Saturday July 2, 2022

June 23, 2022

23 juin 2022


Upcoming events

ORLÉANS FARMER’S MARKET from 11 am to 4 pm in the parking lot at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex on Tenth Line Road featuring local food vendors and producers.

ST. HELEN’S ANGLICAN CHURCH ART FAIR returns to the Navan Fair Grounds from 10 am to 3 pm with more than 140 fine works of art created by 16 local artists. You can preview the art for sale at St, Helen’s Church is located at 1234 Prestone Dr. in Queenswood Heights.

ROYAL OAK DAY PATIO BBQ at the Royal Oak Orléans located at the corner of St. Joseph Blvd. and Jeanne d’Arc. Come out and celebrate Royal Oak’s anniversary while supporting the Orléans-Cumberland Resource Centre food bank. Lots of items to bid on in the silent auction. Make a cash donation or bring a non-perishable food item! Live entertainment provided by Garden Variety.

THE ORIGINAL NAVAN MARKET returns to the Navan Fair Grounds from 10 am to 5 pm with more than 150 local vendors and artisans. Come and see why the Original Navan Market has become on of the most popular outdoor markets in Eastern Ontario.Visit

BLACKBURN FUN FAIR returns to Blackburn Hamlet with a carnival style midway, music, local vendors, a used book fair, beer garden and fireworks. For more information visit


Storm leaves path of destruction across much of Cumberland
Fred Sherwin
May 24, 2022

“Navan will never look the same” – those are the words of life-long Navan resident Kathleen Both who lost more then 20 trees on her Barnwell Crescent property during the storm that swept through Orléans on Saturday and across a wide swath of Cumberland between French Hill and Russell Roads that includes both Navan and Sarsfield and most of the farms in between.

A pile of debris sits in front of a home on Barnwell Crescent in Navan.

According to Environment Canada, the wind speed during the storm exceeded 120 km/h, but that was at the airport. By the time the storm reached Navan the wind speed was far in excess of that, uprooting hundreds of tress, downing dozens of utility poles and damaging numerous roofs – and it all happened in less than five minutes.

Barnwell Crescent resident Tom Devecseri was talking on the phone with his mother at the end of the driveway, when he saw the sky to the west turn an ominous yellow and red and then went totally dark.

“A felt a drop of rain and then headed toward my garage. By the time I got there, I could barely get my garage door closed because of the wind,” Devecseri recalls. Then by the time I went through my house to the front window, the tree in the front yard had already come down on my house and then it was over.”

A fallen tree lies in a tangle of wires outside a home on Canary Street in Navan.

Devecseri considers himself lucky. He only lost two trees, one of which had already been damaged by the ice storm in 1998, and the canvas top of his gazebo. Many other Navan residents weren’t so fortunate. At least two houses – one on Sunnydale Road and one on Trim Road – suffered structural damage to their roofs from fallen trees.

Not a single property was left unscathed. The number of trees lost is likely over a thousand. Just two days after the storm debris was piled two metres high on both sides of every street.

Severely damaged car on a street in Navan.

The same was true five minutes east of Navan in Sarsfield, where Carole and Gerry Lemay lost five old growth trees on their small property on Colonial Road.

When the storm hit the couple took refuge in their basement. The noise was so loud, Carole started praying to her late mother and father to protect the house. Her prayers were answered, but they lost their “little forest” and their back deck.

“We lost the trees, but we still have each other,” says Carole, who admits to being scared for their lives. “I figured if we died at least we will die together.”

Trees lie uprooted in front of the Lemay residence in Sarsfield.

The biggest of the pine trees in their front yard still had strings of Christmas lights on it which they would light up every year. The tree also served as a back drop to many a wedding picture over the years.

“People would come and pose in front of the trees all the time,” says Gerry.

But as bad as the damage was in Navan and Sarsfield, it doesn’t compare to the damage done to many of the farms in the area.

