No plane ticket required.
St. Raphael's Ruins will take you back in time and trick you into thinking that you're exploring St. Andrews Cathedral in Scotland. It's free to visit and donations are appreciated to help maintain and restore the old church.
This grand church was built in the early 1800s as one of the first Roman Catholic churches in English-speaking Canada, according to its Facebook page. It was the largest parish of its kind at that time and today is considered the founding church for the Anglophone Catholics in Ontario.
Due to the vast historic significance this place holds, (as a church and educational centre) it has since been deemed a National Historic Site. The ruins are open for you to wander year-round and during the summer a curator is on-site from Monday to Friday if you have any questions.
A fire consumed the building in 1970 leaving the remaining structure of ruins that we can explore today. The church bell was also saved from the fire and is on display within the stone walls.
Outside of the stone ruins, there is an old cemetery that keeps the Scottish church vibes going throughout which stands in contrast to the surrounding farmland.
If you happen to fall madly in love with the space you can actually rent it for special events including weddings. You can contact them directly to ask about hosting an event or check the website or any upcoming concerts.
St. Raphael's Ruins
Price: Free (donations accepted)
Address: 19998 County Rd. 18, Williamstown, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can discover a piece of Canada's history and feel like you've travelled to Scotland as you explore these stone ruins.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.