Thanks for visiting!
Few people have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of many. Over the last 40 years, we have been honoured to provide thousands of jobs to members of our community, support charities and other purpose-driven organizations, and entertain over one million guests. We have created a successful business through hard work, creativity, and the passion of the people who support us.
Thank you for believing in our vision to create a space that provides fun, food, and memories for everyone.
How We Got Here
In 1974 Bill and Anne Saunders bought a run-down Farm on the 6th Concession in Goulbourn Township. Both teachers at the time, they were looking for a farm to rediscover their family roots, and to satisfy their entrepreneurial spirits. They found just the ‘fixer-upper’ in a small town of Munster, southwest of Ottawa. Bill and Anne picked up and moved their young family to Munster.
For the 4 Saunders kids, the 100-acre farm was an exciting opportunity to explore, discover and grow. A deep appreciation for the land and for growing soon took root in them. Two years later in 1976 Saunders family moved across the street to a century old 100-acre farm that is now Saunders Farm. Saunders Farm first rose to prominence as one of the region’s original pick-your-own strawberry farms.
At its peak, the Farm grew 25 acres of the first fruit of summer. As demand decreased (and the weeders – the Saunders kids – went off to university) strawberry production was cut back. In 1980, the flat, tree-less landscape began to be transformed with the first planting of a tree nursery. In 1991, Bill Saunders was inspired to build a new vision for the farm.
That vision would be a Fall season to attract customers and showcase the Farm’s growing beauty. Anne too got caught up in the vision and took control of making it happen and keeping it all together. Located on Bleeks Road, in Munster (Monster), in the old township of Goulbourn (Ghoulbourn), it was the perfect location for a Hallowe’en farm attraction. An extensive renovation of the Farm’s historic log buildings began and in October 1992, Haunting Season was born.
With just a small 4 scene haunted hayride and a 4 scene haunted house, Saunders Farm opened its inaugural Fall festival.
Mark, the middle son, returned to help the farm navigate and grow the Farm in this new direction. Crowds of people visited and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years Saunders Farm experienced rapid growth and redefined what a family farm was and could be. The Saunders family, the kids and their new growing families, travel extensively to fuel their creativity and thirst for new ideas.
They have been invited to share their story and to inspire other farms to invite people back on to the land at dozens of conference across Canada, the United States and the U.K. In 1999 Saunders Farm started hosting corporate retreats and picnics and in 2002 they launched their newest season, Summer Mazes, as a new family attraction.
Saunders Farm is now operated by two generations of the Saunders family with the third, the grandkids, starting to have their own novel ideas.
Haunting Season now welcomes nearly 60,000 people each year, we’ve built the largest collection of hedge mazes in the world, and hundreds of groups, school tours, and companies visit our Farm to play, learn, and grow. About ten years ago we re-opened our Wedding facilities and two years ago we completed a massive renovation on our Pavilion, opening a fully-functional industrial kitchen to manage all on-site catering and food production. Last year, we launched our Farm Fresh Dinners, celebrating our community of farmers and foodies.
So, what’s next? There’s no shortage of creative, amazing ideas; you’ll need to keep in touch to find out what we have up our sleeves!
Wow, we need to take a new family photo! Our kids are much bigger, now 😉