The Canadian Royal Heritage Museum
144 Barbara Street (near John Street) Neustadt, Ontario (Township of West Grey, Grey County)
Friday & Saturday
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Thursday
May, September & October
Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Weekdays by chance
Closed November through April.
Admission: $3.00; Students $2.00; Children (under 13) $1
A tour of the Canadian Royal Heritage Museum takes visitors through more than five hundred years of Canadian history. They learn about the evolution of the Canadian Monarchy and experience the traditions, practices and celebrations of the Kingdom of the North. This unique museum, which tells the story of the Canadian Crown, is located in the birthplace of the Rt Hon. John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada 1957-1963, who faithfully served Queen and Country.
Neustadt Room (Summer Kitchen)
This introductory room describes the founding of Neustadt in “The Queen’s Bush” by David Winkler and the royal heritage of Midwestern Ontario. The story of the Diefenbaker family, their commitment to Canada’s royal heritage, and the house on Barbara Street, where John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada 1957-1963, was born in 1895 is also related.
The Maple Crown Room (Main Living Room)
In this room, with its restored maple floor and pine wainscoting, the story of the Canadian Kingdom is told through pictures, artefacts and accompanying descriptions, which trace the key moments in Canada’s evolution, under the reigns of thirty-three monarchs, from a colonial monarchy into an independent kingdom. Quotations from John Diefenbaker introduce and explain several of the themes in this history. In addition to the chronological account of the Canadian Crown, there are three sub-themes in the room.
a) “Peace, Order & Good Government” explains the political nature of Canada and the roles of the Queen of Canada.
b) “Royal Heritage Display Cases and Corner” offer examples of both the grand heritage of the Canadian Monarchy and popular expressions of that heritage, including “Pins and Tins” – commemorative buttons and tin boxes of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.
c) “Royal Symbols of Canadian Sovereignty” are depicted through the banners and coats of arms of Canadian monarchs displayed on the walls.
Ceremonial Room (Front Parlour)
Coronations and investitures since Canadian Confederation in 1867, and the regalia and artefacts associated with them, are highlighted in this room, which explores the significance to Canada of the ceremonial side of Monarchy.
500 Years of Royal Canada (Top of Stairway)
Viewed as one ascends the stairs to the second floor, is a print, donated by artist Brian Romagnoli, of his original mural painting, which he personally presented to the Queen in 1997 to mark the 500th anniversary of the Canadian Monarchy. The mural is a montage of Canada’s monarchs and the people, places and events that built the Canadian Monarchy.
Queen Victoria Gallery (Back Bedroom)
This exhibit room presents portraits and commemoratives of Queen Victoria, monarch when the house was built and the Diefenbaker family lived in Neustadt. It describes her life and role as the Mother of Confederation.
Claudia Willetts Memorial Gallery (Main Bedroom)
This exhibit room, named in honour of the CRHT’s first Librarian and first volunteer at the Museum, presents permanent and changing displays that feature commemorative artefacts on a variety of aspects of Canada’s royal heritage – including sports, children and rural life..
Royal Homes Corner (Upstairs Hall)
Models and images of homes of the Royal Family, from Buckingham Palace in London and Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh to Rideau Hall in Ottawa, are displayed.
Diefenbaker Room (Front Bedroom)
The room where John Diefenbaker was born on 18th September 1895 contains exhibits on his life of service to Crown and Country, and on some of the historic royal and constitutional developments that took place while he was the Queen’s first minister in Canada. The exhibit also highlights his visits to Neustadt and Grey County as an adult and the ties he maintained with his birthplace.
The Old Barn
The old barn is of brick and beam construction, not merely board and batten as it appears. This style of construction is rare in Ontario and is found largely in areas of German settlement. Also noteworthy is the stone marker placed, in October 2001, at the side of the barn where John Diefenbaker’s pet dog Tip was buried in 1897.
Exterior of The House
There are decorative touches to the brickwork around the windows and under the roofline that add extra character to this charming late-Victorian residence.
The Village of Neustadt has many sites and shops for visitors, including the Neustadt Springs Brewery (one of Ontario’s oldest), the Neustadt Mill Antique & Farm Market, restaurants, galleries, and crafts & antiques shops.
Village of Neustadt website