Once upon a time, I was a member of the Fort Henry Guard. Our beloved Fort Henry was operated by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, something I considered to be a shadowy organization based in Morrisburg. Its crown jewel was Upper Canada Village, and I often felt like we were the poor cousins who lived up river.
One day a few of the guard decided to pay a visit to Upper Canada Village to do a little reconnaissance. Although it pained us to admit it, UCV was incredible. While Fort Henry was starting to look pretty rough around the edges, the village was gorgeous and elaborate, with beautifully maintained buildings, gardens, and public areas. We left impressed, but also a little sad that our beloved summer home wasn’t given as much TLC.
Fifteen years later, Upper Canada Village has become one of my favourite places to take the boys for a day trip. It’s fun, educational, and there’s a lot of activities to keep young kids engaged. There’s a horse-drawn boat ride on the canal, a wagon ride around the village, and a small train that runs down to the river and back. The saw mill, flour mill, and textile factory are full of noisy machinery, and I’m pretty sure A and K would gladly spend an hour just feeding the carp in the river.
If you go, you can probably find coupons for a free child admission in one of the Ontario tourism brochures. I know there’s been controversy this year about staffing levels and programming choices, but I didn’t notice a big difference from our visit last year.
I haven’t posted photos for a while, so here are a few shots from our visit.
K had been waiting for a year to play on the teeter-totter.
A liked it, too. Note the jacket – typical summer gear this season.
A’s favourite part of the day was sawing logs at the saw mill.
K was into the child labour thing, too.
A, K, and my mom. K looks pretty sharp with his inverted baseball hat.
The boys spent a bit of time chasing the six piglets that were wandering around the farm.
Last year we missed out on the train, which led to lots of tears. We made sure to include it in our itinerary this time around.