Bird House City in Picton, Ontario

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[twitter]Just on the southern city limits of Picton, Ontario lies a community park filled with more than 100 birdhouses. Birdhouse City as it is known, was the hobby of Doug Harnes, a former superintendent with the Prince Edward Region Conservation Authority. The houses are scale models of some of the heritage buildings in the county including cottages, restaurants, churches and more.

The project started in 1978 with a re-creation of the historic Massassauga Park Hotel. The birdhouse is a massive 80-room structure measuring four feet by 54 inches, and supported by two poles. Over 3,000 miniature shingles were nailed on one by one on the roof, and the entire building was exact right down to the artistic scrolls on the roof top.

Soon other houses followed as community groups became involved in the project to help recreate famous buildings and structures and businesses in the area.

The one thing you’ll notice in Bird House City is the lack of actual birds. While some have nests, the high density housing never really caught on with the birds. The project is in need of some upgrading and maintenance, many of the poles are missing houses and it’s hoped that despite the lack of birding in the park, the architectural heritage angle will help it thrive as a destination for visitors.

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Birdhouse City is located at Macaulay Mountain Conservation, on County Road 8 (Union Street, on the eastern outskirts of Picton, Ontario.)

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