City of Toronto historic sites events Dec. 4 to 31

Ilena Aldini-Messina —

The City of Toronto Historic Sites present several events in December that provide enriching entertainment for all ages while connecting visitors to Toronto’s rich history. Visit for more information.

COLBORNE LODGE    South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Drive

Hours: Friday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday Admission:  Adults $7.08, Seniors/Youths/Children $4.42

Limited free parking  416-392-6916

Christmas at Colborne Lodge

On until January 4

Tuesdays to Sundays – Noon to 4 p.m.  Closed Mondays, Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1
Warm up by the hearth at Colborne Lodge and take in the sights and smells of a Victorian Christmas.  Enjoy the natural greenery decorations, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats.  The Lodge is nestled at the south end of High Park. Holiday admission prices apply: Adults $7.08*, Seniors/Youths $4.42*, Children $4.42* (*plus taxes)

Christmas Cookie Creation for Children (8 to 12 year olds)

Saturday, December 20, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Children will have fun making unique and tasty treats for the holidays in this historic baking workshop that uses a Canadian gingerbread recipe from the 1830s. While their cookies bake, participants will tour the house and discover Victorian Christmas traditions and stories. Participants will then take home the Christmas cookies they’ve made. They might even want to save a few for when Saint Nick comes to visit!  Pre-registration required. $22.50 + tax (includes supplies and a dozen cookies to bring home).

Christmas by the Hearth for 5 to 7 year olds

Sunday, December 21, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Youngsters enjoy the warmth of an historic Christmas by decorating gingerbread cookies prepared from an 1831 Upper Canadian cook book followed by an enchanting interval of Christmas stories from long ago, snuggled by the kitchen hearth. Afterward, the children will go upstairs to peek at the Howards’ Christmas tree and the presents underneath. Pre-registration required. $17.50 plus tax (includes light seasonal refreshments).

High Park Winter FUNshops for Kids

Mon, Dec 29, Tues, Dec 30, Wed, Dec 31 & Fri, Jan 2, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Looking to engage your 6 to 10 year old kids over the holidays? Sign them up at Colborne Lodge for four fun-filled mornings of preparing for the New Year!  Activities include playing Victorian games, crafts, an outdoor interlude and cooking over the hearth. Pre-registration is required, call 416-392-6916. Parents may book any or all mornings. $25 plus tax per child per morning, no tax if booking more than one morning.


Hours: Mon. to Fri.:10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Regular Admission: Adults $7.96, Seniors/Youth $4.87, Children $3.76 (plus tax)

Children 5 years and under are free. On-site parking available.  416-392-6907

Frost Fair

Saturday and Sunday, December 6 & 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fort York celebrates the winter season with a Frost Fair! Imagine yourself transported back in time to the early 19th century, where the local Christmas Market was one of the social and shopping highlights of the year. Stroll through the historic buildings of Fort York where merchants will be selling their heritage-inspired wares and reproductions. Try your hand at one of the many activities scheduled throughout the day including children’s recruiting and drill workshops, period toys and games, military demonstrations, and printing your own Frost Fair souvenir on the Mackenzie House proof press. Regular admission applies.

The Holiday Season at Fort York

December 15 to December 31

Mon. to Fri.:10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy a visit to Fort York National Historic Site this festive season. Sample some baking from the 1826 Officers’ Mess kitchen and soak up the warmth of a crackling wood fire. Be sure to browse the Museum Store to find that special gift you won’t find anywhere else. The Museum Store features gifts suitable for all ages and interests. Regular admission applies.

 Gingerbread Make and Bake!

Extra fun for Kids at Fort York (ages 4 and up)

December 27 to 31 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

While you enjoy a tour of Fort York your kids can join the cooks in the Officers’ Mess kitchen to create traditional gingerbread cookies. In this hands-on workshop, kids will use period cooking utensils and tools to sift flour, crush cinnamon, cloves or allspice, pound sugar and grate nutmeg and ginger as they prepare an 1800’s gingerbread recipe. Samples can be taken home -if they last that long! The workshop is limited to 15 participants. Included with regular admission, sign up in the Museum Store when you arrive.

