Writer | Hiker | Outdoor Enthusiast

Caledon

Boston Mills Press, 1997

Nicola’s love for and familiarity with her hometown shines through in Caledon’s 120 pages of photos and essays. A native of the hamlet of Belfountain where the Credit River meets the Niagara Escarpment as it butts up against the Oak Ridges Moraine, Nicola demonstrates that her pen as is deft as her local knowledge is deep. She describes the region’s rich flora and fauna, its historic rock-quarrying past and its burgeoning equestrian present. Complimented by Gord Handley’s spectacular photos, and archival black and whites, Caledon is treasured by all who display it proudly on their living-room coffee tables.

Healing the Landscape:
Celebrating Sudbury’s Reclamation Story

The City of Greater Sudbury, 2001

Visitors to Sudbury today may wonder what all the fuss was about. Gone is the community’s infamous moonscape that reportedly attracted astronauts from NASA. Thanks to the vision and dedication of all Sudburians, much of the 84,000 hectares of blackened, treeless rock that gave this industrial city its lunar reputation have turned green. More than 11-million trees and millions more shrubs have been planted. And now, close to 40 years after the reclamation began, nature has taken over the regreening process.

Using photos and personal accounts, this inspirational, gorgeous and award-winning book celebrates Sudbury’s reclamation success. It’s an extraordinary account of environmental progress and the community that achieved it..

Dufferin County

Boston Mills Press, 2002

When Dufferin County hit the streets in 2002, it outsold the latest Harry Potter book in local stores. People who live in, grew up in or visited this wildest of Southern Ontario’s rural places lined up at the till to claim their copies. Residents who seldom visited a bookstore checked out with three copies tucked under each arm, one for each of their children, or their children’s children or perhaps to take as a gift when visiting friends in faraway places.

Nicola’s absorbing essays, when combined with Rosemary Hasner’s breathtaking photos and rare archival shots paint the story of Ontario’s youngest county. The arts thrive in Dufferin County’s high, windswept hills, but agriculture remains the mainstay in the place that inspired Dan Needles to create his award-winning and highly entertaining Wingfield Farms performances.

Humber River: The Carrying Place Trail

Toronto Region Conservation Authority, 2009

When a small group of individuals asked Canada’s Heritage Rivers System to designate Southern Ontario’s Humber River, officials had to curb their chuckles. The Humber? A Canadian Heritage River? Somehow, this small, meandering stream didn’t fit what organizers had in mind when they came up with the designation system. They were thinking of the great, roaring Thompson or the old voyageur route along the French. But supporters persevered. They pointed out that the Humber was part of the historic Carrying Place Trail used by fur traders, First Nations and others to travel from Toronto to Georgian Bay and beyond. In the end, the Humber received its designation. In honor of this accomplishment, Humber River: The Carry Place Trail describes the arduous task of receiving designation, and engages readers with an in-depth and entertaining understanding of the importance both past and present of one of Ontario’s most popular rivers.

Melville White Church

Belfountain Historical Society, 2012

“That the Melville White Church still stands is a tribute to the staunch Rockside pioneers from Scotland who built the spare little building 175 years ago. But a plucky band of dedicated residents from nearby Belfountain deserves credit too…”

So begins this tribute to one of Ontario’s oldest and dearest churches. Now lovingly restored, the church is the subject of numerous works of art, many of them used to illustrate this precious book.

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