Museums

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What's On

Looking for an afternoon adventure in the City? You'll find lots of fun things to do and explore at Toronto's Historic Sites!

Click on the tabs of the Museum names below for a list of events at each of the sites. Click on the name of the event and the description will open underneath it. 

 

Colborne Lodge holds community events and seasonal workshops that highlight its location in High Park. Call 416-392-6916 or e-mail clodge@toronto.ca.

PLEASE NOTE: Colborne Lodge is open throughout the road repair period in High Park for regular hours and programs. You can access the Lodge via The Queensway as that work is completed. The road closures are for repairs in conjunction with infrastructure upgrades related to the Pan Am Games.

High Park Harvest Festival - October 5

Sunday, October 5, 12 to 4:30 p.m.
Enjoy the harvest in High Park with food, crafts, music, horse and wagon rides, warm apple cider and more.  Free admission to grounds, activity and merchandise fees apply. Visit the Mackenzie House table for information about our museum programs- and the opportunity to print a special Harvest Festival souvenir on our historic proof press! 

To tour inside Colborne Lodge it’s pay-what-you-can!  Activities take place at Colborne Lodge and the Children's Garden. 

Haunted High Park - Various dates & times

(Not recommended for children under 8 yrs. of age)

18 years & Up: Friday, October 24, Thursday, October 30 & Friday, October 31 at 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Pre-registration required. $17.50 plus tax.

Families, Children: Saturday, October 25 at 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 8 to 9 p.m.

Pre-registration required. Adults: $12.50 plus tax, Children $7.50 plus tax

Visit Colborne Lodge and its grounds at night and hear about legends and ghost stories that have been told about the Lodge and High Park.  Period refreshments included.

 

Don't miss these great events at Fort York. Contact us at 416-392-6907 or fortyork@toronto.ca.

PLEASE NOTE: FORT YORK SUMMER CLOSURE DATES FOR SPECIAL EVENTS

We will be closed to the general public as we welcome the following special events this summer:

June 5: Closed until 3 p.m. when we open to the public for a special event. See the listings for details.

June 6 - 8: Field Trip Music and Arts Festival
July 18 - 30: Taste of Toronto Festival
September 27: Sick Kids Great Camp Adventure

Looking for more information on hours of operation, admission prices and directions? Click here to plan your visit!

Taste of Toronto - July 24 to 27

Thursday, July 24, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Friday, July 25 & Saturday, July 26, 12 to 4 p.m.& 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 27, 12 to 5 p.m.
For four days Fort York will be transformed into a foodie wonderland of summer eating, drinking and entertainment. 14 of the city’s latest, greatest and hottest restaurants will be dishing up their finest in a bar none alfresco gourmet feast. Top that off with over 50 producers of the best food, beverages and premium brands providing a bountiful food market, and you have the best culinary festival of the year! Visit tasteoftoronto.com for tickets and more information. 

Fort York will be running 2 workshops daily in the Officers' Mess Kitchen. Click here to read an interview with Program Officer Bridget Wranich and find out what it's like preparing delicious food in one of Toronto's oldest kitchens!

** Please note: Fort York will be closed from July 17th to the 31st for the Taste of Toronto Festival **

Simcoe Day - August 4

Simcoe Day @ Fort York
Monday, August 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lieutenant-governor Simcoe founded the town of York (Toronto) in 1793 and was the first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada (Ontario). Come learn about the birthplace of Toronto and thrill to the sounds of musketry, cannons and the fife and drum. Enjoy historic military presentations, family activities, feature performances, local crafts & food. Enjoy a special Dusk Dances performance of Les Moutons at 3 PM. Admission is FREE.

Mad Decent Block Party - Aug. 15

Friday, August 15, 4 to 11 p.m.
Mad Decent and Embrace Presents team up for their annual Mad Decent Block Party, featuring Diplo, Chance the Rapper., Flosstradamus, Grandtheft, ZEDS DEAD and more.  

Tickets and more information available at www.maddecentblockparty.com.

*** Visiting Fort York August 13th through August 16th ***
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please note that during this period, Fort York's regular operations may be interrupted by the set-up, event, and taking down of the Mad Decent Block Party. Visitors are encouraged to walk, take transit or bike to the site as parking will be limited during this period.

 

Fruit, Fools and Compotes - Historic Cooking Workshop - Aug. 17

Sunday, August 17, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Join us in the 1826 Officers' Mess Kitchen and techniques, where participants will prepare (and sample!) a variety of delicious 18th and early 19th-century dishes such as fruit fools, creams, tarts, pies, waters, ice creams or compotes using historic techniques and tools. A salmagundi will also be prepared and served for lunch. Lunch and recipe package included.

