Camp-X: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

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This place had many different names. S25-1-1, Project-J, or STS-103 but was unofficially known as Camp-X

This place was located near Whitby/Oshawa, Ontario and was a joint effort between the Canadian and British governments.

In the 1940’s.

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What was this place?  A paramilitary training camp set up just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Many insist that Camp-X was key to many of the successes by allied forces during the war.


According to Wikipedia,  more than 500 allied units were trained at Camp-X during the war.  The camp was also responsible for the creation of Hydra, a station responsible for coding and decoding important communications  during the war.

Ian Flemming, James Bond author trained at Camp-X.  It’s often suspected that Bond is based on Sir William Stephenson, Canadian and Winston Churchill confidant responsible for the establishment of the centre in 1941.

Camp-X was only declassified in 1995, allowing us a peek into a secret spy training facility that might have been key to the outcome of the Second World War, right here in Canada.

THE REAL CAMP X: 10 FACTS ABOUT CANADA’S ELITE SPY SCHOOL

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O = Ottawa

OThis is embarrassing to admit, but I was having trouble finding an “O” word to write about for the A to Z Challenge. I actually considered writing about Ostriches, which I had seen in the wild in Africa.

I told my husband that I needed an “O” word, and after a few inappropriate suggestions, and my claim that it had to have something to do with travel or adventure, he said “Ottawa.  Ontario”. Duh.

OMG.  As if I didn’t think of my hometown! My brain is seriously fried right now with work and school!

So here it is. I was born in Ottawa, Ontario and, despite being an army brat and moving every three years, I have lived there five different times in my life.

Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It almost wasn’t, but lucked out in 1857 when it was determined that the previous capital, – Kingston, Ontario – was too small and too close to the American border.  Parliament Hill, a limestone cliff overlooking the Ottawa River (and Gatineau, Quebec on the other side) is home to our country’s parliament buildings: unique, gothic revival styled homes to our elected government.

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Here is a list of seasonal Ottawa tidbits you may enjoy:

  • WINTER: Ottawa is home to the world’s longest outdoor skating rink: The Rideau Canal Skateway.  It is usually open January to March, depending on the ice, and hosts Winterlude, an annual outdoor festival in the heart of downtown.

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  • SPRING: Ottawa hosts the Canadian Tulip Festival each year, which started when Princess Julianna of the Netherlands thanked Canada for its role in liberating her country, presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs and continued sending more bulbs each year until 1980. Still, today, the National Capital Commission plants tulips all over the city each year, bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists to Ottawa annually.

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  • SUMMER: ByWard Market is where the action happens in Ottawa’s Lower Town.  It is home to Canada’s oldest operating farmer’s market (first market in 1827), multiple unique eateries, bars, and boutique stores.

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  • AUTUMN: The area surrounding Ottawa becomes a mosaic of vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and greens as the leaves change colour in preparation for their demise before winter. Gatineau Park is the best place to truly enjoy the autumn colours.

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Ottawa is a city of all seasons, and despite being the capital of Canada exhibits a small town attitude. There is no shortage of things to do and has a unique mix of history and culture.  I hope you get to visit my hometown sometime!

L = Lake

As a child and Lgrowing up, there was one place that was my absolute favourite place.  The lake. My aunt and uncle had a cottage and every summer the entire extended family would spend time up there, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature. Some of the family weren’t big fans, but for as long as I can remember, the cottage was my favourite place to be.

So much in fact, that I always dreamed of having a cottage of my own, living on the edge of a secluded lake with steep wooded shores and an abundance of wildlife, coming and going.  My memories of canoeing with my aunt, learning to waterski with my uncle and cousins, marshmallows on the bonfire, cliff jumping, playing Mille Bornes and Monopoly when it rained, or just hanging out on the dock in the dark watching the stars, and once watching something burn up as it entered the atmosphere.

Now I admit, there were things about the lake that I didn’t like.  I didn’t like that grass and seaweed and other things would grab at my feet while I was swimming.  I HATED the fact that I couldn’t see what was under me in the water, and those dock spiders weren’t as cordial as they may initially seem….  But here I am. Almost 40 years old and I STILL want a cottage of my own.

Maybe one day, Jenny.  It’s definitely part of my retirement plan. There’ll be no living in the city once I’m done working!

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Learning to waterski at the cottage!

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Canoeing in my Outdoor Rec highschool program “Ventures North”

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I miss that Sesame Street towel! You’re never too old!

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I caught a fishy in Frontenac Provincial Park!

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Peaceful solitude at Lac La Pêche