The name Killaloe hails from an Irish community in Ireland of the same name and salutes the Irish heritage of many of the first settlers to this area who came to Canada in the early 19th century seeking a better life. The early beginnings of this little town centred around the lumbertrade. Built in 1849, and rebuilt in 1870 after a devastating fire, the mill at Old Killaloe harnessed waterpower to grind grain for area residents up to 1930, and planed lumber until the1960s. Take the 1 km walk south out of town on Queen St (Hwy 512) to see the restored millon Brennan’s Creek, which now generates hydroelectricity.
Hoch Park is the only designated heritage site in Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Township. The property was originally a 200 acre land grant offered by the early Government of Canada to Europeans willing to emigrate to Eastern Ontario. The park derives its name from Wilhelm Hoch and his wife Amelia who purchased the farm in 1904. The land and farmhouse were bequeathed to the township after the death of the last residing family member in 1989. Renovations and restorations followed, and the farmhouse is now open as a 1910s–20s farmhouse museum, open on Saturday mornings during the summer. The farmhouse is surrounded by a restored version of the original flower gardens. The site is also home to a local Saturday farmers market, open from July to October. An initiative at the Hoch Park Ecological Society will be the creation of an education centre and a wetland conservation area, on the eastern side of the property.
Station Park in downtown Killaloe, was built in 1994 on the site where the Killaloe CN Railway Station once stood. Once a bustling stop on the rail line, the last passenger train rolled out of the train station in 1962, and six years later the station was torn down. This beautiful park is a horticultural showcase for many varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers. Park benches, picnic tables and a gazebo offer many opportunities for relaxing or enjoying a picnic. Grey strips in the brick walkway symbolize the steel rails that once traversed this path. The picturesque covered bridge over Brennan’s Creek, is a well known area landmark. A public washroom is located in the information booth, across the street.
Walking Tour of Killaloe
Begin your walking tour of Killaloe at Station Park, where municipal parking is available. Station Park is located on the site of the former Killaloe CN Railway Station. The two grey strips in the red brick walkway symbolize the steel rails that once lay over this path. Follow the walkway towards and across the covered bridge to Mill Street, cross Mill Street and continue on the abandoned railway line towards Hwy 60. Turn right (east) onto Hwy 60 and follow it for approximately 1 km to the Hwy 60 entrance into Hoch Park, on the right (see Point of Interest for Hoch Park). Hoch Park reflects the pioneeringand agricultural development of the area, and a museum is open for touring on Saturday mornings during the summer. Zummach Creek flows through the property, and the property is also home to significant wetlands, where one will find many indigenous plants, herbs and wildlife. Continue your walk by exiting onto Queen Street, turning right and continuing back to Station Park, crossing Brennan’s Creek once again before reaching the Park. Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/4tnw