Come Wander
Art and Culture in Ontario's Highlands

We asked our friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable residents for insider tips on the “can’t miss” experiences that will feed your curiosity while wandering our small towns and countryside. When it comes to arts and culture in the region, locals know best! Here are their top picks!

Rails End Gallery & Arts Centre in Haliburton

“The Rails End Gallery & Arts Centre is always a welcoming, fun place to be. Located in Haliburton’s historic train station, adjacent to beautiful Head Lake Park, it offers interesting art exhibits, a lovely gift shop, and ongoing activities such as the Haliburton Art & Craft Festival, Art Attack Children’s programming, [concerts], plus much, much more!” – Victoria, West Guilford

School House Museum in Deep River

“The Schoolhouse Museum has something of interest for all ages. It stimulates memories and curiosity.” – John, Deep River

Old Hastings Gallery in Ormsby

“The Old Hastings Gallery, owned and operated by Lillian and her husband, musician Gary Pattison, is housed in an 1890s general store in the wee ghost town of Ormsby (population 20) in Eastern Ontario. Besides the gallery space, there are many retail theme rooms that feature a wide variety of gift ideas including many Canadian artists and artisans.” – Andrew, Belleville

Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario in Smiths Falls

“The Railway Museum found in the town of Smiths Falls is an amazing museum. It has a variety of rolling stock that it showcases including some unique pieces. It’s focus is the beautiful Canadian Northern station built to compete with the CP station in town. It shows an important and fascinating part of Canadian History and invites you to explore it as well, allowing you to step into the Cabooses and Boxcars while offering Handcar and/or Speeder rides. The staff there is wonderful and the volunteers, who are passionate and very knowledgeable and willing to share a tale about the railroad make a trip to this museum unforgettable.” – Colin, Smiths Falls

Heritage Village at Farmtown Park in Stirling

“Walking through the Heritage Village and the experience of being in our past, gives a feeling of pride in our nation’s rich Canadian history and who we are and where we have come from, historically and today. It is something all Canadians of all ages should experience.” –Gary, Stirling

The Minden Hills Cultural Centre in Minden

“The Minden Hills Cultural Centre is an extraordinary place where you can find fabulous art with a focus on the Canadian landscape, a unique historical museum and a unique straw bale sustainable building, and a large beautiful library with free internet access.” – Sheryl, Minden

Polish Kashub Heritage Museum in Wilno

“The words ‘amazing’ and ‘awesome’ are often used in visitors’ comments in our guest books at the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum in Wilno. These compliments about our historical and cultural displays and heritage log buildings are often accompanied with words of thanks for our efforts to tell and preserve our unique Polish Kashub history in Canada at the museum.” – Shirley, Wilno

Stories

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Finding Good Medicine on Thunderbird Mountain

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Shiver-Worthy Spooky Spots

There’s something lingering in the air throughout October, leading up to the culmination of all things spooky on its final day – Halloween.   October starts with the summer’s lush canopy of green bidding a final farewell through a stunning display of vibrant colours. When the leaves die off and settle as a multi-coloured blanket on the forest floor, and the fog rolls in over the lakes and […]

Haunted Walks and Hair-Raising Ghost Tours

Have you ever wandered through an older building and felt the hair raise on the back of your neck, and not been sure why? It may be you are sensing something that others aren’t, some spooky aftereffect from a historical wrongdoing or the ghostly pinings of a disgruntled spirit. Many small communities in Ontario’s Highlands […]

The Artist’s Way

Who says art can only be found in big galleries or urban showrooms? To find fantastic local and Canadian art you need to head to the places that inspire artists to create, and Ontario’s Highlands is among the most beautiful places in Ontario (in our humble opinion). Beyond the inspiration found in the rugged hills […]

Big Attractions in Ontario

Are you the type to pull over when you see a comically large roadside attraction, or a picture-perfect spot to snap a few shots? Amateur photographers and Instagrammers alike can agree that a giant ice cream cone, a massive mural adorning the side of a building, or a full-size replica of a jet plane are […]

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

From the rushing waters of the Petawawa, Madawaska and Ottawa rivers to the unspoiled woodlands of Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is a sultry enchantress, enticing us with adventure. Renowned as a world-class whitewater destination and for the challenges found in its rugged hills and lush dales, the Valley pushes us to do more, live […]

With Love, to Lennox & Addington

Known for its pristine wilderness, incredible views and rugged natural spaces, the majestic beauty of Lennox & Addington speaks to the wanderer inside us all. From the craggy peak of Mazinaw Rock at Bon Echo Provincial Park to the starry skies overhead, there is wonder waiting to be discovered here, a vivid reminder of how our […]

Your Guide to COVID-19 Safe Travel in Ontario’s Highlands

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Dark Skies, Starry Nights

Have you ever wondered about the mysterious realm outside our planet? Maybe you’ve wanted to roam the galaxy, travel among the stars, and get a new perspective on the universe. For now, stargazing is as close to it as us ‘average humans’ can get! Luckily there are still places to getaway, where the view of […]

Get in Step

April Verch, fiddler, singer-songwriter and step dancer extraordinaire teaches the basics of stepdancing.

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The Creative Cruiser

I’m a Creative Cruiser. I wander with a desire to feed my curiosity, to follow my passions, and to grow from my discoveries.

Where Am I

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Hidden Gems

Seven charming museums in Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Visit the Petawawa Heritage Village, where you can step back in time and explore the lives of those who wandered long ago.

Where Am I?

Discover a rich history and an even richer geology at the Beryl Pit in the Ottawa Valley.

Where Am I?

Discover breathtaking beauty blasted from the Earth at Marmora Mine in Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Discover the story of the earth at the Bonnechere Caves in Eganville, Ontario.

Locals Know Best: Art & Culture

Discover the best spots to learn about the vibrant culture and hidden gems in Ontario’s Highlands through the locals themselves.