While the toll house is in immaculate condition today, not showing its 175+ years of age, it was not always kept up this well. A group of dedicated volunteers, lead by Arine Bandstra, turned this husk of a building into a painstakingly researched approximation of what the canal collector's toll house would have looked like back in 1848.
"The building was used as a barbershop for years and years, but when I moved to town in 2006, it was vacant. So we decided to do something about that. We became a non-for-profit in 2009, community members began donating things like that cast iron stove, rope bed and safe. I built that toll collector's desk myself, and another member made that canal model," Bandstra said. "A lot of work has been put into preserving this, and we do love sharing it with people."
While this is the original tollhouse structure, it not quite on the original spot. The building was too close to Ottawa's Columbus street, so it was it moved slightly to the west during a road remodeling. The picket-fence white building is still located just a short walk from Ottawa's boutique downtown.