Upper Canada Village brings colonial Ontario to life
Founded by British Empire loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, the city of Cornwall, Ontario shares a common heritage with the many towns and villages in this eastern corner of South Eastern Ontario. The region, part of what was originally Upper Canada, is just a stone’s throw from Upstate New York and Quebec. The three cultures combine with a strong First Nations population to create a diverse cultural blend throughout the region. After walking Cornwall’s historic center and imagining colonial life, most visitors make the short jaunt to Upper Canada Village, where history lives in an authentically recreated 1860’s town. The smell of fresh-baked bread wafts from hewn-stone period buildings baked by villagers in traditional costume, and down the road, blacksmiths work
horseshoes with period implements. Upper Canada Village is more than a living museum; re-enactments and special events greet visitors all year round, including the wildly popular Alight at Night festival leading up to Christmas, and the 2012 winner of Ontario’s Best New Event, Pumpkinferno.
Festivals keep the party going all year long!
Festivals and events throughout Cornwall and the Counties are sure to keep everyone entertained. The Glengarry Highland Games is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Scotland, and is celebrated by families from across the globe. “The Games,” as it is affectionately referred to, is home to the North American Pipe Band Competition and many traditional Scottish athletic games, creating a great cultural experience. Ontario’s only hot air balloon festival, Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off takes place each year on the stunning waterfront of Lamoureux Park of downtown Cornwall. Great international recording artists, exciting Midway, and over 20 outstanding balloons fill the park and the skies in Cornwall and the Counties each July. One of the newest festivals that has quickly grown to be a
favourite is the popular Ribfest circuit that makes its way to Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park. Outstanding live entertainment, plenty of rides and games, large beer garden, and of course, some of the best ribs you’ve ever had!
Cycling the Waterfront Trail is a celebration of nature,
culture and history
The Waterfront Trail cycle route extends 780 kilometers from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border and takes cyclists along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The paved and groomed trail is tucked away from major roadways and winds through 41 different cities and towns, as well as over 152 arts attractions and heritage sites. During the summer months, cyclists can spend a weekend – or several days – riding the length of the trail as they shop, eat, wine taste, and explore sites along the way. One of the most popular parts of the trail is the 30-kilometer stretch between Upper Canada Village and Cornwall. Cyclists can step back in time and experience pioneer life in Upper Canada as it would have been during the 1860’s. Save a few hours to tour the old mills, houses, farms, trade shops and churches. Actors in period costume acts as guides and
go about their business milking cows, carving furniture, baking bread and milling grains. While travelling the area, visit the Upper Canada Playhouse and take in a musical
during the spring season or a comedy during the summer. Back outside, golfers have no shortage of options at more than a dozen golf resorts within 30 minutes of Cornwall.
Enjoy the beauty and serenity of the outdoors
The region is chockfull of great outdoor scenery and activities. Gorgeous parks along the waterfront, great beaches to soak up the sun on, and 12 distinct golf courses to match every skill level. The region has some great ways to keep moving with some fantastic kayaking and canoeing, and some of the province’s best cycling with over 90 uninterrupted km of the beautiful Waterfront Trail, as well as over 30 well established road routes that explore the entire region.
- Garry Pilon, Cornwall Ontario
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