Pilgrimage is connected with places and landscape. The spirituality of a pilgrimage largely comes from connecting with the spirit or soul of place. This is not reducible to what a place looks or sounds like, but how the place makes you feel. Or the more intangible experience of you feeling a place’s own essence, which comes from a varying ratio of both the quality and repetition of activity in that place throughout its history, and the innate raw essence of the land in which the place sits.
The story of Martyrs' Shrine extends beyond its property line and into the surrounding region, the ancestral home of the Wendat nation. Here are daytrip ideas to further your exploration into the lives of the early Christian missionaries and the Indigenous people whom they served.
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
Ontario’s first European Community, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was the headquarters for the French Jesuit Mission to the Wendat(Huron) people in the early 17th century. After extensive archaeological and historical research initiated by the Society of Jesus, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now recreated on its original site, where the mission’s compelling story is brought to life.
Connected to Martyrs' Shrine by trail, this world-renowned reconstruction illustrates the interaction of the Canadian Martyrs and Wendat nation. Visitors get a unique opportunity to see the earliest Canadian pioneer life, through guided or self-guided visits, school group tours, interactive education programs, special events, and corporate functions.
Heart of Georgian Bay
The Heart of Georgian Bay is a Destination Marketing Organization for the municipalities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay, and Tiny in the north part of Simcoe County. The Heart of Georgian Bay offers world class boating, beautiful nature and scenery, rich heritage and history, and an abundance of arts and culture. There’s so much to discover here! Plan your Group Tour in the Heart of Georgian Bay.
The Huronia Museum
Huronia Museum is located in Midland, Ontario, Canada. It features a replica of a “pre-contact” Wendat(Huron) village, including a lookout tower, wigwam and a full-size longhouse. The museum also features an exhibit gallery featuring tens of thousands of historic artifacts ranging from photographs, native archaeology, marine heritage of Georgian Bay and art by members of the Group of Seven, and others.
Simcoe County Museum
The Museum consists of a 5 gallery, climate controlled facility, surrounded by 16 heritage and display buildings located on 327 acres of forested parkland. Inside, experience Canadian Native cultures in our Wendat (Huron) longhouse, wander along the re-created Barrie's Main Street exhibit and view the displays of well -preserved artifacts that depict the natural and human history of the area.
Nearby Sites of Indigenous-Christian Significance
Martyrs' Shrine lies in the heart of the ancestral Wendat lands which are rich in religious and historical significance, particularly for our early Jesuit missionaries and the Indigenous-Christian community in Canada. Below are a list of early Jesuit mission sites that can help broaden your connection with and understanding of our story here at the Shrine.
Ste. Marie I (Sainte-Marie among the Hurons)
Gravesites of Sts. Brébeuf and Lalemant
St. Anne's Parish Church
St. Ignace II
Martyrdom site of Sts. Brébeuf and Lalemant
Site of the first Mass in Ontario
Capture site of Sts. Brébeuf and Lalemant