Some places describe the past. Black Creek Pioneer Village brings it to life.
Before we had electricity, moving water was the engine that turned the mill wheels of rural Canada, grinding grain into flour and providing a focal point for Ontario’s early communities. With the mill perched at the side of the stream, it wasn’t long until stores, a tavern, and a blacksmith shop were built nearby. Houses, churches and a school quickly followed.
Over the past 150 years, most families have moved away from the land and into cities, leaving behind a way of life that defined early Ontario.
But four decades ago, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority created a small agricultural community at Toronto’s northern edge that honours the ways of our early settlers. Today, Black Creek Pioneer Village offers you a fascinating journey into the past – into the way people lived before cars, digital technology and the dominance of urban culture separated them from the land.
Black Creek is a working village, typical of those established in south central Ontario between the 1790s and the 1860s. At Black Creek you are invited to escape the modern world, and experience Ontario’s rich rural heritage.
Black Creek Pioneer Village helps people apply the history of life in the Toronto region to build a better future in their own communities. We invite everyone to join in this exploration. We care for and show a historical collection of value to all, create experience of benefit to all, and tell meaningful stories for all. Our programs and exhibits focus on experiential learning and encourage people to draw connections between the mid-1800s and contemporary life. Our services enhance these connections and encourage diverse usage of the site.
Black Creek Pioneer Village: Toronto’s Original Green Event Venue
At Black Creek Pioneer Village, being “green” means going back to our past. In 1860’s Toronto, being green wasn’t a movement; it was a way of life. Almost everything consumed was locally made or produced. Taking our cue from this bygone era and using some common day ingenuity, we have taken the following steps to help reduce our footprint.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- The goal is to have ZERO landfill refuse at the end of the event.
- Any left over food is composted.
- We only purchase compostable napkins, plates, cutlery and cups.
- All glass, cans, plastic containers and cardboard products are recycled.
Local Food, Wine and Beer
- We support local farms by purchasing vegetables and meats from Ontario. Our goal is to source 60% of all of the food used in our operation locally.
- We operate an historic brewery on-site and sell locally produced craft beer.
- We promote local craft brewers.
- We host a number of events that highlight and promote local food and beverage producers, including Brews Fest
- We promote seasonal menus that feature Ontario produce.
- Only tap water is used at events.
- All paper products are chlorine-free, made from 100% recycled material; we use hand cloth towels throughout our kitchen.
- All coffee is fair trade.
- All dishwashing and cleaning products are non-toxic and chemical free.
Maintenance and Renovations
In 2009, we replaced the roof on our Visitor’s Centre with a white roof made from 100% recycled materials.
Revenues generated from corporate meetings, events and weddings fund historical education programs for school children and the on-going maintenance of Black Creek Pioneer Village – Toronto’s Living History Museum.
HVAC upgrades happening in 2018 are supported by the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.