History & Museums

Close up of heritage homes on Nelson St. with gingerbread fretwork on front porches

The Burlington area is rich in history and activities that celebrate our past. The many natural advantages of this area attracted Indigenous peoples long before the arrival of the first settlers along the lakefront in the late 1700s.  In 1669, famous French explorer Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle landed at the site where La Salle Park is currently located. Learn about Burlington’s history with our historical sites and museums.

Close up of heritage homes on Nelson St. with gingerbread fretwork on front porches

Historical Sites in Burlington

Several Museums and historic sites showcase local heritage including:

  • Joseph Brant Museum which has recently undergone a transformation and hosts travelling exhibits
  • Ireland House at Oakridge Farm paints a picture of farm life through 3 periods of history
  • Spruce Lane Farm located within Bronte Creek Provincial Park showcases the Victorian era
  • Freeman Station, a lovingly restored train station originally built in the early 1900s

You can also enjoy self-directed walking tours of the historic downtown and participate in several festivals which celebrate our past!

Ireland House at Oakridge Farm

Ireland House at Oakridge Farm located on Guelph Line was built by Joseph and Ruth Ireland between 1835-37 and was passed down through four generations of the Ireland family. Visitors to Ireland House enjoy tours of the house, exhibits, demonstrations, special events, and participatory activities in keeping with the character and history of the House.

Spruce Lane Farm

Spruce Lane Farm House at Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a living history museum recreating a glimpse of life in 1900.  The farmhouse offers educational programs to school groups, as well as a taste of history to visitors, with special events such as the Maple Syrup Festival offered each year in March.

Bronte Creek Spruce lane farm decorated for holidays with snow

Historic Tours and Resources

Stroll the historical streets of the downtown area to discover some of the first homes built in Burlington, dating back to the late 1800s. Find out more about the History of Burlington.  Check out the google map of Burlington Ontario historic plaques.

We have several books on the history of the Burlington area and historic postcards available at the Visitor Information Centre for history buffs.

History & Museums Partners

History & Museums Partners

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