Celebrate Ontario’s Heritage During Heritage Week, February 21-27

A couple reads an informational plaque at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden prior to COVID closures. The site remains closed due the pandemic, but the Ontario Heritage Trust offers virtual tours and other resources to explore the site. Photo by Ontario Southwest/Chatham Kent Tourism, used courtesy of the Colony Project

February 21-27 is Ontario Heritage Week, an opportunity for communities across the province to celebrate Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage and explore local history. The Ontario Heritage Trust is offering a range of digital programs for all ages throughout the week.

The Trust will kick off Heritage Week celebrations with a free virtual tour of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site on Monday, February 21. Throughout the week, free programs will also explore the historical significance of Ashbridge Estate and Enoch Turner Schoolhouse in Toronto, and Fulford Place in Brockville.

Ontario offers the world in one province — whether it’s through touring our museums, visiting our cultural sites or hiking in a nature preserve, there are many wonderful opportunities to experience its many historic offerings,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “I encourage all Ontarians to embrace Heritage Week virtually or in person, safely explore these historic sites, and learn more about Ontario’s rich and unique history.”

Ontario Heritage Trust’s Heritage Week 2022 schedule:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site virtual guided tour 
February 2110 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Limited availability, registration required

This 60-minute live virtual tour will bring the history of the Underground Railroad to life through artifacts, a walking tour of the museum’s historical buildings, interactive activities and incredible storytelling. Book through Eventbrite.

For more programs related to Black history and heritage, visit Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site’s special events and programming page.

Fulford Place: Virtual tour
February 21-27; Pre-recorded
No registration required; join online 
Learn about the Fulford family and explore the interior of their 1,858-square-metre (20,000-square-foot) Edwardian mansion overlooking the St. Lawrence River in Brockville.

Mrs. Henderson’s classroom: A virtual field trip
February 22 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Registration required
Go back in time and experience the classroom rules and responsibilities of a Victorian school child through a lively re-enactment of a morning at an 1858 Toronto school. This tour is for kids Grades 1-6. Book through Eventbrite.

200 years of history: A walking tour of the Ashbridge Estate
February 23 and 26 at 2 p.m.
Registration required. COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place.
On this outdoor walking tour exploring the grounds of the site, visitors will learn about the Ashbridge family (one of the early settler families of what is now Toronto), explore some of their stories, as well as the history of Toronto and Canada itself. Book through Eventbrite.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse: A virtual visit
February 24 at 2 p.m.
Registration required
During this tour, participants will learn the history of Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (Toronto’s first free school), discover the ins and outs of a Victorian schoolteacher’s work, and the many uses the schoolhouse has seen. Book through Eventbrite.

On Thursday, February 24, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will join John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust, to present the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards. This annual awards program recognizes exceptional achievements in heritage conservation. The recipients of this year’s awards will be announced publicly the following day.

Communities across Ontario will also celebrate Heritage Week with special programs. Visit the Trust’s Heritage Week community events and activities list for more information.

Each year during Heritage Week, the Trust announces its interpretive theme for the coming year of commemorative activities. In 2022, the Trust will explore Ontario’s design heritage and history – from architecture to technology, landscape design to urban planning, and the stories behind the creative minds who have shaped, and continue to transform, the lives of Ontarians.

“There is so much to learn and celebrate about our province during Heritage Week. From historic places and museums to natural spaces and trails, we encourage all to participate through activities that will enrich your knowledge of Ontario,” said John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “Join the Trust throughout 2022 as we explore the transformative power of design and look back on its rich history in Ontario – the past can serve as a source of inspiration for architects, planners and innovators imagining safer, sustainable spaces and technologies for a better future.”

SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust


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