The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Historic Fort Willow Conservation Area comes to life on October 1

Media Release


UTOPIA, Ontario (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, October 1, 2022, visitors will be able to travel back in time at the Historic Fort Willow Conservation Area.

The Festival at Fort Willow is an annual event where visitors experience what life was like pre-European contact, during the Fur Trade and the War of 1812. Reenactors will be dressed in historically accurate clothing and will be demonstrating life as it was during those times.”

Visitors will have opportunities to make candles, find out what items were traded between Indigenous Peoples and Europeans, experience first-hand how sailors work on ships, see how food was made by settlers, watch live wood carving demonstrations, chat with the Barrie Garden Club about the 3-sisters Indigenous gardening practices, muster-up and march in the King’s army and listen to the cannons roar!

“In the past, this site was used for centuries by Indigenous Peoples, during the Fur Trade and by French explorers as part of a major transportation route known as the Nine Mile Portage,” said Kyra Howes, Manager of Lands and Operations. “It was also strategically located as a supply depot during the War of 1812. Both Fort Willow and the Nine Mile Portage are provincial and national historic sites.”

The Festival at Fort Willow will be held at the Historic Fort Willow Conservation Area (2714 Grenfel Road, Utopia ON L0M 1T2) on October 1, 2022 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 per person or $35 for a family of 4. Children under 2 years of age are free. Tickets can be purchased at

About NVCA: The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is a public agency dedicated to the preservation of a healthy environment through specialized programs to protect, conserve and enhance our water, wetlands, forests and lands.

Media contact: Maria Leung, Communications Coordinator 705-424-1479 ext.254,

Families learning to hold muskets

​​Families learning to hold muskets

How food was made

How food was made in the early 1800s

Reeactors making candles as settlers

Reenactors making candles as settlers​

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