Museums

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What's On

Looking for an adventure in the City? From family-friendly activities, to engaging exhibits and tours, to outdoor walks and evening entertainment, you'll find fun things to do and explore at Toronto's Historic Sites!

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' final concert in Toronto! The Market Gallery hosts When the Beatles Rocked Toronto, an exhibit exploring Toronto in the 1960s - visit www.toronto.ca/beatles50 for details and tickets.


Events by Date - Calendar below

To search for events by date, click on our new calendar (below our regular listings). If you want to search by site, click on the Museum names below to see what's happening at that site. 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.

Regular Admission: Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children $2.65 (plus tax) 

Anarchist Workshop for the Maker Community - July 13

Wednesday, July 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
A satellite event of the Toronto Maker Festival! Enjoy an interactive evening at Colborne Lodge in High park - home of 19th century Toronto architect, surveyor, city builder, early adopter and all around tinkerer, John George Howard. Explore the Lodge wit the ropes down and the closed doors open – and a license to be curious. As a Museum Anarchist tell us what you like, what you don't like and what you would do if you ran the Lodge. Click here for details and to buy your tickets online.

Thursday Evenings at the Lodge - July through September

Thursdays, July through September, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
In the Park on a Thursday evening? Why not drop in and join us at the Lodge? Discover how the Howard's fulfilled their ideal of a romantic villa in 1837– building their country retreat from City life. Step through the French doors and enjoy the view as the Howard's did. Their lifelong love of the park ensured its preservation as a retreat for us all. Pay what you can.

The Brain Project presented by Telus - June 3 to Aug. 31

June 3 to August 31, 2016
Colborne Lodge is proud to participate in this fundraising project for the Baycrest Foundation and to stimulate discussion and awareness of aging and brain health. It will shine a light on age-related dementia, such as Alzheimer's and the need for more research into how we can maintain optimal cognitive well-being at any age. Colborne Lodge will host a brain sculpture created by an artist working in the medium of their choice.

Don't miss these great events at Fort York. Contact us at 416-392-6907 or fortyork@toronto.ca
Regular Admission: Adults $7.96, Seniors/Youth $4.87, Children $3.76 (plus tax)
Children 5 years and under are free. Special event ticket prices may apply for certain events.

The Brain Project presented by Telus - Until Aug. 31

Continues until August 31
Fort York is proud to participate in this fundraising project for the Baycrest Foundation and to stimulate discussion and awareness of aging and brain health. It will shine a light on age-related dementia, such as Alzheimer's and the need for more research into how we can maintain optimal cognitive well-being at any age. Fort York will host a brain sculpture created by an artist working in the medium of their choice.

Bruno Billio's Tri-Mirror Sculpture - On display June 30 to July 4

On display June 30 to July 4 - Check out Bruno Billio's Tri-Mirror Sculpture when you visit Fort York on Canada Day!

Curated by Magda Gonzalez Mora

Tri-Mirror Sculpture by Canadian artist Bruno Billio provides a playful public art installation to celebrate the Canada Day long weekend.

Throughout his career, Bruno Billio has distinguished himself for creating unique installations that activate well-known public spaces—hotels, churches, squares, public facades and fortresses. His work process, which results in innovative and monumental artworks often manage to captivate and surprise the viewer.

Billio believes in the intimate relationship between art, the individual and nature. His work mirrors this ideal by referencing an endless flow of energy, repurposing personal items and everyday objects, and stimulating specific sites in spontaneous forms.

Tri-Mirror Sculpture is an evocative and interactive artwork, consisting of thirteen mirrored triangular structures that stand at eight feet high over a grassy field; each side of the triangles is four feet wide. Historic Fort York becomes the ideal scenario for this installation. Here reality and its reflection collide as people walk though the mirrored architecture. The artwork, activated—or rather completed—by the audience’s experience, promises to challenge the viewer’s perception of their surroundings, and the multiplicity of roles that we play within the City of Toronto.

