Sharon Temple National Historic Site



  • Temple: a new restoration was completed in 2011
  • David Willson’s Study: workplace of the leader of the Children of Peace
  • Doan Home: home of Ebenezer Doan, master builder of the Temple
  • Jesse Doan log house
  • Cookhouse
  • Doan drive shed
  • Granary


All buildings and artefacts relate to pioneer life and the Children of Peace.

  •  The Sharon Temple: Built between 1825 and 1832. Restoration on the building was completed in 2011.
  • David Willson’s Study: Built in 1829, and was the workplace of David Willson, the leader of the Children of Peace.
  •  Doan Home: Built in 1819, it was the home of Ebenezer Doan, the master builder of the Temple.
  • Log House: Built in the 1830s, the Log House was the home of Jesse Doan, the first leader of the Sharon Civilian Band.
  • Doan Drive Shed
  • Cookhouse: Used to cook the 15 major feasts throughout the year. Once a month when the temple would be used to collect donations, and on three special occasions: Christmas, the first Saturday in June (in celebration of David Willson’s birthday), and the first Saturday in September (a celebration of the harvest and illumination).
  • Granary

Public Programming:


175 Years of Hope: A Celebration of the Sharon Temple and The Children of Peace

Music at Sharon:  Sunday afternoon concerts of classical music.

Special Events

Check the website for updates. Below is a list of events in 2017:

  • March 16 2017: Weaving Words Speakers Series – Stories come in all forms. A discussion of World War One and the Canadian Expeditionary Forces at the Battle of Vimy Ridge that complements our Dear Sadie Exhibit.
  • April 20 2017: Weaving Words Speakers Series – Stories come in all forms. The History Hound will discuss genealogy and decorating your family tree.
  • May 18 2017: Weaving Words Speakers Series – Stories come in all forms. This series will bring those stories alive in various forms to delight, inspire, and entertain audiences. This event will showcase young artists.
  •  June 8 2017: Heritage Celebration – This event will celebrate the purchase of the Temple by the York Pioneer Historical Society in 1917, an event which saved the Temple from destruction. Heritage Celebration will feature: delightful hors d’ouvres, historic tours, wine and craft beer, and a stunning musical performance in the one of a kind Sharon Temple.
  • July 1 2017: Canada Day Community Celebration – Celebrate Canada’s history in your own backyard! Enjoy a day of music, heritage games, historic demonstrations, museum exhibits, 1937 Reenactment and Encampment, and more.
  • July 23 2017: Music at the Temple – Come by to enjoy local musicians and great food in an amazing location.
  • September 8 2017: The Illumination – Following the practice of the Children of Peace, the museum recreates The Illumination on the first Friday night of September every year. Candles are lit in every window of the Temple and in the twelve lanterns on the corners. The evening includes music, readings, ceremony, and light refreshments on the grounds.
  • September 17 2017: Weaving Words – Weaving Words is a celebration of stories and the many ways that we will tell them, through written and spoken word, through music, film, and dance. Storytellers, writers, musicians, film-makers and other performances from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds will gather to celebrate everything that is special about who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. Through our stories we celebrate our history and our culture with all of its diversity; we celebrate the people who have made this nation great.
  • September 30 2017: Culture Day at the Temple


  • May 8 2017 – September 9 2017: Our Natural World Exhibit – There was a time when everything a person owned would be made from things you find in nature. Come examine a collection of interesting everyday objects made out of natural materials. Be inspired by your natural world; what would you make from these objects?
  • May 8 2017 – September 8 2017 Richard Coates: Our Renaissance Man – Richard Coates was a man of many talents. While we know very little of his education, his life speaks to great diversity. He was the bandmaster in the Battle of Waterloo, he built 3 organs, some of the earliest surviving in Canada, and he painted beautiful banners, like “Peace” and “Plenty” that hang in the Temple today. Coates was a musician, an inventor, a painter, and an astronomer; a man of eclectic talents that we now call “Our Renaissance Man”.
  • May 8 2017 –October 31 2017: Coming Home: Quaker Beginnings in York Exhibit – Everyone comes from somewhere, and each of their journeys are different. Coming Home: Quaker Beginnings in York, shares the journeys of three families: the Hughes, Starrs, and Lundys, as they immigrate to York to make a new home. In honor of Canada’s 150, the Sharon Temple invites the public to share in the experience of early Quaker settlers as they journey across unknown lands, experience many trials, and finally, form a community. This is the story of a group of settlers that made more than a house, they made a home


Call to arrange a guided tour of the site, although tours can be given to people who just drop by during our hours of operation.

Theatre Museum Canada

Conservation / Preservation:


Set designs, playbills, photographs, props, and other memorabilia dealing with the development of live theatre in Canada.

Public Programming:


Temporary and touring exhibitions deal with various aspects of the history and art of live theatre in Canada. Past exhibits have focused on set design, notable performances and individuals, women in theatre, and historic theatres.


The Legend Library is a video database of interviews with prominent members of the Canadian theatre industry, including actors, directors, set designers, and more.

Virtual Museum of Canada


Online Exhibitions

Virtual exhibits and interactive learning resources on numerous subjects, created by Canadian museums and galleries. Local history exhibits that capture Canadian community memories, drawn from the collections of small museums and local memories and treasures are also available.  Organized by museum, name or subject, the themes of Aboriginal Art, Culture and Tradition, Arts in Canada, Canada at War, Canadian Musical Traditions, Canadian Women, Science and Medicine and Vancouver 2010 make up the bulk of the collection.

