There is a new concert/documentary movie being released by director Jonathan Demme called "Neil Young Journeys." The concert part of the movie is filmed at Massey Hall in downtown Toronto whereas the documentary films Neil while he travels to his hometown of Omemee Ontario ( Note: this is only one of Neil's hometowns as he also lived in Toronto and Winnipeg in his early years). This is significant to me because I grew up in the larger community of Lindsay Ontario which is only 15 km from the village of Omemee.
I had to chuckle at this Q&A with the film's director on the Rolling Stone website. Firstly, the article misspells the community as Omeeme (They may have corrected it by the time you read the article...or not). Secondly, is when the interviewer muses " For anyone who has listened to Neil Young's music, to actually see the town in North Ontario that he sings about in Helpless was fascinating" to which Jonathan Demme responds (hilariously!!) "I know! Whenever you heard that line, didn't you always picture something? It was very beautiful, whatever it was. And it was kind of amazing to get to that town in North Ontario and see, what do you know, it is gourgeous. It is dreamlike. And, amazingly, it's still here."
Not to dump on Omemee Ontario but it is no different than any other small village in Ontario. It is located in a scenic part of the province with the Cavan Hills located to south of the village. However, I have driven through the village a million times ( I used to commute between Lindsay & Peterborough every day) and really never thought about it being magical. The village is located on the Trans Canada highway between Lindsay and Peterborough Ontario. Having grown up in the area nobody thought we were in North (Northern???) Ontario. It is probably more situated in South Central Ontario. There are some nice rolling hills in the area (eskers as I learned in geography class) and a couple of nearby ski hills. I wouldn't recommend swimming in the Pigeon River which cuts through the village as it is full weeds and leeches. There is a museum dedicated to Neil Young on the main street of Omemee. I have never been but have always wanted to go there.
I remember his house quite well. The house where Neil grew up is also on the Trans Canada highway. The Shell station where I frequently purchased gas is only a few doors down from his house.
Apparently the movie is being released in New York and Los Angeles tomorrow (Why not Toronto ???)
That being said, Neil Young's song Helpless is a true classic and probably one of the best written songs in rock and roll history.
Here is video Neil Young's recording of Helpless (Live from Massey Hall 1972) with scenes of Omemee Ontario.