The Saint Hugues church steeple lies toppled in front of the church in Sarsfield.

The damage in the two villages is mostly limited to the trees. The damage done to the farms is structural. Hundred year old barns have been destroyed, like the one that has stood on Wyatt McWilliams farm for over 120 years.

He not only lost the barn, but several large sheds as well. The roof from one of the sheds was left lying in a field 100 metres away fully in tact as if it had been laid down like a feather.

“This is a lot worse than the ice storm,” McWilliams said during a tour of the destruction referring to the storm in 1998 which caused people in some areas to lose power for nearly two weeks and resulted in hundreds of damaged trees, but no where near to the extent of Saturday's storm.

(Left) The 120-year-old barn at the Navandale farm on Perrault Road has been reduced to a pile of rubble. (Right) A figure of a cow lies on the ground where it was deposited by Saturday's storm.

Further down Trim Road, the McWilliams Farm operated by Wyatt’s cousin John, lost their main barn and the house was severely damaged.

But out of the disaster came a story of remarkable survival. When the storm hit, one of the McWilliams stud Belgian horses was in the 100-year-old barn along with a mare and a filly with a newborn foal. All four horses somehow managed to survive the storm even though the barn around them was totally leveled.

The stud horse weighing nearly a ton, was found lying on the ground, unconscious, more over 100 metres from the barn. Everyone assumed it was dead and began assessing the rest of the damage when the horse suddenly got up and started walking around.

The 100-year-old barn at the McWilliams Farm on Trim Road has been razed to the ground. The portion in the foreground is where four horses were penned when the storm hit. All four horses survived including a stud Belgian draft horse that weighed nearly a ton and was blown nearly 100 metres away.

An equally miraculous story of survival can be found at the nearby McFadden Farm where a calf housed in a small shelter at the front of the property was somehow blown over the two story barn and ended up in a pile of rocks. Despite suffering a few lacerations which had to be stitched up, it was still very much alive.

Unfortunately, the McFaddens lost five animals in the barn which had completely collapsed. Otherwise, no one was hurt, which could be one of the most remarkable aspects of the storm. No one in Cumberland was injured or died in the storm.

The other big story is how the community rallied together so quickly. Within hours of the storm hitting, neighbours were already helping neightbours.

A small army of volunteers descended on both McWilliams’ farms to help clean up the debris which was extensive.

There are even examples of residents baking muffins and other treats to distribute to the volunteers. When one resident finished cleaning up their debris, they immediately went next door to help their neighbours.

It will be several days before the power is fully restored in Navan, Sarsfield and the rest of the rural part of the community which was hit hard by the storm. Over 50 utility poles were completely snapped in two. There are more than a dozen broken poles along a two kilometre stretch of Dunning Road alone.

Cumberland Ward councillor Catherine Kitts says taking the debris away will be a priority after the streets are cleared, but it won’t be done overnight. It could take several days and likely run into next week.

One thing is for sure, when the debris is taken away, Navan and Sarsfield and the rest of surrounding community will never look the same again.

To view more pictures of storm aftermath click here.



School of Theatre artistic director passes the torch after 20 years

Ongoing pandemic fails to slow down local graffiti artist

Shenkman Arts Centre unveils 2021-2022 lineup

East end pair shine at OFSAA track and field championships

U12 Wolverines capture EOBA championship

GCRA ringette teams win pair of provincial titles

Local business



CEDAR VALLEY LEBANESE FOOD: Owners celebrate two years in business




180-FITNESS CENTRE: Home of the Biggest Loser




VIEWPOINT: Common courtesy just another victim of the COVID pandemic


WALTER ROBINSON: What a long, strange trip the last two years have been


Doug Feltmate:COVID-19 pandemic the final straw for troubled industry

Contact information
745 Farmbrook Cres.
Orléans, Ontario K4A 2C1
Phone: 613-447-2829
E-mail: © 2001-2020 Sherwin Publishing