Primate sanctuary north of Oshawa, home to Darwin, opens doors for limited tours


Published March 17, 2023 at 5:38 pm

Photo courtesy of Daina Liepa.

The primate sanctuary home to Darwin the Ikea Monkey, renowned artist Pockets Warhol and many more special simians is opening its doors to tours for a limited time.

Story Book Farm, as the sanctuary is known, is home to three baboons, eight macaques (including Darwin), eight lemurs, a spider monkey, a squirrel monkey, and Warhol, a capuchin monkey renowned for his paintings.

Darwin, the macaque formerly known as the Ikea Monkey. – Photo via Daina Liepa of Story Book Farm.

Usually, the sanctuary keeps its doors closed to visitors to allow the monkeys privacy and relaxation in their homes. However, once in a while, Story Book Farm allows visitors in to meet the monkeys.

This year they’ve set aside seven days from April to October for groups of visitors to take a guided tour of their facility. On each tour day, listed below, the caretakers at the sanctuary will guide a group of ten visitors through the area every half hour.

Groups are limited to the ten-person maximum for the resident’s well-being. Due to the limit, once tickets are purchased for a specific day, Story Book Farm will reach out to the ticket holder to allocate the time of their tour.

Pockets Warhol, the world-renowned painter. – via Story Book Farm.

For the safety of both the monkeys and the visitors, guests won’t be able to make direct contact or feed them directly.

The days available for a visit are;

  • April 23
  • May 28
  • June 25
  • July 23
  • August 27
  • September 24, and
  • October 15.

Every tour day falls on a Sunday. Tours will be held every half hour from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Guest will be able to stick around the sanctuary following their tour. Tickets are available online. 

Story Book Farm is in Sunderland in Brock Township, about 45 minutes north of Oshawa.

The sanctuary is always accepting donations of money and food for the monkeys who call it home, just part of a list of needs. Donations can be made online.


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