McNair Gallery

The McNair Gallery, located at the Black Creek Pioneer Village Visitors’ Centre, showcases authentic artifacts and special exhibits.


Breaking the Silence: Stories of the British Home Children, 1869-1948

Imagine how it would feel to travel across the ocean alone, as a child, to an uncertain future in a new country. Between 1869 and 1948, approximately 118,000 British children were sent overseas to Canada, where they were made to work as indentured farm and domestic workers. The lives of these “British Home Children” would prove far from comfortable.

Most Canadians at the time assumed these children to be orphans. In reality, few were. Today, approximately one in ten Canadians is descended from a British Home Child. Yet the stories of these youngsters have seldom been widely heard. Drawing on family histories, photographs and artifacts of the era from communities across Ontario, this exhibit sheds light on the experiences of British Home Children.

photographs of British Home Children from the Black Creek Pioneer Village exhibit


Look & Play: A Toy His-Story

Keeping the kids amused was a very different undertaking in an age before smartphones. This delightful exhibit showcases a selection of entertaining and educational toys from the 19th and early 20th century in Canada: fire trucks, trains, penny banks, wagons, dolls, miniatures and more!

19th century toys from the exhibit at Black Creek Pioneer Village