when you’re little, and you’re on a long car ride (which can be anywhere from 17 minutes on, depending on your age) you like to break your journey into segments. i’ve talked before about our regular trips to goderich when we would mark off the rural towns as we passed through them: stratford, mitchell, seaforth, clinton, goderich was our chant.
the other long-ish drive that we would do semi-regularly was to toronto. happily, in my life-span, the 401 has always existed (the parents remember the olden days before the highway was constructed). however, this major thoroughfare across southern ontario has changed a lot since the ’70′s! i do remember the days when it was four lanes only (two in each direction) and when the pearson airport marked the crossover point from rural land to urban setting. what’s it like now? well, the 401 is three lanes each direction all the way from where i get on it, through to toronto. and the pearson airport is completely enveloped by industrial and commercial buildings.
there is another *famous* local landmark that we would always look for as we drove: the schneiders sign. here is a totally cruddy photo…
…but at least it’s better than my first attempt!
[hey, cut me some slack! it's not easy capturing a good shot SAFELY when you're driving 100 km+ down the 401!]
not long ago, schneiders announced that they are closing their production plant in kitchener. this is a big hit to our local economy – this meat processing factory has employed thousands for many, many years. you can read more details and history here (article in the k-w record from october 19th). and you can read about the decision to leave the sign as is here.
i’m glad the sign is staying put! i like the now-kitschy schneider’s girl on the sign, and the fact that it gives you the time and the temperature.
even today, i still count down the kilometers between waterloo and toronto by watching for certain markers (the “bad boy school” in milton is another one!).
what’s a longstanding landmark near you? here’s a better photo of the schneider’s sign for you!
(for thursday november 3rd): yesterday, i was thankful for the fact that my favourite peanut butter has been on sale all week at valumart! you betcha i have stocked up!