Reading the Rocks
Wednesday October 25, 2017
A visit to Almonte’s Metcalfe Geoheritage Park
250 Almonte St., Almonte, Ontario
The display specimens at Canada’s first municipal geoheritage park, in Almonte, Ontario, collectively illustrate many of the features that allow geologists to unravel Earth’s remarkable geological history. “Reading the rocks” with Neil Carleton, on our visit to Almonte’s Metcalfe Geoheritage Park, will take us on a journey far back in time to colliding continents, towering mountains, tropical ocean depths, and a landscape locked in ice.
Neil, a geologist, naturalist and well-known retired educator, is one of the founding members of MVFN.
Take home a sample of genuine Canadian Shield schist. If your camera phone has an app for scanning QR codes, be sure to bring it along.
Time: 10 AM to noon
Location and directions: the entrance to Metcalfe Geoheritage Park, at 250 Almonte Street, is at the bottom of “Bay Hill” below the lower falls in Almonte. From Hwy 29: turn left onto Almonte St. at the lights (if approaching from Pakenham) or right (if approaching from Carleton Place direction) and proceed down the hill (the geoheritage park is on the left on the river side); if coming from downtown Almonte via Mill Street, turn left from Mill Street onto Almonte Street and follow along a short distance downhill to the Almonte Geoheritage Park on the right.
Difficulty: Easy, even ground, cement walkway; less than 0.5 km of walking; bench available on site and picnic tables nearby, but there will be significant standing; wheel chair accessible.
Cost: no cost
Parking: there is free parking on-site and across the road.
Facilities: there is a washroom on-site at the opposite end of the park closer to the hydro station and another reached via a short walk downtown to the Heritage Mall. There are also picnic tables.
Bring: protection from the sun and inclement weather, drinking water, and a camera.
Pre-Registration: pre-registration is required. To pre-register, or for more information, please contact Gretta Bradley at
METCALFE GEOHERITAGE PARK
Canada’s 1st Municipal Geoheritage Park
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
NOTE: This page is hosted by MVFN on behalf of the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee, who is responsible for the content provided here. For questions regarding the content of this page and linked information, please contact the volunteers of the Metcalfe Geoheritage Committee at
Metcalfe Geoheritage Park is located beside the Mississippi River in Almonte, Ontario – near the Mississippi River Power Corporation hydro-electric plant at the west end of Mill Street. The 22 specimens on display are sedimentary rocks of Ordovician age from our area, about 500 to 450 million years old, as well as both igneous and metamorphic rocks of Precambrian age that the last glacier dropped off, from about 2.5 billion to about 1 billion years old.
A visit to the Park will take you on a journey far back in time to recurring episodes of towering mountains, colliding continents, changing ocean depths, and landscapes locked in ice.
HISTORY OF THE PARK
The creation of a geological display at Metcalfe Park, located at the bottom of Bay Hill in Almonte, Ontario, was first proposed in 2004 as the Almonte Geoheritage Project. The park is named in honour of Dr. Archibald Metcalfe (1869-1962), local physician for 63 years, town councilor and Mayor (at least 7 terms), and the driving force to establish the Almonte hydro electric generating station.
Dr. J. Allan Donaldson, Professor Emeritus, Carleton University, and founder of Friends of Canadian Geoheritage, first spoke on the topic of geoheritage as part of the Almonte Lectures series. Through subsequent efforts of Dr. Donaldson and community volunteers, with support of Municipal Councilors, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, the Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce, and relatives of Dr. Metcalfe, the Council of Mississippi Mills unanimously approved the proposal in 2008.
The realization of this showcase community project was coordinated from 2004 – 2016 with the participation of community volunteers, and town staff, as members of the initial Almonte Geoheritage Project, and later as the Almonte Geoheritage Committee and the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee. Members have included: Frank Anderson, Julie Argue, Pat Browne, Neil Carleton, Ben Cleland, Allan Donaldson, Reiner Hollbach, Trish Larkin, Calvin Murphy, Scott Newton, Don Wiles.