Centennial Drive | Orillia, ON
French's Burger Stand
A point of interest on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour available on the Tripvia Tours App for Android & iPhone.
Listen to the tour audio!
Welcome to French's! I'm sure you've been smelling the delisciousness wafting through the air for awhile now. French's stand has been an iconic landmark on the Orillia waterfront since 1920. Local resident George N. French, had it built after world war one and it has been in the family ever since.
With the help of town council and judge melville tudhope, Mr. French obtained a lease from the Canadian Pacific Railway company for the land needed to construct the one-storey building that would house his food stand. French recognized the property's strategic location along the trent-severn waterway, next to two busy railway beds and one of the busiest parks in town.
The stand opened it's doors on June 3, 1920. One might think that it's mustard yellow, ketchup red and relish green colour scheme are indicative of the type of food sold by the French family, however they were actually CPR's official colours of the day. Wilber (Wib) French, George's son, remembers the early days at French's
"it was routine for a train to come to a halt in the intersection of tecumseth and canice streets. This allowed the engineer and fireman to order from French's, their favorite Orillia take-out establishment"
In the days when there was no refrigeration, ice cream was packed in brine in a leather bag. Apple cider was a big seller as well and was kept on the counter in a glass globe with ice packed around the base. Pop was originally supplied by Hinds beverages of Orillia. Hot dogs, pop and chocolate bars all sold for 5 cents.
Despite the necessary improvements to modernize things like the building's refrigeration methods, very little has changed at the stand over the years. It's location along the shores of Lake Couchiching, adjacent to busy trails, parks and the marina, encourages residents and visitors alike to return year after year for their favorite treat. This family tradition has been passed on for generations, dating as far back as the 1920's
This POI is featured on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.
Experience the beautiful waterfront trail in a unique and entertaining way!
Tours can be downloaded on WIFI and don't use any mobile date during tour.
Entertaining & Educational
Knowledgeable tour guides point out interesting things as you walk or bike.
Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia question that adds to the fun.
Tour experience is the same in either direction.
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