Southern Georgian Bay Tour

My First Porsche Driving Tour

TODAY WAS AN AMAZING DAY of sightseeing, meeting new friends, socializing and, more importantly, seeing how everyone was connecting with their Porsche. I was incredibly excited to participate in my first Porsche driving tour, and boy, I wasn’t disappointed! 

While I was looking forward to connecting with other Porschephiles about their cars and learning about their driving experiences, knowing that there would be 47 people and 26 cars, I was also nervous, not knowing what to expect. I was warmly greeted and immediately put at ease. I knew then that I would always want to go on a driving tour. 

It was about eight in the morning. We started the day at a truly epic location. Not only did our start-line have a Tim Hortons to fuel us up, there was also a Petro-Canada with 94 octane fuel which made fueling up the cars convenient and easy. We took off in two different groups that immediately felt like “today was going to be a great day.” And even though the weather wasn’t so sunny (in fact, it was forecast to rain), there was a glimmer of hope that the rain would hold off or not be as heavy as the forecast predicted. 

We took off from the start-line at 8:30am and made our way down the back-country roads of Simcoe County to our first stop in Edenvale, which boasted a museum of vintage aircraft. The first leg of the ride was so much fun. Here we were in this hangar of the Edenvale Airport, home to a number of vintage planes. We were warmly greeted by the museum staff and had the opportunity to ask questions and get insights into how these aircraft were built and the feats of engineering that kept these planes in flight. We were bonding as a group because these flying machines reflected our passion for driving machines. We were all there for the same reasons… in love with Porsche and excited to spend time together. We had a great time connecting over airplanes and there was a surprise breakfast of pancakes and fresh fruit, maple syrup and fresh coffee, all for a small donation of five dollars. 

We were warmly greeted by the museum staff and had the opportunity to ask questions and get insights into how these aircraft were built and the feats of engineering that kept these planes in flight.

The next leg of the driving tour lasted about an hour and a half and was an absolute treasure! A straight-up thing of beauty was unleashed as we navigated the back-country roads, heading north and carving through the hills and dales south of Georgian Bay. This road was truly a gift. It offers tight corners, loud exhaust moments and good-spirited driving (all within the laws). We gained a deeper understanding of the vastness and the beauty of our country. Bringing together both the engine and the incredible environment will truly make you appreciate why living in Canada is extraordinary.

As we got to our second stop, the Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene, it immediately became clear that this too was going to be a special experience. We lined up the Porsches in the parking lot for a magnificent sight in itself. In the harbour were two magnificent sailing vessels. They were breath-taking. Our marvelous host, Martin Hederich, addressed the crowd and told us that we had an entire hour to explore the grounds and take in the naval settlement which was a military stronghold during the war of 1812. We went on to explore the naval settlement and military strongholds, which featured cannons and other military hardware of the day and ancient log buildings dating back to the early 1800s, which really made you appreciate how life was once – simple, and how in some ways we’ve complicated modern life.

We also ran into an interesting character, in period attire, who offered to give us a tour. He took us into one of the buildings, the officers’ mess hall. He made us imagine how those officers once lived, where they slept, where they ate, how their food was prepared and served, how they entertained their guests, and what they did to keep themselves busy. We also discussed their ornaments, their prized possessions, and some of their weaponry, such as a sabre from the early 1800s. This tour guide was a truly marvelous guy who did an excellent job. 

We went on to explore the naval settlement and military strongholds, which featured cannons and other military hardware of the day and ancient log buildings dating back to the early 1800s.

Then we joined the rest of the group for an excellent lunch at Captain Robert’s bar, where we could enjoy a beer, glass of wine, or even a cocktail before lunch. We were offered a variety of options for lunch – a great salad, an excellent option of souvlaki or fish and chips, or vegetarian lasagna. The food was as appetizing as the conversation. By this point in the day, people no longer felt like strangers or “just” Porsche fanatics. Everyone became fast friends simply because they had spent a half day experiencing the beauty of nature and the beauty of world class driving machines. 

Back on the road and heading to our next stop; a living marsh and bird sanctuary. There, we were offered a private Birds of Prey show, exclusively for the Porsche Club of America. It was a fantastic show! Tom and his associate were two amazing hosts who did an excellent job educating us about the various birds of prey doing demonstrations and allowing most of us to hold and pet the birds. They let us truly experience what it was like to handle these amazing creatures, from a bald eagle to owls, to Harris hawks and many other birds of prey, and even a turkey vulture. It was an amazing experience and very well received by the entire group. Martin and Stefan, our two Porsche hosts are to be commended for this surprise.

We then got back into our vehicles for a 45-minute sprint back to our host Martin’s farm in Angus, Ontario. When we got there, we were greeted with an awesome barbecue of hamburgers, sausages and chicken! As we feasted one more time, the day’s experience began to sink in as we realized how much we had accomplished. At this point, many of us had been on the road for more than twelve hours. We had left our homes early in the morning. Some had brought their wives or partners along. As we wound down this wonderful barbecue, we thanked our amazing hosts, Martin and Stefan, for their hospitality, amazing service and incredible organization. 

When it was time to head home, I realized that what started out as my first ever Porsche driving tour, which I welcomed with open arms, left me truly fulfilled and excited in anticipation of joining my second Porsche driving tour. I know now that I have created friendships that will last a lifetime that are not only due to a mutual enthusiasm for Porsche cars and memorabilia, but rather over creating experiences doing amazing things together in a ride through nature, in an amazing vehicle, with awesome new friends.

So, if there’s anyone reading this who has never experienced a Porsche driving tour, let me be the first and certainly not the last to recommend that you do one soon. You will meet great friends, get to experience the thrill of driving your magnificent car, connect with nature, and have an experience you will never forget. 

Enjoy your future Porsche driving tours! I know, I will. 🙂 </>

Story & photos by Jean-Guy Francoeur, UCR Member

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