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French's hot dog stand has heralded summer for almost a century

Trains made the park and the hot dog stand a popular destination for tourists in the 1920s; it remains popular among tourists and locals today!

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau. Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

Orillians still look forward to the opening of French’s hot dog stand and many see it as the unofficial start of summer. George French obtained a lease in 1920 to open up a hot dog stand on the waterfront. Both Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways promoted Couchiching Park as a destination for tourists, and people from all over Ontario came on day trips to picnic and swim. French’s stand has done a booming business over the years and thousands of people have enjoyed refreshments here. Over time, the shoreline has been gradually filled in and the stand has lost its place on the waterfront but “where you get your eats at Couchiching Beach Park” remains the same.