Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Updated 1:30 p.m., Dec. 5)
Visit to Magical Village a wonderful holiday tradition

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

There's something about model trains, miniature houses and twinkling lights that captures the imagination of young and old alike.

The Gloucester North Lions Club’s Magical Village has been drawing them in for more than 15 years, and in the process, raising tens of thousands of dollars for local charities.

Nelson Ferguson introduces his four-month-old son Jackson to the wonderment of the Magical Village which is open of the second floor of Place d'Orléans until Christmas Eve. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The display, featuring more than 250 miniature buildings, six model trains and hundreds of miniature lights, raised more than $12,000 last year, the majority of which went to the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard and the Orléans Cumber-land Community Resourcce Centre food-bank.

Gloucester North Lions Club member and Magical Village co-ordinator Jim Proulx, is confident this year’s Village will generate another five figures in donations before it wraps up on Dec. 24.

The Magical Village takes 600 hours to set up and another 600 hours to put away. In between, Lions Club members will contribute 440 volunteer hours manning the display with students providing an equal number of hours that count towards their community service requirement.

For many people a visit to the Magical Village has become a holiday tradition.

Nelson and Lucie Ferguson have been bringing their two children to the Magical Village for the past three years.

“I think it’s great,” said Lucie during a visit to the Village on Saturday. “My son certainly loves it. We come here every weekend during the holidays. He could stay here all day.”

William, 7, was especially enamoured by the McDonald’s restaurant train.“I think it’s really funny,” said the young man.

Nick Reneau brought his four-month-old son Jackson to the Magical Village on Saturday, continuing a tradition he started with his other four kids when they were born.

“He’s fascinated by the whole thing, but I think he likes the sound the trains make the most,” said Reneau.

The Magical Village was established by former Gloucester mayor Claudette Cain in 1998 to help raise money for the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

During the first few years it was on display at the Gloucester Centre Shopping Centre.

When the city amalgamated in 2001, ownership of the Village was handed over to the Food Cupboard and the Gloucester Child Care Services, who, in turn, handed it over to the Gloucester North Lions Club in 2005.

The Magical Village was moved to Place d’Orléans in 2002 where it has remained ever since except for 2004 when a lack of space forced a move to the Westgate Shopping Mall, and 2008 when a similar problem forced the Village to close for a year.

The Magical Village is located on the second floor of Place d’Orléans next to the Food Court and is open every day during regular mall hours. Cash donations are accepted at the entrance and nonperishable food items are always welcomed.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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