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December 2, 2003
Joyful traditions and holiday fun at Toronto's historic museums
Celebrate the magic of Christmas at Toronto's historic houses. Throughout the
month of December, seven of the City's historic museums are decorated as they
would have been during the Christmas season long ago and offer creative
holiday-themed programming for adults and children. Special events, guided
tours and activities help draw connections between today's celebrations and
past traditions.

From tours of homes dressed in greenery and hot apple cider in historic
kitchens to crafts for kids and Christmas tales by the fireside, there is much
to explore during the festive season!

Take part in a wreath-making workshop in cozy Colborne Lodge's historic kitchen
and step back into Toronto's rural past at Gibson House Museum, an 1851
Georgian farmhouse, where visitors are welcomed with sights, aromas and tastes
of holiday foods. Sandy MacIntyre, with his group "Steeped in Tradition",
create an evening of toe-tapping Celtic Christmas music at Montgomery's Inn.
Hogmanay, a traditional Scottish New Year's celebration, is explored at two of
Toronto's historic houses; don't miss the Hogmanay activities featuring
Scottish sounds, tasty traditional fare and a visit from the first-footer at
Mackenzie House and Gibson House. Enjoy Christmas desserts by lamplight at
Scarborough Historical Museum and get creative by making Christmas cards using
hand-carved wood blocks at Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre.

For its second year, Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens presents Sharing
our Traditions: Cultural Holidays in Toronto. On Sunday, December 14 from 1 - 4
p.m. and Thursday, December 18 from 7 - 9 p.m., Spadina Museum, the restored
19th century home to Toronto's prominent Austin family, becomes the stage for
exploring the city's diverse history. This year, join the Chinese Cultural
Centre of Greater Toronto in an exploration of Chinese-Canadian holiday
celebrations, along with early Christmas traditions. Discover holiday customs
of two cultures all under one roof. Activities include storytelling sessions,
cultural cooking demonstrations, sounds of the season, creative crafts for
kids, sweet and savoury treats and much more. Call Spadina Museum at
416-392-6910 for complete details.

Festive activities run throughout the month of December and most extend until
the first week in January. For a complete listing of Christmas programming at
Toronto's historic museums and holiday admission fees, call the information
hotline at 416-338-3888 or visit
Hours of operation vary at each museum; please call ahead for museum hours.

Media contact:
Kristen Juschkewitsch, Culture Division, 416-338-0495



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