Batstone’s Northern Ramble
Batstone’s Northern Ramble began its days as a Baptist church. The original 1884 builders made use of a full array of local skills and materials, from the locally milled granite foundation to the distinctive buttress truss roof.
Current owner/operator Dean Batstone has made his own mark on the building, repurposing much of the material he salvaged from renovations to add his unique architectural touches, such as a large bar made out of dismantled pews. Thanks to the re-spacing of the original pews and the addition of a sloped theatre floor, there is not a bad seat in the house. Dean, a singer/songwriter, is also responsible for the building’s name, which pays homage to “Midnight Rambles,” jam sessions that erupted spontaneously after private showings (public showings were banned at the time) of early, African-American-produced Hollywood films. Levon Helm, drummer from The Band, adopted the name for the legendary musical gatherings he held at his home studio near Woodstock, NY, and Dean, having attended many a Midnight Ramble, brought this legacy of great live music in an intimate setting to Renfrew. Though it is primarily a concert hall, this historic venue also hosts film viewings, dance recitals, live theatre, seminars, private parties, and much more.
45 Railway Ave. Renfrew, Ontario.