Everybody who has driven into Prince Edward County on Highway 33 will have driven through Carrying Place. I'm sure a lot of people will have missed the sign and have been unaware that they were actually in a hamlet, there's really not much to distinguish it as a seperate entity from the scattering of houses that precede it on the highway. There is, however, a significant importance attached to this quaint little place.
The Murray Canal ends up in Carrying Place, which is important enough, but long before the canal was finished in 1882, this was the end of an important portage trail that the first nations people and later the traders had been using for centuries. I suppose when the boats became too big to be carried on people's heads for eight miles, the canal was built. The name "Carrying Place", however, stuck. This trail was so important to the economy of early Ontario (or Upper Canada as it was known then) that the province's very first road was built here. There is a fort in the vicinity which was manned by the British to protect this vital area (I'll write about that some other time).
Today the Hamlet of Carrying Place is a convenient little bedroom community, about a ten minute drive south of Trenton. It's quite a sought after place to live, as most homes are quite new, have large country lots and are a quick drive to the 401. In other words, it's a conveniently located rather affluent little community that has a post office, a flea market, a recreational facility, a few dozen homes, and not much else.
This wasn't always such a peaceful little place, in fact, this little hamlet almost became the capital of Ontario. In the late 1700's it rivaled Toronto (then called York) in size and importance. It was the place where the Gunshot Treaty was signed, the treaty that tricked the first Nations People out of their land secured the land west of the Trent River all the way east to the Humber River for the United Empire Loyalists. Today the cities of Toronto, Ajax, Oshawa, Cobourg, Brighton and Trenton are all built on this land. This happened in 1793, but it would appear that this was the zenith of Carrying Place's importance, and since then it has faded into obscurity. This is fine by everybody who lives here though, one of the charms of Carrying Place today is that not much ever really happens here.