esther the pig

This animal sanctuary near Toronto looks like the happiest place on earth

You might be familiar with Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary already, though you don't even know it. Awarded by Amazon as "Best Book of the Year" and a New York Times Best Seller, 'Esther the Wonder Pig' has captivated the hearts of thousands.

You've most likely seen this smiling 600-pound pig cover star at every bookstore in the GTA, but you probably didn't know that the back story of Esther began on a farm just 40 minutes outside of Toronto in Campbellville. 

The Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary was created by two animal lovers, Steve and Derek, when a little rescue pig named Esther entered their lives. From there, an animal sanctuary was born, and Esther - a social media icon - was born. 

Since 2014, the sanctuary has rescued and rehabilitated countless abused and neglected farm animals including goats, cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, sheep, rabbits and cats. (All their adorable head shots are on the website). 

Visiting the farm, you can't help but feel the happiness radiating from these rescued animals, whose future would have been incredibly bleak if Steve and Derek hadn't stepped in. 

Happily Ever Esther is frequently open to the public year-round for tours and special events, so be sure to check out their calendar for details. Tours usually last about an hour, followed by a Q&A period.

If you want to get involved further, the farm is always looking for volunteers to care for the animals (giving pot-bellied pigs belly rubs is mandatory!) and help out around the busy farm. 

Lead photo by

joshuaraygooch


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

Bathurst Bowlerama closing in Toronto after 56 years

Win tickets to Champions of Magic

The CNE is now offering steep discounts on 2019 tickets

Harry Potter party in Toronto canceled over legal issues

This epic holiday light trail in Ontario is now open for the season

Toronto's massive indoor obstacle course is back open

French fitness chain flames out in Toronto after less than a year

Toronto's free outdoor skating rinks open this weekend