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December 20, 2007
Celebrate the new year in Scottish style at Mackenzie and Gibson houses
Two of Toronto’s historic museums with deep Scottish roots - Gibson House and Mackenzie House - throw open their doors the last week of December with Hogmanay, a Scottish-style New Year celebration. Visitors are invited to discover Hogmanay traditions, enjoy delicious Scottish food and the music of Ontario’s early Scottish settlers.

Gibson House Museum, located at 5172 Yonge St., hosts two Hogmanay events. Stroke of Midnight is a candlelit, licensed evening that features robust Scottish food and drink, and the songs and stories of old Ontario performed by Ian Bell and Geoff Somers. Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29 from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 (GST included) and reservations are required.

A Taste of Hogmanay, Gibson House’s drop-in afternoon program, offers activities for the whole family, including delicious traditional Scottish holiday treats and the opportunity to make a Hogmanay craft to take home. It will be held on Sunday, December 30 from noon to 5 p.m. Admission prices: adults $4.25; seniors and students $2.75; children $2.25. Call Gibson House at 416-395-7432.

Mackenzie House, located at 82 Bond St., hosts a traditional 1800s “open-house” style party. Visitors will taste Scottish food, hear traditional band Gin Lane, and take a gaslight tour of the historic house that has been decorated for the holidays. The Hogmanay celebration takes place Friday, December 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. Reservations are required. Call Mackenzie House at 416-392-6915.

Mackenzie House was the last home of William Lyon Mackenzie - Toronto’s first mayor, newspaper publisher and leader of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion. Also on-site is a recreated print shop and exhibit gallery. The exhibit featured during the holiday season is While the Cold Winds Blow - The Festive Season in Toronto, which introduces visitors to culturally diverse celebrations of the festive season.

Gibson House Museum tells the dramatic tale of David and Eliza Gibson whose lives were caught up in the Upper Canada Rebellion, and were later forced to live in exile in the United States. This home was built after the family’s return to their Willow Dale farm. Both museums are operated by City of Toronto Culture. For details about Toronto’s 10 historic sites, visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:

Christopher Jones, Museum and Heritage Services, 416-392-6832,



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