For class information please call: Bridget Wranich at 416 392 6907 ext. 225

To register, call: 416 392 6907 ext. 221. Pre-registration and payment required. $75 plus tax

Summer at Fort York

Daily throughout August, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. (See note below about visiting the Fort between August 13 to 16, inclusive)
Thrill to the booming of the cannon, the firing of muskets, the vibrant colours of the uniformed guard and the lively music of fife and drum. These are the sights and sounds of Fort York this summer. Visitors will enjoy hourly demonstrations of military music, drill, musketry and artillery performed by students representing the Canadian Fencible Regiment that was garrisoned at the fort at the end of the War of 1812. Highlights include musket and cannon firings, and the music of the Fort York Drums (a fife & drum corps). Program varies daily. Call for specific details and please check for closure dates due to a busy summer of concerts and festivals here at the fort. Regular admission applies.

Visiting Fort York August 13 through 16     
Please note that during this period, Fort York's regular operations may be interrupted by the set-up, event and strike of the Mad Decent Block Party (August 15). Visitors are encouraged to walk, take transit or bike to the site as parking will be limited during this period.

 

 

Gibson House is a welcoming place for the community to find out about the history of the area or to gather and share crafts, traditions and recipes. Contact us at 416-395-7432 or gibsonhouse@toronto.ca

Gibson House at the Cultura Festival - July 25

Gibson House at the Cultura Festival in Mel Lastman Square
Friday, July 25, 6 to 8 p.m.

Now in its fifth season, Cultura is a free, weekly, festival that celebrates Music, Art, Food and Film on Friday evenings throughout July. A communal celebration of culture and community, Cultura features unique performers and artists, international street food vendors, creative and interactive art installations and evening film screenings under the stars. Gibson House will join the North York Central Library each Friday during the festival in Mel Lastman Square to provide children's crafts and stories, fun demonstrations and opportunities to try out your 1850's skills. We will be there in the early evening but the festival's activities run to 11 pm. For more information visit www.culturafestival.ca

 

Laneway Access & Parking Week of July 28 - August 1

Please note: Laneway Access & Parking Week of July 28 - August 1

Gibson House Museum parking will temporarily be located along our laneway, in front of Yonge Hearts Daycare while the new driveway is constructed. Please follow the footpath back to our main entrance.

Simcoe Day - August 4

Celebrate Simcoe Day at Gibson House Museum
Monday, August 4, 12 to 4:30 p.m.
Visit Gibson House Museum on Monday, August 4th to enjoy games on the lawn, hand-made ice-cream and the 1850's home of David and Eliza Gibson.  Catch up with the activities designed by our Youth Volunteer Team! Hands-on activities in our Discovery Gallery – make a craft to take home! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is Pay What You Wish.

Tea and Tour Sundays 

Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m.
There's a seat for you at the harvest table in the historic kitchen on Sunday afternoons this winter. Relax and have a chat over tea and homemade cookies. Enjoy a tour of this lovely, 1850s farmhouse. Included with regular admission.

 

 

Keeping You In Stitches – Knitting and Crochet Sunday Socials

Every Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Join us in the parlour for a relaxing afternoon of knitting and crocheting. All ages and skill levels are welcome! Bring your own projects from home or try out one of our fun patterns and add something to our #yarnbomb. Extra needles, hooks, corkers, and yarn for practice and experimentation will be available. It is FREE to participate, however, donations are always welcome.

Pay What You Wish Thursday Night Socials

Open to 5 to 8 p.m.
The last Social for this year is on December 19.
We will resume our weekly Thursday get-togethers on January 16
Enjoy a relaxing, social evening 1850s style. Have some tea and sit by the fire in the kitchen, play board games and chat with neighbours and friends. Drop by the community quilt group and see what they are creating – add a stitch or two, if you wish. Children may explore hands-on activities and crafts. Activities will vary each week and we welcome your ideas and suggestions for future Thursdays. Admission is pay-what-you-wish.

Thursday Board Games Night – For All Ages
The First Thursday of each month
6 to 8 p.m. Part of our Pay-What-You-Wish Thursday Nights.
The Gibson family didn't have cable, a phone or wi-fi, so what did they do when the chores were done? They played games! Finished your work and chores for the day? Then come to the museum to play the featured games of the month as well as the classic games in the Discovery Gallery.


