Town of Huntsville celebrates Canada Day, 1890-style

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More than a century ago, Canadians celebrated Canada Day—then called Dominion Day—a little differently than we do today. In a mash-up of then and now, the Town of Huntsville welcomed visitors to the pioneer village at Muskoka Heritage Place for some old-fashioned fun, with a little bit of 2019 thrown in for good measure.

Attendees could listen to the Muskoka Concert Band, whose instruments might not seem strange to an 1890 resident of Huntsville, while having a temporary maple leaf tattoo applied to their arm or cheek. They heard the words of Captain George Hunt, Huntsville’s namesake, back-to-back with an encore performance of student Keira Marshall’s winning speech about why she loves Huntsville today. Kids could play pioneer-style games while munching on a brightly coloured Canada Day cupcake. Families could take a ride on the heritage, open-air Portage Flyer for its steam engine’s first runs of the season, and then hop in their modern air-conditioned vehicles for the ride home. It was a day of contrasts that helped to remind visitors of just how far we’ve come.

Other Canada Day events in the Huntsville-area included a celebration at the Mary Lake Beach in Port Sydney and a free concert in River Mill Park courtesy of Hunters Bay Radio. Fireworks, weather permitting, will be set off above Hunters Bay tonight at 10pm, set to the music on the Moose 105.5FM.

Enjoy photos from the Muskoka Heritage Place celebration below and let us know in the comments how you chose to celebrate Canada Day.

Catherine Bergs and Erica Cole welcome visitors to the 1890s

Catherine Bergs and Erica Cole welcome visitors to the 1890s

(Back from left) Will Evans, Ben Hanowski Sadie Hanowski, (front from left) Leia Evans, Cecily Mason and Marigold Mason checked out the schoolhouse and were maybe a little bit glad that school isn't like this today

(Back from left) Will Evans, Ben Hanowski Sadie Hanowski, (front from left) Leia Evans, Cecily Mason and Marigold Mason checked out the schoolhouse and were maybe a little bit glad that school isn’t like this today

Freya Ware uses all her might to ring the bell at the MHP schoolhouse

Freya Ware uses all her might to ring the bell at the MHP schoolhouse

Mayor Scott Aitchison and neices watch the Muskoka Concert Band

Mayor Scott Aitchison and neices watch the Muskoka Concert Band

Captain George Hunt welcomes everyone to the celebration

Captain George Hunt welcomes everyone to the celebration

Keira Marshall gives an encore performance of her speech "Why I Love Huntsville", which won the inaugural Mayor's Public Speaking Contest this spring

Keira Marshall gives an encore performance of her speech “Why I Love Huntsville”, which won the inaugural Mayor’s Public Speaking Contest this spring

Huntsville Lake of Bays Fire Department Captain Paul Calleja leads the crowd in O Canada

Huntsville Lake of Bays Fire Department Captain Paul Calleja leads the crowd in O Canada

Dignitaries and members of Town Council were there to celebrate the occasion (back from left) Captain Paul Calleja, Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano, Councillors Jason FitzGerald and Jonathan Wiebe, Captain George Hunt (aka Ron Gostlin, MHP Manager), Councillors Dione Schumacher, Dan Armour, Brian Thompson and Nancy Alcock, Anne Mary Broadbent, Teri Souter, the Town's Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage; (front from left) MP Tony Clement, MPP Norm Miller, Mayor Scott Aitchison, Keira Marshall, and Bill Corrigan

Dignitaries and members of Town Council were there to celebrate the occasion (back from left) Captain Paul Calleja, Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano, Councillors Jason FitzGerald and Jonathan Wiebe, Captain George Hunt (aka Ron Gostlin, MHP Manager), Councillors Dione Schumacher, Dan Armour, Brian Thompson and Nancy Alcock, Anne Mary Broadbent, Teri Souter, the Town’s Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage; (front from left) MP Tony Clement, MPP Norm Miller, Mayor Scott Aitchison, Keira Marshall, and Bill Corrigan

Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano and fellow councillors hand out Canada Day cupcakes to an eager crowd

Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano and fellow councillors hand out Canada Day cupcakes to an eager crowd

Neveah (left) and Gage Krajnc enjoy their cupcakes

Neveah (left) and Gage Krajnc enjoy their cupcakes

Alyvia Monahan (left) and Matthew Reeve try their hand at a pioneer-style game: throwing pinecones through hoops

Alyvia Monahan (left) and Matthew Reeve try their hand at a pioneer-style game: throwing pinecones through hoops

Abby the donkey appears to be enjoying the special attention

Abby the donkey appears to be enjoying the special attention

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1 Comment

  1. Bill Beatty on

    Gee , some pictures of Port Sydney ( that village south of Huntsville ) would have been nice.The Mayor was there ! There was also some outstanding Music/Tunes from the 16 member Cameron of Lochiel Pipes and Drums…Magic….Great work Reagan and all the Crew !

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