Still Standing

This woman lost her roof but she found her home in Calabogie, Ontario

Jonny Harris meets one of the most well-equipped ice fishers in town as he explores Calabogie, O.N. and learns how the folks in this town take care of each other.
Joanne Leclair shows Jonny how to ice fish. 1:23

Jonny Harris visits the community of Calabogie, ON, a small town about an hour's drive from Ottawa. It's the kind of place where you could find yourself kicking back with a drink and ice fishing... indoors.

That's how Jonny meets Joanne Leclaire, a Calabogie local with a passion for ice fishing. But this isn't any ordinary ice fishing. Instead of sitting outside in the cold, Joanne has a comfy setup inside a cozy shack atop the frozen lake with a hole cut into the floor for easy fishing access.

With lots of time and bait to spare, Jonny learns more about Joanne's hometown while they wait for the fish to bite.

Jonny Harris visits Joanne Leclaire (left) in Calabogie, ON. (Chris Armstrong Photography)

Growing up in Calabogie, Joanne worked at the family business, Munford's Restaurant and Gas Station, until it closed down. Now she works at a nearby town. But even the commute can't convince Joanne to move away from Calabogie. She's never considered leaving her hometown, even when a natural disaster blew the roof off her house.

There's no way I would ever leave Calabogie.- Joanne Leclair

When a tornado tore through Calabogie in 2018, Joanne's home was totalled. When the neighbours and locals heard what happened to her home, they packed themselves into her driveway, offering assistance in whatever way they could. She recalls the pathway up to her home being completely crowded with people wanting to help.

"It's a community that really comes together and people would do anything to help you out," says Joanne. "There's no way I would ever leave Calabogie."

Stream the whole episode on CBC Gem to meet more locals and see Jonny race a Lamborghini on a snow-packed race track.

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