Toronto historic sites events Aug. 11-24

Ilena Aldini-Messina —

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

BEATLES 50 T.O. Week
August 13 to 21, 2016

The Beatles played Toronto for the last time on August 17, 1966, a significant date for Torontonians because twelve days later they announced the end of touring as the Beatles.

A highlight of BEATLES 50 T.O. Week is a 50th-anniversary concert at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens).  Classic Albums Live will perform the 1966 set list plus Beatles classics.  Tickets are $50. for the 50th anniversary.  During the week there are events almost every day – from walks to a 60s-themed fashion show (part of TOM*,Toronto Men’s Fashion Week).

To mark the 50th anniversary of the final Toronto concert, City of Toronto Museums & Heritage Services is collaborating with curators, collectors, musicians, community partners and sponsors to create ’60s-themed events and the exhibit, When the Beatles Rocked Toronto, on now until November 12, 2016 at the Market Gallery, St. Lawrence Market.

For information on concert tickets and other events, visit

COLBORNE LODGE  South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Drive

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Limited free parking 416-392-6916

Thursday Evenings at the Lodge

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.


The Brain Project presented by Telus

Continues until 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.


Hours: Monday to Sunday: 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. Paid Parking off Strachan Ave. or Garrison Road

Off Fleet Street 416-392-6907

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. Regular admission.

Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival

On the Garrison Common, Saturday, August 13

The Vegan Food and Drink Festival is Toronto’s first-ever all vegan festival catering to a 19+ crowd. Attendees can indulge and sample the very best in comfort food, craft brews, wine and spirits from a variety of reputable vegan vendors.

First World War Comes to Life

Saturday and Sunday, August 13 & 14

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This fully-animated exhibit explores the lesser known wartime contributions of the Canadian men and women who served beyond the trenches, both at home and overseas. From home front relief efforts and wartime production to frontline communications and medical aid, the exhibit offers a series of dynamic displays and activities for visitors to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a world behind the front lines.

Visitors of all ages are invited to engage with live costumed interpreters and explore how they too can contribute to the war effort:

  • Join a victory rally and ‘knit your bit’ for the boys on the front
  • Explore the inside of a 1918 Ford Ambulance and train for your First Aid Nursing certificate
  • Keep the lines of communication open and send a message by carrier pigeon
  • Sow the seeds of victory in your very own backyard war garden
  • Inspect the handiwork of a munitionette and see if you are fit for factory war work

Generously funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage and Veterans Affairs, First World War Comes to Life is curated by the Victoria County Historical Society. The exhibit is currently travelling across Canada through to 2018 to mark the centenary of the First World War. While the project works to share collective wartime experiences from across Canada, the exhibit also highlights stories of local contributions relevant to each community it visits. Through these overlooked stories, First World War Comes to Life expands the definition of what it meant to serve and explores the legacy of this pivotal time in Canadian history. Included with regular admission.

Mad Decent Block Party

On the Garrison Common, Saturday, August 19

The Mad Decent Block Party is an electronic music festival that brings a beat-blasting block party to cities across North America.

GIBSON HOUSE MUSEUM  5172 Yonge Street, at Park Home Avenue

Limited free parking on site; nearby paid underground and street level parking.

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Regular admission: Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children $2.65 (plus tax) 416-395-7432

Family Yarns on the Gibson House Lawn 

Thursdays: August 11, 18 and 25, 6 to 7 p.m.

Join staff from the museum and North York Centre Library on Thursday nights in August for a summer evening of family fun. Enjoy stories, games and crafts on the lawn beside Gibson House Museum and Gibson Park. The museum is also open for self-guided tours. Admission is FREE, donations welcome.

Pay-What-You-Wish Thursday Night Socials

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.

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.

HISTORIC ZION SCHOOLHOUSE 1091 Finch Avenue East (East of Leslie)

Limited free accessible parking available behind the Schoolhouse; street parking also available. Take Trudy Road south off Finch to Angus Drive.

