Come Wander
Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario

When you think of museums, your first thought might be a flashback to middle school class trips spent roaming the halls of massive buildings, wondering at the displays around you. If that’s the image in your head, we hope to change it.

Ontario’s Highlands is a land rich in heritage, culture, and many forms of art, with unique museums dotting the region. Instead of daunting hallways, try imagining intimate buildings, with displays ranging from unique to quirky, and friendly hosts so passionate about history that many of them actually volunteer their time to share their knowledge with you. Here’s our suggestion of seven museums that are true hidden gems, sure to change your museum memories for good.

Garrison Petawawa Military Museum

Where: Petawawa, ON

Discover the stories of sacrifice, battles won and lost, and aid brought to thousands, that are told through collections comprising of 20,000 artifacts. While roaming displays indoors and outside, you can broaden your horizons and learn about the birth of the village of Petawawa, different divisions of the Canadian Forces, parachuting and the Canadian Guards.

Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario

Where: Smiths Falls, ON

Travel back in time to celebrate the rich history of the railway and discover the impact it had on local communities at this National Historic Site. Enjoy the museum’s small-town feel and get an up-close look at the machines used, the ways of communication, and the lifestyle of railroaders. Feel a part of history by taking a ride on the diesel-electric locomotive and booking a bonus experience to spend the night in a 1940s caboose.

Matheson House/Perth Museum

Where: Perth, ON

Leave the 21st century behind as you walk straight into the 1840s at this elegant house, originally built for the Honourable Roderick Matheson, a senator in Canada’s first parliament after Confederation. Keep your eyes open for the acclaimed pistols that were used in Perth’s “Last Fatal Duel” in 1833, and marvel at the dwelling’s four period rooms, expertly restored to bring the era to life. Wander through gardens featuring plants and flowers in line with the 19th century time period and check out the specialty outdoor oven and herb garden, used for events held throughout the year.

The Canadian Clock Museum

Where: Deep River, ON

Explore two centuries of Canadian-made clocks as you peruse Canada’s only clock museum, which collects, preserves and displays some of Canada’s most interesting and beautiful clocks dating back to the early 1800s. Feel amazed by the number of Canadian clock companies between the 1820s and 1970s and discover the passion of founder, Allan Symons, which brought this museum to life during a guided tour.

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Where: Carleton Place, ON

Wonder at more than 10,000 artifacts, obtained by the museum for a relevance to the people of Carleton Place and Beckwith Township. Experience the exciting culture, history, and passion that runs through this small town and watch for unique events and tours offered.

Lanark Highlands Basketry Museum

Where: McDonalds Corners, ON

Discover the artistry of basket making as you explore the only basketry museum in Canada, with 200 exhibits made from materials found in the environment. More than just baskets, you can explore all sorts of items made using basketry techniques and see many of the natural materials growing in the surrounding gardens. Get a feel for the art form by attending a demonstration or signing up for a hands-on workshop.

NHA/NHL Birthplace Museum

Where: Renfrew, ON

True hockey fans know that Renfrew is the birthplace of the National Hockey Association (NHA)/National Hockey League (NHL). Learn about the monumental moment in 1909, when the NHA began under the leadership of M.J. O’Brien, and later became the NHL in 1917. Uncover the history of the ‘Original Six’ and marvel at artifacts showcasing the early days of the league.


Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Foraging in Fall

Try your hand at foraging and identify, harvest, and prepare wild edibles.

Discover Hidden Gems

Feed your curiosity and explore the diverse geology of Ontario’s Highlands at these Recreational Geology locations.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Art in the Summer

Celebrate creativity at art festivals across Ontario’s Highlands this summer.

3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

Batter up!

Get a behind the scenes look into the world of baseball at Sam Bat.

A Gallery on Ice

Be amazed by 3 ice huts, 4 artists, and 1 frozen lake at the Ice Cube Gallery, an inaugural event in Haliburton, Ontario.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Find out where to appease your creative side on this Creative Cruiser road trip.

Ground to Glass

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

5 Senses of Nature

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in the natural charm of Ontario’s Highlands.

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

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

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.

3 Ways to See 5,000 Stars

Escape the city lights and pick one of these 3 locations for stargazing 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.