Click individual photos to enlarge and enter the full Lightbox Gallery.
We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let’s have a look at Toronto through the lens of Roland Shainidze!
Black Creek Pioneer Village is one of the most interesting sites in Ontario and definitely should not be missed — especially if you’re fascinated by the past and the way people used to live before all the technologies we have today became available. This heritage museum — an authentic recreation of an Ontario village from the mid-19th century — is located just west of York University in Toronto. But it’s not just your usual museum full of artifacts; Black Creek is a lively community where you’ll meet historical interpreters and craftspeople dressed in authentic period clothes who will gladly guide you through the Village and answer all your questions regarding the lifestyle and customs of its early residents who helped establish Toronto.
Black Creek Pioneer Village was opened in 1960 and shows the pioneer way of life in rural parts of Ontario. It’s a popular destination for school field trips from near and far to educate children about Canadian history. What will you find when you decide to visit? A living history experience, the pioneer village is composed of more than forty heritage buildings that have been skillfully restored and faithfully furnished under the supervision of B. Napier Simpson, an architect who devoted his whole life to preserving heritage buildings. The trimmed gardens and farmyards of these picturesque homes spread across 30 acres of land. Once you step inside one of the homes, you’ll feel that time really does stand still here. All the rooms are furnished in the fashion of the 1860s and carry the original equipment and decorations that would be found in a home during that time period. Of course, no village would be complete without barns full of farm animals, a water-powered grist mill, a general store, a blacksmith’s store, a school, and a small church – and you can find all this and more at Black Creek Pioneer Village.
In 2009, the Black Creek Historic Brewery opened its doors for the first time, recreating a brewery from the mid-1800s, offering tastings of freshly brewed ales. Try on pioneer clothes in the Photographer’s Shop and take your very special family portrait just like in the old times before Confederation. Walk across the green landscapes and historic gardens and enjoy the slower pace of rural serenity — which is in fact not too far from the middle of the city!
The site is operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and run by the historians and artisans who actually live in these buildings. They regularly organize guided tours, workshops, and special events such as farmer’s markets and the annual Christmas market with its long tradition. Probably the most popular of all Black Creek’s activities are its many historical re-enactments put together by volunteers, when the whole village comes alive!
Check out their website for the upcoming events held in the Village. If you have a passion for the old times or want to learn something about Toronto’s history, have a look at our previous photo essay on Toronto’s other historic landmarks, Osgoode Hall and Spadina Museum.
All visual content is licensed by Creative Commons – you may use individual photos but you need to link them back to this original page properly and clearly attribute them to us.
Meet the Photographer
Roland Shainidze is an amateur photographer in Toronto. He is a graduate student in humanities at York University and his photography is focused primarily on architecture, both interiors and exteriors. He has taken photographs in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa as well as his native Georgia. Roland uses HDR tools to transform the presentation of the imagery of architectural elements. Self-taught, he takes every opportunity to take pictures and experiment with them; playing with lines, patterns, light and selective colour.