October 15, 2021

By: Emilie Lapointe

Though I love to plan my own itineraries when I explore an area, I decided to let the Driftscape app plan my day for me this week’s feature! Visit Oakville announced their partnership with Driftscape this summer to provide visitors with a comprehensive digital guidebook for all of their exploration needs! With over 50 points of interest from historical landmarks, art destinations, parks and local businesses, there is something to peak the interest of any user.

I logged on and sifted through the local options and landed on a self-guided tour. But this is not just any tour, it’s a haunted tour! I chose to embark on this tour alone to up the scare factor. In an effort to only catch the attention of friendly, Casper-like ghosts, I decided to go during the day instead of in the dark.

The app is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Simply download it from your app store and scroll around on the map to take a look at the pinned items and see what catches your eye. To refine your search, you can click the icon on the bottom right corner, deselect all the regions and choose to hone in on Ontario specifically. You can specifically isolate the content provided by Visit Oakville by clicking the drop-down bar for Ontario and selecting our brand.

Each individual pin includes photos and a description of the location. You can save pins to your favourites, utilize the offline mode feature for data-free roaming and even experiment with the app’s augmented reality feature all at the tip of your fingers! For the self-guided tour I selected, you can click “start tour” and follow along step-by-step.

Check out the five locations below for a local haunt:

1. Spruce Lane Farmhouse at Bronte Creek Provincial Park – 1219 Burloak Drive

My day began at Bronte Creek Provincial Park, one of my favourite local picnic locations. Little did I know that right around the corner is a house rumoured to be haunted. The Spruce Lane Farmhouse is known to be the site of many unexplained paranormal phenomena, like self-locking doors and eerie footsteps.

This Victorian-era home, once owned by the Breckon family, retains its original charm in its furnishings, however, rumour has it that generations of the Breckon’s haunt the property. Their spiritual displeasure has even been featured on YTV’s Ghost Trackers!

My suggestion: After a spooky walk through this farmhouse, recuperate at the nearby chicken coop to catch some angry side-eye from the resident turkeys. There’s a feeder where you can purchase seeds for 25 cents to feed the turkeys or chickens and let them peck away all your fears.

2. Market Square – 54 Navy Street

Before you head off towards the next three locations, take a brief pit stop at Tribeca Coffee for a seasonal drink to keep you feeling safe and warm. If you ask me, a cup of hot chocolate or hot apple cider seems to ward off spirits and signals that you’re a friendly visitor.

Market Square is a quaint little area in downtown Oakville where you can brush up on some Oakville history. However, it’s also the site of the old Town Hall and jailhouse… both of which burned down in the 1800s. A recounting from a group of tourists has gained traction, as they reported smelling some pungent fumes, despite seeing no smoke in the vicinity.

3. Erchless Estate – 8 Navy Street

This property is the former home of Oakville’s founding family, the Chisholms, and the current home of the Oakville Museum. It’s also believed to be the most haunted spot in town. While it’s undeniably one of the most beautiful buildings in the city with its lakeside view, sprawling gardens and beckoning lighthouse in the distance, many visitors have also cited seeing figures in the windows, apparitions walking down the hallways and ghostly presences in their photos!

With its long and storied history, believers are bound to encounter a thing or two on this property.

4. Dingle Park – 240 Front Street

This park is a local hidden gem for those who want to relax on the nearby benches for a view of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Skyline. The park is a short walk away from the popular Lakeside Park, and it’s said to be home to the spirit of a girl who sadly drowned in the nearby lake many years ago. Over the years, park goers have noted seeing a figure dancing on the rocks along the shore.

5. The Golf House at Glen Abbey Golf Club – 1333 Dorval Drive

Beware of disgruntled spirits of golfers past who didn’t score under par! Luckily for us, we are ending our tour with a visit to the home of the Canadian Open and a friendly spirit. The Golf House was used by the Jesuit Fathers of Upper Canada from 1953 to 1965 – making the spirit who roams this building a spiritual one! Visitors have reportedly heard murmured prayers throughout the Golf House corridors.

Keep in mind that, due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the golf course is only open to visitors with a tee time, so make sure to cross this haunted spot off your list after your next round of golf – or before for some extra luck from the other side!

I challenge you all to download Driftscape and check out the self-guided tour for yourself! Go at night, if you dare, and make sure to tag @visitoakville on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so we can see how you fared.

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