The Norval Period
(February 1926~March 1935)

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 Mary Rubio talked about Maud's life in 30s, referring to Maud's unpublished journal.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.


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