the new paving to Powassan it is a pleasure to travel in Chisholm now.

The Amish

About 10 years ago some of  the dying farms and others facing retirement caught the eye of Amish people looking to establish  a  new community  Since then some 20 families have arrived and have changed the community in a very positive way.  New businesses, homes, a school and many farm improvements have activated the community . I hope to do a profile of the Chisholm Amish here soon.A photo of them haying was on the cover of Community Voices earlier this month.

Oliver Sherman

The past 10 days have been exciting as the feature film Oliver Sherman has been shot in Chisholm primarily on the Tran farm on Pioneer Road.  Dozens of cars, trucks, vans, tents, lights etc created a whole new community while the actors did their thing.  Can’t wait to see the film about two veterans who get together after many years and spin out their lives.

Director Ryan Redford (R) goes over the next scene in the Oliver Sherman movie at the Tran farm in Chisholm.  Shooting a scene in the Oliver Sherman movie at Norval Rose’s farm.

More on Chisholm

I will update the Council membership and other Chisholm information in the near future.  As a follow up on my column on heritage restoration I will give a report on the log house I built 37 years ago which has been completely refurbished this summer. It’s too late for the fall colours but don’t hesitate to make a trip to Chisholm some time soon and see some fine country living.

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