Lake Huron, ON - John Jackson
I live in Kitchener and have spent the last 30 years or more as a citizen activist on Great Lakes issues – a lot on waste issues and helping people who are fighting dump sites. Helping community groups organize and find solutions to whatever problems they are encountering in their communities. It’s great fun, I have a wonderful time, I just wish more people were doing it.
I was raised just north of here (in Kitchener) and it’s very inland. People here don’t think of Great Lakes as being apart of them, even though we are basically equidistance from Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron.
I know always one of my highlights of my summer was when the family would go to Port Elgin on Lake Huron for a picnic, and that was one of our big highlights of the year. I remember going there and thinking – and I had never seen the ocean, of course – that this (body of water) had to be the ocean because there was no land, you couldn’t see across, and there were big waves. My mother always said, and she never did see the ocean, that “I don’t need to see the ocean, I see Lake Huron”. It wasn’t until I finally made it to the ocean that I realized the smell is very different and that salt contact is very different. But that (trip to Lake Huron) was our highlight of the year.
I really don’t have a favourite (Great Lake) because what has been very lucky over the last 30 years, and with the work I’m doing, is that I get to travel constantly around the Great Lakes with citizen activists in these communities. I get to see each of their special nooks, their special place around the lakes, which few people get (to see).
It’s not just the tourist highlights, but that little thing just off the edge of the road that is a little nook that has the ferns and the water trickling down, the rocks on Lake Superior, all these special, magic places that to me are all amazing. Each of these places has a connection to me with certain people, with certain issues they’re working on, and wonderful friends. The lakes are amazing, and they’re all so different; that’s the thing, everyone of them is so different.