History Comes Alive

If you like history, you’ll love exploring the area’s heritage sites, which played key roles in Canada’s past. Experience 1860s pioneer living at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg. Join the red-coated Fort Henry Guard in historic Kingston and witness the firing of cannons at the Sunset Ceremony. Or learn about the amazing Rideau Canal, a man-made connection between Kingston 1000 Islands and Ottawa. The Great Waterway has an abundance of heritage pioneers, historic murals and regional museums that help you “step back in time”. Many sites offer guided tours, special programs and exhibits throughout the year.

Heritage & Museums at its Best

Interactive Signature Sites
Interactive Signature Sites
Time Travel the Past
Time Travel the Past
Remembering Roots
Remembering Roots

History Enacted

Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada is part of Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Rideau Canal, both located in Kingston. Fort Henry offers exhibit and museum tours, live artillery demos, mock battles, a daily parade, guided tours and kids can march with the Fort Henry Guard! The award-winning world famous Sunset Ceremonies takes place Wednesday evenings in July and August. It’s a newly designed performance incorporating 3D projection technology, with spectacular sound and lights offers you an explosive hour and a half performance by the Fort Henry Guard Drums, Drill Squad and Artillery Detachment creating a mock battle, East Battery cannon fire and heart-pounding military music.

National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton believes everyone should have access to our country’s Air Force history. Originally founded in 1984 as the RCAF Memorial Library and Museum, this Museum has developed and expanded to where it now enjoys a national reputation, the largest number of aircraft on static display and the most skilled team of restoration volunteers of any military museum in the country.

Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada in Prescott was built to defend the St. Lawrence River during the War of 1812. Explore the wreck of a gunboat, try on a costume, take part in a military drill, witness a cannon firing and play games from long ago times.

Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg transports you back in time to 1866. Featured are over 40 historical buildings, including working woolen, grist and sawmills. Trades buildings feature blacksmiths, tinsmiths, cabinetmakers, copper, bakery and cheesemakers. Farming is demonstrated through the growing and harvesting of heritage vegetables and livestock. All aspects of this era are interpreted and demonstrated by staff dressed in period clothing. Truly a memorable living history experience for the whole family!

Unique & Specialty Museums

You would be hard pressed to find a visitor that doesn’t know Kingston and the Great Waterway region for its many can’t miss heritage experiences. For the authentic history buff, choices are numerous for specific unusual interests ranging from prisons to pianos! Take the time to learn about travelling in days gone by on the water, on land and by rail. Our past is showcased throughout the region – step back in time for a unique experience to remember!

Community-Based Museums

If you care about who you are, where and when did your descendants come from and how did they live – then community museums across the Great Waterway bring your ancestry alive! Stop by anyone of these many choices for a trip down memory lane and discover something about your past!

Heritage & Museums Article

Amazing Art Galleries in Southeastern Ontario That’ll Make You Forget it’s Winter

As the frosty grip of winter continues to take hold of Southeastern Ontario, we find ourselves in a particularly darker and less colourful time of year. The days become shorter, the nights even longer, and we understandably long for the coming spring and summer’s warm embrace. My last article presented an epic list of outdoor activities and events taking place throughout The Great Waterway this winter. However, not all of you are the outdoorsy type, and that’s totally fine. Don’t worry...
Read More

More Heritage & Museums Articles

2016: A Far from Ordinary Year for Southeastern Ontario

It goes without saying that 2016 has been a particularly unique year. Here in Southeastern Ontario, this past year has been particularly exciting for travellers and locals alike. Spanning from the Bay of Quinte to Cornwall and the Counties, 2016 has been a year brimming with fun-filled activities, wonderful special events, delicious culinary experiences, and great music festivals. In the short time since I first joined in on the journey, we’ve traveled to some fascinating places togethe...
Read More

Off the Beaten Path: 16 Must See Hidden Gems in the Great Waterway

I am always amazed by the sheer number of remarkable places ...
Read More

Behind the North Gate: the mystery and history of the Kingston Penitentiary

The sky is flawlessly blue and the June sun shines high ...
Read More