Toronto Historic Sites & Interpretive Centres
A trip back in time to the 1860s. See over 35 beautifully restored buildings. This village is particularly well known for its many craftsmen, who recreate such skills as blacksmithing, tinsmithing, milling, weaving and clock making.
This National Historic Site is the site where Toronto's first buildings were constructed. The famous Battle of York also took place here in 1813. The site contains the largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings in Canada. The eight log buildings contained here have been restored to their original state. Life as it was in the fort is depicted, and uniformed guards demonstrate military drills of the period.
This large natural environment park, situated in an urban-rural setting, is 11,600 acres (4800 hectares) in size. The Rouge Park provides low-impact recreational trails, the City of Toronto's only campground, and various historical sites and buildings. A partnership park, the park protects, restores and enhances lands within the Rouge watershed. An excellent example of the biodiversity of Southern Ontario, the park is home to many rare plants, trees, wild animals and visible geological formations.
The Grange House is the oldest remaining brick house in Toronto. The House, which was built in the mid-19th Century, is the home of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Today visitors can explore the grounds with a costumed guided tour.
Toronto's first free school was built in 1848, for poor Irish immigrants (only Protestants were allowed). Today it is used as a 'living history' for students to get a perspective of what school was like in the 19th century.
This Georgian farmhouse was originally built in 1850, with additions added later on. It is furnished in the style of the years 1850-1911. The home was the birthplace of James Shaver Woodsworth, crusader for the disadvantaged and founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (which later became the New Democratic Party).
This great example of a Georgian brick home was built in 1851. It belonged to the Gibson family. David Gibson was a Scottish emigrant who farmed the land, was a surveyor and also involved in politics. Today the house has many special events and workshops including hearth cooking, preparing Scottish food and gardening. Guided tours conducted by costumed interpreters are available.
This one-room house, built in 1794 by Governor Simcoe's estate clerk John Scadding, is now on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition. The home contains original furniture that belonged to the Simcoe family. The costumed guides demonstrate various crafts of the 19th Century including spinning and tatting.
A restored 1822 Georgian Mansion, Campbell House was originally the home of William Campbell, the sixth Chief Justice of Upper Canada. The home was moved from its original site in 1972. Now a museum, it houses a great collection of furnishings of the period and offers a glimpse into the early history of the Town of York, now Toronto. Costumed interpreters give regular guided tours.
The heritage buildings of Osgoode Hall are located in downtown Toronto and have been occupied by the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1829. The architecture of the structures is riveting - from the polychromatic stained glass windows to the entangled wrought iron fence. A visit to the library, thought to be one of Canada's most refined rooms, is a rewarding experience.
This heritage building was built in 1847. The restoration of Lambton House was the first project for Heritage York, and the house now serves as their headquarters. A good display of period photographs may be viewed.
This was the home of William Lyon Mackenzie - Toronto's first mayor. It is a typical row-house of the Victorian period, and is still lit by gas. There are changing exhibits in the gallery (a modern addition) and costumed guides give tours. There are also workshops and Victorian cooking demonstrations. The house also has a fully functioning 19th Century print shop, and an attractive courtyard garden.
John George and Jemima Howard were the original owners of the estate that is now High Park. Their 1837 regency cottage is now open to the public. Many of the original furnishings and paintings are on display. The coach house has two original period carriages. 19th Century cooking and craft workshops are held frequently.
Historic Zion Schoolhouse
The schoolhouse was built in 1869, and has been restored to how it was in 1910. The furniture and artifacts are all from the Edwardian period. The museum also has a library, which highlights the history of education in Ontario. Special group tours for children wishing to experience a typical 1910 school day are offered.