About 90 minutes north of the Toronto city line is the first (or last) lock of the Trent-Severn waterway.Port Severn, the community that arose near Lock 45 was a company town, built to support a saw mill. The lumber business has been usurped by pleasure boaters and cottagers. I spent the night at the Rawley Resort and Marina, rebuilt in 2007, but with a long history in the area.
In addition to the docks for mooring boats, the resort offers a barbecue pit, outdoor pool and manicured grounds, with granite outcroppings looking like the tonsured pates of giants, buried standing under the earth. The simplest accommodation is a 2-room suite, with kitchenette, fireplace, and, in my case, 2 queen beds. The en suite marble bathroom had an over-sized shower stall with a rain-style shower head AND a hand-held shower head.
Welcoming guests are a pair of butter tarts, which, according to the note, were made from a family recipe. The claim that they were the best butter tarts in the world was proved true when we bit into them. Butter tarts are a Canadian delicacy that must be sampled to be appreciated.
The other accommodation options offered are two-bedroom, terrace suits; waterside lofts and executive suites ranging from 1,00o to 1,400 square feet. This is a resort in which you could easily spend a week in the country.
The Grawley Dining Room and Bar provides water views and a delightful patio with umbrella’d tables. Live music entertains during dinner. The attached lounge has comfy seating. Everything about the Rawley Resort is designed to encourage you to linger. My favourite spot was the second floor lanai, with two wicker chairs and a pair of stools on either side of a checker board. Perfect for a rainy afternoon.
For dinner I enjoyed what I know to be the best braised ribs I had ever tasted. It was accompanied by a casserole of lobster mac and cheese that had only a perfunctory conversation between the macaroni and cheese, in contrast to the superb vegetables on the side. The Octogenarian enjoyed the grilled chicken with an avocado salsa and roasted rosemary potatoes. She didn’t enjoy the vegetables as much as I because they were crisp.
The included breakfast began with a tasting tray comprised of a mini-smoothie, a hot cinnamon pastry topped with icing and a bowl of fresh fruit. That was the starter! I should mention all bread and pastries are made on site, and they alone are worth the drive north!