Join Us During Heritage Week 2023

Burlington’s Heritage Advisory Committee invites you to take part in an exciting lineup of activities for Heritage WeekAug. 5-12, 2023. In honour of Burlington’s 150th anniversary, a special week of heritage events are planned, focusing on sites that have shaped Burlington throughout its history.

Heritage Week is organized by the members of Heritage Burlington, in collaboration with the Burlington Historical Society, Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington Public Library, Burlington Museums, Beach Canal Lighthouse, Freeman Station, Halton Black History Awareness Society, Heritage Services – Halton Region, and David Craig of History Pix, along with a growing list of other organizations.

Schedule of Events

A detailed schedule of all the events taking place during Heritage Week, including locations and how to register, is available at All events are free. Registration is open between July 10 to 28. All are welcome.

Heritage Week 2023 Schedule

Saturday, Aug. 5
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Opening Ceremony 
(St. Luke’s Anglican Church, 1382 Ontario St.) In-person. No registration required.

Join Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Indigenous Spiritual Healer White Eagle, Town Crier David Vollick, St. Luke’s priest in charge Reverend Michael Coren and other special guests at the circa 1834 St. Luke’s Anglican Church property as we formally launch Heritage Week. The ceremony will include a plaque presentation for the newest addition to the City’s Honour Roll of Trees, a special anniversary recognition event and other activities.  Enjoy music by a quartet of the Burlington Symphony Orchestra who is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Saturday, Aug. 5
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (approx. end time)

Spencer Smith Park and Area Walking Tour

In-person and register at [email protected].

Following the Opening Ceremony, Alan Harrington of the Burlington Heritage Society will provide a memorable walking tour of the historic area surrounding St. Luke’s. The tour will highlight places of interest and the stories of several Burlington’s residents who left a lasting legacy with the community.  Meet at the north side of the St. Luke’s Hall (1382 Ontario St.) by the cemetery gate. The tour will end at the Gazebo in Spencer Smith Park. Comfortable walking shoes, a sunhat and sunscreen or other weather appropriate wear are recommended for your enjoyment.

Saturday, Aug. 5
1 to 11 p.m.

Halton Freedom Celebration Festival (Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Rd.)

Celebrating the 189th year of Emancipation throughout the British Commonwealth, the Freedom Festival brings together music, children’s activities, cultural art, food, crafts and heritage, historical, genealogical and multi-cultural groups to promote inclusivity and community integration.  Share in the joy with the Halton Black History Awareness Society, as Burlington is the first city in the world to acclaim August as Emancipation Month.  Bring lawn chairs, sunshade, an appetite and dancewear for optimal enjoyment!.

Sunday, Aug. 6
Self Guided

Release of First Heritage Driving Tour (may also be done by bike)

In-person. No registration. Please safely follow all rules of the road, including parking.

Heritage Burlington is sharing its first self-guided driving tour of Burlington.  From its northern rural communities to its southern urban settlement, Burlington has grown into a modern city.  With boundaries extending west to Hamilton, east to Oakville and north-east to Milton, Burlington offers unique landscapes with a variety of cultural and natural heritage.  This tour offers a unique opportunity to discover the community and historic places of interest.  Find the tour route on the Burlington Historical Society’s webpage at (available Sunday, Aug. 6).

Monday, Aug. 7
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stitching in History Quilt Exhibit 
(St. Luke’s Anglican Church Hall, 1382 Ontario St.)

In-person. No registration.

Take a walk through the world of quilts with the Halton Quilters Guild. See award-winning quilts through our history. Learn how quilts make a difference in our community (e.g. donations to our community partners, hospitals) and can build a community well beyond its boundaries.  Watch demonstrations of quilt-making and have an opportunity to create something to take home. Donations accepted to the Burlington Food Bank and Compassion Society.

Monday, Aug. 7
10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (approx. end time)

Beachway Park Waterfront Trail Walking Tour

In-person and register at [email protected]. Parking lot fees may apply.

Join Alan Harrington of the Burlington Historical Society on a walk from Spencer Smith Park to the Beach Canal/Lighthouse.  Enjoy hearing stories along the route and looking at locations of interest. The beauty of the walk is much of it takes place in the shade along a paved trail. Hear about the history of this unique natural area and community.  This walk will include the use of some modern technology; see how it can blend together with heritage. Meet by the clock next to the Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park at 1400 Lakeshore Rd. The walk will end at the canal bridge or may be extended to a visit to the outside of the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage on the southside of the bridge with the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group. Comfortable walking shoes, a sunhat and sunscreen or other weather appropriate wear are recommended for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, Aug. 8
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Museum open)
6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. (Movie screenings in Shoreline Room)

Museums of Burlington Exhibit and “The Eyes of Memory” Film Screening 
(Joseph Brant Museum, 1240 North Shore Blvd. East)

In-person with a maximum of 40 people per screening time. Register online.

