Upper Canada Village by Tad Clark

Ever wonder what it was like living in the St Lawrence River region a hundred-and-fifty years ago? Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, Ontario is more than a recreation of our pioneering roots, and a functioning example of what life like in the 1860s. Here is a village populated with historic buildings that take the visitor on a journey back to earlier and more basic times.

I found each member of the interpretive team knowledgeable, and well versed on their specialized vocation, and how it contributed to daily life and the community. A blacksmith, woodworker, weaver, schoolmarm and many other constituents of village living were spending their day working on projects with century-and-a-half old tools and techniques. The folks I talked to were working on fixing something necessary or producing goods. It is instructive for young people and senior citizens alike.

Our granddaughters shared some delightful interaction with Sharon Shaver at the Ross Farm. She had our two girls and another young boy sit on a lightly padded window seat then asked them how it felt. The two girls said it felt pretty comfortable. The young boy said it was too hard for his taste.

She said, “That is good girls, and it shows you have been working hard today. As for you young man, I guess you haven’t been laboring enough to feel the softness that comes with being tired.”

The two girls stood and performed a reenactment of the ”jaw-dropping expression” while their eyes scanned the scene for clues that would answer the questions Ms. Shaver presented next. She quizzed them about their ability to darn socks, sew, cook and work picking berries or weeding the garden. She explained these were common chores and expectations for girls between the age of five and eight in those earlier times.

Twenty years ago we took our two kids to Upper Canada Village for a family outing. We wanted to make a return visit with Tori and her two daughters this week. Tori had pretty much forgotten about that event until I said, “You and Coty milked a cow there.”

“Oh, is that where that was? I remember that. We had fun.”

I have only detailed a small sample of what this attraction has to offer, and I'm ready for a return trip whenever time allows. I saw that any age group could enjoy a day at this venue. I think there is something of interest for everyone.

The drive took us a little over an hour from Canada-401 adjacent to the International Bridge going east toward Montreal.

Photo captions

  1. Schoolhouse
  2. Cook's Tavern and traveling troupe show
  3. Summer Camp attendees studying outside schoolhouse
  4. Gazette Printing Office
  5. Spinning demonstration at the McDiarmid House
  6. Quilting at the Ross Farm with Sharon Shaver