The Griffin House

Southwestern Ontario

This well-preserved early-19th-century home belonged to Enerals Griffin, an escaped slave from Virginia who arrived in Canada via the Underground Railroad. The property was continuously occupied by Griffin's descendants for 154 years before it became a National Historic Site. A small clapboard house with period furnishings and artifacts, it reflects not only how people lived in Griffin's time but also the sacrifices and challenges faced by the more than 40,000 African American refugees who found freedom in Canada.

Archaeologists found more than 3,000 artifacts on-site, including ceramics and glassware. Don't miss the original pre-1850s wallpaper in the largest bedroom. Located 15km west of Hamilton near the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southwestern Ontario attractions

1. Tiffany Falls Conservation Area

2.26 MILES

This is the 'best-value' waterfall in Hamilton – a five-minute stroll from the car park takes you right under a 21m cascade. The falls are not huge but…

2. Dundurn Castle


Delightful and unexpected, this column-fronted, 36-room mansion once belonged to Sir Allan Napier McNab, Canadian prime minister from 1854 to 1856. It…

3. Art Gallery of Hamilton

6.76 MILES

The largest art museum in southern Ontario, the sleek AGH has a wide-ranging collection of 10,000 works, with a strong emphasis on modern art and 19th…

4. Bayfront Park

7.13 MILES

Take a stroll to gorgeous Bayfront Park where you'll find a calm harbor with fancy yachts and a beach with people fishing. In summer, they are joined by…

5. Royal Botanical Gardens

7.44 MILES

Northwest of Hamilton, Canada's largest and most spectacular botanical gardens comprise more than a thousand hectares of trees, flowers and plants,…

6. Chiefswood National Historic Site

10.35 MILES

Built in 1856 by Mohawk Chief George HM Johnson for his British bride, Emily Howells. This historic home is the birthplace of E Pauline Johnson, one of…

7. Six Nations of the Grand River

12.91 MILES

Southeast of Brantford is Six Nations of the Grand River – a reserve designated for the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora – and the…

8. Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks

14.01 MILES

The tomb of Captain Brant, who led the Six Nations people to this area, is on the grounds of the tiny but exquisite Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks,…