Canada's Founding Families


In addition to its rich First Nations history, Hamilton Halton Brant has also welcomed a diverse range of early Canadian settlers over its storied past. Today, the stories of those families live on through beautifully preserved heritage sites, heritage festivals and special events.


Delight your senses in a historic kitchen garden where servants once picked vegetables for dinner. Feel the incredible pride of ownership inspired by the simple home purchased by an African-American slave who escaped from a Virginia plantation in the late 1820s. Costumed interpreters and interactive programming at our collection of historic homes and museums will give you a glimpse of early Canadian culture.
 

Heritage Sites & Attractions

Chiefswood National Historic Site, Ohsweken
Visit the birthplace and childhood home of Mohawk poetess E. Pauline Johnson. This wonderful historic house and museum features a selection of original furnishings and Johnson family artifacts.

Battlefield House Museum & Park, Stoney Creek
A National Historic Site, this early 19th-century homestead was once home to the Gage family, who retreated to the cellar during the War of 1812 as the Battle of Stoney Creek raged outside.

Dundurn National Historic Site, Hamilton
This 40-room Italianate-style villa built in the 1830's on the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813 was once home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas (1854-1856).
 
Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum, Ancaster
This cultural heritage centre collects, preserves and exhibits local history and promotes the fine arts and the celebration of natural heritage through beautifully landscaped gardens and walking trails.
 
Whitehern Historic House & Garden, Hamilton
Prominently situated in a walled garden, Whitehern is an outstanding example of a  19th-century urban estate originally owned by a wealthy industrialist.

Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton
Step back in time and witness the evolution of Canadian culture as history comes alive at this site that features log buildings, a blacksmith shop, a railway station and locomotive, a one-room school and more.

Ireland House at Oakridge Farm, Burlington
This historic site reflects farm life over four generations with tours, educational programs and special events hosted all year round.
 
Joseph Brant Museum, Burlington
Guided tours, permanent and changing exhibitions, interactive displays, a hands-on discovery gallery, educational programming and special events tell the important story of the historical founding settlement and development of the Burlington area.
 
Myrtleville House Museum, Brantford
Learn about and experience early Canadian life in this ten-room Georgian homestead that was home to four consecutive generations of the Good family, who originally emigrated to Canada from Ireland.
 
Erchless Estate, Oakville
Explore Oakville’s heritage through year-round guided tours and exhibitions, special events and workshops on the historic grounds of Erchless. The estate was once home to six generations of Oakville’s founding family.
 
Griffin House, Dundas
Explore the history of Enerals Griffin and other early Black settlers at this preserved early 19th-century home, set on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful Dundas Valley.
 
Situated in the rolling hills of Brant County, the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead is the birthplace and childhood home of a Canadian original who played a key role in the advancement of some of our country’s key institutions.
 
Explore this unique route and discover stories of community through colourful Barn Quilts, large decorative murals painted on large pieces of signboard that are either mounted on a barn or other building that use the art of quilting blocks to depict something in the history of the family, building or community.

 

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