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Maureen Thom (Parade Participant) 1990-1999

A decorated fire truck leads a parade of children riding bicycles and adults carrying Canadian flags.

Friends and family gather for Braeside’s Canada Day Parade, 1997.


Maureen’s eyes stung with pride as she watched her grandchildren pedal past the small crowd gathered at Leitch’s store. Canada Day was a time for the village to celebrate! Heaven knows they needed it. As a former member of Braeside Council, she knew that families were still hurting seven years after the closure of the mill in 1992. She recalled that 75% of the municipality’s tax revenue was based on that industry alone.

No one knew how Braeside would change after the forced amalgamation with McNab Township in January of 1998. Then the ice-storm hit and suddenly the whole area was in a state of emergency. People were without heat for days but the community had pulled together nicely. Unfortunately, pessimistic Y2K predictions were only compounding her fears for the future of Braeside and her own grandchildren. She wondered how long Tembec, operating out of Gillies’ old mill, could survive in this declining economy.

A sign at the entrance to a deserted mill site warns that the location is monitored by video surveillance.

Before demolition in 2012, Tembec used the mill site for drying, planing and retail operations from 1994 until 2008.