There’s something so peaceful about spending time with animals, especially in a loving environment that is dedicated to their wellbeing. There are so many wonderful animal rescue sanctuaries in Ontario that welcome visitors to meet their residents.

These sanctuaries allow so many animals in need to get a second chance at life, including donkeys, cows, llamas, lemurs, moose, and even wolves.

Whether you want to volunteer for a day, take an animal for a walk, or participate in a guided tour, these animal rescue sanctuaries in Ontario have all kinds of opportunities.

Wishing Well Sanctuary

This sanctuary is a safe haven for rescued farm animals, and they host all kinds of events that let you spend quality time with the residents.

From wagon rides to yoga with the animals to retreats and workshops, this is a great place to connect with nature and animals while supporting an amazing facility dedicated to humane education and environmental sustainability.

Where: 2710 10th Line, Bradford

Silver Willow Farm Rescue

This beautiful property is the only sanctioned non-specific-species rescue and foster farm in Ontario.

That means that they have met all the standards of care to rehabilitate any kind of farm animal.

The 100-acre property is a “refuge for humans and animals alike.” It’s home to horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, ponies, donkeys, chickens, ducks, turkeys, bunnies, and dogs!

This sanctuary is not a public facility, but they do host open house tours when you can stop by and visit.

Where: 528375 5 Sideroad, Mulmur

The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada

This sanctuary is home to rescued donkeys, hinnies, and mules. These loveable creatures are smart, playful, and full of personality, and you can visit them on an Open Day or during a private guided tour.

You’ll get to learn all about these animals and how to care for them during the tour and shop at the on-site boutique. If you’re especially drawn to the rescues, you can donate or apply to volunteer.

Where: 6981 Concession 4, Puslinch

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Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary

If it makes you smile to see happy animals prancing around a farm, then you’ll have a lot to smile about at Happily Ever Esther sanctuary.

This special place is a haven for rescued farmed animals, and there are a whole bunch of events on their calendar this summer.

Stop by for a public tour or get down and dirty during a volunteer work day, so you can do your part to help these precious animals!

Where: Campbellville, Ontario

Serendipity Farm & Sanctuary

Llama lovers, this place is for you! This sanctuary takes in rescued llamas and alpacas, and you can take them for a walk on the massive property.

These social animals are well taken care of here, where they have plenty of friends to roam around with.

Speaking of roaming around, you could sign up for a haltered llama walk for $30 per person and they are offered throughout the year depending on the weather.

Where: 929 South Lavant Road, Lanark

Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary 

Believe it or not, Ontario has a primate sanctuary, home to monkeys and lemurs who have been rescued from situations where they were kept as exotic pets or zoos with inhumane conditions.

Here, these animals are safe and sound on a large property with an on-site medical facility called “George’s Haven,” named after a long-time former resident.

This sanctuary hosts open house tours once a month from April until October.

Where: 2315 Concession 10, Sunderland

Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Muskoka region, this wildlife sanctuary’s philosophy is “rescue, rehabilitate, release.” That means injured and orphaned animals are brought here to be nursed back to health, so they can return to their natural habitat.

That includes moose, coyotes, bears, and wolf packs, to name a few.

You can pay a visit to this sanctuary through a private guided tour. You will have the chance to meet the permanent residents of the sanctuary and learn how to live in harmony with wildlife.

Where: 1116 Crawford Street, Rosseau