Black Creek Pioneer Village

Travel back in time to the 1860s, when horse drawn carriages bumbled down cobblestone roads and tradespeople sold their works in makeshift shops at Black Creek Pioneer Village. This historically accurate, open air museum village was created to reflect a real country town in late 1800s Ontario, with the costumes, shops, roads and artifacts to match. Discover what life was like for the brave pioneers and try your hand at trades like rug hooking, printmaking or leather work.

With nearly 40 historical buildings — many of them carefully restored and moved to the village from their original locations — and more than 50,000 artifacts from the time period, visitors can expect a genuine look at what a typical 1860s village looked like. Costumed educators stay in character as they explain their roles, and children will gain appreciation for their schools when they step into the one-room schoolhouse. While the village is a recreation of history, it holds so much true historical value, like the cemetery, which is the actual resting place for several settler families. Take a trip to the herb garden to learn how pioneers gained knowledge of medicinal plants from the Indigenous peoples. At the stables, learn about Ontario’s farming history by caring for living heritage breed livestock, like the Border Leicester sheep used for wool and mutton and the beautiful Clydesdale horses used for farm work and transportation. There’s no shortage of things to explore in Black Creek Pioneer Village, so be sure to set aside at least a full day to jump back in time with Toronto’s settlers.

Located in the northwest of the city of Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is easily accessible from any direction. Take the TTC subway to Pioneer Village Station or hop on the 108 bus to Murray Ross Parkway at Steeles West South Side. Those driving can take the highway into the city and pay to park at the village. There is also long-term parking offered in the village lots for anyone staying at accommodation nearby. 

Keep in mind that the historically accurate village roads may not be accessible for all wheelchairs, but boardwalks and asphalt paths allow universal access to the whole village. All but two rooms in the whole village are wheelchair accessible.

For up-to-date information and details on Black Creek Pioneer Village, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.

A pioneer reenactor and her horse entertaining a group of children

More about Black Creek Pioneer Village

In addition to an educational experience, Black Creek Pioneer Village is an impressive period piece, with thousands of furnishings, machinery, clothing and houseware from the nineteenth century. Although it’s located in Toronto, the village is meant to reflect a rural pioneer town, where residents would have struggled to sell the fruits of their trades, keep their livestock healthy and make sure the townspeople had enough to eat. Visitors can experience what this was like by attending the village’s historical reenactments, engaging with hands-on activities and browsing the many historical shops, churches, schools and barns. Children will have no shortage of entertainment at the village, and parents can rest assured that the educational component will not be lost on them, as the costumed staff is always stationed in buildings to answer questions and explain their roles.

Since 1960, around 100 years after the time period the village is based on, Black Creek Pioneer Village has offered Ontario a fascinating look into its past. Whether you’d like to learn about the struggles and triumphs of settling Ontario or simply marvel at the century-old books, toys and lighting apparatus, this village has it all. At the enclosed village, parents can safely let their children roam on their own — as they would have at the time. The historic Dickson’s Hill School is a typical one-room schoolhouse from 1861, originally located in Markham,, equipped with a box stove for heat and neatly situated chairs and desks for students. This building alone is a testament to Black Creek Pioneer Village’s commitment to history, as it was dismantled and reconstructed one brick at a time — including the bell used to call students to class — to move it to the village.

Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the village’s snack pavilions or cafes, and try an 1860s-esque beer from the Half Way House historic brewery. If you’re overwhelmed by all the possibilities at Black Creek Pioneer Village, book a tour to get the lay of the land and learn fascinating information about the accuracy of the village. Grab a souvenir at the gift shop, filled with both contemporary goods, like a Black Creek Pioneer Village travel mug, as well as historical items, like old fashioned candy and honey. The shop also features wares made at the village’s functioning shops, like tinware and leather goods.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

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