September 26, 2008
Today we left Montreal southbound, along Lake Ontario. We stopped at Upper Canada Village, which is a must-see if you’re in that region and also one of the best examples (I know of) of how American/Canadian museums differ from those known in Europe. The village is an accumulation of houses that you find in the 19th century along the banks of the St Lauren’s river. Because of numerous dams and canals which had to be built in order to generate electricy and provide safe passage for vessels which had to conquer some pretty scary looking rapids before that, a lot of small villages and settlements were flooded. So the government relocated about 6000 people and also managed to put some of their houses and churches on flatbed trucks. A few of the particularly pretty ones were driven to the site where the Upper Canada Village is today (and a few of them were reconstructed). This process started in the 1950s and is still continuing today.
The village is a living museum, that means that you can’t only walk through the streets and look into all of the fully furnished houses, but also that there are actors employed which wear the era’s clothes and go about their daily business. For example there is a broom-maker who makes all the village’s brooms, there is a blacksmith and a saw-mill where all the wood needed for the village is cut into the right shape. Of course these people don’t talk exactly the way it was back then or pretend that we’re not actually living in 2008, but it’s still nice enough to see them around town and visiting one another.
After a very nice day there we drove one for a few miles and managed to get a nice cabin where we’ll spend the night.