Museums & Heritage Services

HousesBanner_Simple.jpg

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 year, in addition to our regular programming, Toronto's Historic Sites will host some very special events and exhibits as part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday. You'll find these events and exhibits on our Canada 150 Museum Events page.

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. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Thursday Evenings at the Lodge

Every Thursday, May 25 to August 31, 5 to 8 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.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28,10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Frequent guided explorations of Colborne Lodge, last entry at 4:30 pm.
Colborne Lodge participates in this city-wide celebration of Toronto’s architectural heritage. Admission is FREE. 

Don't miss these great events at Fort York. Contact us at 416-392-6907 or fortyork@toronto.ca. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Toronto Festival of Beer Spring Session - May 20 & 21

Saturday, May 20 & Sunday, May 21, 12 to 7 p.m.
Toronto's Festival of Beer returns to Fort York Garrison Common with Spring Sessions on the May Two-Four Long Weekend. Great brews, tasty food and cottage vibes featuring acoustic Campfire Session performances from Elliott Brood and The Trews! Tickets available at www.beerfestival.ca

Victoria Day - May 22

Monday, May 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What better way to celebrate Victoria Day than to visit the birthplace of Toronto? Take tours, kids enjoy activities such as soldier's drill, see demonstrations of Georgian-era cooking techniques in one of the oldest kitchens in Toronto as well as English country dancing. Regular admission applies.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort York opens its doors for this annual celebration of history and architecture. Enjoy special tours of some of Toronto's oldest architecture and original War of 1812 buildings or stroll the grounds of this National Historic Site. Admission is FREE.

Artillery Day (in conjunction with Doors Open Toronto) - May 27

Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Join us for Artillery Day at Fort York and see displays of historic and modern guns from the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (Petawawa, Ontario), the 7th Toronto Regiment (Royal Canadian Artillery) along with Fort York's own on-site collection of original garrison guns from the War of 1812 and Victorian eras. Demonstrations, presentations and firing through the day. The Fort is also participating in Doors Open Toronto, the City's annual celebration of history and architecture. In addition to the Artillery Day programming, enjoy special tours of some of Toronto's oldest and original War of 1812 buildings. Admission is FREE.

Field Trip Music and Arts Festival - June 3 & 4

Saturday, June 3 & Sunday, June 4
Toronto’s boutique community music and arts festival will be headlined by celebrated Canadian music collective Broken Social Scene and international rock act Phoenix. Other highlights include Ottawa-based DJ crew A Tribe Called Red, Canadian indie favourite Feist, Portugal. The Man, Toronto's own BADBADNOTGOOD, Thundercat, and singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow. Children 12 and under are free with an adult ticket-holder. Single day tickets and weekend passes available at fieldtriplife.com

Please note: Fort York's historic buildings will be closed to the public from June 2nd to June 5th inclusive.

Taste of Toronto - June 15 to 18

Thursday, June 15 to Sunday, June 18
Taste of Toronto returns to the Garrison Common at Fort York, featuring an all-star cast of chefs hailing from some of the most influential restaurants in the city’s thriving culinary scene. A must-attend annual event for every Torontonian’s summer calendar, Taste of Toronto is excited to welcome this year’s special guest chef, television personality and restaurateur, Aarón Sánchez, to the festival. Tickets available at www.tasteoftoronto.com.

Please note: Please note that Fort York will be closed to the public June 19- 20. The Visitor Centre will remain open regular operating hours on these dates. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gibson House Museum participates in this city-wide celebration of Toronto’s architectural heritage with self-guided tours through the historic house, some behind-the-scenes access to artifact storage areas and an opportunity to learn how the museum documents, conserves and manages its collection of artifacts. Admission is FREE. 

Children's Tea - June 10

Saturday, June 10, Two sittings: 1 and 3 p.m.
A chance for your little ones to wear their party dress or bow tie and enjoy a tea party in Mrs. Gibson's parlour. Costumed interpreters serve tea, sandwiches & sweets in the setting of our elegant mid-19th century home. Enjoy outdoor games and Victorian toys before or after your tea. Pre-payment is required, $10 per person plus tax, children must be accompanied by an adult. Click here to purchase tickets.

Ongoing Programming and Recurring Events

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. You'll explore both historic and contemporary quilting techniques 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 welcome.

Pay-What-You-Wish Thursday Night Socials & Board Games Night
Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m.
Visit the museum on Thursday nights and take a self-guided tour through the historic house.  Relax in the historic kitchen with a cup of tea and learn about the Gibson family and history of North York. All ages welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult). Admission is pay what you wish.

Board Games Night - Last Thursday of the Month, 6 to 8 p.m.
As part of our Pay-What-You-Wish Socials, the last Thursday of each month is Board Games Night at Gibson House Museum. 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 challenge us to a game.  Check /GibsonHouse for our featured games of the month. All ages welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult). Admission is pay what you wish.