Tri-Mirror Sculpture maps the possibility of a new place that allows for the revisitation and exploration of the pathways of Toronto’s history. Through the juxtaposition of reality and reflection, the piece alludes to the coexistence of past, present and future that is at play in the space that hosts this installation. Moreover, it invites us to reflect on the rapid growth of our city and the roads that are still to be explored.

Billio is particularly interested in collective experiences and the ways in which his work is perceived by groups of people. Following on the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp, Billio considers his installation to be only the conduct to a larger process, and surrenders the ability to complete the artwork to the viewer.

A sense of displacement emanates from Tri-Mirror Sculpture and as a result, we witness the appearance of an open, neutral, yet deeply engaged space: neither the artist, nor any of the attendees can control the social interactions that will occur within the installation. Tri-Mirror Sculpture is playful piece, which reciprocally modulates their relationships. It reflects multiple behaviors, expressions of singular generations, philosophies, religions and cultures that conform Canada today.

Canada Day @ Fort York - July 1 - FREE!

Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FREE
Spend Canada's special day at Fort York, the birthplace of urban Toronto! The Fort's Summer Guard kick off the season performing musket and artillery drill as well as fife and drum music. Canada Day 2016 features Toronto artist Bruno Billio's Tri-Mirror Sculpture Field – a playful maze of mirrors to explore outdoors on the grounds of Fort York! Kids can also enjoy various take-away crafts, face-painting, hula-hooping and storytelling sessions! Grab a Fort York temporary tattoo and your own Canadian flag to show your pride! Enjoy the varied tours, bring a picnic and learn the exciting story of this National Historic Site.

This free Celebrate Canada event is supported by a grant from the Government of Canada

The Summer at Fort York - Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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.

Regular admission: Adults: $7.96, Seniors (65 +): $4.87, Youth (13-18 yrs.): $4.87
Children (6-12yrs): $3.76 (plus tax), Children 5 and under are Free

Panorama - July 31 & August 1

Sunday, July 31 & Monday, August 1
Hours TBD
Family friendly events for the Caribbean Carnival weekend. Outdoor picnic, great food, Caribbean dance performances, Soca music, and a spectacular steel band competition, including youth bands, award winning Toronto ensembles Pan Fantasy Steelband and Afropan Steelband, plus special guests Fusion Steel Orchestra direct from Trinidad.

Presented by Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, Pan Arts Network, and Fort York.

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
Regular Admission: Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children $2.65 (plus tax)

Neighbours: The Gibson Family and their Community - On Now

June 1 to Fall 2016
The Gibson Family lived in Willowdale, one of many small farming communities that grew to become part of modern day Toronto. Meet the Gibsons' neighbours and explore how these communities developed in the 19th century and beyond.

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.

Community Quilt Group Get-togethers

Thursdays, 6 to 8 p.m.
Relax and meet new friends while you improve your sewing skills. We invite members of all ages from North York's diverse communities to join us for informal evenings of learning and sharing. Both historic and contemporary quilting techniques are explored in a comfortable, social setting. Work on a group project or pay a small fee for materials and make your own piece. Even if you have never picked up a needle and thread before you are welcome to join in. It is FREE to participate; however, donations are always welcome.

Pay What You Wish Thursday Night Socials

Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m.
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
Last 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.

Zion Schoolhouse interprets its history as a rural, one-room schoolhouse for children from Kindergarten to Grade 8, focusing on the year 1910. Contact us at zionschool@toronto.ca  416-395-7432.

Zion Schoolhouse is available for school groups and group bookings. We invite the general public to visit us during special events such as Family Day and Doors Open Toronto.

Catherine's Creed Performances by Live History Theatre Company - July 30 & 31

Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31
Matinee at 4:30 p.m. (includes refreshments at 4 p.m.)
Evening at 7:30 p.m. (includes a light supper at 7 p.m.)
This interactive show transports you back in time to a funeral reception in 1907. The audience is drawn into a dramatic adventure with Catherine – a strange and slightly foul character. Experience the historic ambiance of the one-room schoolhouse while gathering clues and solving the puzzles left by the deceased to find a hidden treasure and set Catherine free.

