Westfield Heritage Village is a living history museum run by Hamilton Conservation Authority. Home to 35 buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, this fantastic museum is a perfect place to spend a day.
Where do old buildings go when they're no longer wanted in the neighbourhood?
Some historic buildings get demolished. Some go to building graveyards like Guildwood Park in Toronto Ontario.
And some are very lucky: they get a second lease on life in living history museums like Westfield Heritage Village.
Visitors to Westfield are lucky too, for we get to see so many heritage buildings in one spot, and have the chance to experience a little taste of what village life was like a century ago... and all of this in a wonderful natural setting amongst over 300 acres of beautiful park land.
The museum, which is surrounded by beautiful forested trails, is located just outside of Rockton, about an hour's drive from Toronto and a 30-minute drive from Hamilton Ontario. The park is part of the Hamilton Conservation Authority.
The village features 35 different heritage buildings, most from the 1800s, but one dating back to 1792.
a log cabin
a middle-class home
a train station
The volunteer guides in historic costume who staff the building are knowlegeable about the different professions of yesteryear. Watch the carpenter or printer at work. Speak to the trapper in the French-Canadian log cabin. Or chat with one of the soldiers in the three-cornered hat.
If some of these buildings look familiar, it might be because you've seen them in the movies. Anne of Green Gables was shot at Westfield.
Every year Westfield Village hosts special events. The Ice Cream Festival is a lot of fun. In addition to watching guides prepare the ice cream, we enjoyed a free concert of Dixieland jazz under the trees. (Note: making ice cream by hand the old-fashioned way takes a LONG time, so you only get tiny samples of the homemade kind. However, you can buy the "modern" stuff from the restaurant on-site.)
There are also fashion shows exhibiting period costumes in July and August, with interesting commentary.
Other special events include seasonal ones celebrating Canada Day, Hallowe'en and Christmas.
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