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May 25, 2009
Celebrate Toronto’s 175th anniversary at the City’s historic sites: Free weekends all summer
Mayor David Miller announced today that admission to eight of the City’s historic sites will be free Saturdays and Sundays throughout July and August. The City is taking this first-ever initiative to commemorate Toronto’s 175th birthday while offering residents affordable and accessible activities during recessionary times.

"Great cities preserve, protect and promote their heritage," Mayor Miller said. "In celebration of the City's 175th anniversary, these historic landmarks will be free for all to enjoy while they learn more about Toronto's incredible stories."

Every summer weekend - starting Saturday, July 4, and running until Sunday, August 30, 2009 - visitors can enjoy programming and events at Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Historical Museum, Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens, and Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre.

Programming at the sites features music, drama, crafts for kids, heritage recipes to taste and other fun for the entire family. On summer weekends, visitors can expect the following features at the City’s historic sites:

• Colborne Lodge: A tour of the restored 19th-century home and gardens of John and Jemima Howard, the founders of Toronto's best known park. Weekend tours begin at noon and run every half hour on the half hour (except for the last tour, which starts at 4:15 p.m.).

• Fort York: Highlights include the cannon firing at 12:30 p.m. and the music of the Fort York Drums (a fife and drum corps) as well as hourly demonstrations of military music, drill, musketry and artillery. The fort is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

• Gibson House presents: Summer on the Farm, where visitors will enjoy a tour of the historic house followed by samples of the day's cooking in the historic kitchen.

• At Mackenzie house, the last home of Toronto’s first mayor, visitors can take part in Kids Krafts from noon until 4:30 p.m. They may also see the exhibit, “Toronto's Tumultuous Year: William Lyon Mackenzie as Mayor,” which explores the ups and downs of that eventful year in the life of the city.

• Montgomery’s Inn visitors will enjoy traditional hospitality at this historic stone inn, engaging tours that bring history alive, fun crafts for kids, and a stunning exhibition of contemporary photography.

• At Scarborough Museum visitors will experience what life was like in the 1800s with demonstrations, scavenger hunts and impromptu performances.

• Spadina Museum: At the end of the summer, the Austin family's beautiful home will close to begin an exciting transformation. Come and take a special tour and be one of the first to find out what the changes are, the research behind them, and why they are happening.

• At Todmorden Mills, community and emerging artists’ work will be on display in the Papermill Theatre and Gallery. Visitors can also enjoy the 9.2 hectare wildflower preserve with walking trails that explore natural habitats.

For more information about programming at the City’s 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. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Kim Corby, Museum Services, 416-338-0497,
Kristen Juschkewitsch, Museum Services, 416-338-0495,



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