Nestled on the banks of Duffins Creek, the Pickering Museum Village is a living history village that represents the early settlement and development of Pickering, ON from 1810 to 1920. The site has historic buildings from the 1900s including a church, blacksmith shop, general store, inn, three homes and two barns, gardens, orchards, and more.
The Pickering Museum Village Foundation was established in 1996 to restore the village and improve its programs with new funds. These improvements will include restoring a building that once served as an orphanage for children, adding interpretive signage on-site, and upgrading utilities.
The history of this museum dates back to 1812 when it became one of the first three villages in what is now known as Canada West (present-day Ontario). The Pickering Museum Village has played host to important historic events including meetings between General Sir Isaac Brock and Chief Tecumseh during the War of 1812; various political meetings throughout Canadian history; but also brought troops from both sides together following World War I. This heritage-rich location includes more than 30 buildings clustered around a central green space, tours of the heritage buildings including a blacksmith shop and print works as well.
Pickering Museum Village is an important historic site in Canada that needs to be preserved for future generations. There are many ways you can enjoy this museum; from taking tours, visiting any of their available programs, exploring some beautiful antiques like old student desks or even checking out some memorabilia from our past. Plans have been discussed to upgrade this historic place. Pickering Museum Village will be able to expand its programs, services and collections with the help of nearly $100,000 in provincial and federal funding.
A provincial and federal grant has provided $99,000 to the City of Pickering for a living history museum that portrays the culture of Pickering through artifact collection, preservation, and interpretation. “The grants represent an important investment in picking up and preserving the rich history of Pickering,” according to Mayor Dave Ryan.
The $30,000 will be allocated to the Government of Canada’s Museum Assistance Program. These funds will be used to hire a new museum specialist to oversee work that includes increasing storage capacity, creating an inventory system and tracking artifacts, and relocating them to museum storage facilities that were built specifically for them. The restoration and cleaning are part of the conservation process. To stabilize the artifact for moving, we will also put conservation treatments on it. The museum preserves more than 10,000 artifacts. The oldest examples date back 30 years.
Another $44,400 will go to the Province of Ontario’s Rural Economic Development Program. Through this grant, Greenwood Blacksmith Shop will be restored and marketed. Several structural repairs will be made, window and roof repairs will be done, as well as electrical system upgrades. The building dates back to 1857. Spring 2022 is estimated to be the relaunch date for the shop. This grant will be used to develop exhibits and market the new attraction to attract visitors from the surrounding areas.
All remaining funds will be allocated to the Ontario Government’s Digital Capacity Top-Up Grants for Community Museums. Using this grant, the museum village recently upgraded its Wi-Fi network, installed security cameras, and purchased hardware that enabled virtual programming to respond to the challenges present during COVID-19. In addition to the on-site field trip restrictions, Museum programs are available online while on-site programs are limited as a result of the pandemic.