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December 23, 2005
Celebrate Hogmanay -- a traditional Scottish New Year at two of Toronto’s historic houses
Each year, two of Toronto’s historic museums, Gibson House and Mackenzie House, present activities to celebrate Hogmanay - the Scottish New Year. Visitors are invited to discover Hogmanay traditions, enjoy delicious Scottish food and experience the music of Ontario’s early Scottish settlers.

Gibson House Museum hosts two Hogmanay events. ‘Stroke of Midnight’ is a candlelit licensed event that features Scottish delicacies, songs and stories of Old Ontario by Ian Bell and Geoff Somers, and a visit from the first-footer. This event occurs on Thursday, December 29 and Friday, December 30 from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 (including tax) and reservations are required. ‘Afternoon Hogmanay’ sessions offer activities for the whole family that include tastes of delicious traditional Scottish holiday food and the opportunity to make a Hogmanay craft to take home. This event takes place on Saturday, December 31 from noon to 5 p.m. Last admission is at 4:30 p.m. Adults: $4.25; Seniors and Students: $2.75; Children: $2.25. Please call Gibson House at 416-395-7432.

Mackenzie House hosts a traditional 1800s “open-house” style party. The Hogmanay celebration takes place on Friday, December 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. Taste Scottish food, hear the band ‘Gin Lane’ play traditional music, and take gas lit tours of the house decorated for the holidays. Tickets are $15 (including tax) per person. Reservations are required. Please call Mackenzie House at 416-392-6915.

Gibson House Museum is an 1851 Georgian farmhouse that provides a glimpse of Toronto’s rural past. The period rooms and costumed interpreters tell the dramatic tale of Scottish immigrant David Gibson, a local politician who joined the Upper Canada Rebellion, then escaped to live in exile in the United States for 11 years. This home was built after the family’s return to Toronto.

Mackenzie House was the last home of William Lyon Mackenzie - Toronto’s first mayor, newspaper publisher and leader of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion. Also on site is a recreated print shop and exhibit gallery. The exhibit in place during the holiday season is While the Cold Winds Blow - The Festive Season in Toronto, which introduces visitors to culturally diverse celebrations of the festive season. Other upcoming events include Robbie Burns Day and Scotch Tasting.

For a complete listing of Toronto’s historic museums and holiday events please call the information hotline at 416-338-3888 or visit

Media contact:

Kristen Juschkewitsch
City of Toronto Culture



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