Located at 1091 Finch Ave. East, east of Leslie, this beautifully restored, one-room schoolhouse is available to groups and schools for pre-booked progams. Call 416-395-7435 for details.

Suburban Steam: A Steampunk Fair for the Whole Family! - Aug. 23

Suburban Steam at SS No. 12
Saturday, August 23, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A retro-futuristic community festival celebrating all things Steampunk!

Harken back to a time ushered in by the Industrial Revolution but before the light bulb, when worldwide peace and prosperity created an era of tremendous scientific and technological innovation and a buzz of optimism.

Tour through an outdoor arcade of Steampunk vendors and demonstrations; enjoy hourly performances at centre stage; learn about Victorian and Edwardian-era styles and technological advances.  Take part in hands-on activities for all ages in the schoolhouse.

 For more information: facebook.com/gibsonzion or call 416-395-7435

 Admission: FREE! Donations gratefully accepted.

These are the events taking place at Mackenzie House. Contact us at 416-392-6915 or machouse@toronto.ca

 

Toronto: Street Level - A Photography Exhibition ON NOW

Exhibition on display until July 31
Toronto: Street Level is an exhibition of photographs by ten artists, created through a workshop led by Vincenzo Pietropaolo. The theme is street life in Toronto within a broad context of social justice. The goal was to document the humanism of the city from the perspective of artists with physical disabilities. In partnership with Tangled Arts + Disability Festival.

For more information and artist bios, click here.

Kids' Crafts Weekends - July through August

Kids’ Crafts at Mackenzie House
Saturdays & Sunday, 12 to 4:30 p.m.

Bring the family to visit the last home of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, then enjoy some kid time doing an historically-based activity. Regular admission applies.

 

Montgomery's Inn has been welcoming visitors for over 180 years. Join in events that celebrate theatre, music, food and the history of  Etobicoke. Contact us at 416-394-8113 or montinn@toronto.ca

 

Montgomery's Inn Farmers Market - Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday from, 2 to 6 pm.
Buy direct form local farmers and food artisans. Organic fruit and vegetables, cheese, bread and prepared foods as well as ethically raised meat, honey and more!

Montgomery’s Inn Youth Food Project - Thursdays - ON NOW!

A Program for Youth Ages 15 to 19   There's still time to join!
July 10 to August 21, Thursdays from 12 to 5 p.m.
Gain community hours, learn new skills and have fun. We'll focus on food, art, and gardening, and take field trips, too. Learn culinary and baking skills and get into preserving foods. Get trained in leadership skills, plus get credit for some community hours.

For an Interview contact:Catherine Campbell, ccampbe4@toronto.ca 416-394-6025

Romeo and Juliet - July 27, Aug. 1-3

Sunday, July 27, August 1 to 3, 7 p.m.
Join the Humber River Shakespeare Company for this classic in the park. Bring your own chairs. Admission: pay-what-you-can at the park. Patron information line: 416-231-3504

Community Summer Potlucks – July 30 & August 20

Hosted by the Innovators
Wednesdays: July 30 and August 20, 6 to 8 p.m.
(After the Farmer’s Market)

We invite you to bring some food to share. We'll bring a large communal salad. Why not pick up some veggies at the farmers market to add to it? Make sure to try something freshly made from the Bake Oven. Our community potlucks are all about meeting new people, enjoying good food and sharing our stories, recipes and rituals!

Please No Peanuts. Vegetarian Preferred. Labels for your food will be provided.

Interested in coming? Please RSVP to Catherine Campbell, ccampbe4@toronto.ca
416-394-6025

Thirsty Thursdays - July 31, Aug. 28

The Last Thursday of each month, 7 to 10 p.m.
On Thirsty Thursday Tavern nights at the Inn enjoy a glass of beer, wine, or a Thomas Montgomery specialty in our restored 1847 bar room! Montgomery's Inn. Irish stew, fresh baked bread and live traditional music. Admission is free! Cash bar, $5 for a bowl of stew, while supplies last.

Fret Not Ukulele Night - August 7

Thursday, August 7, 7 to 9 p.m.
On the first Thursday of every month, join us for a fun evening of music and song as Doctor of Music, Chris Wilson guides us through ukulele instruction with new and old tunes. Perfect for all skill levels. Bring your own ukulele, some spares available but they go fast! $15.

 

Bread Baking Workshops - Sept. 6 & 7

Two-day Workshop: Saturday & Sunday, September 6 & 7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

FEATURING: CHEF THORSTEN PANNEK
Chef Thor completed formal baking and grain milling training in Germany where he developed a passion for quality, whole wheat products more than 15 years ago. Currently, Chef Thor heads the bread baking program at George Brown College in the Continuing Education Department.

