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November 20, 2009
Toronto’s historic sites celebrate the festive season with an 1850’s theme
Visit the City of Toronto’s historic houses this season and experience what the festive holidays were like in the mid-1800s. Decorated as they would have been during the Victorian era, these sites offer tours that focus on the holiday traditions of those times. Cosy open hearths, a cup of mulled cider and seasonal treats are featured on the various tours listed below. Adults, families and children can also take part in seasonal craft or cooking workshops, evening celebrations, and much more.

The magic of Christmas comes to life at Colborne Lodge. Tour this Victorian era decorated home nestled in High Park’s winter wonderland setting. Discover how families celebrated Christmas in the hustle and bustle of early Toronto while touring Mackenzie House. Toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider while nibbling on holiday treats at both locations.

Gibson House offers a respite from the holiday rush by stepping back in time to an 1851 rural Christmas. Visitors are welcomed by costumed staff. McCowan Log House and Cornell House at Scarborough Museum are adorned for the season. Enjoy seasonal goodies from these historic kitchen hearths.

Discover the simple pleasures of a Regency-era Christmas at Todmorden Mills. Learn the history of the "kissing bough" hanging in the Helliwell parlour and sample a period dessert. Enjoy carols in the tavern, fireside stories and the Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol presented by the Humber River Shakespeare Company at Montgomery’s Inn.

The City of Toronto's Historic Sites continue to celebrate the 175th anniversary this holiday season with a free weekend on December 5 and 6. Please note that dates/hours of operation and prices vary. For a complete listing of holiday activities at Toronto 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:
Vanessa Higgs, Program Development Officer, Cultural Services, 416-338-0045,
Shane Gerard, Senior Promotions & Communications Coordinator, 416-397-5711,



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