The Canadian National Holocaust Monument Photo: Doublespace Photography

Welcome to the new Heritage Matters!

Explore past issues of our magazine in this new digital format.

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Toronto's Don Jail, 2017 (Photo: Richard Adams) Photo: Richard Adams

Explore our stories about buildings and architecture

Check out the many stories published by the Ontario Heritage Trust about buildings and architecture - from adaptive re-use and conservation activities to iconic structures and the economic impact of heritage ...

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Josiah Henson (Photo: Schlesinger Library, Harvard University) Photo: Schlesinger Library, Harvard University

Celebrating Josiah – Introducing the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History

By Beth Hanna and Steven Cook. Do you know Josiah’s story? Many Canadians don’t – and they should. We all should. Josiah Henson was born in 1789, held as a slave from birth. In 1830, he escaped, travelling 1,030 km (640 miles) from Kentucky with his wife Charlotte and their four children ...

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Members of the Voice of Women demonstrated at Queen’s Park in April 1970, asking support for a bill to ensure that women get equal pay for equal work. (Photo: Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) Members of the Voice of Women demonstrated at Queen’s Park in April 1970, asking support for a bill to ensure that women get equal pay for equal work. (Photo: Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Exploring women’s history in Ontario

Check out the stories that we have published over the years about the significant contributions made in Ontario by women, and their ongoing struggle for rights ...

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Latest features

A provincial plaque was unveiled in 2010 as part of the Emancipation Day event at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden to commemorate Hugh Burnett and the National Unity Association.

Setting the record straight – Updating four Black history plaques

I’d like to tell you about Solomon Moseby. In 1837, Moseby fled to Niagara to escape slavery in Kentucky. When his extradition back to the...

The Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station was opened for a special Doors Open weekend on October 26-27, 2019. (Photo: Niagara Parks)

How Doors Open Ontario activates the province’s communities

The Ontario Heritage Trust’s Doors Open Ontario program works with communities and partners to open the doors, gates and courtyards of Ontario’s most unique and...

Children from Pelee Island Pubic School helping to collect seeds for restoration projects

Conserving what we value

It was my time to finally get my message across. About 15 years ago, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was beginning to purchase properties...

Re-saturating calcimine paint on decorative plaster moulding from 1817. Reproduction rosettes at top left. Homemade traditional plasterer’s tools at bottom left. (Macdonell-Williamson House, Chute-a-Blondeau)

The case for craftsmanship

One of the greater pleasures of working in architectural conservation in Ontario is the opportunity it provides to work with traditional building materials: the timber...

Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto (Photo: Josh McSweeney) Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto (Photo: Josh McSweeney)

Doors Open Ontario

Discover the story behind every door!

Start planning your excursion today.


Four major rivers with numerous falls and rapids flow across the site. (Photo: Pimachiowin Aki Corporation)

Pimachiowin Aki – Canada’s newest World Heritage Site

On July 1, 2018, during the 42nd Session of the World Heritage Committee in Manama, Bahrain, Pimachiowin Aki was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List – Canada’s first “mixed” (cultural and natural) World Heritage Site. In response to the committee’s decision, Anishinaabe First Nation spokesperson Sophia Rabliauskas acknowledged the guidance of our Elders and recounted how the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe people) have lived and cared for this land for thousands of years – a sacred...

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Dr. Wesley-Esquimaux (left) with Elizabeth Penashue, who was born into an Innu hunting and trapping family that lived at Kanekuanikat, between Esker and Churchill Falls, Labrador. Penashue moved to Sheshatshiu in the 1960s when her family and her people were encouraged to relocate in order to integrate them into Canadian society through education and a more settled lifestyle. Photo courtesy of the author.

Suffrage and Indigenous women in Canada

What has it been like to grow up in a society only now beginning to take note and respect the contributions of Indigenous women? When asked, far too many of us are taken back to being the direct recipients of our mothers’ (and fathers’) Indian Residential School experiences before we knew that such things even existed. What was just was, and illumination of the rocky road that I and many of us have travelled to...

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Ahneen, which means ‘Hello’ in Anishinaabemowin, is written on the front step of the Native Canadian Centre.

More than words: why I’m trying to learn the language of my ancestors

Losing our talk I’m from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in southern Ontario. My people refer to ourselves as Anishinaabe, which translates literally to “good person.” Our language is Anishinaabemowin. I don’t speak the language, even though my great-grandmother and grandparents spoke fluently. They were proud Anishinaabe, but they didn’t pass the language on. I imagine they believed their children would have more opportunities if they spoke English. I assume racism and pressures...

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Elsie Knott, Canada’s first elected woman chief

Canada’s first elected woman chief

Elsie Knott was born at her Curve Lake home on September 20, 1922 to George and Esther Taylor, the fifth of six siblings. Because of muscle weakness in her legs, she couldn’t start her schooling until she was nine years old. Elsie finished her Grade 8 education in her 14th year. The Canadian government didn’t sponsor native students to further their education, so most girls were married at an early age for family/ economic reasons...

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