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“Walk through time”

St. Raphael's Ruins
Ranked #1 of 21 things to do in Cornwall
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Walk through time”
Reviewed December 24, 2011

Magical place for a moment of relaxation, sit among the ruins to feel inner peace, go back into time of the first settlers to that region and imagine all those who walked the very same grounds that you now stand upon!.. A historical and educational journey through the ruins of St.Raphael's

Visited December 2011
Thank QuebecGuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Cornwall Ontario
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nicely restored”
Reviewed December 8, 2011

It's out of the way but if your driving by in the spring/summer give it a visit. It's closed in the winter months.

Visited June 2011
Thank Traveling_ppl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montrea, Quebec
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“There is something moving and spiritual about the Ruins”
Reviewed March 8, 2010

I have visited the Ruins a few times over the course of the last 5 years. First of all, it is situated in a lovely and picturesque area and is probably one of the "best kept secrets" in Ontario.

If you hate crowds, touristy attractions that are both showy and overpriced, then you WILL LOVE the Ruins.

In effect, the Ruins are the "remains" of Catholic Church that was built in the 1800's - it was actually one of the first Catholic Churches to be found in Upper Canada AND had a huge congregation - including an ex Canadian Government official.

However, some mysterious force caused a fire in 1970 (they never found out what it was - or if they did - they never shared the reason) and ever since then, the Canadian and Ontario government as well as the local townspeople have been raising money to make what remains of the church safe.

I love, love, love this place. Its never closed - and yet there is no vandalism, no garbage, nothing - it sits open and welcoming at all times - its also free.

As soon as you walk through the iron gate, you will instantly feel "somethning" . For me, it was a feeling of peace and tranquility. I could have stayed there all day.

If you are into historical buildings, you will not be disappointed. The church is beautifully built in stone and you can even clearly see the marks left by the flames which just adds to the mystery.

They have also saved the huge bell - which is half burnt as a testimonial to the great church and what it once was.

If I can feel the power of this church so deeply now - I wonder how it must have been when it was actually fully functional.

The Ruins is worth the trip.

5 Thank Nitestar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
322 reviews
200 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 447 helpful votes
“Unusual Historic Site”
Reviewed November 2, 2008

When one thinks of romantic ruins, one usually thinks of things that were not only built a very long time ago, but also destroyed a very long time ago. This is a bit of a exception. It is an early nineteenth century church that was gutted by fire in 1970. Instead of being torn down, it's empty shell was allowed to stand as a memorial in the manner of the Gedecktniskirche in Berlin. The inside was landscaped.

The result is a lovely photographic subject surrounded by a nice old cemetery. A free attraction not far from either Ottawa or Montreal.

3 Thank JohnTheBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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