Tea and Tour Sundays
1 to 4:30 p.m.
There's a seat for you at the harvest table in the historic kitchen on Sunday afternoons throughout the year. Relax and have a chat over tea and homemade cookies. Enjoy a tour of the lovely, 1850s farmhouse. Included with regular admission.

Located at 1091 Finch Avenue East, this restored one-room schoolhouse interprets a typical day for students in 1910, in the rural community of L'Amaroux. The schoolhouse is available for group and school bookings. It is open to the public during Doors Open Toronto, Family Day, Suburban Steam and other special events throughout the year. Contact us at (416) 395-7435 or zionschool@toronto.ca

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Walk right into 1910 when you visit Zion Schoolhouse, which is participating in this city-wide celebration of Toronto’s architectural heritage. This is a great opportunity to explore this rare, one-room schoolhouse that is not usually open to the public. Find out what it was like to go to school when the area was primarily a farming community. Admission is FREE.

Suburban Steam Community Festival - June 24

Saturday, June 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Pay What You Wish

Enjoy a day of historical make-believe in an authentic 1910 Edwardian Schoolhouse at our retro-futuristic community festival, celebrating all things Steampunk with a special, Canadian flare in honour of Canada's 150th! 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 Canadian inventions during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, try out steampunk-themed crafts for all ages, and indulge in our Tastes of Canada snacks. This event is presented as part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday.

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

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed Sunday)
Last Admission: 3 p.m.
The Market Gallery participates in this city-wide celebration of Toronto’s architectural heritage. There will be a special St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and market history presentation with behind-the-scenes tour of the art vault, starting every hour on the hour, throughout the day. Admission is FREE.

Settling in Toronto: The Quest for Freedom, Opportunity and Identity - Until July 15

March 25 to July 15
The exhibit will explore how immigration and the experiences of new Canadians has transformed the city from the 1700s to the present. Through videos, oral histories, artifacts and historic documents; the exhibit will reveal the evolution of Toronto through personal stories of struggle, triumph, and celebration. This exhibit is presented as part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday.

More than sequins and a party: street story-telling and theatre at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival

An illustrated talk by Deborah Minott, costume designer
Saturday, June 3, 1 to 2 p.m.
FREE
Toronto’s Caribbean community created the first Caribana parade as a gift to Canada in 1967 for its centennial year. Fifty years later, Trinidadian-born costume designer Deborah Minott offers a behind-the-scenes look at 20 years of creating dazzling outfits for the annual festival that takes over Toronto every summer. In this illustrated talk, Minott will discuss the Carnival traditions that inspire her work and her love of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly called Caribana), and will reflect on her commitment to a transplanted Caribbean festival and her pride in sharing its traditions with future generations. Her talk features photographs and costumes and is presented by the City of Toronto in conjunction with the current exhibit at the Market Gallery, Settling in Toronto: The Quest for Freedom, Opportunity and Identity.  

Maple Leaf Forever: Toronto's Take on a National Symbol - Opens July 22

July 22 to November 25
This artifact-rich exhibition will explore how Torontonians have helped shape the maple leaf as Canada's leading national symbol over the past 150 years. From the Prince of Wales' visit to Toronto just prior to Confederation to the use of the maple leaf in commercial and industrial branding throughout the 20th century, Torontonians have forged close associations between the maple leaf as an icon and a source of identity. This exhibit is presented as part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday.

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. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Victoria Day Tea and Tour - May 21

Sunday, May 21, 1 to 4 p.m.
Celebrate Victoria Day with an afternoon tea fit for a Queen. Price includes a complimentary guided tour of the museum. All ages are welcome. First come, first served. $7 plus tax.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Celebrate this architectural urban adventure with free admission to the museum.Hourly trolley tours of the Islington Village Murals courtesy of the Islington Village BIA; live music courtesy of the Music Studio. Admission is FREE.

Neapolitan Connection Concert Series - June 24 & 25

Saturday, June 24, 2 to 4 p.m.
Gypsies & Folk Melodies
Folk tales may not always be true, but they can certainly come alive, when set to the right music! Please join us for a fanciful afternoon filled with classical music based on folk songs of composers from Classical and Romantic Eras. This whimsical music program will transport your senses for a one of a kind experience, where fantasy really does become reality!

Sunday, June 25, 2 to 4 p.m.
To Budapest and Back
The Gypsy Rebels return for a 2nd season with more Balkan beats and Klezmer tunes, bringing the concert season to an exciting climax!