 In these workshops, you will learn about grains & milling methods, prepare a sourdough by hand, practice a variety of shaping techniques, then bake your bread in our outdoor wood-fired oven. Includes a light lunch & snacks. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring sun screen. Maximum 10 participants.

$350 plus tax per person

To register call 416-394-8113

The Arts @ the Historic Sites - Kaeja d'Dance - Sept. 13 & 14

Kaeja d'Dance presents
Stability in Transition
Saturday September 13, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday September 14, 1 p.m.
The history of Montgomery's Inn is re-imagined in exciting choreographed dance vignettes created and performed by the Kaeja d'Dance company.

Part of Animating Historic Sites: a partnership between Toronto Arts Council and
City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services.

Free event; space is limited.

Scarborough Museum hosts lots of family-friendly and fun events. Contact us at 416-338-8807 or shm@toronto.ca

 

July Weekends

12 to 5 p.m. 
One country, many people and friendships ~ let's celebrate all things awesome this month at the Scarborough Museum. Enjoy fresh baked goodies and share your story at the Communities Memories Kiosk.  Admission is Pay What You Can.

Summer JUMP IN Weekends!

Summer JUMP IN Weekends!
August Weekends  – 12 to 5 p.m.  

Hey, what's that buzz at the Scarborough Museum?   Sounds like the Scarborough Museum Youth Collective!  The youth invite you to join them in celebrating International Youth Day for the month of August. While you tour the buildings cool down with some fresh churned ice cream!  Admission is Pay What You Can.

Immerse yourself in the 1920s at Spadina Museum. Contact us at 416-392-6910 or spadina@toronto.ca

 

Simcoe Day at Spadina Museum - Aug. 4

Monday, August 4, 12 to 5 p.m.
Join us on the holiday Monday and take a themed tour entitled "Meet the Austins: A Toronto Family Between the Wars"at 12:15, 1, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15 and 4 p.m. Visitors will see the history of Toronto through the eyes of the Austin family, whose members made what is now Spadina Museum their home. Before or after your tour of the house, explore the grounds with the new audio-visual landscape tour that includes facts and images relating to the local and family history, geology and archaeology. The devices for the landscape tour can be rented for $5 plus tax alone or add an additional $2 to regular admission to rent the device and enjoy a tour of the house's interiors.

Weekday Tours at Spadina

Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 5 p.m.
During the week, Spadina Museum takes visitors on a tour of the house through the eyes of the prominent Austin family, whose struggles and triumphs were closely tied to those of Toronto as they entered the 20th century. Call for schedule of tour times. Regular admission applies.
416-392-6910.

Spadina Museum: Toronto's Downton Abbey - Themed Tour

Sunday at 1 and 2:30 p.m., May, June, July & August
Calling all Downton Abbey fans! Live the drama and opulence of the 1920s in a tour of Spadina Museum, Toronto's Downton Abbey. Immerse yourself in the world of the hit TV show as we compare and contrast the fictional life of the Crawley's with Spadina's Austin family.  The tour will take you from our simple servant quarters to a drawing room elegant enough to impress the Dowager Countess!

Call Spadina Museum to buy tickets in advance and avoid disappointment.
Adults $10 plus tax, Seniors $8 plus tax.

It's a Kid's Life - Themed Tours

Saturday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. May, June, July & August
Fun and games aren't just kid stuff in this fascinating, hands-on tour. Experience the sumptuous world of the Austin children, and all the rules that went with it, and the working class lives of the chauffeur's son and daughter. Live the life of a 1920s and 30s child through toys, games, school lessons and more.

Regular admission: Adults $7.96, Seniors/Youth (13-18 yrs.) $5.75, Children (6-12 yrs.) $4.87 (plus tax), Children (5 and under) Free.

Spadina Landscape Tour

Discover Spadina's historic landscape! This audio-visual tour includes facts and images relating to the local and family history, geology and archaeology. The devices for the landscape tour can be rented for $5 plus tax alone or add an additional $2 to regular admission to rent the device and enjoy a tour of the house's interiors.

The Market Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the St. Lawrence Market. Call 416-392-7604 or email marketgallery@toronto.ca

Toronto Does Her 'Bit': The Home Front in the Great War - Opens July 26

Toronto Does Her 'Bit': The Home Front in the Great War
July 26, 2014 to January 17, 2015

Using archival photographs, artworks and artifacts, this exhibition explores the texture of life on the Toronto home front during 1914-18. What was required from citizens to support the war effort? What were the consequences, both positive and negative, of that support?

