In the Upper Canada of the 1820s, in the Village of Sharon, a small community known as the Children of Peace crafted, with simple tools but consummate skill and artistry, a dramatic architectural testament to its vision of a society founded on the values of peace, equality, and social justice.
The centrepiece of their activity was the Temple. Completed in 1832 and restored in 2011, it is now part of the Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum, which encompasses nine historic buildings in a 4.5 acre park-like setting. In 2006, the Toronto Star named the Sharon Temple one of the ten most architecturally important buildings in Canada.
The Sharon Temple represents many things. To some, it represents one of the finest and most unique examples of Canadian architecture. To others, the Temple stands as a beacon to the values that Canada has become known for around the world; those of equality and social justice. And still to others, the Temple represents the importance of preserving our past so that future generations may learn from it and be inspired by it.
Elizabeth Doan, wife of Ebenezer Doan, master builder of the Temple, wrote about her experience coming to Canada in 1808 and the rocky road from Buck’s County, Pennsylvania to their new home on Leslie Street in the community of Sharon. The road was so bumpy, they filled their butter churn in the morning with fresh milk and by the time they stopped in the evening, they had creamy butter.
Visit the Sharon Temple and make fresh butter by hand, just as those early settlers used to. Pick fragrant sage from the Heritage Herb Garden outside Elizabeth and Ebenezer’s house to blend into the butter and bring the taste of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving to your table this year.