August 28, 2019

Toronto History Museums have rolled out their fall programming, which gives residents an opportunity to celebrate the season and discover local history. With a focus on outdoor programs that use curated gardens, and green spaces at each site, fall activities at Toronto History Museums include the Big Draw Festival, harvest traditions, Edgy Thursday evenings, beer cooking and tasting events, Second World War commemorations and more. The full program lineup is available at

The Big Draw Festival

The Big Draw Festival will take place in Toronto for the first time, involving all 10 of the City of Toronto’s History Museums. The festival is the world’s largest celebration of drawing. This year’s theme, “Drawn to Life: creativity and well-being,” considers that creativity is essential to a fulfilling, healthy life. Visitors can bring their own art supplies or use art supplies provided on site. Outdoor painting and drawing stations will be available, with a wide range of media, including watercolours, oil pastels, charcoal, finger paints, crayons and pencil crayons.

Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse will host the Big Draw Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 28 and 29. Admission is free. More information is available at

Fall and Harvest traditions

Farmers Market

Every Wednesday this fall, the public can buy direct from local farmers and food artisans and celebrate the flavours of seasonal food. A range of sellers will feature organic fruit and vegetables, cheese, bread and prepared foods as well as ethically raised meat, honey and more. Guests can visit the inn, art exhibitions, purchase fresh in-house baked bread and take in some live music. Montgomery’s Inn on September 4, 11, 18 and 25 and October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, from 2 to 6 p.m.

Montgomery’s Inn Annual Corn Roast

Guests can enjoy live music provided by the house band and ukulele group and taste a range of food, including the Inn’s signature locally grown corn, cooked in the Inn’s outdoor bake oven. Children can participate in outdoor games including bean toss and stilts and take part in various crafts. Bring your own lawn chairs. Montgomery’s Inn on September 5 and October 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Fall Fair Weekends in September

On weekends in September Torontonians and visitors can experience an old-fashioned fall fair. Participants can have apple pie and cider, play a time traveller scavenger hunt, make crafts and play outdoor games. Scarborough Museum on September 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 from noon to 4 p.m., Admission is pay what you can (PWYC).

The Iconic Canadian Butter Tart

The public can explore the history of the iconic Canadian butter tart in this hands-on cooking workshop. Using historic Great War recipes, participants will learn how to make the perfect pastry and filling for delicious tarts. Light refreshments, recipe package and tarts to take home are included. Fort York National Historic Site on September 12 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., $60 a person plus tax. Participants should be 12 and older.

High Time for Pie Time! A Pie Making Workshop

Guests can learn the tricks and tips of making pastry and pie in a Victorian wood-burning oven. After the workshop, guests can sample their creation with tea and coffee. Scarborough Museum on September 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $35 a person, plus tax.

Korean Mid-Autumn Salon Concert

Torontonians and visitors can join Gibson House Museum in celebration of Chuseok (Korean Harvest Festival). Melding Korean and western music genres, in collaboration with Second Sleep Stage Creations, this hour-long program will be anchored by traditional Korean musicians and a traditional Korean dancer. Each performance will conclude with an artist talk and Q & A opportunity. Gibson House Museum on September 14 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. PWYC.

Cooking up Toronto History

Through taste, stories and food trivia, guests can discover how Toronto’s diverse population shaped the food culture of our City. Guests will the opportunity to print a special recipe card to commemorate your visit on an 1845 historic press. Mackenzie House on September 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., adults $10, senior/youth $9, child $7, family rate $30 for up to five people (includes two adults).

Getting Ready for Winter: Canning and Preserving Workshop

Guests can participate in the start to finish process of canning and preserving a variety of savoury jams and vegetables the Victorian way with the help of a 1860s wood stove. Participants will have delicious samples and can take home their finished product. Mackenzie House on September 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and September 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at $35 a person.

Fall Festival

The public can celebrate the return of autumn with heritage demonstrations, hands-on activities, and garden tours. Participants can take part in interactive activities in the historic kitchen including, grinding spices, making griddle cakes, ice cream, see open hearth cooking, spinning, weaving and quilting demonstrations. Child friendly activities include a Barn Bouncer, face painting, a craft zone and more. Gibson House Museum on September 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Admission is free.