$15 per person plus tax for matinee performance; $25 per person plus tax for evening.

Tickets on sale now - click here!

Please Note: You are being redirected to a third party site. All personal data collected will be the sole responsibility of the ticket company. To review the City of Toronto's privacy policy click here.

Suburban Steam Festival - August 20

Saturday, August 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A retro-futuristic community festival celebrating all things Steampunk! Enjoy a day of historical make-believe in an authentic 1910 Edwardian Schoolhouse. Join us for an exciting day of Steampunk family fun, with entertainment, performers and merchants to delight the senses! Tour through an outdoor arcade of Steampunk vendors and demonstrations; enjoy ongoing performances at centre stage; learn about Victorian- and Edwardian era fashions and technological advances; and try out steampunk-themed crafts for all ages in the schoolhouse.

Admission is FREE. Donations gratefully accepted.

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

Regular Admission: Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children: $2.65 (plus tax)
Children (4 and under): Free

An Exhibition of Contemporary Photography by Nathan Cyprus - Until September 22

Ordinary Weather: An Exhibition of Contemporary Photography by Nathan Cyprus
Continues until September 22, Noon to 5 p.m.
Part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
There is a sense of wonder in our surroundings that seems to only truly manifest itself when we become tourists in an unfamiliar landscape. In Ordinary Weather, emerging photographer Nathan Cyprus questions this lack of wonder in our everyday surroundings. Setting out to explore Toronto by bicycle, he finds a city in transition and discovers the awareness which he sought, but is so often ignored, is in actuality ever available.

Regular admission applies.

The Brain Project presented by Telus - Until Aug. 31

Continues until August 31
Mackenzie House is proud to participate in this fundraising project for the Baycrest Foundation and to stimulate discussion and awareness of aging and brain health. It will shine a light on age-related dementia, such as Alzheimer's and the need for more research into how we can maintain optimal cognitive well-being at any age. Mackenzie House will host a brain sculpture created by an artist working in the medium of their choice.

10 Minute Talks: A Very Short History of LGBT Issues in Toronto - June 29

Wednesday, June 29, 7 to 9 p.m.
In Celebration of Pride Month
Join us for four micro talks that will explore the history of LGBT issues in Toronto. The atmosphere will be casual and intimate as the talks will occur throughout the home of Toronto's Rebel Mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. Refreshments and stimulating conversation included! Tickets are limited.  Don't miss out! $15/person. Click here for event details and speaker bios

Canada Day: Put a Maple Leaf on It - July 1 to 3

July 1 to 3, 12 to 5 p.m.
Celebrate Canada's 149th birthday with a visit to Mackenzie House! On Canada Day weekend, use our 1845 press to print a Maple Leaf on a postcard, a poster or a fabric patch! Included with admission.

Regular admission applies.

Play the Park - July 6

July 6, 2016, 12 to 1 p.m.
Bring your lunch to Mackenzie House and enjoy live, outdoor music provided by the Downtown Yonge BIA. FREE.

Kids' Crafts - Saturdays & Sundays in July & August

Saturdays & Sundays in July and August
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.

The Market Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the St. Lawrence Market. Call 416-392-7604 or email marketgallery@toronto.ca. Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays.

When the Beatles Rocked Toronto - Exhibit on now!

June 18 to November 12, 2016
It was 50 years ago this summer when the Beatles played Toronto for the last time. In this exhibit curated by City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services, When the Beatles Rocked Toronto looks at the city in the early-to-mid sixties during a time of profound change punctuated by the Beatles' tours in 1964, 1965 and 66.