GIBSON HOUSE MUSEUM   5172 Yonge Street.

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Regular admission: Adults $5.48, Seniors/Youth $3.10, Children $2.62 (plus tax)

Limited free parking  416-395-7432


Gibson House P.A. Day Adventures

For ages 7 to 11

Friday, December 5, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sign your child up for a day filled with crafts, cooking, games and more!

Participants make their own hearth-cooked lunch in the historic kitchen.

Pre-registration and pre-payment required.

$30 plus tax per child.

Extended care is available 8-9 a.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m.

$10 plus tax for AM or PM, $15 plus tax for both.

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating

Saturday, December 13, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Sit by the fire and bake gingerbread cookies the traditional way. Take a tour.

Regular admission applies.

Festive Adventure! For ages 7 to 11

Monday, December 22 OR Tuesday, December 23, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A fun-filled day spent baking treats in the historic kitchen, making seasonal crafts, playing games and meeting new friends. Pre-registration required.

$30 plus tax. Extended Care available 8-9 a.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. $10 plus tax for morning or afternoon. $15 plus tax for both.

To the New Year: A Gibson House Hogmanay Dinner

Monday, December 29, and Tuesday, December 30

6:30 p.m.

Gather at the historic Gibson House for a special evening inspired by the traditions of Hogmanay. Share a scrumptious dinner with familiar and new friends. Be lulled by the fire and moved by the music. Take an imagined journey through story and drama to a New Year of another time. As the evening closes, come together with staff to welcome our First Footer, celebrate our 2014 season and bring luck and best wishes to Gibson House Museum for 2015. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. $55 plus tax per person.


Hours:  Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Holiday Season Admission: Adults $7.08, Seniors/Youth/Children: $4.42 (plus tax)

Children (4 and under): Free.  416-392-6915

A Victorian Christmas

Continues until Sunday, January 4

Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Dec. 25 & 26 and January 1

This festive season take a step back in time to Victorian Toronto and experience the magic of a traditional Christmas in an 1859 row-house.  Escape from the hustle and bustle while you enjoy a sample of mulled cider and a biscuit in the warmth of the historic kitchen. Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th-century Toronto as you tour the Mackenzie home dressed in greenery for the holidays.

Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth/Children: $4.42  (plus tax)

During the Victorian Christmas program, until December 24, children are invited to write a letter to Santa Claus during their visit.

Children love writing to Santa Claus to tell him about their Christmas wish lists. Select a card that has been printed on our 1845 printing press, and write a personal message. Drop the wish card into our magic post box for us to mail for you. Included with admission.

Kids’ Crafts

Saturday, December 27 to Sunday, January 4

Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Dec. 25 & 26 and January 1.

Bring the family to visit the last home of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, then enjoy some kid time printing in the recreated printshop and doing an historically-based seasonal activity. Adults: $7.08; Seniors /Youth/Children: $4.42 (plus tax)


Monday, December 29, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of Scottish music and foods at this traditional celebration of the New Year. The decorated house will be illuminated by gas and candlelight. Musicians Gin Lane will perform. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

Tickets: $22.50 plus tax. Please call 416-392-6915 for further details.

MONTGOMERY’S INN   4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 1 to 5 p.m., Closed Mondays & Holidays.

Regular Admission: Adults $5.71, Seniors/Youth $2.86, Children $1.90 (plus tax)

Free parking   416-394-8113

Montgomery’s Inn Farmers Market

Every Wednesday from, 2 to 6 pm.

Buy direct from local farmers and food artisans. Organic fruit and vegetables, organic wine, cheese, bread and prepared foods as well as ethically raised meat, honey and more! Free.


Fret Not Ukulele Night

Thursday, December 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.

A Christmas Carol

December 4, 7 p.m.; December 6, 2 p.m.; December 11 and 12, 7 p.m.; December 21, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Humber River Shakespeare Company presents the Dickens classic. Back by popular demand – this time as a full stage production – this holiday season staple is not to be missed! $20 adults, $10 children; tickets can be purchased on-line at

Carols in the Tavern

Friday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.

