Location: Wiarton, Ontario, Canada
Date: Aug 2017
On February 2nd there will be a lot of rodents predicting the weather. One of the best known is Punxsutawney Phil. Even Bill Murray spent the day over and over again with him in the movie Groundhog Day. In Ontario, the most famous groundhog is Wiarton Willie. If the groundhog sees its shadow and retreats back into its den then we will get 6 more weeks of winter. If the groundhog does not go back into its den then it will be an early spring.
We visited Wiarton on our way to Tobermory. We made sure we visited the monuments placed around town as well as the actual Willie. As you enter the town on Highway 6 you will see the town Welcome sign.
The sign says Wiarton and has a big, plump, cartoon groundhog standing next to it waving. Yes the groundhog (above) is white because Willie is an albino. The part of Wiarton Willie has been played by many groundhogs throughout the years, but to our knowledge they have always been white.
Another Wiarton Willie statue is located further into town in Bluewater Park next to Georgian Bay. It is called "Willie Emerges".
This statue is carved out of stone and shows Willie standing up and alert keeping a lookout.
There is also a memorial to all the Willies that have come and gone. Sadly, the Willie we visited died the next month at 13 years old. That is quite old for a groundhog and the town of Wiarton also has younger backup Willies just in case. Willie's understudies if you will.
In the park next to the Dockside Willie's restaurant we saw none other than Wiarton Willie himself. He lives in a special enclosure that was designed with the help of the Toronto Zoo. He digs holes, eats his vegetables and sunbathes all year until it is time to head inside for winter. He then emerges to make his special prognostication on February 2nd. While his predictions may not always be right, we know Willie will be part of a good bit of fun at the beginning of February.
Map of Our World
Wiarton Welcome Sign , Wiarton Willie Statue
Post # 205