Accessible by TTC via #39 Finch Avenue East bus from TTC Finch station. 416-395-7432

Historic Zion Schoolhouse Suburban Steam Festival

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.


Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 12 to 5 p.m.

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

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

Ordinary Weather: An Exhibition of Contemporary Photography by Nathan Cyprus

Continues until Sept. 22
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

Continuing to the end of August

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.

Kids’ Crafts

Saturdays & Sundays, 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.

Play the Park

Wednesday, August 3, 12 to 1 p.m.

Bring your lunch to Mackenzie House and enjoy live, outdoor music provided by the Downtown Yonge BIA. FREE

THE MARKET GALLERY 2nd Floor, South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front Street East

Paid parking in the area. 416-392-7604.

When the Beatles Rocked Toronto

An exhibit about metropolitan life & music in the mid-60s

Continues until November 12
Tuesday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closed Mondays

It was 50 years ago this summer that the Beatles played Toronto for the last time. Inspired by this anniversary, the exhibit looks back at our city during the early sixties. A graphic timeline introduces visitors to an era when Toronto the Good became Toronto à Go Go. Three Toronto-inspired “rooms” from the early-to-mid 1960s focus on three overlapping themes. Explore How We Lived through a re-created ’60s suburban rec room. Discover Where We Played through a map of the Yonge Street and Yorkville music venues. Lastly, see photos, news coverage, films and memorabilia from When the Beatles Rocked Toronto.

Tickets on sale now! Available online and at the door.

Adults $10; Children, Youth (18 yrs. and under) and Seniors $5

For more information on this and other commemorative activities, visit

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.

Tearoom Hours: Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

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

Free parking  416-394-8113

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. $7.00 plus HST. No reservation required.

Montgomery’s Inn Farmers Market

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! Free.

Irish Culture Camp at Montgomery’s Inn – Ages 5 to 14
August 22 to 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This camp is an introduction to the whole Irish culture which includes language, singing, dancing, crafts, sports, music (including the tin whistle and fiddle). Children are grouped according to their ages. At the end of the week there will be a concert so parents and friends can see what they have learned. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $130.00.
To register or for more information contact or call 416-446-6993

Art Exhibition in the Briarly Room

Carole St Amand Solo Exhibition

Hooked Rugs – Not to be Stepped On

Continues until August 24

An exhibit that shows a centuries-old craft adapted to create modern and vibrant works of art, no longer for covering floors, but to be displayed on walls like any fine painting. Carole St-Amand designs and makes each piece by hand, using a hook as a paintbrush, wool as her paint and linen as the canvas. Imagination… the only limitation.

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

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12 to 8 p.m

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

August Family Weekends

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!

Get creative this summer at Scarborough Museum! Join in for some after-dinner fun, sure to excite and delight the whole family! Admission is Pay What You Can. 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

SPADINA MUSEUM 285 Spadina Road
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday and Holiday Mondays, 12 to 5 p.m

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. Paid parking next door at Casa Loma

The Etiquette of Downton Abbey

Spadina Museum: Toronto’s Downton Abbey

Sunday, August 21 – 1 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 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! Adults $10, Seniors $7 (plus tax).Pre-registration required.

Yoga on the Grounds at Spadina

Sunday August 14, 3 p.m.

This class will be led by Diane Grundy a Yoga Alliance Certified 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. In case of inclement weather, the class will be held in a sheltered area.

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

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday,10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday,12 to 5 p.m.

Regular Admission: Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children 6 to12 $2.65 (plus tax)

Children 5 and under free. Parking available on site


Summer Thursday Evenings

Every Thursday in 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 4:30pm.)

Appetizing August – An Outdoor Guided Walk

Sunday, August 21, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Tour the grounds and nature preserve to see a delicious display of flowers! Learn which flowers and herbs were used in the past as part of a wholesome harvest. Refreshments provided after the walk.

Adults: $7.08; Youth/Seniors: $4.42; Children: $3.76; (plus tax)