Upper Canada Village brings colonial Ontario to life
Founded by British Empire loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, the city of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada 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, or Lower Canada, and the three cultures have mixed with native peoples here for hundreds of years. 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. 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. This includes the wildly popular Alight at Night festival leading up to Christmas that's a must-see if you’re in the area.
Upper Canada Playhouse Features Laughter and Music
If you’ve come to see Upper Canada Village, stay a little longer for Morrisburg’s Upper Canada Playhouse. You’ll see professional theatre performances within walking distance of homey cooking and high teas. The gateway to this Upper Canada region is the united counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. The leafy village of Williamstown north of Cornwall has a couple of small museums that capture the pioneer with interesting displays. The oldest log house in Ontario is also here. And haunting the ruins of St. Raphael’s church and graveyard leaves you feeling that you’ve touched the pioneer soul of Upper Canada. Festivals like each August’s
Glengarry Highland Games bring this past to life, while others, like Cornwall’s annual Lift-Off Hot Air Balloon Festival are thoroughly modern.
Golf resorts sit alongside pioneer life in Upper Canada
If outdoor activity was difficult during the days of pioneer life in Upper Canada, it’s pure recreation today. Perhaps it is the area’s deep Scottish roots that give the golfing here such an authentic feel. Golf resorts abound and a cool, misty day can have as much appeal as the full sun of midsummer. Try Archie’s Family Golf Club or The Cornwall Golf and Country Club. If you want a different taste of outdoor pioneer life for yourself, try horseback riding. Fishing and canoeing are other area classics. For a faster pace, the Waterfront Recreational Path offers 90 km of uninterrupted cycling along a scenic route on the shore of the Saint Lawrence River.
Great places to stop and soak up the scenery – or a local microbrew – are so common that finishing isn’t the challenge, wanting to is.
After exploring Cornwall and the Counties, you can plunge deeper into Upper Canada with a cruise or diving in the 1000 Islands.
- Trisha, Kanata
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