National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which recognizes the ongoing trauma caused by residential and day schools, and honours those who were lost, Survivors, their families and their communities. Between the 1830s and the 1990s, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken from their families and communities and forced to attend schools designed to strip them of their languages and cultures. Survivors called for recognition and reparations and demanded accountability for the lasting legacy of harm caused by these schools and other wrongs committed against the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. In December of 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report detailing ninety-four Calls to Action to begin the reconciliation process.

We all have a role to play in the journey towards reconciliation – we encourage you to take time to listen, to learn and to reflect. If you are looking for a place to begin, we suggest the resources of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. You can access their website here:

Do You Have Any Dinosaurs?

Young visitors often ask if we have any dinosaurs at the museum, and usually we have to say no, but on August 28th, we’ll be able to say yes! Turtles are amazing creatures that are essentially living dinosaurs and the Turtle Guardians are coming to the museum for a Meet and Greet with some of their live teaching turtles! Find out about the different species of turtles that live in the Haliburton Highlands, talk to turtle experts and learn about ways that we can all help these animals. Bring along your questions and your curiosity! This is a drop-in outdoor event that’s suitable for all ages. For more details, take a look on our events calendar.

Take a Walk Into the Past This Summer!

Have you ever wondered about the historic buildings in downtown Haliburton or been curious about what the village might have look like over one hundred years ago? If so, we hope you’ll join us for one of the museum’s Historic Walking Tours this summer! Topics will vary from tour to tour, but you might learn about the Grand Central Hotel, which was the focal point of Highland Street for decades, or the history of Haliburton’s Town Hall, which was constructed in 1897. Tours might cover some of the impressive family homes in town which now house local businesses or the history of the village’s sawmills. There’s history everywhere you look, and we’re excited to help you see the village in a whole new light!

New this summer, we’re excited to also offer some interactive walking tours specifically geared to families with young children – we’re ready for all their questions! For details of dates and times and how to register, please check out our event listings on the site!

We’re Back!

The Haliburton Highlands Museum is open for our summer season and we’re so excited to welcome you! We ask that you please wear a mask in all of the museum’s indoor spaces, sanitize your hands on arrival and remember to keep a distance of two metres from anyone not in your party. Please be aware that we’re collecting contact details from our visitors in case they are ever needed for contact tracing. This summer, you can explore our main gallery, featuring displays about topics as varied as the history of lumbering, the rise of tourism in our community and the history of local businesses. Our historic farmstead is also open to explore. Reid House, the historic house located next to our main gallery isn’t open this season, however, as its layout isn’t suited to physical distancing.

We’ll also be starting to resume in person programming during the the month of August. We’d love to have you join one of our historic walking tours (details in our events section.) Check us out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for details of other pop-up programs as they become available!

Spring Break 2021

Spring Break is looking different this year, but that’s no reason why there can’t still be lots of fun, while staying safe at home! Check out the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for activity ideas to keep kids busy over the break. We look forward to welcoming you back to the museum in person soon!

Changes to March Break Programming

The health, safety and wellbeing of all our visitors, our staff and our community is of utmost importance. Due to increasing concern over the spread of COVID-19, we have modified some aspects of our March Break programming to reduce direct contact and ensure better social distancing. We have also increased our regular cleaning schedule and are frequently sanitizing commonly touched surfaces. All visitors are asked to use self-screening practices recommended by health authorities. We appreciate your understanding as we implement measures to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. ​

We remind and encourage all visitors to help reduce the spread of infection by:

  • Regularly washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand washing facilities are not available.
  • When coughing or sneezing: do so into the bend of your arm, not your hand, also dispose of tissues and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Remaining at home if you’re not feeling well or if you have been in contact with anyone who is/has not been feeling well.

And, of course, by looking out for each other in this amazing community and beyond!

Lost Haliburton Boat Tours – Sold Out for 2019!

This summer’s Lost Haliburton Boat Tours, presented in partnership with Highland Boat Tours, are sold out for this summer! Tickets for the 2020 season will go on sale in June 1st of next year – we hope you can join us then for one of these fantastic tours which explore the Golden Age of our local lodges and resorts!

Announcing a Brand New Summer Program!

Making plans for the kids for this summer? Looking for a full-day camp opportunity? Look no further! We’re delighted to be partnering with our friends at Deep Roots Adventure for a brand new program! Here’s the latest update from the Deep Roots crew:

“Deep Roots Adventure will be offering a Day Camp this summer in partnership with the Haliburton Highlands Museum. In true Deep Roots style youth will enjoy activities, games, arts and crafts based around the natural world and wilderness skills, along with awesome natural and area history thanks to the museum. We will hike, play and learn outdoors, taking advantage of the beautiful natural area around the museum.

This camp will be open to youth starting kindergarten this September (3-4 years old) up to the age of 10. Please contact us if you have older youth who would like to attend.

Youth should pack snacks and lunch, a refillable water bottle, and be dressed/prepared to be outside for the day. Full kit list will be sent upon registration. Limited space available. Pre-Registration Required.

August 19-23, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. $35 per day per child. 
Registration will open June 7th.”

More details to follow soon!

When’s the 24th of May This Year?

Is there any more Canadian saying? Sometimes it confuses our international visitors, there can be no doubt! The name by which our unofficial kick off to summer is often known has its roots in the actual birthday of Queen Victoria who was born on May 24th, 1819 – 200 years ago this month! Victoria was regarded as the “Mother of Confederation”, a woman who ruled an empire “on which the sun never set”…and someone for whom a delicious cake was named! Still popular today in Britain, Victoria Sponge is modeled on a treat which the queen was said to have very much enjoyed during her lifetime. Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1861 included this recipe for the popular tea time sweet:

Ingredients: Four eggs; their weight in pounded sugar, butter, and flour, a quarter of a saltspoonful of salt, a layer of any kind of jam or marmalade.

Method: Beat the butter to a cream; dredge in the flour and pounded sugar; stir these ingredients well together and add the eggs, which should be previously thoroughly whisked. When the mixture has been well beaten for about ten minutes, butter a Yorkshire-pudding tin, pour in the batter and make it in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Let it cool, spread one half of the cake with a layer of nice preserve, place over it the other half of the cake, press the pieces slightly together and then cut it into long finger-pieces; pile them in crossbars on a glass dish and serve.

Time: 20mins. Average cost: 1s, 3d. Sufficient for five or six persons. Seasonable at any time.

Happy International Museums Day!

Museums across the world are celebrating today, as it’s International Museums Day! The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition” and this couldn’t be more apt. The scope of what museums do in their communities has vastly expanded in recent years – no longer are museums simply seen as repositories of the past. At our museum, we partner with and host a large number of community groups – there’s always something going on at the museum! In this day and age, it’s vitally important that there are spaces where everyone feels safe and welcome.

Museums are also amazing place for people of all ages to learn, not just about history, but also skills that range knitting to beekeeping and genealogy research to campfire cooking. The benefits of arts, culture and heritage have been and continue to be, widely studied, and it’s been proven that visiting a museum or gallery can release feel-good hormones which can help with depression, anxiety, chronic pain and stress.

Museums are, of course, also keepers of our community history – a reminder of all those who came before us and all those who will be a part of our community in the years to come. We hope you’ll take some time this month to show some love for museums and the work that they do!