The Hawkesone And Area Community Association (HAACA) welcomes you to the Village of Hawkestone. Our web page has been designed to provide you with a virtual tour of our Village, share our rich heritage, and alert you to the many activities and events available for different age groups. Hawkestone is located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, between the cities of Barrie and Orillia, in the Township of Oro-Medonte. It may only be an hour from Toronto but the quaint friendly lifestyle is truly in the tradition of rural Ontario.
First Nation Indians were well established in the area around Hawkestone prior to the arrival of settlers. Richard Hodges established a landing for the settlers in 1844 when he built a large house, called St. Helen’s, and a wharf along the shores of Lake Simcoe. With lake steamers providing the main source of transportation of produce and people, this access point in Oro soon became a popular settlement who came mainly from the British Isles.
In 1856, a new and larger wharf was constructed and the place that had become known as Hodge’s Landing changed its name to Hawkestone. By now, Hawkestone was a thriving community with three mills along the creek, taverns, hotels, several stores and a post office.
With the introduction of the railroad, in 1871, the settlement shifted from the shores of the lake to the area along the railway. As the population grew, a school was established in 1883, churches were erected, and commerce thrived. The Hawkestone General Store, which was built in 1872, is still operating but businesses such as the Grand Hotel (1890), a branch of the “Farmer’s Bank” (1900), and Priddle's hardware (1915), have long since disappeared, being replaced primarily by family residences.
Today, the community of Hawkestone thrives in new ways. An active community association (HAACA), has made Hawkestone one of the centres of activity in Oro-Medonte. Volunteers have restored the local Community Hall (est. 1923), refurbished the community park, and built a children's playground, a basketball court and an ice rink.
The Hall hosts a variety of events for all ages throughout the week including Ballroom Dancing, Keenagers Seniors club, NIA fitness program, Ontario Early Years, and Hawkestone Singers adult choir. The Hall also is host to the Hawkestone library, located in the lower level of the Hall.
The General Store, operating in the same location since 1872, is owned by Mike and Helen Kim and boasts liquor, beer, and postal service as well. A beautiful historic plaque located on the corner of Main St. and Mill St. provides a glimpse into Hawkestone's past.
In September 1996, the last train passed through Hawkestone. With the removal of the railway tracks, a beautiful walking trail has been established in Oro-Medonte between the cities of Barrie and Orillia. This is just one of many nature walks available in and around our Village which can be enjoyed throughout the four seasons.
How to get involved:
The Hawkestone and Area Community Association (HAACA) is the driving force behind the many projects designed to enrich the life of local residents. Meetings are held on the 1st Monday of each month at 7:30 pm in the Community Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings, provide input, make new friends and share in the fellowship of your neighbours.
Please contact us to get involved!