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May 2011 - Nr. 5

Toronto…Many adults have fond memories of visiting Black Creek Pioneer Village as a child, and growing numbers are rediscovering the many activities and experiences available to them today. From heritage homes and gardens, to forgotten arts, such as typesetting or spinning, to beer brewing, Black Creek Pioneer Village has something for everyone. This year, the beautifully recreated 1860s Village is offering more hands-on programs and opportunities for visitors than ever before.

“I remember visiting the Village when I was a student,” said Chris Bagley, general manager of Black Creek Pioneer Village. “It was a vivid introduction to Canada’s early days and the impression has stuck with me. For adults, the Village really is one of the few places in the city where history comes alive.”

Open from May to December, Black Creek Pioneer Village offers visitors an immersive experience of life in early Ontario. Lively guided tours, historical events, hands-on experiences and apprentice workshops are offered throughout the year. “There is something to appeal to just about every taste,” explained Bagley.

“We all had a great day,” said Sandy Michelle, who recently visited the Village with her family. “I was never bored, as I can be with some children’s outings. I loved the gardens, and the beautiful buildings. I got a lot of great pictures. My husband and I are planning to visit again on our own soon for the brewery tour.”

The Village has long been a popular destination for amateur photographers and camera clubs, with landscapes, early Ontario architecture, historical artefacts, animals and costumed staff offering numerous photographic opportunities through the year. More and more of these photographers are posting their images on social media sites such as Flickr ( and Facebook (

“The historical gardens are a big draw for many visitors,” said Sandra Spudic, head gardener at Black Creek Pioneer Village, “We have eight different gardens including flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and even medicinal herbs. Visitors are keen to learn about the history of gardening, as well as the techniques we use here, such as growing plants without pesticides.”

The Black Creek Brewery, which first opened in 2009, is another attraction. “Our brewery is so unique, being the only working brewery using 1860’s methods to make beer,” said Blythe Haynes, one of the beer experts at Black Creek Pioneer Village. “The brewery tour is a very interactive experience. For those who don’t know much about beer there is always some surprise when they see how it is made. For a beer enthusiast it’s a great experience because they can really identify with the brewing process.”

The Village also offers hands-on opportunities for visitors to get involved, such as apprenticeships, where participants spend a day working with a craftsperson in one of the shops. Apprenticeships with the Tinsmith, Printer and Harness Maker are available this year. In December, Christmas baking workshops will be presented in which participants will be able to learn about traditional seasonal recipes, and get a head start on their own holiday baking in the process.

“Friends of mine had visited recently, and knowing I was a huge history buff, they recommended I come and see it for myself,” said Jenn Thomas on a visit to Black Creek. “I didn’t realize the Village had so much to offer for just adults. I thought it was a great outing!”

Black Creek Pioneer Village is open daily from May 1-Dec. 23 2011. Admission is $15 for adults and $11 for children ages 5-15. Memberships are available. Special events may require advance ticket purchase. Visit for more detailed event information.

Black Creek Pioneer Village is located at 1000 Muray Ross Parkway, one block east of Jane St., south off Steeles Avenue, next to York University. The Village is south east of Hwy 7 and Hwy 400. Parking is available for $7 (free for members). Black Creek Pioneer Village can be reached by public transportation from the Finch subway station using the Steeles 60 West route, or from the Jane Station using the Jane 35 route.

About Black Creek Pioneer Village
Black Creek Pioneer Village is Toronto’s premier outdoor living history museum. Visitors can explore 40 heritage homes, shops and buildings restored to re-create an 1860s Ontario village. Historic interpreters in period dress demonstrate how villagers lived, worked and played. The Village hosts learning programs and special events that highlight local heritage and culture. The tranquil setting, rural landscapes, heritage gardens and period farm animal breeds make Black Creek Pioneer Village the perfect place to break out of the modern world and journey into the past. Located in north Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). For more information please visit


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