Whitby celebrates ‘Heritage Day’

Photo By: Claudia Latino

Hundreds of Whitby residents came out to celebrate the town’s past at Heritage Day, the largest annual one-day occasion in downtown.

The event is a celebration of the past, present, and future of Whitby, and happens on the last Saturday in September every year. The day brought friends and neighbours together to reminisce about the town’s history.

People had a chance to purchase baked goods, produce, and hand-crafted items made from Whitby’s Farmers’ Market. They also had the opportunity to look at old photographs of the town back in the 1800s.

The occasion included contests, games, open-door shops, and live music performed by the Whitby Brass Band and the Whitby School of Music.

Brian Winter is a retired archivist for the town. He says the highlight of Whitby’s heritage is St. John’s Anglican church.

“That’s where I was married. It’s the oldest church in Whitby and still used as a church and dates back to 1846,” said Winter.


Donald Orville-Merrifield has lived in the town for 32 years. He was born and raised in Thunder Bay and transferred to Whitby for work. He said Whitby residents should pay more attention to their heritage.

“If you ignore history, it will reach out, grab you and shake you and say, ‘Hey, pay attention,’ and what Whitby does is that it assists that natural impulse for history to come back to life for it to not be forgotten,” said Merrifield.

Darcelle Collinson from Vancouver was visiting her family. She says Whitby is a beautiful town filled with amazing support for events like Heritage Day.

“As a visitor, Whitby is a lovely town. It’s beautiful and people-friendly, everyone always supports the festivals and fairs that occur in the town. I just love it here,” said Collinson.