There are sometimes places that leave you a deep impression you when you’re a kid and for me, Prehistoric World in Eastern Ontario is definitely one of them. My parents used to take us there every year when we were kids, and there was nothing I found more fascinating than all these dinosaurs hidden in the forest.
More than twenty years later, as my brothers and sisters have children now, we have decided to renew this old tradition. So we headed to Morrisburg last weekend and I was able to rediscover Prehistoric World, this time with my adult eyes.
And curiously, I wasn’t disappointed.
Prehistoric World was born from the imagination of Franco-Ontarians Paul and Serge Dupuis. Amateur sculptors, the two brothers began to carve life-size dinosaurs in cement in their backyard. They had a dozen dinosaurs the first time they opened the doors of their private land to the public in 1982.
Nearly 40 years (!) later, the two brothers still operate the site on which new dinosaurs have been added over the years. A trail of about a kilometre winds through a woodland where you can find, here and there, triceratops, stegosaurus and diplodocus.
And all the dinosaurs are life-size. When I was a kid, there was nothing more impressive than walking under the brontosaurus’ legs or finding myself in front of the t-Rex. I have to admit that I found it quite special to see my nephews and nieces having the same amazed look that I must have had when I was a child.
I am older now, but I continue to find Prehistoric World impressive. Not so much for the size of the dinosaur replicas (even if some are still be much taller than me), but because of all the work put by the owners of the site. Their hobby definitely made the joy and inflamed the imagination of a few generations of children.
Each dinosaur is accompanied by a short description (in English and in French). There are also picnic tables on the site as well as a large sandbox where you can pretend to be a paleontologist by digging up a few fossil replicas.
Prehistoric World is about 90 minutes from Ottawa and from Montreal. Access fees are $10 for adults and $4 for children over the age of four (cash only).
And if you are looking for another activity to do in the area, check out the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary.