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Going Back In Time At Toronto's Black Creek Pioneer Village



Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto takes visitors on a journey to an agricultural village from the mid-1800s, complete with a historic brewery. For 40 years this living museum has allowed guests to escape the demands of the modern world and explore the day to day life of an early Ontario farming community before cellphones and the internet.

Long ag, residents of Ontario, Canada, lived a green lifestyle. There was no need for landfills because waste was easily recycled in daily life. Leftover food was composted or fed to livestock. Products used were locally made for the most part, using plentiful renewable sources in the community. When a party took place people used their own plates and cutlery instead of purchasing one-time use products.


Walking through the village, guests encounter historical actors who enhance the experience. Each of the actors have extensive training based on historical research of the time periods that they represent. Being able to have conversations with the actors help visitors understand what life really was like in the past in a way that sticks with them.


Animals on the farms at Black Creek Pioneer Village are heritage and rare breeds that guests rarely will see anywhere else. The newest editions are two purebred Tamworth piglets born in 2017. Tamworth pigs were common during the Victorian era, but today they have become a very rare breed with less than 35 new registered female stock annually.


One of the most fascinating features at Black Creek is the Black Creek Historic Brewer with a brewmaster in period clothing. All lagers and ales produced at this classic brewery are made by hand without the use of electricity, steel tanks or bottling plants. Visitors can observe every step in the brewing process. Using wooden casks beer ferments the old-fashioned way taking at least two weeks before it's ready to drink. The results that are on tap for sampling taste differently than what is on the market today, giving guests a true taste of the past.

Photo: Black Creek Historic Brewery (Source: https://blackcreekbrewery.wordpress.com)


There are 44 buildings to experience at Black Creek Pioneer Village, including working tinsmith and blacksmith shops. The roads and pathways have been recreated in the style of the mid-19th century with hard-packed gravel and boardwalks, which means at times they are muddy.


Black Creek Pioneer Village has worked hard to reduce its carbon footprint with the operation of running a popular tourist venue. Don't look for fancy water bottles at special events; only tap water is served. Any paper products used are made from 100% recycled materials and most of the menu items are from local farms in Ontario or grown on the property.


Black Creek Pioneer Village is open to the public daily from April 29-December 23. There are weekly special events that focus on seasonal happenings in the village. Black Creek Pioneer Village is a hidden gem in the city. Located at 1,000 Murray Ross Parkway in Northwest Toronto the living museum is easily accessible by public transit.


For more information visit Black Creek Pioneer Village's website at blackcreek.ca/hours-admission/.


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