Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract now open to the public!

Two new trails in Haldimand County, the Cayuga Grand Vista (Cayuga) and Gypsum Mine Tract (Caledonia – York), are now open to the public.

The Cayuga Grand Vista trailhead is located behind the Cayuga Courthouse at 55 Munsee St. N. The trail guides pedestrians and cyclists on a scenic loop from the courthouse over the Grand River on the restored CN bridge to King George St. and Maple Rd. and back to the courthouse via Talbot St. E. and Munsee St. N. Two lookout platforms on the east and west sides of the bridge offer picturesque views of the river and its natural surroundings.

The Gypsum Mine Tract can be accessed from two points: Haldimand Rd. 9 at Nelles St. E (York) and McClung Rd. at Maclachlan Ave (Caledonia). The trail’s name is intended to reflect the historical importance of gypsum mining in the area. From 1838 – 2016, 5 mines were established and eventually decommissioned in both Caledonia and York; gypsum was extracted from 65 feet below ground and hauled to the surface by donkeys and horses underneath what is now the trail. From the access at McClung Rd., the trail runs east towards Haldimand Rd. 9 where it proceeds west and connects to the Rotary Riverside Trail.

“Both the Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract are fantastic additions to the community,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “From a community vibrancy perspective, they offer new opportunities to stay active, learn about our shared history and connect with nature,” he added.

While both trails are now open to the public, formal grand opening celebrations will be planned and held in the spring. “We’re encouraging everyone to go out and walk, run or cycle the new routes,” said Sheila Wilson, Manager of Community Development & Partnerships. Wilson noted that although Haldimand County trails are not maintained during the winter, they remain open; in snowy conditions, the trails become excellent routes for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. As with all Haldimand County trails, motorized vehicles are not permitted.

Details regarding an official grand opening celebration for the Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract trails will be announced in spring 2019.


2018 Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest Now Accepting Submissions

Haldimand County invites residents and visitors to submit their photos of Haldimand’s beautiful environment, architecture and vibrant community life in the Uniquely Haldimand photo contest. Now in its 6th year, the contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers and features some great prizes.

With 87km of gorgeous Lake Erie waterfront, the Grand River, sprawling countryside and charming towns, Haldimand County is one of the most picturesque destinations on Ontario’s southwest coast. Its abundance of outdoor recreation options, scenic lookouts, community events, historic sites and culinary experiences make it an incredible place to live, explore and photograph.

Photos eligible for entry must depict a scene from within the boundaries of Haldimand County. They must be original, digital high resolution photos no more than two years old and not previously published. Participants may submit their photos via the online submission portal, accessible at Photos must be submitted by Saturday, December 1 and comply with all rules and regulations.

A panel of judges comprised of both County staff, community figures & local photographers will closely examine all submissions in December. Four winners will be announced prior to the end of 2018 with 1 Grand Prize, 1 Second Prize and 2 Honorable Mentions awarded. Prizes include gift certificates for unique culinary experiences, Haldimand County souvenirs and more. Winning photographs will be featured in an exhibit within Haldimand County Museum & Archives, and displayed permanently on the County website.

Haldimand Museums Receive Provincial Grants Totaling $37,914

Annually, Haldimand County’s 3 museums apply for Community Museum Operating Grants (CMOG) offered by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. All Haldimand Museums sites received notice of approval of CMOG funding for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Funding awarded is as follows:

  • Haldimand County Museum and Archives: $12,097
  • Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum: $11,073
  • Edinburgh Square Heritage and Cultural Centre: $14,744

Museums play a significant role in contributing to lifelong learning and the creation of vibrant, creative communities. Funding through the CMOG program helps strengthen the capacity of organizations and museums to meet heritage-related goals and interpret/protect Ontario’s cultural heritage.

“We are extremely grateful to the Ministry for their continued support of Haldimand museums. The $37,914 awarded will contribute to the continued preservation of our unique heritage through programming, events, exhibitions, preservation and curation activities,” said Anne Unyi, Supervisor of Heritage & Culture for Haldimand County.

Haldimand County’s 3 museums – located in Cayuga (Haldimand County Museum & Archives), Caledonia (Edinburgh Square Heritage and Cultural Centre) and Selkirk (Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum) – serve to educate and inspire visitors of all ages through year-round programming, exhibitions and genealogical research assistance.

