Picnic Shelter at Mill of Kintail

Generous donation funds construction  of  new picnic shelter

One person’s generosity and love of history and nature will live on at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area in the form of a gathering place for friends, families, students and newly-weds alike.

The recently completed picnic shelter was made possible through a substantial donation from the estate of Donna Blum. Mrs. Blum, a generous supporter of the museum roof fundraising effort in the late 1990’s, enabled the conservation authority to enhance the conservation area grounds with this planned giving donation.

The structure, a showcase of craftsmanship, mimics the site’s historical features and natural  environment.

Over two years, staff and volunteers worked together to choose the best on-site location, then design and painstakingly piece together this beautiful building.

The open concept design welcomes day campers, school groups and visitors with it traditional post and beam construction. Board and baton trim finishes the rafters at the gabled ends and the walls are enhanced by iron rod accents. The rods are similar to those that decorate at the Gatehouse porch located at the entrance to the site.

The cedar shake roof shingles are the same as those that cap the grist mill museum, the former summer home of Dr. Robert Tait McKenzie. McKenzie restored the abandoned grist mill into an artists’ retreat in the 1930s.

Major James Leys and his wife Irene purchased the property and built the Cloister on the Hill open air chapel as a tribute to McKenzie and turned his summer home into a museum celebrating his life. The “cloister” has become a popular wedding destination. The picnic shelter can also be reserved for weddings and other large group events.

Come and  enjoy your lunch under the new shelter and stop by the museum to learn more about the beautiful architecture on site and the restoration work completed by Dr. McKenzie and Major Leys.

If you would like to donate to the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area, you can do so through the Mississippi Valley Conservation Foundation on-line using CanadaHelps.org or by calling 613.253.0006.

For more information about reserving the picnic shelter or Cloister on the Hill, contact Stephanie 613.256.3610 ext 2 or skolsters@mvc.on.ca.


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