Barn Quilt Trails in Ontario

Ontario Barn Quilt Trails 2013

Tourism Middlesex supported Creative Communities and Jonah & Associates to form a collaborative partnership that was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2013 to promote barn quilt trails throughout Ontario as a way to tell community stories.

Also known as the Barn Quilt Ladies, Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson unwaveringly supported the Barn Quilt Movement, following in the foot steps of Donna Sue Groves, Suzi Parron and other barn quilt promoters.

Jonah & Associates and their Media Lab for community based publishing, LocalintheKnow Publishing built this website and map.  They see barn quilts as a great way to communicate with the travelling public.

E.O.N. is an incorporated Association of Curators and Directors of Art Galleries, Museums, Historical Societies, and Archives that helped spread barn quilts across Ontario. Mary Gladwin is a past president, archivist and artist who never stops promoting barn quilts as a means of preserving and promoting heritage and culture.

Melissa Schenk and her team are passionate about the power of video to help businesses evolve to the next generation of online video & social media marketing. MS2 Productions  showed us how to reach out to communities to help them access videos on how to "Get on the Barn Quilt Trail".

What is a Barn Quilt Trail?

Barn Quilts are:

  • 8ft x 8ft, 4ft x 4ft, or 2ft x 2ft painted wooden blocks installed on barns, heritage buildings, businesses, or on posts in front of homes, in parks, etc.
  • The designs are based on quilt patterns, and reflect the them of the trail and the vision of the property owner.
  • Barn quilt blocks that are connected by a theme make up a trail for divers, cyclists or walkers to enjoy.

    Barn Quilt Trails:

  • Promote and appreciate rural art;
  • Honour quilters and the textile arts;
  • Draw attention to heritage barns and other cultural resources;
  • Tell stories about the community;
  • Draw motorists to rural highways and roads, and into communities.
  • For more information about barn quilt trails, visit:


  • 2001 -Donna Sue Groves –in honour of her mother, a master quilter.
  • First trail in Adams County, Ohio
  • Now in 48 states and Canada (Ontario, Manitoba, NB, NS, BC)
  • Over 7000 quilt blocks are part of organized trails
  • One of the largest grassroots public arts movements in history
  • Benefits of a Barn Quilt Trail

    TrailsFindings from the Ohio Arts Council Quilt Barn Impact Study (2008)

    Economic Contributions

  • Increasing Tourism
  • Building Local Entrepreneurship
  • Leveraging Resources for the Community
  • Social Contributions

  • Strengthening Networks and Partnerships
  • Increasing Community Pride
  • Cultural Contributions

  • Accenting Local History and Flavour
  • Social Networks