Culture and Heritage

Culture and Heritage

Creative Culture In Minto

From our earliest history until today, the success of our community has been a product of the creativity and imagination of the people who came here to build a life for themselves and their families. A spirit of enterprise and innovation has been a key ingredient in building the vibrant rural community that Minto is today. Our unique identity as a community is a product of a proud agricultural heritage, the history and contributions of those who settled in this place and the sense of volunteerism and commitment to community that has helped us achieve everything that Minto is today. Our culture and heritage is the glue that connects old residents and new, our past and our future.

Our community believes:

  • Creativity and culture are foundations for building a prosperous and sustainable economy.
  • Culture is essential to making Minto a place where people want to live, work, play and invest.
  • Cultural resources and activities are essential to building vibrant and successful downtowns.
  • In the importance of conserving our natural and cultural heritage resources.
  • Artists and creators are essential sources of new ideas, innovation and technologies important to our future.
  • In cultural groups collaborating and working together toward shared purposes.

Treasures of Minto Cultural Plan


The Minto Arts Council and Town of Minto Cultural Roundtable are strong networks of engaged community members who guide Minto’s arts and culture activities and events. Visit the Treasures of Minto Website for an interactive map of Minto’s arts, culture and heritage highlights – including upcoming events, local businesses and artists, historic sights, and more!

Minto Arts Gallery

The Minto Arts Gallery is operated by the Minto Arts Council, and located on the 3rd floor of the historic Harriston Carnegie Public Library. The Arts Council is committed to using the Gallery to showcase local and distant artistic talent collections.

Minto Arts Council Logo

• Closed Sunday & Monday
• Tuesday: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
• Wednesday: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
• Thursday: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
• Friday: 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.• Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

Visit Minto Arts Council Websitefor information on upcoming events, exhibits and artist talks.

88 Mill Street, Harriston, ON
(3rd Floor, Harriston Carnegie Library)

/mintoartscouncil @mintoartscouncil

Contact Minto Arts Council

The Crown Theatre & Cultural Centre

Built in 1949 as a cinema, The Crown closed it's doors in the late 70's to become a church and is now re-opened again as a Cultural Centre.

The Crown Harriston has 226 seats, many original features and phenomenal acoustics. Available for stage rentals for private and public rehearsals and performances. They also host art exhibitions and monthly events.

The Crown Harriston

23 Elora Street South, Harriston, ON


Contact The Crown Theatre

Wellington County Barn Quilt Trail Association 

The Wellington County Barn Quilt Trail Association is a non-profit organization that serves as a promoter and organizer of barn quilt trails in Wellington County. Their committee fosters collectiveness through creativity and improves communication to positively impact tourism. 

Join All Aboard Palmerston & the Wellington Country Barn Quilt Trail Association hunting for homemade quilt displays on Palmerston houses and storefronts.

Check out the map below to follow the trail!

More details here!


George Norgan, a successful Vancouver businessman with roots in Palmerston, recognized the lack of leisure opportunities in his hometown. He addressed the situation with a personal donation of $50 000 for the construction of a movie theatre which bears his name. The theatre opened August 18, 1947 with 5000 people attending various events. 

The Norgan Theatre

The historic Norgan Theatre is one of the few municipally-owned film theatres in Canada. It is operated primarily by volunteers with administrative assistance from Town of Minto staff. The Theatre is equipped with a high-definition digital projector, producing better quality image for movie-goers. In addition to regular weekend show times, the Norgan hosts a variety of special performances including the Big Film Fest monthly film festival, comedy nights, concerts and workshops.

275 Main Street W., Palmerston, ON
Show Times:
• Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
• Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
• Matinees on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. (subject to film type)
• Big Film Fest: 3rd Monday of the month at 7:15 p.m.

The Norgan Theatre 

Private Rental Cost:

$100 for two hours - includes 10 small popcorns or $20 off concession

Rentals may only occur outside of regular showtimes.

Information and Rentals: Grace Wilson, 519-343-3640
Big Film Fest Organizer: Gordon Duff, 519-338-2497
/norgantheatre @norgantheatre

Contact The Norgan


John Webb Gallery

The Harriston Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of the unique heritage of the Town of Harriston and Minto Township through archival collections of vintage pictures, documents and artifacts. With hundreds of family histories, thousands of photographs, and countless other indexed resources, you’ll find the Harriston Historical Society collection to be a treasure trove of valuable information and materials for the genealogist, the historian, the student and the tourist in everyone.

