Saturday morning up at the cottage I woke to the news that the Downtown General Store and Magnetawan Inn Restaurant had been burnt down. I was deeply saddened. These buildings were frequented by my family each year on our trips to the cottage. We would pop in to the general store to pick up a few groceries or candy, or we would stop by the Inn for ice cream before strolling through town to watch the boats use the locks. The wooden facades and old fashioned feel of the buildings added to the small, cottage town’s charm. The General Store with its wood floors had a vintage feel about it. Now, in their place lies nothing but a burnt frame and a bunch of rubble.
Apparently the fire broke out in the early morning between 1 and 2. We drove to town around 11 to go to the Farmer’s Market and to take a few photos to share with devastated relatives and friends. Firefighter’s were still on the scene dousing out the smouldering heap of materials where the buildings used to stand. People gathered around to mourn the loss of the two iconic buildings. We heard a young girl say she would ‘wear her Downtown Magnetawan shirt all week to show her support.’ Another woman expressed how she felt ‘sick to her stomach.’ Many people were crying.
Thankfully all those living above both buildings made it out safely.
Click Here to watch an A News video about the fire. The story about Magnetawan starts around the 3:20 mark.