Rockin' Through Ontario


Road Rocks Ontario by Nick Eyles (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), a poorly proofread guide to our middle province’s geologic wonders, has an average rating of five stars on Goodreads. Why? Because people who like rocks like them a whole lot. If they don’t become geologists, they are likely to form rock societies, spend their lives writing letters about fossils to their MPs and develop emotional connections to glacial sediment the way other people attach to sports teams and spouses. Case in point: my father recently Instagrammed a 1993 photo of my brother and me climbing a rock face in Tobermory, Ontario, and I felt as strong a nostalgic tug for the dolomitic limestone as I did for my brother’s chubby little face, or my father’s ringletted nineties mullet. (I did not feel any nostalgia for the knee-length purple jean shorts I wore for the climb.) In keeping with this alternative, nostalgic world of wonder, Road Rocks Ontario is the great leveller when it comes to economy of place. Timmins, Marmora and the Warsaw Caves outshine anything Toronto has to offer; Mississauga has nothing on the Cheltenham Badlands. This is what makes it possible to forgive the writers and editors of Road Rocks Ontario for their egregious misspelling of Manatoulin [sic] Island: I want to model a year of my life revisiting the 25 geologic sites catalogued in their book. I want to climb inside their book as if it were Narnia, or a blanket fort, or a tauntaun.

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andrea bennett has published four books and has written for many outlets, including the Atlantic, the Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve and the Walrus. bennett has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. They live on the West Coast.


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