It’s true, the weather doesn’t always cooperate with vacation plans. But rain, snow, or even the occasional heat wave shouldn’t get in the way of you having a good time! You’ll see there are several options for what to do when the weather isn’t on your side. Here are 10+ things to do in Chapleau on a rainy day:
1. Visit the Chapleau Museum
The Chapleau Museum and Tourist Information Centre (94 Monk Street) is open from June to August each summer. It houses many local treasures including a birch bark canoe, CP Rail memorabilia, indigenous beadwork, a collection of photos, and much more. Local artisans also use this space to display and sell their goods.
2. Meet a group of francophone weavers
Have you ever seen a weaver’s loom in action? Chapleau is home to a local chapter of the “Union Culturelle des Franco-Ontariennes” or UCFO which meet regularly to create everything from hand towels to king-sized blankets. The public is welcome to drop in to see their wares at the basement of 40 Birch Street. They do not have fixed hours but mornings are the best time to find them there.
3. Find the perfect Chapleau souvenir
Two great places to find unique Chapleau souvenirs are the Chapleau Village Shops and the Aux Trois Moulins Motel. Go to the Village Shops at 8 Birch Street East for t-shirts, coffee mugs, postcards, train whistles, and more. And in the Motel lobby you will find prints of paintings by local artists, hand-carved moose horns, and wood carvings. You may also find something unique at the Rustic Bear Den Pop Up Market.
4. Try poutine for the first time
Poutine has deep French-Canadian roots and is loved across Canada as a signature food. Manda’s Café (61 Birch Street), Aux Trois Moulins Restaurant (154 Martel Road), and Dominion Family Restaurant (12 Birch Street) all serve this dish of potato fries, curds, and gravy. If anyone asks, you want cheese curds not mozzarella. Also, you may see an Italian Poutine option; the added ingredient is tomato sauce.
5. Go to a concert or show
Local non-profit organizations and businesses host shows from time to time. The francophone cultural centre (Centre Culturel Louis-Hémon) plans a full schedule of shows from September to June each year. There are also annual events like the Hunters’ Ball (Bal des chasseurs), the Rotary Club’s Girl’s Night Out, and the Arts and Crafts Fall Fair. Also, if you’re looking for a Superbowl party or New Year’s Eve celebration, watch for events at the Royal Canadian Legion, the Chapleau Recreation Centre, and the Aux Trois Moulins Restaurant.
6. Stop by the Rotary Friendship Table
The Rotary Friendship Table is part stamp collection, part wood collection, and part labour of love. The hand-made 18 foot long table was designed and built by a local craftsman to celebrate the work of the Chapleau Rotary Club and Rotarians across the world. It includes stamps and a piece of wood from 321 locations across the globe! You will find it at 20 Pine Street West in the Civic Centre.
7. Attend a local hockey game
Throughout the school year Chapleau is a hockey town. The Moore Arena hosts teams from across Northern Ontario and you can watch the live action on almost any weekend. For details of the schedule go to the Chapleau Recreation Centre’s Facebook page.
8. Find the free WiFi nearest to you
Perhaps it’s time for a new Facebook status or to send the folks back home a few photos of your trip. There are several spots offering free WiFi: Chapleau Library at 20 Pine Street West; Miss Muggins coffee shop at the intersection of Highway 129 and Nemigosenda Road; and Chapleau Museum at 94 Monk Street.
9. Rummage at the local thrift shop
This is on the list for Macklemore and anyone else who likes a good bargain from a thrift shop. The Anglican Church Women sell clothing, accessories, collectables, and household items. You will find them across the street from the Civic Centre at 9 Pine Street West.
10. Discover a local art display
Artists have loved Chapleau for a long time for its natural beauty. Many have taken up residence here including Vikki Meyer, Bonnie Ivey, Helga Scheitel, and others. You can see local artwork on display at the Galerie d’Art Collins (69 Birch Street); Home Furniture (53 Birch Street); and the Aux Trois Moulins Motel (154 Martel Road).
Bonus: See what local faith groups are up too!
Chapleau is home to seven churches that plan bingos, bazaars, dinners, and much more throughout the year. Many events are open to the public so why not see if there’s something for you. The seven churches are: Sacred Heart Catholic Church (26 Lorne Street), Trinity United Church (Beech and Lorne Street), St. John’s Anglican Church (4 Pine Street), Chapleau Pentecostal Church (9 Elm Street), Community Bible Chapel (117 King Street), Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses (106 Queen Street South), and St. Mary’s Anglican Catholic Church (78 Devonshire Street).
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