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.

Stories

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 […]

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

We are happy to see that summer is in full swing here in Ontario’s Highlands, and even happier now that we have seen the lifting of many restrictions here in Ontario. After months of staying home we are eager to get out and stretch out legs and imaginations in a region made for discovery. This […]

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 […]

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

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Get Your Hands Dirty

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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

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

Hidden Gems

Seven charming museums in Ontario’s Highlands.

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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.

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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.