Historical Attractions

Canada's First Forestry Station St. Williams

Where is it at?

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Canada's First Forestry Station
885 Highway #24
Reg. Road 16
St. Williams
ON
N0E1P0
Tel: 519-875-3350

Directions

They are on the corner of Forestry Farm Road, Reg. Rd 16 and Hwy 24

Where are we going today?

If you want to spend a day out in nature, AND surround yourself with history, then why not take a visit to Canada's First Forestry Station Interpretive Centre in St. Williams.

There is such a rich history here, kids will love hearing all about it right on the spot that it happened!

The pioneer forefathers who visited the area, arrived to deeply forested, and impenetrable bush land.  Did you know that back then, by law, that they had to clear the free land and farm on it?

As a result the topsoil of the region, which was quite sandy, blew  away and within 50 years,  a large part of Norfolk County was desert?  Who knew!

Also at Canada's First Forestry Station Interpretive Centre, the whole family can learn about the Neutrals who fished and hunted the area, and all those men that played a part in the development of the station.

The fact that it's the FIRST forestry station in Canada is a pretty big deal, isn't it!

It became the model reforestation and tree selling production area in the entire province, so it really paved the way for the industry as it stands today.  

Not only was it that, but it was a showcase and teaching facility, AND a 4,000 acre demonstration forest! 

There are a number of displays that you can learn from, including how they collect seeds, how they market themselves, as well as the history of the first planting at St. Williams.

So why not spend the day out in nature, walking our easy trails, eating a picnic lunch, and learning something fascinating of the area at the same time! There is so much history to be enjoyed! 

Email attraction

How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree! But donations accepted
  • ChildrenSame as adult
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

10:30am - 4:30pm , or anytime by appointment

Victoria Day to Labour Day. Closed Tuesdays.

I'm Hungry!

Best take some healthy snacks with you to keep that energy up!.

Any Top Tips?

Take those walking shoes as they have great trails about the forest, including to the site of the first planted pine trees from 1908!.

Doing our bit

They have really protected the area and showcased the incredible history of the area. Nature is their top priority. .

Need a little extra help?

If you have special needs, just contact them before you arrive and see how they can assist you!.

More information

Best take bottled water, especially if you are going to head out on the trails.

What people are saying?

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    This hotel is absolutely magnificent! I can't believe I have lived in Alberta my whole life and have never been here. It truly is a castle in the mountains. We came for a romantic weekend getaway from Edmonton and decided to opt for a junior suite jacuzzi room. Fabulous! Views were great. We ordered room service twice and both times the food was excellent. While it is pricey to stay and dine here, the service alone makes up for it and the little extras that you get at this hotel are enough to justify the added costs. Plus the history in this hotel...Read More

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    One of the most interesting hotels i have ever been in. Its like a castle in the mountains. Built in 1888 its got lots of wonderful hallways and corridors to explore.

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    Exquisite hotel laid out like a castle in the middle of the mountains. The service is impeccable as well as the views and styling of the building. The hotel older ornate style with the feel of royalty. You can't beat the views of mountains and nearby hikes.

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    Beautiful hotel inside & out. Just a shame about the box of a room we found ourselves in.

    Amazing spa and jacuzzi but quite pricey.

    Internet not free which is a bit of a rip off

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    We decided to complete our family vacation at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, where we looked forward to the unbelievable view, and the first class service as a President's Club member. The resort did not fail to deliver, as the scenery was incredible, and we enjoyed hiking, shopping at the multiple shops where we bought several great items, as well as enjoying a phenomenal dinner at the Glacier Saloon.

    We had a long drive the following day (July 17th), and looked forward to a great night's sleep. Unfortunately, our room did not have A/C, and...Read More

Submit a review

by Miranda Seath

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This hotel is absolutely magnificent! I can't believe I have lived in Alberta my whole life and have never been here. It truly is a castle in the mountains. We came for a romantic weekend getaway from Edmonton and decided to opt for a junior suite jacuzzi room. Fabulous! Views were great. We ordered room service twice and both times the food was excellent. While it is pricey to stay and dine here, the service alone makes up for it and the little extras that you get at this hotel are enough to justify the added costs. Plus the history in this hotel and the fact that it truly is a magnificent place just to be justified the cost to us. We signed up for the Fairmont Presidents Club and intend on making a trip here at least once a year to try out more of their luxurious suites.

by Kevin Frye

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We decided to complete our family vacation at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, where we looked forward to the unbelievable view, and the first class service as a President's Club member. The resort did not fail to deliver, as the scenery was incredible, and we enjoyed hiking, shopping at the multiple shops where we bought several great items, as well as enjoying a phenomenal dinner at the Glacier Saloon.

We had a long drive the following day (July 17th), and looked forward to a great night's sleep. Unfortunately, our room did not have A/C, and it was incredibly stuffy and hot. By eleven pm, our thermostat in the room read 82 degrees and none of my family could sleep. My wife was even trying to sleep on the floor. I called the concierge desk asking for another fan and was told there was nothing they could do as the hotel was at full capacity.

We were incredibly frustrated, and knew we could not get any sleep, so we decided to pack everything up and to drive all night back to the states. When we went to check out downstairs and explained why, the manager was immediately called over. We shared that we had enjoyed a great visit so far, but that we were unable to sleep with the temperature in our room, and were going to checkout early.

The manager was named Cristobal Ruelas, and he was very upset about our situation. What really impressed me was what Cristobal shared with us. He stated that he did NOT want us to leave the Fairmont disappointed, and that it was of the utmost importance to him that we finished our visit knowing that “Fairmont cares about its customers”.

Cristobal took immediate action to help us, and gave us a suite room with A/C, as well as some complimentary buffet breakfasts for the following morning, and helped us to get our luggage back into the new room. While we did not ask for anything, Cristobal insisted on showing us that Fairmont cared about our family. We were able to get a great night's sleep, as well as enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the morning before we ended our vacation with a long drive back.

Please recognize Cristobal Ruelas for his outstanding service. He created a sincere "Wow" moment for us, as well as made us future lifetime customers. Thank you Fairmont for a wonderful family vacation stay – Fairmont has proven that it truly cares about its customers!

The Weather

Friday

Conditions: Overcast
Temp: 62° F / 17° C
Humidity: 73 %
Wind: ENE - 15 MPH

Saturday

Conditions: Chance of Rain
Temp: 66° F / 19° C
Humidity: 85 %
Wind: E - 8 MPH

Sunday

Conditions: Chance of Rain
Temp: 64° F / 18° C
Humidity: 83 %
Wind: SSW - 7 MPH

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