Jemima’s Garden Secrets Guided Tour

Guests can join a horticultural expert on an intimate tour, revealing the secrets of a 19th-century garden. Botanical knowledge will be accompanied with anecdotes from the 19th-century to present day. Colborne Lodge on September 21 at 1:30 p.m., $15 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at

Exploring Spadina’s Orchard

The public can experience the Spadina Museum orchard for acoustic music, and outdoor games such as croquet, quoits and badminton.  Guests can learn about the historic orchard and different varieties of apples grown onsite. September 15 performances from The History Buffs from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; September 22 performances from The Tall Poppies from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Admission to the grounds and outdoor activities is free from noon to 5 p.m. Museum tours, including demonstrations in the historic kitchen, are included with regular admission.

Fall Festival

Torontonians can celebrate the fall bounty with demonstrations in the historic 1940s cottage kitchen, preserving garden produce using wartime rationing recipes. Guests can participate in 1940s outdoor games and board games in the Brewery Building. Experience live 1940s music performed by Bertie and The Gents, and see vintage cars and vendors onsite. Todmorden Mills on September 22 from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Guided tours take place hourly starting at 12:15 until 4:15 p.m.

Fall Festival – Colborne Lodge

The public can celebrate the autumn season in High Park and enjoy music, dance, demonstrations, seasonal crafts, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and shop by local vendors, artisans and artists. Colborne Lodge on October 6 from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Outdoor Guided Walk: A Traditional Medicine Walk

The public can discover the Indigenous heritage of the Lower Don on a one-hour guided walk through the Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve led by Philip Cote, artist, historian and traditional wisdom keeper. Participants will learn about Indigenous medicines and other traditional uses of native plants. Todmorden Mills on October 6 from noon to 2 p.m., $20 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at

Canadian Tastebuds

Canadian Tastebuds celebrates diversity through food. During the last weekend of every month, Scarborough Museum connects cultures by exploring diverse recipes. In September guests will sample Bosnian baked apple and apple pie. In October, pumpkins and candy making (caramel pastillas, a Filipino candy) will be featured. Scarborough Museum on September 28 (featuring apples); October 26 (featuring pumpkins) from noon to 4 p.m. PWYC.

October Family Fun Weekends

Members of the public can enjoy treats and activities such as an enchanted scavenger hunt and tours of the historic buildings led by costumed interpreters. Participants can try a slice of Devil’s Food cake made in a wood burning stove with a cup of pumpkin spice drink, dress up in pioneer costumes and make a 3D pumpkin craft. Scarborough Museum on October 5 to 20 from noon to 4 p.m. PWYC.

Harvest Cookery Workshop – Puddings and Pies

Guests can join this hands-on workshop that uses harvest season produce to create delicious puddings and pies. An experienced historic cook and interpreter will guide participants through decoding historic recipes, and prepare dishes to cook over the open hearth and eat the delicious results. Gibson House Museum on October 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $50 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at

Harvest Tea

The public can enjoy a harvest tea with all the classic accompaniments, served by costumed interpreters in the historic parlours and dining room at Gibson House Museum. Finger sandwiches, scones and cookies and cakes are inspired by historic menus and recipes. Gibson House Museum on October 19 at noon and again at 2:30 p.m., $30 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at

Thursday Evenings

Fret Not Ukulele Night

On the first Thursday of every month, Montgomery’s Inn is home to a ukulele night. Take part in a free chord workshop from 6 to 7 p.m. Bring your own ukulele, or borrow a spare (limited availability). Montgomery’s Inn on September 5 and October 3 from 6 to 9 p.m., $15 a person plus tax.