Get some Christmas Spirit in the Tavern while you sing some nineteenth century carols and sip an historic drink. $20 plus tax, savoury treats, mulled cider, cash bar for historic beverages. Pre-registration only.

Tea Time at the Inn

Sunday, December 7, 1 to 4 p.m.

Special monthly tea in our community room. Choice of sweet plate, cheese plate or seasonal feature with a different theme each month. $5.00 plus HST.

Fezziwig’s Family Christmas Ball

Sunday, December 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Suitable for children 7 and older, accompanied by an adult. Enjoy the seasonal pleasures of times gone by with this recreation of Fezziwig’s Ball as it appears in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Learn the simple, joyous dances of young Scrooge’s day, eat foods from his time, and listen to live traditional fiddle music. Includes a cold lunch and tour of the Inn, hot cider and cookies. Tickets must be booked by Monday, December 8th. Children $20, adults $24 including tax. For more details please visit or call 416-578-1031.

Jane Austen Christmas Supper

Friday, December 19, 7 to 10 p.m.

Dress code: historical clothing is encouraged, but optional. Here’s your chance for an actual taste of Jane Austen’s world. Sit at an elegant table by the fire and eat the foods she and her contemporaries knew, at historic Montgomery’s Inn. A blend of the familiar and the intriguingly different, these dishes show us a lesser-known aspect of her time. We hope that you will join us for the rare opportunity to experience a full historical meal within the walls of one of Toronto’s best-loved heritage sites. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, December 12. Space is limited.$45. Details at or call 416-578-1031.

SCARBOROUGH MUSEUM   1007 Brimley Road, just north of Lawrence in Thomson Memorial Park

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

Regular admission is pay-what-you-can.  416-338-8807

Festive Weekends

December  – 12 to 4 p.m.  

‘Tis the holiday season! Sample hot chocolate, and baked holiday goodies. We ho-ho –HOPE everyone enjoys their time here at Scarborough Museum this month! Admission is Pay What You Can.

Desserts by Lamplight

Saturday, December 13, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

A magical evening of lamp-lit rooms, decadent desserts and carolers. Space is limited for this special annual event. Early bookings recommended. Pre-registration only. Call 416-338-8807 to purchase tickets. Ticket price $20.

Super Fun P.A. Day Camp for Ages 5 to 12

Friday, December 5

9 to 4 p.m.

Scarborough Museum is the boredom buster for P.A. days and special school holidays!  Bake over the open hearth, make crafts, play games, and explore Thomson Memorial Park.  Lunch is included   Pre-register for these camps online at or call 416-338-4FUN (4386).

$ 33.50 per child  Course Code: 2650472

Extended care 8 to 9 a.m. and  4 to 5 p.m / $2.75 per

AM:  2345718

PM:  2345719

Holiday Baking Bonanza for Ages 5 to 12

Sunday, December 7, 1 to 4 p.m.

Bake holiday treats using traditional methods in the woodstove and at the hearth.  Kids take home a recipe booklet and selection of goodies to share with the family! Pre-register online at or call 416-338-4FUN. $25 per child. Course Code: 2650517


Holiday Camps for Ages 5 to 12
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Make 19th-century toys, cook over the open hearth, play games and enjoy lots of outdoor fun! Pre-register for these camps online at or call 416-338-4FUN (4386).

December 22 & 23 – 2 Day Camp $66
Course Code: 2650469
Extended Care
AM – 8 to 9 a.m. Course Code: 2345837 – $5.50
PM – 4 to 5 p.m. Course Code: 2345853 – $5.50

December 29 to 31 – 3 Day Camp $106
Course Code: 2650470
Extended care
AM – 8 to 9 a.m. Course Code: 2345722 – $8.25
PM – 4 to 5 p.m. Course Code: 2345723- $8.25

January 2 – 1 Day Camp $33.50
Course Code: 2650474
Extended care
AM – 8 to 9 a.m. Course Code: 2655185 – $2.75
PM – 4 to 5 p.m. Course Code: 2655187 – $2.75

SPADINA MUSEUM  285 Spadina Road
Hours:  Saturday & Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.
Holiday admission: Adults: $8.85, Seniors (65 +): $7.08, Youths (13-18 yrs.): $7.08, Children (6-12 yrs.): $5.75 (plus taxes)
Children (5 yrs. and under): Free.  Paid parking next door at Casa Loma

A Roaring Twenties Christmas

On until January 4

Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.

