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July 24, 2008
Free Simcoe Day celebrations at City of Toronto Museums on August 4 Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to join Fort York festivities
Ontario’s current Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable David C. Onley, meets Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe, on August 4 when both men attend a re-christening of the city in the place where Toronto was born, Fort York National Historic Site. Simcoe, who died in 1806, will be portrayed by Ken Purvis, a member of the City of Toronto’s Museum Services' team.

Troops will parade and be inspected by the lieutenant governors at 1 p.m. followed by tactical demonstrations (2:30 p.m.), ceremonial cannon firing (3:30 p.m.) and a flag lowering ceremony (4:30 p.m.). To mark the occasion the Fort York Guard will be augmented by reinforcements from Fort George and Fort Erie. It will be a spectacle to remember with ongoing activities all day long including cooking, blacksmithing, music and drill. This special holiday program of events is free from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Gibson House Museum is also celebrating Simcoe Day, where costumed guides welcome the public to the 1851 farm home of David and Eliza Gibson. Visitors can enjoy tastes of homemade ice cream, children’s activities, and samples of nineteenth century cookery in the historic kitchen from 12 - 5 p.m. Admission is free.

John Graves Simcoe arrived in Toronto in 1793 and re-christened it York, in recognition of the Duke of York’s victory over the French at Flanders. Simcoe later abolished slavery and laid the groundwork for Yonge Street, among other achievements.

Fort York National Historic Site and Gibson House Museum are two of 10 historic museums operated by Toronto Cultural Services. For details please visit

Fort York is located at 100 Garrison Rd. (north of Fort York Boulevard, Bathurst streetcar). Free parking. Contact 416-392-6907 or email for more information.

Gibson House Museum is located at 5172 Yonge St. (North York subway). Limited free parking. Contact 416-395-7432 or email for more information.

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 numerous 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, Program Development Officer, 416-392-6832,



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