Black Creek Village Essential Visitor Information. Time Needed for Your Visit, Preparing Before You Go, Dining, Shopping, Location and More.
TIP #1: The Black Creek Pioneer Village features 40 buildings – quite a lot to cover in one visit! Their web site recommends giving yourself 3 or 4 hours here and I think that’s about right for the average visitor. We spent a little over 3 hours but that included eating at the dining room.
If you have children with you and they want to play some of the games then you might want to spend most of the day and leave time for lunch and a couple of rest/snack breaks as well.
TIP #2: If you want to make the most of your trip, go to the Black Creek Village web site and read up on the different buildings beforehand. They even have a map with all the buildings listed and a short description.
That way if you’re short on time you can visit the buildings that seem the most interesting to you. They do provide a small booklet with information on the buildings as well but it never hurts to plan ahead, right? I wish I’d had a little more time at the farm area, for example.
TIP #3: Black Creek is also a great place to practice your photography. Because it feels so authentic you can get amazing shots that look like you’ve actually gone back in time filmed reality! It’s sort of like being on a movie set for a historic period film.
The colours are particularly beautiful in fall with the leaves changing so you can get some wonderful nature shots as well (and don’t forget those cute farm animals). Here are some photos for inspiration: http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcreekpioneervillage/pool/show
TIP #4: Wear comfy walking shoes. The roads are dirt. This is a great place to get some exercise and view nature, so even family members who aren’t all that into history can enjoy it.
Visitor Information: Eating and Shopping at Black Creek Village
There are a few places to eat. First choice is a picnic area so you can bring your own lunch in good weather. I’d recommend this if you’re on a budget, as the fast food Pavilion (which is choice #2) sells hot dogs, burgers, and fries but the prices seemed a little higher than you’d find at a typical fast food place -- not outrageous, but still more than you’d pay if you pack your own.
A third choice is the Black Creek Brewery Restaurant, a pub in the basement of Half Way House. This is the option we chose. Prices here are around $13 for main meals (before taxes and tip). The food is actually surprisingly good. I had the bison burger and salad and it was delicious.
This is a licensed restaurant where you can buy beer including the stuff they brew onsite just across the hall... talk about “hyperlocal” beer! You can also take a tour (for an extra fee) of the brewery which is just one room. I think it’s around $4 and you get to sample a few different types of beer.
In the Interpretation Centre you’ll find a large store full of souvenirs and products including some that they make onsite. Unfortunately I couldn’t go in because the scent of the fragranced candles was overwhelming.
Special Events at Black Creek Village
The Village hosts a number of special events during the year for holidays including Mothers Day, Canada Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, for example. There’s also a Mennonite pioneer festival in September. There’s regular programming for children so check their web site or call before you go.
Black Creek Pioneer Village is located at 1000 Murray Ross Pky, North York. Tel: 416-736-1740. This is about 33 km from downtown Toronto so it should take you a little more than half an hour to get there by car.
If you have to take public transit, be prepared for a very long journey. It’s way up near York University (hard to believe they haven’t built a subway line up there yet). You can take the subway to Jane or Finch and get a bus from there. Buses are painfully slow (about an hour). Either way you should budget around an hour and a half to get there.... so three hours round trip. If you think of it as travelling to a different “village” for the day rather than just trying to get from Point A to Point B in Toronto, then you shouldn’t feel quite as frustrated! And remember the days of the Conestoga Wagon ... then the subway/bus won’t feel that slow in comparison.
McMichael art gallery – great Canadian art gallery. Click on the name to read my article about it.
Canada’s Wonderland – massive amusement park. Click on the name to read my article about it.
Vaughan Mills – big shopping plaza.
Kortright Centre for Conservation.
For more information
For current fees and opening hours and events, visit the museum web site at http://www.blackcreek.ca. They offer an annual membership for individuals and families so if you’re planning to make several trips a year it may be worthwhile to buy a year’s pass.
Note: Parking is extra when you’re paying for a day pass.
Their web site is actually better than most attraction web sites I’ve seen, and is chock full of background information and short videos.
HAVE YOU READ MY INTRODUCTION TO THIS SITE? If not, start here: Black Creek Pioneer Village
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