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April 9, 2013
Spadina Museum and VisionTV launch Downton Abbey themed tour
The City of Toronto's Spadina Museum in partnership with VisionTV/ZoomerMedia hosted a media preview event today to launch the museum's new Downton Abbey themed tour. Forty contest winners began the tour in the third floor servants' rooms, which have been furnished and opened to the public for the first time.

"City initiatives like these broaden the appeal of Toronto's historic sites and make their unique stories more engaging and accessible," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City's Economic Development Committee.

"Spadina Museum and Downton Abbey both, in their own ways, capture our imaginations about historic homes and the people who lived in them. This new tour is a creative and exciting opportunity for today's generation to time travel into our past," said Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22 St. Paul's).

The Downton Abbey tour takes visitors through the museum's family and servants' spaces and links the characters and events from the TV show to members of the Austin family. Four generations of Toronto's Austin family lived in the home that is now the Spadina Museum. The Austin family negotiated the transfer of the house, its furnishings and remaining acreage to the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario in 1978. Spadina Museum opened to the public in 1984 and was revitalized into its current form in 2010.

Spadina Museum's Downton Abbey tours will be offered to the public starting April 18 and will be available Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tours are offered with regular site admission. Information is available at 416-392-6910 and

The internationally acclaimed Downton Abbey is an award-winning British period drama television series which can be seen in Canada on VisionTV. Episodes air on Wednesday's at 9 p.m., Easter Standard Time. Season Three begins on April 10. Information on how to access VisionTV in your viewing area:

Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens is one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. Located at 285 Spadina Rd., it's Toronto's only museum to represent the 1920s and '30s. Visitors can view unique exhibits, artifacts, furnishings and original materials and explore the estate's restored 1905 gardens. For more information, visit

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Communications Coordinator



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