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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. 


Toronto's Great War Attic

The City of Toronto's Museums & Heritage Services will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First World War with various initiatives taking place from 2014 to 2018.

One such initiative is Toronto's Great War Attic, which will pay tribute to the sacrifices made during the war on the battle front and at home in countries around the world. The stories and keepsakes associated with those who made these sacrifices have been passed down to their descendants living in Toronto today. By documenting these stories and keepsakes, Toronto's Great War Attic will create a legacy for Torontonians for generations to come.

We will be hosting a series of 'Antique Roadshow' or Pop-Up Museum-style events throughout the city. Experts from the City of Toronto and York University will be available to gather stories; describe, photograph, and scan keepsakes; answer questions and provide insights; and assist with the uploading of material to the website.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, September 20
Sunday, September 21
Fort York National Historic Site – Visitor Centre Opening
250 Fort York Blvd.
1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 25
Mackenzie House
82 Bond St.
6:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 27
Historic Zion Schoolhouse
1091 Finch Ave. E.
1:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 28
Spadina Museum
285 Spadina Rd.
Time TBA

Sunday, October 5
Todmorden Mills
67 Pottery Rd.
1:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 18
Colborne Lodge
South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Dr.
1:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 19
Montgomery's Inn
4709 Dundas St. W.
1:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 13
Gibson House Museum
5172 Yonge St.
6:30 p.m.

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

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.

Myths and Legends Walking Tour - Sept. 7

Sunday, September 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Colborne Lodge staff lead a walking tour recounting the many myths and legends told about High Park. Meet at the benches across the road from the south side of Grenadier Restaurant. Tour participants will enjoy light refreshments at the Lodge at the end of the walk. Presented in partnership with's Grandparents' Day celebrations. Free, part of the High Park Walking Tour program.


The Howards of High Park – A Guided Walk - Sept. 21

In Association with Heritage Toronto
Sunday, September 21, 1:30 p.m.
Explore the life of John Howard, one of the first architects to come to York (early Toronto) and who, along with his wife, Jemima, founded High Park. See their home and gardens in High Park and other historical landmarks. Meet near the blue Colborne Lodge museum entrance sign at the south end of High Park, on Colborne Lodge Drive. Approximately 2 hours. Free, donations welcomed.


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

Summer at Fort York

Daily throughout August, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m.
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.


The Bliss Ball - Sept. 20

Presented by The Dilawri Foundation
Fort York Garrison Common
September 20
In benefit of the SickKids Patient Ameities Fund, the Dilawri Foundation will bring a star-studded list of personalities, celebrities, and philanthropic families together for the 3rd annual Bliss Ball.

For more information and tickets, please visit

New Fort York Visitor Centre Grand Opening - Sept. 20 & 21

Step through our new "front door" and celebrate the grand opening of the Visitor Centre with On Common Ground. This multifaceted festival of culture and community will animate the grounds of Fort York and the Visitor Centre with culturally diverse music, dance, theatre, multi-media installations, storytelling, crafts, kidzone, peacezone, greenzone, and local food. For more information, see the item below the museum event listings.

The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure - Sept. 27

The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure for SickKids!
Saturday, September 27 - All Day

Take on the challenge of a new adventure walk, unlike anything Toronto’s ever seen. The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure is a full day of FUN, designed so everyone and anyone can participate, from kids to kids-at-heart, 0-99 years young! Babies in strollers, gran & gramps, families, friends, co-workers and corporations.

Participants will become our ‘Campers’. Our teams will become Cabins. Join in a challenge-by choice walk along a planned route – all the way up to 20 km. It’s up to you how far you go. Play, make new friends, get creative, get sticky, sing and cheer at campsites along the way. All in support of SickKids Hospital.

Register online at or by phone at 416-4-4KEEPS(445-3377).

Please Note: Fort York will be closed to the general public all day on Saturday, September 27 for this special event 

Recipe For Victory – GREAT WAR FOOD SYMPOSIUM - Sept. 28

Sunday, September 28, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Keynote Speaker:
Andrew Robertshaw

Fort York National Historic Site, in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Canada, present a special food symposium that explores the fascinating history of domestic and military food and beverages during The Great War. The day will be filled with panel discussions, Great War-era cooking demos, including a re-constructed Aldershot Oven, period displays, butter-tart tasting with Elizabeth Baird and more! Guest speakers include Dorothy Duncan, Liz Driver, and Madeleine Kloske.

Our Keynote Speaker, Andrew Robertshaw, is  a noted BBC personality, military culinary historian and author of Feeding Tommy: Battlefield Recipes from The Great War, 24HR Trench and Frontline Cookbook, Battlefield Recipes from the Second World War.

For more information please call 416-392-6907 ext. 225

Pre-registration and payment required.
Early Bird Fee until September 12: $65. After September 12: $75.
Prices include tax.

To register please call 416-392-6907 ext. 221

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

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.