Tickets available at www.neapolitanconnection.com

Art Exhibits at Montgomery's Inn

In the Community Room:

Gathering Around the Kitchen Table: A Dishing Up Toronto Experience
April 1 to 30, Opening reception March 30 at 7 p.m.
Curated by Anja Hamilton, Erika Robertson and Rachel Thiessen (Master of Museum Studies students from the University of Toronto) http://www.wardmuseum.ca/dishinguptoronto/

In the Briarly Room:

Alternative Fibre
April 1 to 30, Opening reception March 30 at 7 p.m.
Alternative Fibre is a collaborative exhibit showcasing the work of Barbara Hilts and Pat Wylie. The title of the show highlights the use of mixed media and textiles to create unique pieces that capture both artists connection to colour, texture and form. http://www.barbhilts.com/

Ongoing Programming and Recurring Events

Montgomery's Inn Farmers Market
Every Wednesday, 2 to 6 p.m.
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! Free.

Tea Time at the Inn
Sundays, 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, 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 every month, 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.

Etobicoke Historical Society Speaker Nights
Join us each month for this free Historical Society speaker series. For more information, or to become a member, visit http://www.etobicokehistorical.com/Thursday, May 27, 7 p.m.: Bianca Lakoseljac: "Stone Woman – a novel that relives Toronto's 1967 'summer of love'"

Scarborough Museum hosts lots of family-friendly and fun events. Contact us at 416-338-8807 or shm@toronto.ca. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit the Cornell House and McCowan Log House. Check out what's baking and go on an exciting scavenger hunt. Prizes for all! Free Admission.

Ongoing Programming and Recurring Events

April Weekends, 12 to 4 p.m.
April showers bring May flowers but you don't have to enjoy the park in the rain. Step into the Museum for flower inspired baking and crafts. Admission is Pay What You Can.

May Weekends, 12 to 5 p.m.
Tea time? Yes please. Pop up tea parties on the lawn as well as fun historic tea facts highlighted all month long. Admission is Pay What You Can

June Weekends, 12 to 5 p.m. 
Kickstart your summer at Scarborough Museum! Dive into world games and activities for all ages in preparation for Canadian Multiculturalism Day celebrations on June 27.

Canada Cooks! (Last weekend of every month)
Roll up your sleeves and bring history to life through conversation and cooking in Scarborough Museum's historic kitchens. Join museum staff and  youth volunteers as they combine a dash of recipe, a cup of oral history and a whole lot of collaborative cultural cooking, exploring how food and memory play a role in community building and cultural diversity in Canada.

Contact us at 416-392-6910 or spadina@toronto.ca. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spadina participates in this city-wide celebration of Toronto’s architectural heritage. This year's theme is Fifteen Decades of Canadian Architecture. By looking at our architectural, design and urban planning past, we can more easily look ahead to the next 15 decades. Admission is FREE.

Make a Fascinator Workshop - June 16

Friday, June 16, 7 to 10 p.m.
Get ready for Spadina's Gatsby Garden Party at this hands-on workshop. Create a special fascinator or headpiece to complete your 1920s ensemble. Enjoy a special evening tour of Spadina. Light refreshments. $30 plus tax; pre-registration required. Click here to purchase tickets.

Ongoing Programming and Recurring Events

Yoga at Spadina
Sundays, April 23, May 7 & June 4, 2 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 (200 hours) instructor, 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, by calling Spadina Museum, at 416-392-6910. Admission for the class is pay-what-you-wish, and monies will be donated to the museum.

Themed Tours: Meet the Austins
Saturdays and Sundays, 12:15 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:30, 3:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.   
See Spadina, and the history of Toronto, through the eyes of the Austin family, who made it their home. Business people, artists, socialites and philanthropists, the Austins were a prominent family whose struggles and triumphs were closely tied to those of Toronto as they entered the 20th century. Regular admission applies.

Spadina Landscape Tour
Discover Spadina's Historic Landscape! Our self-guided audio-visual tour of Spadina's 5.7 acre grounds includes historical facts and images relating to the local history, geology, archaeology and family history. The audio-visual 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 interiors. Regular admission rates are Adults $7.96; Seniors/Youth $5.75; Children $4.87 (plus tax).

Look what's happening over the next few months at Todmorden Mills. Contact us at 416-396-2819 or todmorden@toronto.ca. Click here for admission prices and hours of operation.

Herend Porcelain Painting Course - May 21

Sunday, May 21, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
An exclusive opportunity to learn how to paint by hand on an original piece of Herend porcelain led by an artist flown in from the Herend Porcelain Manufactory in Hungary. No previous experience is required and all registration fees includes materials, refreshments and a tour of the restored houses of Todmorden Mills. $35 (plus tax). Register online through Herend Canada: Morning class or afternoon class.

