Keene Ontario Visited

by JudiScoop McWilliams

In the Heart of the Kawarthas…
The following is an excerpt about the Village of Keene on the Wikipedia website Keene was ranked “prettiest town in Canada” by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine. It has interesting shops, artisans, gardens, and history, with fishing and camping or resorts close at hand.

The following description of Keene is based on our visits to the community.

The Village of Keene is located on the northern banks of Rice Lake in the Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan. The nearest city to Keene is Peterborough which is approximately 20 kilometres to the north.

Keene’s major attraction is Lang Pioneer Village. The Lang Pioneer Village Museum is a “living history” museum and is owned and operated by the County of Peterborough. Here is my description of the Village of Keene and one of the shops she and our friend Barbara Stephenson enjoyed.

In an old Victorian setting, just a few steps north of the four corners in downtown Keene, a delightful shop, full of a fine selection of unique affordable gifts, awaits. For the past 19 years this beautiful heritage home opens it’s doors to welcome visitors to Keene from around the world. Part of the charm of most small towns, hamlets or villages are the houses that have been converted to offer some type of unique shops… from antique shops, to tea rooms with homemade treats, to even an old fashioned hardware store.


Patricia’s Gift Shop is just a perfect example. The quaint heritage home welcomes you in. From the white wicker furniture on the front porch with a welcoming black cat to greet you, to beautiful gardens.

After we had a cool glass of lime lemonade from unique glass teacups, I had an opportunity to speak with the owner, Patricia. The success of a small town shop, Patricia tells me, just “doesn’t come by accident”. “You have to work at it”. Her shop is lovely and she tells me that she likes to offer visitors an experience that she too would like to enjoy in her travels.

A friendly inviting atmosphere is paramount. Patricia states everyone has a gift, talent, art … but you have to work at it. Anyone can purchase items and set up a store, but part of your success will be in choosing and planning. Patricia’s Gift Shop has a mandate … “lovely things at a good price”! Patricia states … “success is in the details, little things do matter”.

As I left her shop I looked down at the hand made brown bag with my purchases … the detail was the hand painted name of Patricia’s scrolled with a beautiful purple colour in a Victorian style. Attached were carefully crafted purple ribbons. Details do matter!

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