Oil Field History… in action

The Petrolia Discovery is a place where you can walk in the footsteps of the early pioneers of Canada’s Black Gold Heritage.


Visitors to the Petrolia Discovery experience a fascinating, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the early days of the world’s oil boom. From the first, hand-dug wells of the 1850s, to the great refineries and machine shops which abounded at the turn of the century, Petrolia’s Oil Heritage runs old and deep as the wells themselves. Guests not only take in historical displays and informative movies, but get a chance to see an authentic 1860s oil field in action.

About us

In an age when few people traveled beyond the borders of their own home town, the pioneer oil men of Lambton County went out from the wilderness of Southwestern Ontario to discover most of the major oil fields of the world. They were on the Gobi, and in the Arctic, in Iran when it was still Persia, Indonesia, Australia, Russia… 87 countries in all. In the 1920s, Hard Oilers brought home Alberta tar sands to pave the main street of Petrolia. 

Petrolia Discovery is a centre to learn, experience and enjoy the stories of Canadian ingenuity, talent and the pioneering spirit of Lambton County and its people – Canadians who influenced the global industry of Black Gold!

Want to stop by for a visit?

Petrolia Discovery is holding several Open Walking Tour days in 2021. All tours are socially distanced and follow local COVID prevention guidelines. See below for our list of Open Tour dates and events for the 2021 season. Private tours are available by email or Facebook request. Visit our contact us page to get in touch with our volunteers about your tour.