Burlington has two museum locations, the Joseph Brant Museum and the Ireland House Museum. The Joseph Brant Museum was opened in 1942 in a replica of Joseph Brant’s original home and has become a community landmark through the years, displaying Burlington’s culture and heritage with a collection of 25,000 items.  Expanded and reopened in 2019, the Museum features both themed permanent and travelling exhibitions in the new exhibit space. For Heritage Week, the travelling exhibit, Canada’s Waterscapes, will offer insights into our natural heritage.  In the evening, step back in time and explore Burlington’s past with a film screening of  “The Eyes of Memory”.  Produced by Burlington-based film company Cinema 16, the film premiered in 1973 for Burlington’s Centennial celebrations. Regular Museum admission will apply to enter galleries when open during the day. Free evening movie screening with attendance including light refreshments and popcorn (while supplies last).

Tuesday, Aug. 8
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Symphony in the Shell 
(Central Park Band Shell, 2311 New St.)

In-person. No registration.

Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and be ready to get taken away musically by the Burlington Symphony Orchestra, celebrating its 50th anniversary. Many Burlington and area residents have enjoyed listening to a variety of music played in this 60-year-old landmark band shell venue throughout the decades.

Wednesday, Aug. 9
6 p.m. (Details available at registration)

Burlington Heights Walk 
(Royal Botanical Gardens)

In-person with a maximum of 20 participants. Registration required at

Join a RBG interpreter on this approximately 90-minute guided walk to discover the natural and cultural significance of the Burlington Heights landscape and why it was designated as a National Historic Site.

Wednesday, Aug. 9
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Before Burlington:  Treaties Around Us 
(Burlington Public Library – Central Branch, 2331 New St.)

In-person. Register online at

Join Indigenous educator, Darin Wybenga, Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Coordinator for the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) to learn about the lands around us and the treaties that govern their use. At the end of the 17th century, MCFN Ancestors arrived at the western end of Lake Ontario. They occupied, controlled and stewarded over 4,000,000 acres of land, including the lands occupied by the present-day City of Burlington. Learn about the history of this land and how we can uphold treaties to ensure it is respected and protected for years to come.

Thursday, Aug. 10
7 to 9 p.m.

So You Think You Know Burlington Trivia Night 
(Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Community Studio, 440 Locust St.)

In-person with a maximum of 160 participants. Register at

Join Don Thorpe, Burlington Historical Society and David Craig, History Pix, for a fun evening of trivia about Burlington’s past and the characters that made it. Be ready to be surprised, possibly shocked and definitely to laugh as you decide whether to go with your first answer or your second answer. Come by yourself or with a group to compete to answer questions and win points for bragging rights for what you know.

Friday, Aug. 11
12 to 4 p.m.

Celebrating Burlington’s Organizations, Community Service and Local History 
(Burlington Public Library – Central Branch, 2331 New St., Centennial Room)

In-person. No registration.

Burlington has many service groups and organizations that have and continue to contribute to the well-being and welfare of the area’s history and heritages. This event offers these groups an opportunity to showcase their activities and provide presentations on their history in Burlington. Enjoy talking with members and checking out exhibits and displays. Listen to speakers as a variety of groups highlight their activities.

Friday, Aug. 11
1 to 2 p.m.

Farming Through the Years 
(Burlington Public Library – Central Library, 2331 New St., Centennial Room)

In-person with a maximum of 70 seats. No registration.

In keeping with the Doors Open Ontario theme of food, Heritage Burlington is happy to be able to bring together a special talk with a unique group of local farmers whose family history is older than Burlington.  Listen about their families’ ties to the area, farming and the changing characteristics of agriculture. View some interesting heirlooms and artifacts.

Saturday, Aug, 12
Cemetery Tour 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

North Burlington Cemetery Tour

The Kilbride History Group invites all for a bus tour and walk of four historic cemeteries and two churches, to learn about the early settlers and the history of the area. In-person. For more information and to register for the cemetery bus tour which starts at 9 a.m., please go to and click on Events. Bring your own non-spillable water bottle.

Saturday, Aug. 12
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Doors Open Burlington

In-person. No registration. Visit

Visit several of Burlington’s notable cultural and historical landmarks as we celebrate Burlington 150+. All in-person Doors Open Burlington sites offer free admission and on-site activities. Learn more about the Doors Open Ontario theme of food as you explore Burlington’s culture and heritage. Locations on the tour include Backed By Bees, Kilbride United Church, Burlington Model Railway Club and Union Burial Grounds, with more sites joining.

Saturday, Aug. 12
1 to 2 p.m.

The Weight of Clay Tour 
(Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Rd.)

In-person. No registration.

Join Suzanne Carte, Senior Curator as the AGB celebrates a milestone exhibition and programming series honouring the artists, curators, educators, volunteers and donors who have built the Gallery’s holdings and contributed to the intellectual growth of ceramics in Canada. Over the last 40 years, the AGB has amassed the largest comprehensive collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics in the world, totaling over 4,000 works. Check the gallery’s website at for other activities.