Strange Things I’ve Seen – The Leaning Water Tower of Orono

The wife and I were returning from a trip to The Leskard Trail when we stopped into Orono (just North on Hwy 115 from the 401) to buy some Christmas gifts for an old friend at the Dutch shop/bakery on the Main St.  On our way into town, I spotted this :

The leaning tower of Orono

I asked the wife “Is it just me, or … ?” She explained that she’d seen it before, while visiting Orono with a shopping friend. It was getting later in the day, but I wanted a better look at that water tower reservoir before it took a dive (maybe with a curious tourist or two under it). I wanted to get closer so we drove around looking for a way to do so, until the posibility I mentioned in the bracketed statement above occurred to me.

So, I elected to snap a few shots from a safe distance (that’s why God invented zoom lenses  … to extend the lives of bloggers).

The leaning tower of Orono close up

I like Orono. But I gotta wonder what kinda message that poor old reservoir sends out to visitors. “Drop into Orono and get dropped on” or maybe “Orono, the town with a slightly different bent”. Perhaps, ” Visit Orono where we lean toward the future”. It could go on and on, until that fateful day when  …

The odd thing is, while trying to get closer to it, we found a park, with a sign that depicted the tower :


Is it just me, or does the reservoir on that sign look kinda  … lean-y?  I’m wondering just how long has it been like that? As mentioned earlier, we’d come to Orono to do some shopping, so while the wife browsed, I quizzed a shop owner to no avail. Had it been earlier in the day, I’d have asked every shop owner in town.  However, we wanted to get Home to mulled cider on the back deck, so I figured I’d just Google it and find out. That didn’t help me much.

As luck would have it, the very next day after these pictures were taken, I met a long-time resident of Orono. She explained that the tower had been declared an historical structure years ago, but the town couldn’t afford to fix it. So, they can’t knock it down, and they can’t fix it up. I guess it’ll just have to fall down on it’s own, hopefully not killing anyone when it does.

The same former resident told me she and her brother used to climb the tower and drink beer up there. She explained that it wasn’t quite as tilted in those days. She also told me if I’d ever heard of someone painting a “P” in front the town name (as in Welcome to PORONO), that was her and her brother too. I hope to meet her brother someday as well.

Thanks much,



  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    Thanks. I will now.put Porono on my list of “to visit towns”


    1. That’s fine, just beware of falling historically designated structures while you’re there.


  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    When was the water tower built? When did they stop using it?
    I can’t find any information about it anywhere.


    1. I’ve requested historical data from a few potential sources. Please check back from time to time. If I get any info from any of them, I’ll post it here as an addendum.


  3. I grew up in Orono and i too climbed the water tower as a youth. I love Orono and had the best childhood.


    1. Well Julie,
      With all the traffic up and down that poor tower, I’m not surprised it’s leaning.
      Good to hear from you,


  4. Hey, have you watched Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. The beginning scenes feature the Orono Water tower.


    1. No, I’ve never seen Schitt’s Creek. But I will now. Thanks for the tip.


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