Image Gallery

Showcases thousands of artefacts, photos, paintings and objects from Canadian museums. Amongst others, it contains the works of the Group of Seven, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Emily Carr, and many other artists. 

Archives of Ontario



Ontario Government Records:

The majority of the records in the collections of the Archives were created by the government of Ontario and its predecessors in the fulfillment of its legal and administrative functions. These records date from the late eighteenth century to the present day concerning:

  • Political and legal decisions.
  • The evolution of provincial administration.
  • The interaction between the government and its citizens.
  • The rights and responsibilities of Ontarians.

Private Sector Records:

Since 1903, the Archives of Ontario has been acquiring records from the private sector. The Archives holds the records of over 2600 private individuals, businesses, clubs and associations, labour and political organizations. These collections can range in size from one or two items to thousands of items that occupy hundreds of metres of shelf space.

These records include:

  • Paper files, diaries and photographs.
  • Maps and architectural records.
  • Sound recordings and moving images.

Genealogical Records:

The Archives of Ontario holds many important sources for researching family history in Ontario. There is no single finding aid or database for this type of research.

Vital Statistics:

Historical registrations of births, marriages and deaths. No database yet exists that allows you to search these records by name. Rather, these records must be searched using microfilm.

Records Relating to Aboriginal Peoples:

The Archives of Ontario has a substantial number of records relating to aboriginal history, very widely scattered through the Archives’ total holdings. Dating from the 1760s, most focus on what is now Ontario. However, a reasonable number — for example, fur trade and missionary papers — refer to Aboriginal people of Quebec, other parts of Canada, and the United States


The J. J. Talman Library at the Archives of Ontario is a research and reference collection for the general public and the staff of the Archives. Most of the Library collections relate to the social, political, economic, cultural and military history of the Province of Ontario.

There are approximately 75,000 pieces including:

  • Books, pamphlets and Ontario Government publications.
  • Periodicals, microfilm, microfiche and other printed and published items.

Special Collections


The Archives of Ontario’s photographic collection consists of approximately 1.7 million images documenting activities, people, places and events in Ontario from the mid-1800s to the present.

These images come in many formats including: colour and black and white prints, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, slides, and glass plate negatives.

The Archives photographic holdings include images from many private sources such as: photojournalists, studio photographers, amateur photographers, and corporate collections.

The Archives’ photographic holdings also include images created by many Ontario government ministries and agencies to document programs and activities.

Photographs are accessed through the Reading Room.

Online Photographic Database:

A selection of images drawn from the holdings of the Archives of Ontario which document the province’s history and landscape. Images are continually being added to the database.

Cartographic Records:

The Cartographic Records Collection of the Archives of Ontario contains over 40,000 maps, plans, hydrographic charts, atlases, bird’s eye views, and other cartographic materials relating to the Province of Ontario. Many of these maps are in manuscript form and thus are unique items.

The Archives has significant collections of private cartographic records including those produced by or for: Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, Thomas Talbot, the Canada Company, and David Thompson.

The foundation of the collection consists of maps produced by and for the Government of Ontario, most notably the Ministry of Natural Resources and its predecessors. Maps in the collection span the period from the early eighteenth century, when Ontario was still part of New France, to the present.

The collection contains maps and plans documenting many aspects of the province’s history and development including:

  • Exploration maps, settlement maps and township and town surveys.
  • Road maps, fishing maps and boundary maps.
  • Electoral plans, fire insurance plans, and maps showing the location and distribution of various natural resources.

Architectural Records:

An extensive architectural records collection of approximately 200,000 drawings and other items, dating from the early 1820s to the 1990s. These records document Ontario’s built environment and heritage.

The collection consists of architectural materials created or accumulated for government purposes. An example would be the records of the Public Works Department, which was responsible for the construction of prisons, hospitals, special schools, and other facilities.

The Archives also holds architectural records created by individual architects or private sector firms. The scope of these records ranges from houses to factories to skyscrapers.

Documentary Art:

The Archives of Ontario holds a collection of approximately 4000 documentary art records that document the people, places and events in Ontario from the 1790s until the 1900s.

The collection contains paintings, drawings, and prints by both amateur and professional artists, such as: Caroline Armington, William Armstrong, Thomas Burrowes, Anne Langton, C. W. Jefferys, Stewart C. Shaw, Elizabeth Simcoe, Fred Brygden, Robert Sproule, Owen Staples, and Dorothy Stevens.

It covers a wide range of subjects such as views of small towns, famous and infamous people, and historical events.

Public Programming:


Several exhibitions that highlight the collections. The most recent online exhibits can be accessed directly from the website.

Joan Baillie Archives of the Canadian Opera Company



  • Corporate and administrative records.
  • Audio and video recordings of performances.
  • Slides and photographs.
  • Set and costume designs, historical Canadian Opera Company memorabilia.
  • Periodicals and documents associated with the opera dating back to the mid-twentieth century.
  • Blue prints of stage settings ,costume sketches  and posters are encapsulated.

Public Programming:


The archives participates in certain publicity events such as Open Doors Toronto for which they set up temporary displays of historical posters and costume designs.

National Ballet of Canada Archives

Conservation / Preservation:


Records of the company from 1951 to the present including,

  • Costumes
  • Dance materials
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Programmes
  • Videos


The Erik Bruhn Library and Archive Video Collection contains over 2,500 items related to dance, theatre, music, scenography, choreography, and anatomy.

Public Programming:

Online Programming

The Virtual Museum is an online gallery featuring items held within the National Ballet Archives. Items digitized for inclusion in the National Ballet’s Virtual Museum are catalogued and preserved in The Helen G. Balfour Soutron Database.