Glengarry Routes Heritage Bus Tour

Poster for the Glengarry Routes Heritage Bus Tour

Click HERE to download a copy of the ENGLISH version of the poster.

Click HERE to download a copy of the FRENCH version of the poster.

Click HERE to download a copy of the Bus Schedule.

Glengarry Routes Heritage Bus Tour of North Glengarry

Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm

On Saturday, September 21, 2019 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!

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 to a grand arrival by a performance 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.  The Grotto was erected in 1954 and depicts the miracle at Fatima. The monument was erected in 1954 as a tribute to Mary and 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 Grotto. 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. While at Island Park, don't miss the chance to speak with the Friends of the Glengarry Trails and to walk over to the beach and snap a photo in our teal blue North Glengarry "selfie chair" on the beach. It's roughly ten feet tall, so be careful climbing into the beach chair!

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.

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 Musem (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.

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.

Contest to win free Via Rail train tickets

As part of these celebrations, Via Rail has sponsored a contest! All you need to do is enter your name and contact information for the chance to win a pair of FREE train tickets to travel to our event from either Montreal or Ottawa (or the surrounding areas). You can hop on board the Via Rail Train in downtown Ottawa or Montreal and travel to Alexandria, where you can board our free bus tour of the region. For a chance to win these free tickets, enter the draw by clicking on the link below and hitting "enter giveaway"
https://www.whereontariobegan.ca/glengarry-routes

Glengarry Routes Bus Schedule

Buses will be running continuously throughout the day. It's a hop-on, hop-off bus tour with buses passing each stop approximately once per hour. For a complete bus schedule, click here.

Battle of Glengarry, War of 1812 Re-Enactment at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum

The Glengarry Pioneer Museum War of 1812 Re-Enactment event is celebrating 10 incredible years at the Crossroads of Dunvegan in the Heart of Glengarry County. HISTORY comes ALIVE as Living History Re-enactors from across Ontario, Quebec and the Northern United States converge in the quiet rural hamlet. SEE, HEAR and FEEL the thundering power of CANNON, MUSKET FIRE and CAVALRY CHARGES. It will be an INVASION you will Never Forget.

EXPERIENCE 19th century Military and Civilian LIFE. VISIT the UNIQUE Artisans, tradespeople and the shops along Sutler’s Row. HEAR the stories of what LIFE was like of an Aristocrat of the Canada’s during the War of 1812.  EXPLORE the Military and Civilian Camps throughout the museum. Let your CHILDREN don uniforms and take part in muster rolls. WATCH the DAILY mock Battle between the invading United States Forces and CHEER on the CANADIANS as they DEFEND the Village.

For more information, visit: http://glengarrypioneermuseum.ca/information/1812-re-enactment/

North Glengarry Heritage Day Community Decorating Contest 

For the entire month of SEPTEMBER, we are asking businesses and property owners to get into the HERITAGE SPIRIT by decorating their store fronts and front yards.

In celebration of the Alexandria’s 200th, the Battle of Glengarry’s 10th Anniversary and 100 years of VIA Rail Service – The Glengarry Pioneer Museum and North Glengarry Township with help from SD&G Tourism have created the Glengarry Routes Heritage Bus Tour which will be trekking across 5 stops of Heritage and Cultural Value all day on September 21, 2019.

We will be expecting a multitude of new visitors to our area to mark this occasion. All you need to do to participate is to create something unique with your family, friends and co-workers. And please have FUN in the process! The contest is open to everyone and featuries two categories - Business and Residential. The Contest submission form is available at https://www.alexandriaanddistrictchamber.ca/alexandria-200th.html?fbclid=IwAR2ylO4bukWTFnX7T-_ZP9Tro8Ign2b86HVf90o7RngeNtTahVS5jBw8kBo

The contest opens September 1st,  and runs until September 30, 2019. Be sure to ENTER to win Chamber Dollars and other fantastic prizes supplied by the Alexandria and District Chamber of Commerce and by the Glengarry Pioneer Museum.

The possibilities are ENDLESS, all you need is some Creative SPIRIT. Here are some ideas:

  • Celebrating the Pioneer SPIRIT/Harvest Festival theme - Old Farm implements, scarecrow people, straw bales, potted mums, pumpkins, bunches of farm corn, etc...
  • Celebrating the 1812 Spirit - British Flags, scarecrow soldiers, decorative cannons, Soldier silhouettes, battery operated candles in windows, bunting along front porches and railings.
  • Glengarry My Home - Tartan bows, Highland Scarecrow people, Thistle decorations, Scottish flags
  • Locomotion 100, 100 years of VIA Rail - Straw bale steam trains, Railway crossing signs, Train decorations.

Remember, each display is your own and you can combine any of the ideas listed above or create your own interpretation of our North Glengarry HERITAGE SPIRIT. We are encouraging businesses and homeowners along McDougald Street East (Alexandria), Bishop Street (Alexandria), Lochiel Street (Alexandria), Park Avenue (Alexandria), Derby Street West (Alexandria), Main Street (Alexandria), Mill Square (Alexandria), Kenyon Street West (Alexandria), Highway 43, County Road 30, Greenfield, Dunvegan, County Road 24, Fiskes Corners, Highway 34 from Alexandria to the 417, Laggan, Fassifern to really get in the SPIRIT and DECORATE.


There are two separate contests, one for businesses and one for residential properties. Select which you are entering in the form available at https://www.alexandriaanddistrictchamber.ca/alexandria-200th.html?fbclid=IwAR2ylO4bukWTFnX7T-_ZP9Tro8Ign2b86HVf90o7RngeNtTahVS5jBw8kBo

For more information please email 1812@glengarrypioneermuseum.ca and direct your message to 'Heritage Day Contest'.

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