Closed Dec. 25 & 26, and Jan. 1

Experience a 1920s Christmas on a guided tour of Spadina.  Holly wreaths, garlands of evergreens and mistletoe festoon the house based on the memories of the Austin family grandchildren.  In the kitchen visitors will enjoy holiday treats made from original recipes and sip mulled cider warmed on the art deco gas range. Holiday admission applies

Flashman Returns! The Golden Age of Radio at Spadina Museum

Sundays: December 7, 14 & 21, 12 to 5 p.m.

Dec. 7, Shows at 1 and 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 14 & 21, Shows at 1 and 3 p.m.

Family fun is On The Air! Join us for a re-creation of a 1930s radio show – commercials included!  Watch the behind-the-scenes fun of a live radio comedy.

Admission: Adults $12, Seniors/Youth $10 and Children $8 (plus tax).

A Pop-up TOY Museum for All Ages
Sunday, December 7, 2 to 4 p.m.
In the Spadina Museum Media Room

Come and play at Spadina Museum this Christmas! Young or old, bring your favorite toy to this community-curated Pop-up! You can display whatever you like: dolls, blocks, musical instruments, games, or action figures – don’t be shy! Your object doesn’t need to be historic or collectable – what’s important is what it means to you. We will also be displaying vintage toys from the City of Toronto’s collection.

Whether you’re a kid who wants to show off your favourite toy, or a grownup looking for a little nostalgia, all ages are welcome. Think of it like show-and-tell, for grownups AND kids! While you’re here, enjoy Spadina’s cozy Christmas atmosphere and check out other events, such a live 1930s radio play and a childhood-themed tour. The Pop Up Museum is free. Admission to the museum, and the radio play, are Adults $12, Seniors/Youth $10 and Children $8 (plus tax).

Questions about this event? Feel free to email us at You can also RSVP to our Facebook event to invite your friends and help spread the wo


Bottom of Pottery Road, East of Bayview Avenue, West of Broadview Avenue

Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, 12 to 4:30 p.m.

Regular Admission: Adults $5.31, Seniors/Youth $2.65, Children 6 to12  $1.77 (plus tax)

Children 5 and under free. Free parking    416-396-2819

Miniature Gingerbread House Workshops

Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 2 to 4 p.m.

Build and decorate your very own holiday gingerbread house and learn about holiday customs from the past. Suitable for ages 4 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration required. $30 plus tax per house (maximum 1 adult & 2 children per house).

Christmas in the Valley

Sundays, Dec. 7 & 14, Dec. 20 to 23, 27 to 30, Jan. 2 to 4, Noon to 4 p.m.

December 24 & 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Experience two different eras of Christmas at Todmorden Mills as we explore the holiday traditions of the 1890s and the 1940s. Sample historic recipes, create a take-home craft, and join us for a winter-themed outdoor tour of the Wildflower Preserve.

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

In the Papermill Gallery:

Serendipity – The Eclectic Art of Lynda Pogue
December 3 to 14

Lynda returns to The Papermill Gallery in Todmorden Mills for the third time. Her popular shows are a stunning and affordable collection of eclectic art: everything from small watercolours to huge abstracts and enticing photography. Come and join the fun!

In the Papermill Theatre:

Alexander Showcase Theatre presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

November 27 to December 7

This unique production is a play of a group of radio actors in the late 1940’s putting on an adaptation of Dickens’ beloved tale. Sit back and watch the voice actors at radio station WAPR give life to Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and little Tiny Tim. Rediscover the Golden Age of radio as “A Christmas Carol” is presented in its entirety as a fully staged 1940’s radio play. Please call 416-324-1259 or visit for tickets.