In 1950, Lionel Purcell, then a Real Estate Agent, purchased a farm in north Scarborough. In 1956 Lionel Purcell married his wife Rita White, employed at a real estate office in downtown Toronto. Together they began managing Lionel’s Farm.
In 1981 they bought and moved to their current location. The farm continues to be a labour of love. With the help and dedication of their 4 children; Carrie, Mark, Blair and Holly (Mike) and two grandchildren; Blake and Kathryn; it has expanded into a more diversified family owned and operated business. Based on a love for farm animals, Lionel’s Farm continues to bring joy and happiness to many an age group. We take great pride and pleasure in making your visit and dealings with Our Farm memorable and lasting.
Lionel’s passion for ponies began at age 3 when he was given his first pony. This continued through his teenage years until he enlisted in the Second World War. Upon returning he worked with his dad selling Real Estate. It was there that he met his wife Rita.
After they married, Lionel left the Real Estate business, so he along with wife Rita, could and did develop the skills required in the breeding, raising, showing and selling of Shetland Ponies. They showed throughout the province of Ontario and into parts of the North East United States.
In addition to breeding and showing Shetland Ponies , in the mid 1960′s, their efforts were underway to have Children’s Birthday Parties and School Tours visit the farm and interact with the ponies for the purpose of kids agriculture entertainment and education. Through their business and social activities in the community, occasionally, people looking to re-home their pets would ask if they would take them in at the farm. From this beginning, along with breeding and raising these animals, the concept of Lionel’s Farm was established.
Lionel’s activities with various community based organizations such as, Scarborough’s planning board, Agincourt Lions Club, Historical Society, Scarborough’s Entertainment committee and many others, served to establish the beginning of a working relationship with community and corporate events. With this, Lionel’s farm could be found at a number of different community, corporate and school events.
Lionel’s personal interest in horse drawn buggies, carriages, sleighs and period props started as a hobby. As time went on he began to develop a ‘Rare and Classic’ collection that caught the eye of the Film, Television and Commercial industry. Specifically, Lionel’s collection has been seen in Film and Television Productions such as; ‘Anne Of Green Gables’, ‘Road To Avonlea’, Little Men’, ‘Reign’ and the now popular CBC production MURDOCH MYSTERIES and so many more. This classic collection has been sought after for Weddings, Retail Store Displays, Window Displays and Parades. To see these ALL in one place is a sight like many have never seen before.
In 1981 the Farm Family business moved to its current location on McCowan Rd in Stouffville.
Just wanted to send you a quick message to thank you, Carrie and of course Frankie!! It was a beautiful day for a backyard birthday party and what a beautiful pony we had to share it with. Carrie was wonderful as well – very friendly, patient and attentive. We’ll be sure to recommend Lionel’s to all our friends and family.
We have just returned from our party and everyone had a great time, especially our daughter Reegan! Mark took great care of us! Most of our guests had never been before and they were excited and talking about holding a party in the future! I know we had a gift certificate, I wanted to personally thank you and Mark for a great party! We will be recommending you to all our friends and family. We visit the petting zoo weekly and will keep putting our donations in the tin!
I wanted to thank both you and Blair for a wonderful day on Saturday. The kids have never experienced something like that and with your help they were able to. From listening to the parents I was informed that their kids could not stop talking about the day. It was an amazing day despite the weather. Betsy was also amazing with the help she provided. She is rather sweet. I liked her. Because of this experience I may bring just my kids and let them have fun just because. If you do anything special for Halloween or Christmas or just because, please make sure to include me. If you are doing anything that needs funds to be raised again, please let me know. I would be more than happy to participate