This exhibit is part of BEATLES 50 T.O. - a collaborative effort between City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services and curators, collectors, musicians and community partners to create '60s-themed events and programs celebrating this milestone anniversary. Visit www.toronto.ca/beatles50 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 montinn@toronto.ca

Regular Admission: Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children $2.65 (plus tax) 

Worn With Pride - Exhibit opens June 30

June 30 to July 24
Worn With Pride at Montgomery's Inn showcases artifacts from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, including t-shirts, posters and pins from across Canada. 

Opening Reception:
Join us on June 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. for an opening reception and one-night community pop up museum! The opening coincides with our monthly Thirsty Thursdays tavern night at the Inn. Wear a t-shirt or bring a flag that has meaning to you, and help us bring back memories, inspire stories and spur conversations.

Guided Tours:
A volunteer from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives will be offering tours of the exhibit on the following dates:

Sunday July 10, 2 to 4 p.m.
Sunday July 17, 2 to 4 p.m.

Tea Time at the Inn - Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.

Sundays: Starting June 7, 1 to 4 p.m.
Special weekly tea in our community room. Choice of sweet or savoury plate, with a seasonal feature. $7 plus tax. No reservation required, just drop in.

Fret Not Ukulele Night - First Thursday of every month

Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m.
Our monthly ukulele gathering – the first Thursday of every month, with Doctor of Music instructor Chris Wilson. Come, sing, laugh, and make music. Bring your uke, but if you're just testing the waters and don't yet own one, let us know and we'll loan you one for the night. $15 per person.

Thirsty Thursday Tavern Night - Last Thursday of the month

The Last Thursday of each month from 7 to 10 p.m.
Enjoy a glass of beer, wine, or a Thomas Montgomery specialty in our restored 1847 bar room! Order Irish stew, fresh baked bread and tap your toes to live traditional music. Admission is pay-what-you-wish. Cash bar, $5 for a bowl of stew, while supplies last.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - July 24, 29, 30 & 31

July 24, 29, 30, and 31, 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

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

Hours
Wednesdays, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday &  Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 12 to 4 p.m.

Admission Pay what you can

Walking Together - Exhibit on now

An exhibition inspired by the poignant stories of loss and courage shared by survivors of the Mohawk Institute, a residential school from 1831 to 1969. Featuring mixed-media artwork by First Nations students from Pauline Johnson Collegiate Vocational School, Brantford, Ontario, the project is the culmination of an inter-generational community arts program coordinated by the Woodland Cultural Centre.

Super Fun P.A. Day Camp - Ages 5 to 12 - June 30

Thursday, June 30, 9 to 4 p.m.

Course Code: 2807944

Scarborough Museum is the boredom buster for P.A. days! Bake over the open hearth, make crafts, play games, and explore Thomson Memorial Park. Lunch Included. Ages 5-12. Pre-register online at www.toronto.ca/torontofun or call 416-338-4FUN

$37.20 per child. Extended care 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. $2.90; 4 to 5 p.m. $2.90.

Canada Day Celebrations - July 1

Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Try your hand at croquet, sample historic foods, and get into karaoke singing. Annual pie-eating contest participants wanted! This is a Celebrate Canada event funded in part by the Government of Canada and sponsored by Tim Hortons. Admission is FREE.

July Family Weekends - 12 to 5 p.m.

July Family Weekends - 12 to 5 p.m.
Great family friendly activities with something new and exciting each weekend to do, taste and create!! Admission is Pay What You Can.

"Get Creative" Summer Evenings! Tuesday to Sunday all Summer

Tuesday to Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m.
Get creative this summer at Scarborough Museum! Join in for some after dinner fun, sure to excite and delight the whole family! Check out what's happening:

Tuesdays – Get Your Tune On music night

Wednesdays - Get Your Game On game night

Thursdays- Get Moving dance night

Fridays – Get Relaxing cottage in the City night

Saturdays – Get Funky art night

Sundays – Get Your Salsa On Salsa night

Admission is Pay What You Can.

