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The Sarnia Children's Animal Farm was opened in May of 1964. The Seaway Kiwanis, in co-operation with the City of Sarnia, produced a priceless program which would become the most popular year-round attraction at Canatara Park.

The Main Barns
The first two animals to enter the farm were "Grand-ma" (a goat), and "Suzie" (a pony who was inseparable from her goat counterpart). The agreement that was reached for the two animals was that the Animal Farm had to take both the pony and the goat and let them live together. This was how the first two animals came into the Farm. Shortly after Grand-ma and Suzie arrived at the Farm they were accompanied by donkeys, pigs, guinea pigs, squirrels and additional goats.
  The Log Cabin

The "Park Zoo", as it was originally named by the newspaper, was instantly a big hit with the majority of people visiting on Sunday afternoons to see and visit with the animals.

  The Seaway Kiwanis Club has been the largest benefactor to the Animal Farm since it opened, donating close to half a million dollars to the Farm effort. Over 30 articles and pictures have been run on the Farm over the years. These articles have been presented in the Sarnia Observer and Gazette. Thousands of people visit the farm annually, so it is no secret why the animal farm has been so successful.
  Animal Farm Time Line:


  • Parks Board approved Children's Zoo Project
  • The Kiwanis donated $12,000 to the creation of the farm
  • The Sarnia Industrial Council donated $6,000 to the farm
  • New animals were added to the farm
  • Trees were planted around the park to enhance the overall appearance
  • A new Barn was added, which made the farm a year round home for some of the animals
  • There were plans for a hatchery to be added to the Farm for rearing chickens, ducks, and geese
  • The population of the Farm had been increased. Rabbits, ducks, chickens and pheasants were just some of the things people would be able to see when the park was opened for the summer
  • People were able to see the work to the barn
  • There was talk about the duck pond being drained to fix the erosion problem
  • Reshaping of the parking lot was undertaken sponsored by the Kiwanis
  • Rides using Dolly the horse to pull people behind a cart were bought by the city to help attract more people to the Farm
  • Several plaques were set for the recognition of the Kiwanis and their donations to the Animal Farm
  • This marked the first year that the Children's Farm was to be open all year round
  • There were plans for a bridge to be built across the creek
  • The first year that Christmas at the Farm was held
  1985, June:
  • Kiwanis donated forty thousand dollars for improvements to the Animal Farm
  1985, December:
  • The new barn that the Kiwanis donated money for was officially finished and opened
  • Plans for a water purification system to be put in were set in order to clean up the water surrounding the Farm
  • There was flooding due to heavy rainfall at the farm, and millions of gallons of water had to be pumped out
  • Signs were put up to warn children about feeding the animals
  • The cabin that would be used for the information center was donated by Rex Garret
  • The Kiwanis helped sponsor the opening of the Ted Leaver Information Center.
  • Improvements were made to the carriage house
  • A fountain was purchased for the duck pond in order to aerate the water
  • The Kiwanis donated money for new fencing to be put around the animal farm
  • The Kiwanis purchased a waterwheel which is located just outside the Ted Leaver Information Center
  • The Kiwanis dedicated the floral garden and waterfall area in honour of Kiwanis Member Bill Bush for his many years of involvement
  • The bird cages inside the barn were built
  • The City of Sarnia hired a Park Educator for the summer in co-operation with the Kiwanis
  • A new shed for the cow was built by the Kiwanis
  2003, September:
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