Harriston Historical Society Website

88 Mill Street, Harriston, ON
(3rd Floor, Harriston Carnegie Library)

Hours: Thursdays & Saturdays, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Contact: Bob Brown (Secretary), 519-338-2137

Contact the Historical Society

Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum

The Palmerston Railway Station was one of the first buildings in Palmerston and was built as a one story structure in 1871. The rail business progressed so quickly that a second story was added in 1876 and a round house and car sheds were erected in the same year in the railway yard. 

In 1982 the Grand Truck Railway bought out the Wellington Grey Bruce Railway Company and was immediately faced with competition from the government-backed Canadian Pacific Railway. The result was an upgraded railway station with towers and a vaulted ceiling added in 1900.

The Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum Association has turned the station into a museum of railway memorabilia for GTR/CNR out of Palmerston. The Museum recently underwent cataloguing of its extensive collection of railway and local history artifacts, donated almost entirely by railway workers or their families. Come check out our new look!

The Museum is also home to the Town of Minto Heritage Association, which has research materials available for genealogical research. The station also boasts famous hand cars, that can be made available for rides.

Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum Logo

Museum Website 

166 William Street, Palmerston ON

Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 9:00am – 5:00p.m.
July through August, or by appointment
Contact: 519-343-4014 or 519-343-3435
/thepalmerstonrailwayheritagemuseum   @palmerstonrailwaymuseum

Contact the Museum


The Old Post: Centre for Business and Creativity

Built in 1912 and last used as a mail outlet in the mid-1980s, the historic Harriston Post Office remains a significant landmark in Harriston's downtown.

The Old Post Logo

In October 2015, Harriston residents Michael and Sue Hendrick took possession of this important landmark and began extensive renovations of the building. The Old Post has been reimagined as a vibrant hub where business, creativity, collaboration and community thrive.

Restoring this historic building not only honours our local history and past citizens, but strengthens the character of our community and demonstrates our community values. The majority of renovations have been funded with private capital, however the community has contributed more than $17,500 to support the restoration of the original clock, bell and tower. The bell began to ring and the clock began to tick again in late 2016.

Old Post Website

39 Elora St., Harriston, ON
Contact: Michael Hendrick: 519-291-0538

Escape the Old Post

 A party of 10 had a ball!!! Definitely a second visit is in order. We all had such a great time. The host was very clear, precise, and helpful. An inexpensive way for a group to have a great time. Highly recommended this to all. - Chris Park

Escape the Old Post, a new puzzle-based adventure destination in the building’s former attic, is now open and available for group bookings.

Book Your Escape

Live Theatre

Grey-Wellington Theatre Guild / Town Hall Theatre

The GWTG was founded in Mount Forest, Ontario in 1974 and now operates out of the Town Hall Theatre in Harriston. The Guild founder, Patrick C. Smith, was born in England and performed from a young age in his native country, and studied at the London School of Music and Drama before moving to Canada as a young man. 

After the move, Smith and his wife Judy, notice a lack of visible theatre in the area and was determined to start a local theatre group - not for money but for moral support. 

As a small group with no money, the first show was a one-man performance called An Evening with Mark Twain which drew 190 people and reimbursed Smith $117 of his own money.

Since their establishment, the GWTG has done a variety of shows, from small-cast comedies to full-scale musicals to summer youth productions.

"Over the years, the guild has seen people come and go...and each have left their mark, influencing what the theatre is today." - Peggy Raftis

A community theatre group, the Grey-Wellington Theatre Guild has been staging both well-known favourites and innovative modern shows at the Harriston Town Hall Theatre for more than 30 years. The Theatre building is wheelchair accessible by elevator and boasts professional-quality lighting, sound and staging facilities.

For more information on productions, including casting dates, visit Grey Wellington Theatre

68 Elora Street, Harriston, ON

Box Office: 519-338-2778

Contact the Guild



The Basement Café

Held in an intimate setting, the Basement Café Concert Series is a coffeehouse-style music event sponsored by the Minto Arts Council. The concert series features a diverse selection of musical genres including blues, jazz, folk, country and rock. These concerts offer an opportunity for the audience to experience an “up close and personal” performance from top-notch Canadian musicians, and likewise, gives performers a venue to really communicate with an enthusiastic and attentive crowd.

88 Mill Street, Harriston
(Basement, Harriston Carnegie Library)


Contact the Basement Cafe

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