Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, Ontario’s first European community, in the heart of Georgian Bay, and was the headquarters for the French Jesuit Mission to the Huron-Wendat people. In 1639, the Jesuits, along with French lay workers, began construction of a fenced community that included barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for First Nations visitors.
By 1648, Sainte-Marie was a wilderness home to 66 French men, representing one-fifth of the entire population of New France. Sainte-Marie’s brief history ended in 1649, when members of the mission community were forced to abandon and burn their home of nearly 10 years.
After extensive archaeological and historical research, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now recreated on its original site, where the mission’s compelling story is brought to life. Located near Midland in the beautiful Southern Georgian Bay area, this world-renowned reconstruction illustrates the interaction of the French and Huron-Wendat nations. Visitors get a unique opportunity to see the earliest Canadian pioneer life, through guided or self-guided visits, school group tours, interactive education programs, special events, and corporate functions. We are also very proud of the fact that we are now an ‘Ontario Signature Experience’.
End your time with us with a visit our Interpretive Museum. Have a delicious meal in our themed on-site Restaurant and shop for a lovely souvenir in the Museum Gift Shop.
Support person accompanying a paying visitor with a disability are admitted FREE.
Purchase 1 Adult admission at Discovery Harbour or Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and receive 30% off 1 Adult admission to the other site!
Special events taking place at Sainte-Marie during 2016.
National Aboriginal Day – June 21, 2016
The Huron Wendat people are integral to the Sainte-Marie story, and the historic site continues to share aspects of Aboriginal culture today. Join us on National Aboriginal Day as we pay tribute to Canada’s First Nations with drumming, dancing, singing, special on-site activities, and displays. Read More
Canada Day – July 1, 2016
Celebrate Canada’s birthday with fun children’s activities and giveaways!
Lacrosse: Celebrate the Game – July 1 to 3, 2016
Experience and learn about Lacrosse and hear stories in Sainte-Marie’s longhouse on the game! Presented in partnership with the 1615 Champlain Commemorations Committee.
Sunset Tours at Sainte-Marie – Thursday evenings: 6:30pm to 8:00pm – July 14 to August 25
A guided tour of Sainte-Marie that highlights French and First Nations stories and the people who lived here from 1639 to 1649. Individuals such as Master Carpenter Charles Boivin and Blacksmith Louis Gaubert will be highlighted. The evening concludes in the Longhouse with a traditional First Nations story which is a memorable experience and not to be missed.
FEAST Sainte-Marie – Saturday August 6 – 11:00am to 8:00pm
A celebration of the French, Huron-Wendat and regional food that influence much of the historical and regional cuisine of today. From Huron-Wendat corn bread to roasting bannock and learning the legend of “Three Sisters Soup”, this event is a taste of our heritage that also includes significant Francophone culinary references. Includes craft brewing and cider experiences throughout the historic site as well as entertainment.
Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre POW WOW – Sainte-Marie Park – September 10-11, 2016
This annual traditional POW WOW, presented by the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre at Sainte-Marie Park, is open to the public. It features Native dancing, traditional crafts and foods. Read More
Franco-Ontarian Day – September 25, 2016
Celebrate French culture and heritage in Ontario with special displays and activities.
Thanksgiving Harvest Festival – October 8-9, 2016
Celebrate the colourful Fall Season with Sainte-Marie’s Thanksgiving Harvest Festival and Arts and Crafts Show and Sale on October 8-9. A family favourite, the event features pumpkin decorating, seasonal displays, and over 35 exceptional artisans. Read More
First Light – November 24-26, December 1-3 and 8-10, 2016
Experience Sainte-Marie’s spectacular “First Light” Event evenings November 24-26 and December 1-3 & 8-10 as we illuminate the famous historic site with over 5,000 candles. Recognized by Festivals and Events Ontario as one of Ontario’s “Top 100” Events, “First Light” creates a wonderful holiday ambience, featuring hands-on activities for children, seasonal and Francophone music, Aboriginal performances, and much more. New for 2016, First Light festivities will also be featured at Martyrs’ Shrine. Read More