As a requirement of receiving annual Community Museum Operating Grants (CMOG) from the Ontario Ministry of Culture, the three Haldimand Museums sites are required to demonstrate compliance with the Standards for Community Museums in Ontario, which set out the minimum requirements for the operation of a community museum. All three museums – including the new Heritage Centre – comply with these standards.

In the spring of 2019, the Haldimand County Museum and Archive facility will close and relocate to 19 Talbot Street, Cayuga within the Cayuga Library and Heritage Centre. Artifacts, records and reference materials will be displayed and made available within the new state-of-the-art building. Exhibits, events and educational programs that residents and visitors currently enjoy will continue to be offered at the Talbot Street location.

“Heritage and Culture staff will continue to apply for CMOG funding for all three County owned museums – Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum, Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre and the new Heritage Centre in Cayuga,” said Unyi. “We are looking forward to the Heritage Centre opening and providing a new, accessible and inviting space for visitors to explore our unique history,” she added.

Cayuga Grand Vista Trail Construction Nearing Completion

Construction on Haldimand County’s newest trail, the Cayuga Grand Vista, is nearing completion. Work on the highly anticipated trail project has been underway since spring 2018, and the route will open to the public later this fall.

The Cayuga Grand Vista trailhead is located behind the Cayuga Courthouse at 55 Munsee St. N. The trail will take pedestrians and cyclists on a scenic loop from the courthouse over the Grand River on the restored CN bridge to King George St. and Maple Rd. and back to the courthouse via Talbot St. E. and Munsee St. N. Two lookout platforms on the east and west sides of the bridge will offer picturesque views of the river and its natural surroundings.

Each lookout has been designated with a name of local individuals that have noted accomplishments locally, provincially and federally – the Honourable Madame Justice Helen Kinnear and the Honourable Dr. Justice T. David Marshall. Plaques will be installed at both lookouts with descriptions of their accomplishments.

“The Cayuga Grand Vista is a great addition to the community. It provides an opportunity for recreation and education,” noted Sheila Wilson, Manager, Community Development and Partnerships. “The peaceful setting and naming plaques offer a unique connection to Cayuga’s past,” she continued.

“The trail will be open in the next few weeks,” Wilson added. “We are waiting on the delivery of gates to prevent unauthorized vehicles from accessing the trail. The gates are a standard design feature incorporated into all trails to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety.”

An announcement will be posted on the County website and social media accounts once the construction fences come down and the trail is open for use. Residents are reminded that construction sites are not to be accessed by the public and are requested to call the OPP if they witness vehicles using County parkland or trails.

An official Grand Opening Celebration will be scheduled for early spring of 2019.

An aerial view of the Cayuga Grand Vista trail.

Haldimand Museum Announces ‘Haunted’ October Event Schedule

Haldimand Museum & Archives will be hosting three ‘spooky’ programs and events in the weeks leading up to Halloween. A haunted walking tour, lecture on famous gothic novelist Bram Stoker and an exploration of Haldimand’s most haunted places will be offered. All events run from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Haldimand County Museums & Archives in Cayuga (8 Echo Street).

October 17 – Heritage Series: Bram Stoker  

At this installment of the museum’s Heritage Series, attendees will learn all about Bram Stoker, the Irish author best known for his Gothic tale Dracula (1897). As a young student he became interested in theatre and began his career as a theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. Stoker also wrote short stories and several other novels including The Primrose Path (1875), The Snakes Pass (1890) and others. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $5/person (registration code: 6283). Light refreshments will be served.

October 24 – Walking Tour of Cayuga: Ghostly Tales

Join museum staff for a stroll around Cayuga’s most ghostly haunts with stories of murder, mayhem and ghost sightings. The Cayuga Courthouse was the site of several hangings (including members of the infamous Townsend Gang), two of whom are buried in the jail yard.  Discover what curse was put on Cayuga by a wrongly accused person and other spooky facts. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person (registration code: 6284). Light refreshments will be served.

October 31 – Halloween Tea & Talk

At this talk, museum staff will highlight some of the Grand River’s most chilling ghost stories and haunted places. Fresh scones, raspberry jam and other sweet treats will be served. Pre-registration is required for this event; the cost is $10/person (registration code: 6285).

