A decorated church of saint-Joseph bathed in candlelight

First Light

We want to thank everyone who helped to make First Light 2023 a success! The lanterns may be out, but we’re still feeling the glow.

Logo des Premières Lueurs à Sainte-Marie

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Do you create one-of-a-kind products for sale? Would you like to be part of one of the best and most established vendor markets of the season? Apply to be an artisan at First Light!

Thank you to our sponsors

Image gallery:

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Please be advised that with the exception of service animals, pets are not allowed on the historic site for this event.

  • Please arrive 15-20 minutes early to allow time to proceed to the ticket office.
  • Most of the vendors will not have the ability to accept credit or debit card payments and will only accept cash payments. There is no ATM on site.
  • Sainte-Marie is wheelchair accessible, however pathways on the historic site are covered in woodchips or may be snow covered. 
  • There are several accessible parking spots near the main entrance, but they fill quickly during this event. We recommend arriving early.
  • Smoking or vaping (including marijuana) is not permitted on the property.
  • Please note this event takes place mostly outdoors and, visitors should plan to dress accordingly for weather and terrain.

16164 Highway 12 East, Midland, ON, L4R 4K8

Parking Info

There is ample parking for visitors including those with RVs and buses. Please park in the parking lot provided and make your way to the admissions entrance. We also have bike racks available for cyclists coming from the Tay Trail.

Need more info?

Please contact us at hhp@ontario.ca or (705) 526-7838 if you have any questions.

Ontario’s first European Community, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was the headquarters for the French Jesuit Mission to the Huron-Wendat people. In 1639, the Jesuits, along with French lay workers, began construction of a fenced community that included barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for Indigenous visitors. This community was abandoned and burned down in 1649.

After extensive archaeological and historical research, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now recreated on its original site, where the mission’s compelling story is brought to life with costumed historical interpreters, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Located near Midland, on the Wye River, this world-renowned reconstruction offers visitors a unique opportunity to see the earliest Canadian pioneer life through self-guided visits, group tours, interactive education programs, and special events. Complete your experience by exploring our interpretive museum and themed gift shop.

A group of costumed historical interpreters seated in the longhouse at Sainte-Marie

Our summer season begins in May

Love First Light? Experience Sainte-Marie among the Hurons during the daytime! Immerse yourself in the important story of cultural contact between the Wendat Nation and French Jesuit missionaries to Wendake. Connect with costumed interpreters and discover the sights, smells, and sounds of 17th century life.

Guests high fiving a historical interpreter dressed as a solder, in front of the rigged HMS Bee

Seasons passes now available

For just $35 (tax included), season pass holders gain unlimited admission to both Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and Discovery Harbour, whenever the historic attractions are open!

Admission to most special events, like First Light and Pumpkinferno, is included. 

A young visitor of the Wye Marsh sampling sweetwater

Sweetwater Harvest Festival

Did you know we host events throughout the year? This March we’re co-hosting the Sweetwater Harvest Festival, a fundraiser for our neighbours the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. It’s the sweetest event of the year! Celebrate all things spring and maple syrup with a vendor market, kids activities, maple taffy, bannock, and more.

Une femme qui joue la harpe pendant les premières lueurs à Sainte-Marie. Elle est sur une estrade dans l'église Saint-Joseph, illuminée par des douzaines de bougies

Need more info?

Please contact us if you have any questions: