Since 1834, Willowbank has long been known for its significance as a National Historic treasure, epitomizing the Colonial period in Canada. Willowbank brings together a School and a National Historic site into one place where students are immersed in cutting edge experiential learning that is based on traditional techniques and knowledge.
Willowbank is located in the village of Queenston, halfway between Niagara Falls and Niagara-On-The-Lake. This region has been a place of human habitation for millennia and the natural and cultural history of this area is incredibly rich and interwoven.
First Nations peoples identified the Queenston waterfront and the Willowbank ravine specifically as an important terminus on the river. The mouth of the ravine was the logical starting point for a portage route that would bypass the falls, a route that to this day is known as Portage Road. Archaeological remnants on the Willowbank site have been found dating to the Archaic period, over 9000 years ago.
European settler society has also defined this area for its proximity to the Niagara River, with Queenston once existing as a bustling merchant town.
Willowbank is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Ojibway/Chippewa and Haudenosaunee peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people. (Source: DSBN)
Willowbank is a unique private career college in Canada and has been on the vanguard heritage conservation and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings since 2006. We are the Canadian headquarters of INTBAU, a global network promoting traditional building, architecture, and urbanism.
Custom Photography by @Rick Pali