7:30 a.m., Dec. 8)
Magical Village a throwback to window displays of yesteryear
By Fred Sherwin
Donato checks out this years Magical
Village at Place dOrléans with
her son Frankie, 6. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Magical Village is a holiday tradition unlike any other.
First established in 1997 by former Gloucester mayor Claudette
Cain, the collection of more than 250 miniature buildings,
500 figurines, six model trains, and hundreds of multi-coloured
lights, has been dazzling visitors ever since.
the many people who dropped by the Village at Place dOrléans
on Friday was 93-year-old Earl Galloway. Not far from
him was a young mother who was bringing her two-year-old
daughter to the display for the first time.
has made a point of visiting the magical display ever
since it made its inaugural appearance at the Gloucester
Shopping Centre in 1997.
draws him back year after year are the childhood memories
it triggers of getting your oil checked at a service station,
taking a horse drawn sleigh to Christmas mass, and playing
shinny after youve just finished shoveling the snow
off the local pond.
says his favourite piece in the display is the John Deere
a John Deere man, says Galloway, who grew up on
a farm near Cumberland Village.
took 19 volunteers nearly three weeks to set up the display
at the far end of the food court near the RCMP recruitment
years village features a number of new elements
including a large ferris wheel that lights up as it goes
around, a tower that looks like it fell off a page in
a Dr. Seuss book, and Santas workshop, along with
some of the original pieces like the opera house, the
Nutcracker Theatre and the fire station.
Walls gas been coming to the Magical Village for the past
five years. He believes its appeal is a throwback to the
old window displays that used to adorn the large department
stores like Freimans on Rideau Street.
takes you back that way. The stores dont have Christmas
displays like they used to, says Walls.
current caretaker of the Magical Village is the Gloucester
North Lions Club. They inherited it from the Gloucester
Emergency Food Cupboard in 2001 and moved it to Place
dOrléans where it has been ever since, except
for 2010, when it was temporarily moved to the Westgate
Shopping Mall due to a lack of space.
than 8,000 people are expected to pass through the Magical
Village this year, generating more than $10,000 in donations.
Sponsors and contributions from the local business community
should push the total over $12,000.
proceeds will be split between the Orléans-Cumberland
Community Resource Centre, the Gloucester Emergency Food
Cup-board, Camp Banting, and the Gloucester North Lions
Club Legacy Fund.
the monetary donations, a number of local businesses contribute
in other areas. Fred Guy Moving and Storage provides the
storage space for the village when its not on display,
and Place d'Orleans donates the display area.
Magical Village is open Wed. to Fri. from noon to 9 p.m.,
Sat. from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun. from 11 a.m. to
5 p.m. Young people can also meet Cashou the Squirrel
from noon to 2 pm on Dec. 9, 21, 22, 23.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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