Upper Canada Village

Today Rosa, my mother-in-law Lemin and I visited Upper Canada Village to see the Medieval Festival. I visited Upper Canada Village once before when I was a child. The name Upper Canada refers to the political division (like a province) of British North America before Confederation. It covered southern Ontario and Quebec.

The Medieval Festival was held on the grounds of Upper Canada Village in two open fields.

When we arrived, there was a birds of prey demonstration by Dale Gienow. Some of the birds have previously appeared on TV and movies. He had a vulture, some smaller hawks and a huge owl.

Jousting competition
Jousting competition

After that, we watched the jousting competition. It was impressive. Thundering hooves shaking the earth and then – Clang! – the instant of contact. The forces must be tremendous. Twice, a knight was knocked off his horse. It must have hurt to fall from the height of the horse while wearing a metal suit with no padding!

After the competition ended, we walked around to see the other exhibits, such as crafts tents, a puppet show, belly dancing, village idiots, and a food booth with medieval fare.

Upper Canada Village replicates what life was like in Canada (British North America) in the 1860’s. The village buildings represents individual homes, a tinshop, a hotel (now a restaurant), a school, a chapel and a church, printing office, general store, a sawmill, flour mill, blacksmith’s, and a woollen factory. There was even a Masonic Lodge.

I was not expecting to see so much, and I was pleasantly surprised at the breadth of the village reproduction, including actors in period costumes.

We were famished so we walked to Willard’s Hotel, which is now a restaurant. I had some local cheeses served with fresh bread.

Blacksmith working the anvil
Blacksmith working the anvil

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around, seeing the homes and businesses. The woolen factory was neat, full of very complex machinery that took the raw wool, spun it into a thick braid and then refined it into a single thread. A separate room was for dying the wool thread.

Watching the blacksmith working metal was also fascinating, as he was also explaining what he was doing as he worked.

We spent about 4 hours at Upper Canada Village before heading for home.

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