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STREET NAMES: Woodrowe Avenue marks site of once-popular beach resort

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George Mathewson

A century ago, when Sarnians wanted to escape the city’s oppressive summer heat and humidity, they didn’t flock to Canatara Park.

A trip to “the beach” in 1915 typically meant heading to the sandy shoreline between Christina Street and Colborne Road, an area now almost entirely in private hands.

At one end stood the Lake Huron Park pavilion and hotel, built in 1905 just east of the foot of Colborne Road. To get there, Sarnians could ride a bicycle or take a pleasant trolley ride through the open countryside aboard the Sarnia Street Railway.

The “Beach Line” ended at what’s now Baxter Park, beside Beach Lane, and some maps still refer to the area as Wees Beach.

To the west lay Woodrowe Beach, a 15-acre lakeside cottage resort located to the east of Christina Street.

“For the young, leisure time at Woodrowe Beach was often spent taking in the cool waters of Lake Huron by day, and then enjoying a romantic stroll down the Lovers’ Walk by night,” wrote historian Glen C. Phillips.

Photos from the era reveal overdressed “bathers” enjoying the sand and waves, which were backed by groves of shady locust trees.

The beach itself was named for the Wood family, which eventually sold the land to a housing developer for $160,000 in 1954.

Today, all that remains of the resort is the name of the nearest street – Woodrowe Avenue.

A postcard, printed in Germany, showing the Lake Huron Park pavillion in 1910.
A postcard, printed in Germany, showing the Lake Huron Park pavillion in 1910.








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