September 21 Glengarry Routes Heritage Bus Tour of North Glengarry Township

Posted on Monday September 16, 2019
Glengarry Routes Heritage Tour
Glengarry Routes Heritage Tour

Alexandria, September 9, 2019 – On Saturday, September 21, join the FREE Glengarry Routes Heritage Bus Tour of North Glengarry Township. It's a one-day, "hop on, hop off" tour of heritage locations, where you can visit local artists, listen to live music and learn about the history of where Ontario began. The bus will be going in a continuous circuit all day long and will be arriving at each of five designated stops approximately once each hour, between 9 am and 5 pm.

This event is being organized in conjunction with the Glengarry Pioneer Museum's "Battle of Glengarry, War of 1812" event, which will take place from Saturday, September 21 to September 22. The museum grounds are open on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (the battle is at 3 pm) and on Sunday, from 10 am to 3 pm. It's free to attend the tour and ride on the bus, but there is a $10 charge to enter the Glengarry Pioneer Museum grounds. Ticket sales help to keep the doors to the museum open and we promise you that it will be worth the stop!

 It's a special year for us in North Glengarry. As part of this event we will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexandria, the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Glengarry War Re-enactment and the 100th Anniversary of Via Rail. We're hoping our neighbours and friends will join us in celebrating and we invite newcomers to come and discover Ontario's Celtic Heartland.

As part of these celebrations, Via Rail has sponsored a contest! For the past month we have been advertising for the chance to win free Via Rail train tickets to travel to our event from either Montreal or Ottawa (or the surrounding areas). The contest closed on Sunday, September 15 and the winners will be contacted early this week.

In Alexandria, the first stop on the tour is the Via Rail Train Station, located at 45 McDougald Street East, in Alexandria. The centennial train station was constructed in 1917 to replace an earlier one lost to fire. Trains have been passing through Alexandria since 1882. Throughout the morning of September 21, visitors stepping off of the train will be greeted by The MacLeod Fiddlers. The MacLeod Fiddlers are a Scottish youth group from the county of Glengarry, a hot bed of Scottish culture in Ontario, Canada. They are the performance group for “The MacLeod School of Fiddling” which focuses on the teaching, promotion and preservation of the Glengarry Scottish fiddle.

Just down the street is the second stop of the tour, located close to 92 Centre Street, in Alexandria, between The Grotto and St. Finnan’s Cathedral. If the weather is fair, there will be live musical performances at The Grotto, where Noel and Rachel Campbell, two of three members of The Campbell Trio will be performing. A Glengarry family, whose individual talents and accomplishments are remarkable, and when combined, performances by The Campbell Trio are not to be missed! They play a wonderfully broad range of music, including classical, folk, jazz and have a special love of upbeat Celtic styles. 

The Grotto is a place where music meets community. The Grotto monument was erected in 1954 and depicts the miracle at Fatima. The Grotto is intended as a tribute to Mary and it serves as a memorial to Glengarry soldiers who lost their lives at war. The war monument sits in a serene park overlooking a babbling brook and blooming flowers. Concerts at The Grotto was launched in 2016 to support the rehabilitation of the monument and park. It served to bring together musicians from across the County and generated a huge amount of community support. Concerts typically take place every Wednesday evening in July and August. As an exceptional event, a small concert will be held on September 21, for visitors to the region.

Across the street from The Grotto is the famed St. Finnan’s Cathedral. After the removal of Bishop Alexander Macdonell to Kingston in 1829, the Roman Catholics of the rear of Glengarry petitioned him to divide the parish of St. Raphael’s and to establish a new one at Alexandria. This request was acceded to. A church was built on the present site of St. Finnan's Cathedral and the first mass was said there on Christmas Day 1832 by the Rev. John Macdonald, commonly known as "Father John". 

The third stop on the tour is located at Island Park (102 Derby Street West, in Alexandria). At this location, visitors are encouraged to park their vehicles and jump on board the bus, which will then travel to the fourth stop of the route at Mill Square. The Friends of the Glengarry Trails Association will have a kiosk set up at this location where they will be introducing visitors to the 15-kilometre trail network. The Glengarry Trails system is located in the Garry River watershed just west of Alexandria, Ontario, and features both woodland and wetland areas. The trails are marked and are accessible all year.

The Mill Square stop is located in the heart of downtown Alexandria. Come hungry. Our Main Street merchants will be hosting a sidewalk sale and our restaurants and cafés are certain to be offering plenty of culinary treats to whet your appetite. The Alexandria 200 Committee members will also be present, speaking about the storied history of our area and selling copies of the commemorative anniversary book created for this special anniversary.

Make sure to visit with the Glengarry Artists' Collective members who will be set up at Mill Square, where they will be working on a surprise project for an upcoming winter festival. They will also have a generous variety of art pieces, jewelry and crafted pieces on display. The Raisin Region Conservation Authority will also be at Mill Square speaking about the history of the Priests Mill and how it was once used as a hydroelectric dam.

The fifth stop of the tour is at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum (1645 County Road 30, Dunvegan) where the Battle of Glengarry, War of 1812 Re-Enactment and Pioneer Settlement will be located. It’s an opportunity to experience what it was like to live during the early 1800s, with historical interpreters playing the part of soldiers, civilians, fur traders and tradesmen.


“The Glengarry Pioneer Museum invites collaboration with local government and private organizations to help it fulfil its mandate of telling pioneer stories of Glengarry County.

The Museum’s partnership with the Township of North Glengarry on the Glengarry Routes Heritage Tour will showcase area historical locations and will include a stop at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum,” said Glengarry Pioneer Museum representative James Prevost.

For more information, including a complete bus schedule and list of activities, visit ;  call us at 613-525-1313 or email

If you can’t make it this weekend, feel free to visit us any time. Come discover and explore Glengarry Routes - a heritage tour designed to guide you through the intriguing stories of Glengarry's early settlers. You'll visit places christened with names like Breadalbane, Dalkeith, Dunvegan, Lochiel, St. Raphael’s and Glen Nevis  - all serving as reminders that Glengarry is Ontario’s Celtic Heartland.
Come discover Glengarry’s heritage and be charmed by what is best described as the “Glengarry Mystique." To download a copy of the tour map, visit




Sarah Huskinson, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Canton de Glengarry nord - North Glengarry Township T. 613-525-1110/ F. 613-525-1649/

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