Victorian Secrets

An interactive and intimate look at Victorian sexuality through an evocative evening event suitable for adults 18 years of age and older. Participants will be encouraged to be curious. Mackenzie House on September 5 from 7 to 9 p.m., $30 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at

Outlander Meets Mackenzie

Inspired by the popular Outlander book and TV series, this event explores how the real-life struggles and triumphs of Scottish rebel William Lyon Mackenzie compare to the Outlander fictional romantic world of Jamie and Claire Fraser. Participants will have the opportunity to transcribe a 19th-century Mackenzie document just as Outlander characters Roger and Claire scoured historic documents to find Jamie. Mackenzie House on September 12 from 7 to 9 p.m., $30 a person plus tax.

The Victorian Doctor

Guests will have the chance to explore the medical profession in early Toronto, the understanding of human anatomy and disease, and the medical advice available at the time. Mackenzie House on Thursday September 19, from 7 to 9 p.m., $30 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at

Thirsty Thursdays

The public can soak up the atmosphere of the Montgomery’s Inn historic bar room, outdoor patio and live band performances reminiscent of the 1840s. Guests ca buy a drink at the bar and a bowl of stew with in-house baked bread in the historic kitchen. Montgomery’s Inn on September 26 and October 31 from 7 to 10 p.m., PWYC admission (suggested $5).

Beer and tea events

Teatime at the Inn

Guests will delight in a spot of tea and a taste of history in the Tea Room of Montgomery’s Inn. Tea Time includes a mix of sweet and savoury treats baked in-house with a seasonal feature that changes each month and unlimited tea service Montgomery’s Inn on September 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 and October 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 1 to 4 p.m., $7 a person plus tax.

Toronto Brews: Temperance Tea

The public can join an illustrated presentation on prohibition and the temperance movement. Guests will have a chance to enjoy afternoon tea in The Market Kitchen that includes fresh-baked scones with strawberry conserve and clotted cream, finger sandwiches, seasonal cake, assorted cookies and squares, and more. Market Gallery on September 7 and October 19 from 2 to 4 p.m., $25 a person plus tax. Tickets are available through

Cooking With Beer

Participants will learn how to cook with beer. In this hands-on class, participants will work as part of a group chopping, searing and simmering to make dishes using local microbrews. Recipes will include corn tempura, beer braised short beef ribs and spaetzle and beer-steamed mussels, followed by a tutored tasting of the beers used during the cooking session. The Market Gallery on September 20 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. You must be 19 or older to attend. $60 per person, plus tax. Tickets are available at

Toronto Brews Tour and Taste

As part of Toronto Beer Week, the public can explore the Toronto Brews exhibit and a tutored beer and food tasting in the Market Kitchen. Admission includes an assortment of five craft beers and treats from the St. Lawrence Market vendors including artisan cheese and peameal bacon sandwiches. Vegetarian options are available upon request. Market Gallery on September 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $60 a person plus tax. Tickets are available through Participants must be 19 or older.

Toronto Brews Thursday Nights

Torontonians can take an after-work tour of the Toronto Brews exhibit, plus craft beer tastings from a featured local brewery. Market Gallery on October 3 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., guided tour at 5 p.m., $12 a person plus tax. Tickets are available at Participants must be 19 or older.

World War II Commemorations

War Footing: Toronto and the Second World War

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of mobilization, this walking tour explores some of Toronto’s most popular new neighbourhoods and explains how these areas once served a very different purpose during the Second World War. Fort York National Historic Site on September 8 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Admission is free.

A City Mobilizes: Toronto and the Second World War

With special attention paid to the contributions and roles of women, Indigenous peoples and the home front, this exhibition connects Torontonians to the sacrifice made by Canadians in the Second World War. Presenters include Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, Canadian Centre for the Great War, National Aviation Museum of Canada, and World War Two Living Historians. Fort York National Historic Site on September 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Education Day) and September 21, 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

After The War Travelling Exhibition

This travelling exhibition courtesy of the Canadian Centre for the Great War looks at the efforts made by Canada to provide support to returning war civilians facing challenges of reintegration into a society that, in many ways, did not resemble the one they left in 1914.  After The War provides valuable insight into the aftermath of the war. Fort York National Historic Site until September 22, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Included with general admission.

Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information is available at, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at


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Michele Simpson
Economic Development and Culture