Toronto Feature: Black Creek Pioneer Village

This text is from the free Toronto in Time app, which was created by The Canadian Encyclopedia and is available from the App Store and the Google Play store. Visit its companion website, which is linked below, to explore all the features of the app online.

Travel Back in Time
Black Creek Pioneer Village (photo Christopher O. Driscoll).
Road in Black Creek Pioneer Village
Black Creek Pioneer Village preserves mid 19th-century rural and village life in Ontario, circa 1960s (courtesy City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 217, Series 249, File 137).
Roblin
Roblin's Mill in the fall (courtesy Black Creek Pioneer Village).

Toronto Feature: Black Creek Pioneer Village

"Living History Museum Opens on Black Creek"

This text is from the free Toronto in Time app, which was created by The Canadian Encyclopedia and is available from the App Store and the Google Play store. Visit its companion website, which is linked below, to explore all the features of the app online.

Generations of Toronto schoolchildren have travelled back in time to 19th-century rural Ontario via field trips to Black Creek Pioneer Village. The unseen guide to their time travel has been the architect responsible for envisioning the village, B. Napier Simpson Jr.

Black Creek Pioneer Village contains more than 40 historic buildings, which represent life in the 1860s. The core buildings are those of the Stong homestead. The Stong buildings remain on their original sites, but many others were brought in from around Ontario, largely between the late 1950s and early 1980s. In that period of rapid urban development, Black Creek Pioneer Village became a "safe haven" for heritage--a place where threatened historic buildings would preserve mid-19th-century rural and village life in Ontario. As progress rolled over the old Ontario countryside, Black Creek became a repository of the past.

The village was one of the highlights in the career of preservationist architect B. Napier Simpson Jr, who worked as an architect and an advisor to keep Ontario's past alive through its architectural heritage. Beyond Black Creek Village, he played a critical role in the development of Toronto's Riverdale Farm, where he designed a replica 1850s farmhouse, which is now named in his honour.


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