Doors Open Toronto - May 27 & 28

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last entry at 4:30 p.m.
This was once a small industrial community that provided lumber, flour, beer and bricks to the growing city of Toronto. Today, this City of Toronto Heritage site consists of four in situ structures: two historic houses, the former Brewery building as well as the renovated and fully accessible Papermill Theatre and Gallery. Adjoining the site is a 9.2 hectare wildflower preserve with a walking trail that explores a number of natural habitats, including: upland and bottomland forests, dry and wet meadows, swamp lands and a pond. Visitors can discover the lives of Toronto working families as seen through the two historic homes recently restored to the 1890s and wartime 1940s. Tours are scheduled for both days. The Papermill Theatre is only open on Saturday, May 27

Fabulous Felt Flowers Workshop - June 4

Sunday, June 4, 1 to 4 pm.
With just a few simple supplies and stitches, you can make amazing felt flowers! Create a corsage to add the finishing touch to your Fab '40s outfit, or a posy to adorn a headband, necklace, or even to top a present. A tour of our historic 1940s Cottage is included. Suitable for ages 10 and up. Pre-registration is required. $7 plus tax. Click here to purchase tickets.

In the Papermill Theatre

Amicus Productions present David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross
April 27 to May 6
Winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize, David Mamet's scalding drama is about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen grinding out a living by pushing iffy plots of land onto reluctant buyers in a never-ending scramble for their share of the American dream. Here is Mamet at his best, writing with brutal power about the tough life of tough characters who wheedle and wheel and deal for a piece of the action – where closing a sale can mean winning a new Cadillac but losing one can mean you're fired. For tickets, call the box office at 416-860-6176 or visit www.amicusproductions.ca

East Side Players present Norm Foster's Office Hours
May 26 to June 10
What do an overweight jockey, a desperate movie producer, a gay entertainment lawyer, a philandering agent and a Week-at-a-Glance salesman have in common? Ordinarily not a whole lot, but then again Norman Foster's Office Hours is no ordinary play. Foster is one of Canada's most popular playwrights and Office Hours is one of his funniest plays. Filled with snappy dialogue, witty repartee, hilarious predicaments, and lots and lots of laughs. For tickets, call the box office at 416-425-0917 or visit www.eastsideplayers.ca

In the Papermill Gallery

CAPIC Exhibition 2017 – Double Vision/Xposé/Rodeo
May 17 to 28
The Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) is pleased to present a trio of annual exhibitions showcasing photographers, illustrators, and image creators from across Canada. Xposé 2017 is shown as part of the Scotiabank Photography Festival and is a curated exhibition of photographic works by some of Canada’s leading image creators. Xposé curator Bob Carnie, owner of The Dylan Ellis Gallery in Toronto, maintains an international reputation for printing traditional and digital fine art for photographers, galleries, and museums. Double Vision 2017 is an annual competition and exhibition that pairs professional image creators from across Canada by random draw and challenges them to create portraits of one another. All entries will be on display at the show as well as the winners of the juried and popular votes. RODEO is CAPIC’s annual competition for student photographers and illustrators. Thousands of student image creators from across Canada compete for an opportunity to display their work, national exposure, and top cash prizes. Winning entries will be on display, showcasing the next generation of emerging CAPIC talent.

Toronto Watercolour Society
May 31 to June 11
The Toronto Watercolour Society is delighted to announce the upcoming 32nd Spring Aquavision exhibition. This eclectic show in Toronto’s scenic Don Valley opens Wednesday May 31 and runs through until Sunday June 11, 2017.  On Saturday, June 3rd from 1PM to 4PM please join us to meet many of the talented artists at the opening reception. This is an extraordinary opportunity to appreciate the works of some of Toronto’s finest artists and add to your collection. Come and enjoy one of Toronto’s most picturesque heritage properties and 100 TWS “Artist’s Choice” works, we promise that you will not be disappointed! 

Willowdale Group of Artists
June 13 to 25
Willowdale Group of Artists celebrates its 70th Anniversary with a Juried Show and Sale, featuring works painted by some of Toronto’s finest amateur and professional artists. Founded in 1947, The Willowdale Group of Artists has continuously met its objective of bringing together people with a desire to paint, and to provide them with inspiration, support and opportunities for learning.

Reception will take place on Wednesday June 17th from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. in the Papermill Gallery and will feature awards for Best Abstract, Best Landscape, Best Design, Best Figure/Portrait, and five Honorable Mentions.

For many years, the Willowdale Group of Artists has awarded and endowment to deserving students enrolled in the arts program at York University. Our 2017/18 recipient, Domenic Romano will be introduced to patrons and guests at the reception. Come and see many wonderful works in genres from realistic to abstraction, to impressionism and more.

Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with the City of Toronto Historic Sites

TOCanadaThumbnail.jpg

Canada150 Events at the City of Toronto Historic Sites

This year, Toronto's Historic Sites will host some very special events and exhibits. These celebrations are part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday. The program is Toronto's cultural love letter to the country, offering a rich tapestry of more than 30 City-produced events taking place across the city throughout 2017.

Calendar of Events