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March 27, 2008
Media Advisory - Real lives, real stories: City’s historic museums join the annual Toronto Festival of Storytelling
The City of Toronto is proud to announce the sixth installment of Fabled City, a special segment of the 30th annual Toronto Festival of Storytelling. Fabled City takes place at Toronto’s historic museums on Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30. Some of Canada’s finest storytellers have created new tales rooted in the history of the city and told in the ambience of some of Toronto’s oldest buildings.

Saturday, March 29

One Stitch at a Time: Stories from the Spadina Garment District
More than 100 years ago Toronto’s garment industry had its beginnings on Spadina Ave. Join storyteller Fay Wilkinson (amidst the Market Gallery’s exhibit “A Common Thread: A History of Toronto’s Garment Industry”) as she brings to life stories of this fascinating aspect of Toronto’s history.
The Market Gallery (95 Front St. E., 2nd floor, St. Lawrence Market), 11 a.m. to noon.
Admission is free. Pre-registration is recommended as seating is limited.
More information: 416-392-7604,

Rallying for Reform
March 1834: David Gibson, surveyor of highways for the Home District, joins William Lyon Mackenzie as a Reformer in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. Three years later they were embroiled in the Rebellion of 1837. Sit in with Gibson (storyteller Bruce Carmody) as he meets with Mackenzie (storyteller Jeffrey Canton) in his downtown Toronto home to debate the issues of the day. Scottish refreshments included.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.), 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: $15 + GST. Pre-registration is required: 416-392-6915,
(Join Gibson and Mackenzie later in the day at Gibson House Museum for their meeting after the Rebellion)

The Truth About Navy Island
It’s March 1850, William Lyon Mackenzie (storyteller Jeffrey Canton) and David Gibson (storyteller Bruce Carmody) are finally back in Canada after their exile in the United States, piecing together what happened after the failure of the 1837 Rebellion. Join these two prominent rebels as they try to sort out the truth about Navy Island, the Flag of Truce, and other points of disagreement that lead to their friendship becoming one of the casualties of the Rebellion. The discussion continues over a hearty Scots dinner and a glass of hard cider in the historic kitchen and dining room of the Gibson farmhouse.
Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge St.), 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Price: $33 + GST. Pre-registration is required: 416-395-7432,

Sunday, March 30

Streetcar Wars - The Battle for Fort York
In 1813 Fort York was sacked by the American army, 100 years later it was threatened to be overrun again - this time by a streetcar line to the CNE. Join storyteller Chris Cavanagh for a recounting of the battle and intrigue that went from the streets of Toronto, to City Hall, to Queen’s Park and all the way to Parliament Hill. Dessert will be provided.
Fort York National Historic Site (100 Garrison Rd.), 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Price: adult $11.32 + GST; senior $9.43 + GST; child $7.55 + GST.
Pre-registration is required: 416-392-6907 ext.100,

John Howard: Founder of the “finest Park in the Dominion”
John Howard’s strong belief in the redemptive powers of nature not only influenced his decision to deed High Park, his unspoiled country property to the City, but also the design of his architecture, including the famous Provincial Lunatic Asylum. Storyteller Jim Blake assumes Howard’s persona in 1884, 81 years old and widowed for 7 years as he contemplates his legacy to the citizens of Toronto. The visit includes a tour of his picturesque home, Colborne Lodge, a stroll to the Howards’ Tomb and Lovers’ Lane and refreshments.
Colborne Lodge (Colborne Lodge Dr., just north of The Queensway, south end of High Park), 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Price: adult $14.15 + GST; senior $11.32 + GST; child $9.43 + GST.
Pre-registration is required: 416-392-6916,

Dear Mr. Austin
In a visit to the Metropolitan Methodist Church choir in the early 1920s, the wealthy Albert Austin told the choir members that if they ever needed help with anything to let him know. Lily Hardy, who sang in the choir, contracted tuberculosis. Storyteller Mary Eileen McClear recounts the struggles of the impoverished Lily Hardy over a 10-year period, and of correspondence between these unlikely “friends.” Music and refreshments to follow.
Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd., next door to Casa Loma), 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: adult $15 + GST; senior $12 + GST; child $10 + GST.
Pre-registration required: 416-392-6910,

Toronto Culture, Museums and Heritage Services, operates 10 historic museums offering public, education and special event programming. For complete details about Fabled City, visit For more information, including locations of all 30th annual Toronto Festival of Storytelling events, 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, Toronto Culture, Museum Services, 416-392-6832,



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