2015 marks the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Ontario!
To celebrate, why not plan a history-themed journey that follows his route? These are a few of the (future) provincial parks Champlain paddled through four centuries ago!
Continue reading Champlain in Ontario Parks
Many of us learned about Samuel de Champlain — French explorer and founder of New France back in the 1600s — in history class. Many of us have forgotten what we learned about him, and some of us have never heard of him. This year, 2015, marks the 400th anniversary of the exploration of Ontario by Samuel de Champlain, so it seems like a good time to take another look.
Continue reading 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Ontario
Bert Edmundson and Eugene McIsaac had the same dream more than 50 years ago: to honor the fabled Canadian lumberjacks of yesteryear. Little did they know their dream would one day become a major Ontario Parks attraction!
Continue reading Timber Tales: Marten River’s “Winter Camp”
Events to remember 400 years of French presence in Ontario
Think your kids are the only ones who yearn for adventure?
Check out the life story of Étienne Brûlé, the first French explorer to set foot in what is now Ontario four hundred years ago.
Continue reading Remembering French explorer Étienne Brûlé
The century-old skins, skulls and specimens inside the Collections Room at Algonquin Park live like little hermits in the basement of the Visitor Centre, stunningly preserved and rarely seen by anyone except park naturalists and visiting scientists.
Yet every now and again, the doors swing open and the public is invited to visit this treasure trove of natural history dating back 50 to 100 years.
Continue reading Ever flap an owl’s wing or held a century-old insect? You can at the Algonquin Park Collections Room!
There is a fascinating book called, “Mysterious Islands: Forgotten Tales of the Great Lakes”. It mentions thousands of wrecks that lie at the bottom of the lakes which have been sailed since the 17th century. Many Ontario Parks are near these huge ship graveyards and in one park visitors can actually visit a wreck dating back to the War of 1812.
- Illustration of the HMS Speedy
Continue reading Famous shipwrecks in or near Ontario Parks
Wake up and smell the gunpowder at Wasaga Under Siege bicentennial Aug. 14 – 17
If the kids give you a hard time about actually heading outdoors this summer, take them to Wasaga Under Siege this August at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, about 90 minutes north of Toronto. Tell them it’ll be like watching a video game, only for real.
Between August 14 and 17, designated areas of Wasaga Provincial Park will be transformed into an 1812 battlefield, complete with soldiers firing canons with real gunpowder, troops dropping on the battlefield and a narrator giving a play-by-play of all the action, just like Hockey Night in Canada. How cool is that?
Continue reading Wasaga Under Seige
Many Ontario Parks offer visitors the chance to step back in time and learn about life from days gone by. But one of the cool things at Bonnechere Provincial Park, 37 km southwest of Pembroke, is that you can hold that history in the palm of your hand.
- An 800 A.D. projectile point, likely from a spear that was dropped along the river by indigenous people who stopped to rest on the banks of the Bonnechere River while canoeing and portaging
- An 1859 pre-Confederation copper one cent coin bearing the name “Canada” even though our country had yet to be officially formed
- A 19th Century writing stylus, the type used by school children to scratch out their lessons (obviously before iPads)
- A clay vessel from the Middle Woodland Period (200 – 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 – 900), detailing a thousand-year-old tradition of ceramics used by the Woodland people
Continue reading Discover the hidden archaeological treasures at Bonnechere
In 1957, it was announced that a new provincial park was to be established along the Rideau River. The new park would feature a campground and a beach for swimming and would be established on land that had once been a forestry station. This is Rideau River Provincial Park.
Continue reading Then and now – 50 years at Rideau River Provincial Park