Every Spring, visitors and residents take in the intoxicating smells of lilacs along “Lilac Lane” south of the Craigleith Heritage Depot along Highway 26 in Collingwood.
It is believed that the Fleming family brought the lilacs from Scotland in the 1800’s. In 1901, the first station master Wilson’s Wife planted some lilac roots around the old train station. It is thought that these lilacs were given to her by Sir Sandford Fleming’s mother. Phyllis Wilson is said to have planted them to perhaps cover the smell of the outhouses outside the train station but also because they reminded her of her native home of Britain.
To this day, the lilacs are a signature sight every Spring at the Depot as well as being an Ontario Landmark.
Take a listen to this week’s Spotlight: