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.
OPEN FOR THE 2018 SEASON MAY 5!
Special events taking place at Sainte-Marie during 2018.
National Aboriginal Day – June 21, 2018
In recognition of National Aboriginal Day, Sainte-Marie will offer Indigenous singing, drumming and dancing. Indigenous displays and demonstrations include kid’s heritage crafts, waterway and lacrosse demonstrations, Indigenous crafters, and more.
Sainte Marie By Candlelight
Walk in the footsteps of history and witness life at dusk on the 17th century mission. The arrival of supplies and workers by canoe and stories of perilous travels will bring to life the characters of Sainte-Marie, while lantern lit buildings and time spent in the longhouse will be a feast for the senses! Come experience the past like never before!, Sainte-Marie by Candlelight. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
FEAST: Food and Drink Events – July 2018
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.
Lacrosse: Celebrate the Game – 2018 TBA
Experience the traditions and skills of Canada’s national summer sport! Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and the Toronto Rock present the Bagattaway Lacrosse Festival June 24 and June 25, 2017 as part of the Ontario 150th Celebrations. The site will come alive with Canada’s Historic Game during the two day event. Visit the site of one of the first recorded accounts of the Indigenous game and try your hand at skills competitions, interactive Lacrosse displays and meet and greet with Toronto Rock players. Stay tuned for more information.
Franco-Ontarian Day – September 25, 2018
Celebrate French culture and heritage in Ontario with special displays and activities.
Thanksgiving Harvest Festival – October 6 – 7, 2018
Sainte-Marie’s Thanksgiving Harvest Festival and Arts and Crafts Show and Sale is a fun family event, with lots of on-site activities and outstanding artisans and crafters.
First Light – November 22 – 24, November 29 – December 1, December 7 – 9, 2018
Experience Sainte-Marie’s spectacular “First Light” Event evenings 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.