Ontario Camino - The Pilgrim Route to Martyrs' Shrine
Ontario Staycations and Backpacking Adventures
Canadian Caminos along the Trans Canada Trail
Ontario Caminos - While there are a number of Canadian Caminos and trekking routes across the Atlantic region and Quebec it is also wonderful to find that there are pilgrim routes in Ontario along the Trans Canada Trail!
At the time of writing, there are two trails which lay claim to being pilgrimage routes – the Sudbury Camino developed by the Rainbow Routes Association and the Pilgrimage to Martyrs' Shrine in Midland Ontario!
The trek to the Martyrs' Shrine takes hikers from either Barrie or Orillia through Midland and the beautiful landscapes, wildlife preserves and birding marshes of the area.
If you are a hiker looking for a new trek, a pilgrim in training, or a regional member of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims this is the route for you!
"The Pilgrim Route enables anyone to follow the route any day of the year, alone or with friends or family, as a parish, or as a tourist to explore this part of Canada, in an off-road setting. Some pilgrims may want to follow the Pilgrim Route for religious reasons, others may just want to set themselves a personal challenge, meet other people, or visit another region."
– Fr. Bernard Carroll, SJ, Director of the Martyrs' Shrine
Ontario Camino Martyrs' Shrine Pilgrimage
An Ontario Camino close to the Greater Toronto Area and located along the Trans Canada Trail is the Pilgrim Route to Martyr's Shrine.This pathway stretches more than 89 km from Barrie to Midland Ontario with hopes of eventually extending it through to Toronto.
Presently this pilgrimage route traverses along established trails in Simcoe County and Midland and includes sections of the Great Trail such as the Tay Shore Trail, Oro Mendonte Rail Trail, and the Uhthoff Trail as well as the urban pathways of Barrie and Orillia Ontario. Therefore, given the beautiful landscapes and communities of this region, these trails are scenic and quiet allowing for a wonderful natural experience and easily giving way to reflection, meditation and the enjoyment of the journey.
Maps and Way Marking
The Martyr's Shrine pilgrimage was developed by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the concerted efforts of the Martyrs' Shrine, Georgian Bay Trails and Simcoe County Trails. While there are regular pilgrimages organized by various diocese throughout Ontario, this route is way marked, the maps are available online and trails are open and free to venture along by anyone at anytime
Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons
The destination of this pilgrim route is to Martyr's Shine and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons in Midland Ontario which is a sacred space that was originally designed to honour the eight Jesuit saints who came from France to live and work in Ontario and New York over three and a half centuries ago. They built the first church in Ontario and converted many of the Huron peoples. Therefore, as one finds in many cathedrals on the Camino de Santiago, the Martyr's Shrine holds the relics of three of the Martyrs and is one of nine national shrines in Canada.
To read about and see what the trails of Simcoe County and Midland are like check out our blogs about our time on the Pilgrimage Route to Martyr's Shine in Ontario.
"....it's life's adventures that fill your soul...."
Ontario Caminos in Canada
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Never knew this existed - enjoying learning about these routes!