Toronto quickly became a focal point for recruiting, training and sending men and women off to the war and then raising funds to support both the military overseas and the families left behind. The city’s productive energies were unleashed – from knitting circles making socks to massive new factories supplying munitions and ships – enabling women to assume new roles in Toronto society. These and many other issues are explored in this exciting new exhibition at the Market Gallery.

Look what's happening over the next few months at Todmorden Mills. Contact us at 416-396-2819 or todmorden@toronto.ca

 

Eco-Art-Fest - June 22 to Sept. 21

June 22 to September 21
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Toronto's Historic Sites, in partnership with No. 9: Contemporary Art & the Environment
launch the inaugural 3-month-long summer Eco-Art-Fest at historic Todmorden Mills. The festival includes 8 public art installations by 7 artists, activities for youth and families and scheduled art performances. The goal is to bring awareness to environmental issues and to re-imagine how one learns about a historical site through contemporary art programming.

The featured artists include Dean Baldwin, Nicole Dextras, John Dickson, Sean Martindale, Ferruccio Sardella, Penelope Stewart and Labspace Studio (John Loerchner & Laura Mendes).

Visitors are welcome to explore the art installations and have access to the food and beverage area until 8 p.m. each day. On Friday and Saturday, after 8 p.m., a cover charge will apply in that section, as bands will be performing during the evenings.

Refreshments are available for purchase.

Educational workshops and art tours will be offered for a fee.

Sign up for daily activities such as

  • Watercolour painting and animal habitat workshops (for families - 12 to 2 p.m.)
  • Sustainable architecture and design workshops (for youth - 4 to 6 p.m.)
  • Clay stein and pizza making (all ages - 12 to 8 p.m.)

Paid parking is available on-site ($6)

For all the details visit no9.ca/ecoartfest

The Arts @ the Historic Sites - Voices in the Valley - On NOW

Voices in the Valley – A play presented by Words in Motion
Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., from July 13 to September 28
A Saturday performance has been added on September 27

This moveable, moving play is about three people who lived in the Don Valley through three different centuries. Time and place conspire to bring together Elizabeth Simcoe, William Helliwell and Charles Sauriol. With comedy and pathos, Voices in the Valley leads audiences towards an understanding of how the past and the present create our future through constantly evolving relationships between built space and nature.

Part of Animating Historic Sites: a partnership between Toronto Arts Council and
City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services.

Admission is FREE.

Appetizing August Wildflowers – A Guided Walk - Aug. 17

Appetizing August Wildflowers – A Guided Outdoor Walk
Sunday August 17, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Tour the grounds and nature preserve to see a delicious display of flowers! Learn which flowers and herbs the European settlers or First Nations groups included as part of a wholesome harvest. Refreshments provided after the walk.

Adults: $5.31; Youth/Seniors: $3; Children: $2; (plus tax)

On display In the Papermill Gallery

  • Istvan Fujkin

    Art of Music Vision
    July 18 to 27
    Istvan Fijkin’s work builds upon various styles and his uniqueness comes from his imagery, the techno-surrealistic metamorphosis of music into visual arts. He is inspired by familiar melodies and transforms music into high-tech images using traditional painting techniques. Visitors with mobile phones will be able to listen to the music that inspired the artist to create these pieces. For more information about the artist  and the show visit http://www.istvanfujkin.com/

    Admission to the Papermill Gallery is free.

  • Beach Guild of Fine Art 

    July 30 to August 10
    Twenty-two selected Guild artists are exhibiting unique large and small paintings featuring landscapes, cityscapes, abstracts, florals and still lifes created by using a variety of techniques in watercolour, oil and acrylic. For more information about the artists and the show, visit http://www.beachguildoffineart.com.  

  • Israeli Artists Group 5th Annual Show
    August 13 to 24
    The Israeli Artists Group of Toronto was established in 1992 by a small group of Israeli artists. It is comprised of visual and applied artists who work in a variety of media, such as: painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, calligraphy, photography and jewelry. The artwork showcased in the Group's 5th Annual Art Show reflects the variety and quality of its members' work.

  • Nora Camps August 27 to September 7

Click here for schedules, bios and more information

Yorkville by Peter Owusu-Anasah (cropped).jpg

Toronto: Street Level - A Photography Exhibition

May through July at Mackenzie House
Curated by the award-winning photographer, Vincenzo Pietropaolo.
Ten photographers share their vision of street life in Toronto within a broad context of social justice.