This picture does as good a job as any at encapsulating what you’ll find in the “downtown core” of Ashton, Ontario, a tiny village tucked away in a quiet southwest corner of rural Ottawa. This sign, located in the heart of Ashton at the intersection of Flewellyn Road and Ashton Station Road, points to both the thriving present, and ghosts of the faded past.
To the west of the sign is the Ashton Brewing Company, which also houses the Ashton Brew Pub. As far as I could tell from my brief walkabout on June 20, it would appear the brewery-and-pub complex constitutes the village’s “downtown” business sector, not including any nearby farms or home-based businesses.
And then to the east of the sign is The Ashton General Store, which closed its doors in 2016 after being in business for 150 years. (I’m curious as to why the sign adorning the front of the building today is different from the one shown in the Ottawa Citizen article linked above. I presume that either the Citizen had used an earlier file photo that predates the current decor, or the building’s owner spruced it up post-closure in order to keep up appearances at the village’s main intersection.)
As you stroll eastward from the former general store, you can’t help but notice a cluster of other derelict buildings, albeit ones that are in a more obvious state of disrepair, and that are genuine eyesores to all but weirdos like me who are fascinated by such things.