The Arts @ the Historic Sites - Sept. 20 to Nov. 20

Memories of the Future - Art Installation
Opening Saturday, September 20 and running until Thursday, November 20
Memories of the Future is an artist installation in Gibson House Museum. Artists have interpreted the museum and Gibson family history using perceptions of the present, memories of the past and possibilities of the future. This installation will include artist-led tours of the museum and walking tours in the local neighbourhood. Details and hours will be posted in late August.

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

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: 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


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.


Site Closure - September 2 to 8

Mackenzie House needs a little tender loving care and will be closed to the public September 2 to 8 for the work involved. The museum will be open again as usual for programs and tours on Tuesday, September 9.

Joining Spadina Museum at City Cider - Sept. 14

Sunday, September 14 from 12 to 5 p.m.
Visit the Mackenzie House table for information about our museum programs and the opportunity to print a special City Cider souvenir on our historic proof press! City Cider is presented by Spadina Museum in partnership with Not Far From the Tree. See the Spadina listings for details.


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


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, 416-394-6025

Community Summer Potluck – August 20

Hosted by the Innovators
Wednesdays: 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,

Jane Austen Supper Club - Aug. 22

Jane Austen Supper Club at Montgomery's Inn
Friday, August 22, 7 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Here's your chance for an actual taste of Jane Austen's world. Sit at an elegant table and eat the delicious and intriguing foods she and her contemporaries knew in the ambience of this authentic, 1800s setting. The evening will begin with a short talk on the nature of the Regency supper followed by a beautifully presented and delectable meal prepared by the Inn's historical cooks. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy a full Austen-era supper in a heritage site. Dress code: historical clothing is encouraged, but optional. Space is limited. Due to the many details that need to be attended to for each guest, we ask that you purchase your tickets by Friday, August 15 if you wish to take part in this special evening. Registration forms and other details can be found on

Call 416-578-1031 for other questions or further details.


Thirsty Thursdays - 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 - September 4

Thursday, September 4, 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. 

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


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


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.

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.

Atop Davenport Hill in the 1920 - Sept. 7

A Guided Walk
In Association with Heritage Toronto
Sunday, September 7, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The walk begins at Spadina Museum and ends at Winston Churchill Park, the corner of Spadina Rd and St. Clair Avenue. Explore Davenport Hill during a key transitional period - when it changed from a neighbourhood of grand estates into an area of suburban development. Free.       

Much Ado About Nothing - Starts Sept. 10

September 10 to 13, 17 to 20, and 25 to 27
8 to 10 p.m.

The Single Thread Theatre Company in partnership with Spadina Museum remounts a production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing set post WWI.  Follow the action as the performance utilizes both indoor, restored museum spaces and outdoor spaces. Tickets are $25 plus tax. 

City Cider at Spadina Museum - Sept. 14

Sunday, September 14, 12 to 5 p.m.
Spadina Museum in partnership with Not Far From The Tree present the fourth annual City Cider, an all-ages cider celebration featuring local food, craft cider, live music, fun for kids and hands-on workshops. Activities include cargo bike races, an observational bee colony, the Mackenzie House printing press, orchard tours and preserving demonstrations. $8 advance tickets, $10 at the gate, and free for kids under 12.

Advance tickets are now available online at



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

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


Eco-Art-Fest - On NOW

On until 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.)

Parking is FREE.

For all the details visit

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 (Excluding August 24)
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 Pay What You Can.

On display In the Papermill Gallery

  • Admission to the Papermill Gallery is free.

    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. For more information on the group, visit

    Nora Camps August 27 to September 7

Harvest Festival - Sept. 21

Sunday, September 21, 12 to 4 pm.
Celebrate the harvest season in the valley! Live music, historic recipes and tastings, children's crafts, outdoor tours and more! This is the last day for Eco-Art-Festival so enjoy the art installations as you wander the grounds. Words in Motion present Voices in the Valley, a moveable, powerful play that introduces three pivotal figures from Todmorden's history: Charles Sauriol, William Helliwell and Elizabeth Simcoe. (See listing above for details). Admission is Pay what you can to Voices in the Valley. Some activity and refreshment fees apply. Admission to the grounds is FREE.


Details - Schedules, bios and more information

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Fort York Visitor Centre

Free Grand Opening Celebrations - September 20 & 21

On Common Ground Festival
Music - Dance - Theatre - Food
Great War Exhibits - Art Installations

Visit for details.

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The Arts @ the Historic Sites this Summer & Fall

Be sure not to miss the Arts events at Todmorden Mills, Gibson House and Montgomery's Inn. Check the listings for details or click here. The image in the artwork above is from a photo by Zhenya Cerneacov. The dancers are Karen & Allen Kaeja of Kaeja d'Dance.

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


Recipe for Victory - Great War Food Symposium at Fort York

Sunday, September 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Early Bird Fee (Until September 12): $65 
Regular Fee: $75 (prices include HST)

In partnership with the Culinary Historians of Canada, Fort York presents a special food symposium that explores the fascinating history of domestic and military food and beverages during The Great War. The day will be filled with panel discussions, period displays and Great War-era cooking demos, including a re-constructed Aldershot Oven.

Click here for more information and to view the full event schedule.