Contact us at 416-392-6910 or spadina@toronto.ca

The Brain Project presented by Telus - Until Aug. 31

Continues until August 31
Spadina Museum is proud to participate in this fundraising project for the Baycrest Foundation and to stimulate discussion and awareness of aging and brain health. It will shine a light on age-related dementia, such as Alzheimer's and the need for more research into how we can maintain optimal cognitive well-being at any age. Spadina Museum will host a brain sculpture created by an artist working in the medium of their choice.

Canada Day at Spadina Museum - July 1

Friday, July 1 – 12 to 5 p.m.
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 416-392-6910. 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.  

The Etiquette of Downton Abbey - July 10 & July 17

Sunday, July 10 and Sunday, July 17, at 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.
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 Crawleys 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!

Adults $10, Seniors $7 (plus tax). Pre-registration required. Call 416-392-6910.

Yoga on the Grounds at Spadina - July 17

Sunday, July 17 at 3 p.m.
This class will be led by certified yoga instructor Diane Grundy, who has been practicing yoga and studying yoga philosophy for over 5 years. Diane is a Yoga Alliance Certified instructor (200 hours), who will be leading the class through a gentle/ beginner level of hatha yoga. Although the class will be at the beginner level, all levels are welcome. It is suggested that participants please bring a mat, towel, and water, and that they arrive at least 10 minutes before the class begins.

Classes are limited to 12 participants, and pre-registration is required call 416-392-6910. Admission for the class is pay-what-you-wish, and monies will be donated to the museum. In case of inclement weather, the class will be held in a sheltered area.

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

The Brain Project presented by Telus - Until Aug. 31

Continues until August 31
Todmorden Mills is proud to participate in this fundraising project for the Baycrest Foundation and to stimulate discussion and awareness of aging and brain health. It will shine a light on age-related dementia, such as Alzheimer's and the need for more research into how we can maintain optimal cognitive well-being at any age. Todmorden Mills will host a brain sculpture created by an artist working in the medium of their choice.

P.A. Day Family Fun! - June 30

Thursday June 30, 12 to 4 p.m.
Have a great time with your family in this great location in the heart of the City! Join us for a family craft and a guided tour of our 1940s Cottage.

Regular admission applies.

Adult $6.19, Seniors (65+): $3.54, Youth (13-18 yrs.): $3.54, Child (6-12 yrs.):$2.65 (plus tax)
Children (5 yrs. and under): Free

Summer Thursday Evenings - June, July & August

Every Thursday in June, July and August, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
We're open late on summer Thursdays – drop in and unwind! Take a stroll in the Wildflower Preserve, check out the latest art show in the Papermill Gallery, try a retro board game, or explore your artistic side with colouring for all ages. Free admission. (Please note: Tours of our historic houses are not offered after 4:30p.m.)

In the Papermill Theatre - July

Driftwood Theatre presents Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew
Friday July 8, 7:30 p.m.
Driftwood Theatre begins their annual Bard's Bus Tour with a performance of The Taming of the Shrew. Admission is PWYC. Weather permitting, this will be an open-air performance; in the event of inclement weather, the show will be held indoors in the Papermill Theatre. Please visit www.driftwoodtheatre.com for tickets and information.


Chris Westfall… & The Porcelain Princess
July 21 to 22, 7:30 p.m.
A family magic show. This show will astonish and amaze. Baffle and bewilder. Will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. At the top of your imagination. This is Chris Westfall… & the Porcelain Princess! Please visit www.chriswestfallmagic.com/porcelainprincess for tickets and information.

Join Todmorden Mills at Stan Wadlow Park on Canada Day - July 1

Join Todmorden Mills at Stan Wadlow Park on Canada Day
Friday, July 1, 12 to 5 p.m.

Visit us at the Canada Day celebrations at Stan Wadlow Park and learn more about Todmorden's connections to the history of East York. Stan Wadlow Park is in the O'Connor Avenue and Woodbine Avenue area, at Cosburn Ave & Cedarvale Ave. Admission is FREE.

Calendar of Events