A living, breathing piece of 19th century: wood and stone, creaky floors and rustic walkways, cast-iron chandeliers and vintage dresses, shops and artisans, goats and horses. Black Creek Pioneer Village is an open-air museum of pioneer cultural history; testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of the families who built this country for all of us; and a reminder that working together brings about comfort and prosperity. What a great inspiration to take with you as you begin your new family!
While similar in many ways to Markham Museum, Pioneer Village is larger, denser, more accessible, and has perhaps a bit more lively in terms of entertainment. Other than its extensive programs for children and exhibits for adults, it hosts events such as escape games, axe throwing, and even something called goat yoga (hosted by a different company, so arrangements will have to be made separately). Finally, Pioneer Village provides more of a turnkey solution than Markham Museum, as their packages come with catering.
The Village boasts authentic buildings dating as far back as 1816, plants commonly grown in Ontario back in 19th century, and even rare heritage breeds of farm animals. Every aspect of the experience is made as realistic as possible: the Village even runs a craft beer brewery which uses historic brewing methods to make an unpasteurized, unfiltered beer similar to those libations enjoyed in the olden days. In the spirit of reverence for the past and the future, Pioneer Village is committed to making each event environmentally sustainable, committed to zero landfill refuse and locally-sourced catering.
Setups. Pioneer Village is a popular wedding venue with different indoor and outdoor spaces suitable for ceremony only or ceremony followed by reception. For a ceremony-only setup, the event is to take place between 11 am and 2 pm (during the time when the venue is open to the public). For a ceremony with reception, the event can start after the venue closes for the night, thus offering more privacy.
Ceremony – outdoors. The venues include the area in front of Town Hall (up to 180 guests), a secluded meadow in the forest (up to 180 guests), and possibly other places of your choosing, to be discussed with the events coordinator.
Ceremony – indoors. If you are looking to add gravitas to the occasion, or in case of inclement weather, Pioneer Village has two indoor venues. First is the luminous building of Wilmot Township Hall, built in 1858 and capable of accommodating up to 90 guests. The other one is the earthy Fisherville Church, dating back to 1856, featuring large windows and capacity to accommodate up to 120 guests.
Reception – outdoors. Pioneer Village is perhaps best known among the wedding planning couples for its two outdoor venues. The first one, the Grand Pavilion, is a cream-coloured structure with a bit of an industrial feel and remarkable texture, which yields itself beautifully to decoration with its ceiling beams, outside pillars, and built-in lights. The Grand Pavilion can accommodate up to 180 guests. The second outdoor venue, Black Creek Patio, is a spacious wooden surface with a tent, seemingly lost in the woods and overlooking meadows. The Patio can accommodate up to 150 guests.
Reception – indoors. The indoor venues are the Victoria Room (up to 90 guests) and Canada West (130 guests). Both preserve the rustic yet elegant feel of the venue.
Suitability. The venue is quite centrally located, it is even now accessible by subway (with about a 10 minute walk) as well as car (very close to 400, 407, highway 7, reachable from 401). Almost all buildings are wheelchair accessible. Bridal suites are available.
Cost – as of Aug 2018. Photo permit only (no ceremony, no reception) costs $300 plus HST and can be booked online. Ceremony (no reception) costs just under $1,000 plus HST, which price includes chairs, arch, lanterns, photo permit, free parking, and a rehearsal. Ceremony followed by a reception is offered at a small discount and costs $800 plus HST. The reception cost during the high season is $140/guest on a Saturday between April to October ($135/guest on a Friday or Sunday) (with a minimum of 90 guests on a Saturday and 60 on Sunday). Outside of the high season, $125/guest and minimum 50 guests. HST is applicable to the reception costs, but no gratuity is charged. The reception cost includes open bar (serving house-brewed beer), two complimentary vendor meals, linens, cake cutting, and a bridal suite.