For more information on museum programs and events, contact the museum at 905-772-5880 or email

County Seeking Public Input For Economic Development & Tourism Brand Strategy

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism Division is seeking community input to develop its brand strategy. The brand redevelopment project, identified as a priority in the 2017 Council-approved Economic Development and Tourism strategy, has been initiated to enhance the County’s positioning as an exceptional place to live, visit and conduct business.

The branding initiative’s objective is to clearly ‘tell the story’ about what Haldimand County has to offer and why potential investors, businesses and visitors should choose Haldimand. The project will develop and deliver a defined, resilient brand identity that describes Haldimand’s competitive advantage, engages people, drives action and represents the many attributes of its unique communities.

“We would like to invite key stakeholders and members of the public to provide input and guide the brand development,” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager, Economic Development and Tourism. “It is important that we use a collaborative process to not only identify Haldimand’s unique story and competitive advantage, but to obtain support and public insight for the final brand,” she continued.

Over the next several weeks – through a series of focus groups, surveys and interviews – the County will be collecting input directly from local stakeholders including residents of all ages, business owners, local volunteers and community groups. Additional consultation will take place beyond Haldimand County to ensure an external perspective informs the final brand.

The re-branding project process will be facilitated by design and marketing firm CQNS. “CQNS has extensive experience working with municipalities and their Economic Development and Tourism organizations,” Romanuk noted. The Economic Development and Tourism Division will work closely with the CQNS team to conduct research and carry out the re-brand’s implementation.

Residents are invited to provide their input by attending a focus group or completing an online survey (open until October 12). Focus groups will be held on the following dates and locations:

Focus Group Session #1: CAYUGA

Date: Wednesday, October 3

Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: Cayuga Arena – 55 Thorburn St. S, Cayuga, ON N0A 1E0 (upstairs meeting room, McSorley Hall)


Focus Group Session #2: DUNNVILLE

Date: Wednesday, October 3

Time: 6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

Location: Dunnville Library – 317 Chestnut St, Dunnville, ON N1A 2H4 (upstairs, Programming Room)


Focus Group Session #3: HAGERSVILLE

Date: Thursday, October 4

Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: Hagersville Arena – 36 Sherring St. North, Hagersville, ON N0A 1H0 (upstairs meeting room, Almas Room)


Focus Group Session #4: CALEDONIA

Date: Thursday, October 4

Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Location: Caledonia Library – 100 Haddington St, Caledonia, ON N3W 2N4

Residents who wish to attend a focus group session can contact the Haldimand County Economic Development and Tourism Division at or 905-318-5392 ext. 6331 to register. Residents who are unable to attend an in-person session are encouraged to complete the survey, accessible via or directly at

Golden Age Of Radio Exhibit Opening At Haldimand Museum & Archives

Haldimand County Museum & Archives is celebrating the history of radio with its latest exhibit, The Golden Age of Radio opening on October 3, 2018 at 1 pm.

The exhibit opening will kick off with a talk on the exhibit led by museum curator Karen Richardson. Special guest Peter Jaycock, morning host on 92.9 The Grand FM, will be on hand to guide visitors through the process of making commercials through hands-on participation.  Peter will also give participants the opportunity to do a live, on-air promotion.

The Golden Age of Radio exhibit takes a nostalgic look at radio’s golden age; it will feature a number of artifacts from the museum’s collection as well as special displays created in partnership with Mohawk College’s Entertainment Business class.

The invention of the radio is largely credited to Guglielmo Marconi who, in 1894, began to develop the theory of a wireless telegraph system based on the use of Hertzian waves (radio waves). In 1897, Marconi established the first radio station on the Isle of Wright.

Commercial radio broadcasting began in the early 1920s and lasted until the 1950s. Entertainment programs including radio plays, mystery serials, soap operas, quiz shows, talent shows, variety hours, situation comedies, play-by-play sports, children’s shows, cooking shows and up to the minute news.

Admission to the museum is by donation, and complementary refreshments will be served at the exhibit opening on October 3. The exhibit will be open to the public until December 17, 2018.

For more information on museum exhibits and programming, contact the museum at 905-772-5880 or email Karen Richardson, museum curator at