After living in Leaskdale, Ontario, Lucy
Maud Montgomery and her family moved to Norval, north west of Toronto.
From 1926 to 1935 Maud's husband Ewan Macdonald served as a minister with
the Presbyterian church in Norval, while Maud wrote five novels and two
and one half of her ten journals there. The Macdonalds stayed at the manse
behind the church, and Maud's son Stuart attended the Norval School near
by. Five of her novels: _Emily's Quest_ (1927), _Magic for Marigold_ (1929),
_A Tangled Web_ (1931), _Pat of Silver Bush_ (1933), _Mistress Pat_ (1935)
were created in this manse.
Maud writes that "Norval is so beautiful now that it takes my breath.
Those pine hills full of shadows -those river reaches--those bluffs of
maple and smoothtrunked beech--with drifts of wild white blossom everywhere.
I love Norval as I have never loved any place save Cavendish [her hometown
on PEI]." (The Selected Journal of L.M. Montgomery, Volume III: 1921-1929.)
Now the community of Norval holds an annual festival, celebrating Norval's
special past with memories of L.M. Montgomery.
Norval's second annual 'Montgomery Christmas' was held
Dec. 3 & 4, 1994. At the event, visitors have had a chance to look
at the Maud's handwritten recipe book at the Crawfords (restaurant/delicatessen).
They also enjoyed a tour of the inside of the manse, and Norval Presbyterian
church where Rev. Ewan Macdonald preached. The second day of the event
Dr. Mary Rubio, a professor at the university of Guelph and editor of
Montgomery's journal, spoke on Montgomery.
The third annual 'Celebrate a Montgomery Christmas' held in Dec. 2 &
3, 1995. The Reverend John A. Giurin with his wife and infant son invited
the visitors into their home, the Presbyterian Church manse, where the
Macdonalds lived. Through the window in the main bed room on the second
floor, also a Maud's writing room, we could see Russel's hill, Maud's
favourite hill of pines.
Afternoon tea along with Maud's Christmas cake* was served in the manse
dining room by Mrs Giurin and members of the Kindred Spirits Society of
Hamilton. On the second day, a panel discussion of 'An Exploration in
Village Life in the 1920-30's from several interesting perspectives' was
held in the presbyterian church. Dr. Mary Rubio talked about Maud's life
in 30s, referring to Maud's unpublished journal. And Professor Michael
Bliss, historian and author, emphasized Maud's importance in a history
of Canadian Literature.
*Lucy Maud Montgomery's Christmas cake was baked by the Crawford family
from Maud's original handwritten receipe. More information on the receipe
call Crawford's @ (905) 451-0347.
How to get to Norval:
From Toronto, take Highway 401 west to Winston Churchill Blvd., the first
interchange west of Mississauga Rd. Go north, up Winston Churchill for
about 8 km until you go down a long hill into the Credit valley. You will
find Norval at the intersection of Hwy 7 and Winston Churchill Blvd.