In a community-wide call for material, families, businesses and organisations donated documents to the community archives. The township also contracted a historian to conduct oral interviews of residents. Personal papers, photos and taped interviews.
Occasional public lectures, events, and other projects, including creating historical plaques, the preservation of a one room school house, the renovation of a railway station, and upkeep of a cemetery.
Built in 1862, Hillary House is recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board as one of Canada’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It is also a fine example of the architectural links between household and medical office. It retains its original layout, which provided for a medical examining room and dispensary at the front, with family living quarters behind. Rather than being incidental to the design, as in other examples of houses built for medical practitioners, the spaces used for the practice of medicine here were very carefully planned to provide convenience and privacy for both patients and family members. See the website for details.
Hillary House contains a significant collection of medical instruments, books, papers, household furnishings, and equipment dating from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century and is open to the public as Hillary House, the Koffler Museum of Medicine.
Charles Godfrey Library, an outstanding collection of books, journals, and manuscript material relating to the history of medicine and the social and cultural history of early Ontario. This collection is housed temporarily at the Aurora Public Library.
The presentation of artefacts in Hillary House, as well as special exhibitions.
Booklets on the history of Hillary House.
Hillary House offers guided tours, led by knowledgeable interpreters, of its historic home and grounds throughout the year. Special accommodations can be made for large groups.
School tours and programs for Brownies and Scouting earning Heritage Badges.
Lectures, cultural events, children’s activities.
Campbell House is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value. The Sir William Campbell Foundation maintains the 1822 building and collects, preserves, and displays artefacts from the early 19th century, befitting the home of Chief Justice William Campbell.
This early nineteenth century house is designed with a Georgian platinum architectural style and is one of the oldest remaining buildings from the original Town of York.
Although the original house’s contents were auctioned by William Robinson, Campbell House is furnished with artefacts that are typical of an upper-class nineteenth century home, including:
- portraits, paintings, pictures, models
- china, cutlery, pots, cooking fireplace
- piano from 1801
- bed, bath, dressers, cabinets, dining table, chairs
- On the second floor of Campbell House there is a diorama of the York township in 1825. The diorama displays the neighbourhood of Campbell House’s original location. In addition, there is a blown up map of the township above the diorama, as well as photographs of Campbell House being moved to its present location.
- Beside the York township diorama, there is also a diorama of Sir William Campbell acting as a judge in the renowned legal dispute between Sir William Lyon Mackenzie vs. Samuel Peters Jarvis.
- A room for various rotating exhibits is located in the ballroom. Exhibits do not necessarily have historical themes.
- Culinary classes are offered through George Brown Culinary School and through Campbell House. Classes teach participants historic recipes and use historic cooking methods.
- A Museum Training Program is offered for 13 to 17 year olds. Activities include crafts, cooking and learning history.
- Plays are occasionally held in the house and move room to room.
- The Types Trial: re-enactment of famous trial where William Lyon Mackenzie took the Family Compact to court-for secondary students specifically.
- Dancing: Traditional Scottish Dancing accompanied by fife music.
Tours are guided, upon payment of an admission fee or occasionally by “pay what you can.”
The organization curates an annual photography exhibition. This years theme is Building Stories 2012: A Photo Exhibit of Transportation in Toronto. Past exhibits include Building Stories 2011: A Photo of Toronto’s Industrial Past and Building Stories 2010: A Photo Exhibit of Toronto’s Aging Spaces.
For nearly half a century, the Historical Plaques program has commemorated key people, places, and events in Toronto’s past. The program encourages Torontonians to apply for plaques and find funding support within their communities to make them happen. Heritage Toronto provides expertise in historical research and writing, plaque design and fabrication, and installation of plaques on buildings and in public spaces.
Plaques fall into three broad categories:
- Century House enamel plaques with street address numbers. These celebrate any house that has been part of the architectural landscape of Toronto for over a century.
- Official bronze recognition plaques for structures listed or designated on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register.
- Commemorative and interpretive enamel panels, complete with maps and images that highlight people, places and events significant to the history of Toronto.
The Tours program was introduced in 1994 to provide residents and visitors with an opportunity to learn about the heritage and architecture of the city. All tours are researched, designed, and led by local historians, community groups, and professionals who volunteer their time and energy. The Tours season runs from April to October each year.
- Heritage Map of Toronto: a google map highlighting archaeological sites, museums, plaques and heritage walks: http://www.heritagetoronto.org/discover-toronto/map
- iTours: audio downloadable self-directed tours: http://www.heritagetoronto.org/discover-toronto/itours
Heritage Toronto Awards
An important event on the city’s cultural calendar, the Heritage Toronto Awards celebrate outstanding city builders and their contributions to the promotion and preservation of Toronto’s heritage in five main categories:
- Community Heritage
- Short Publication
- William Greer Architectural Conservation & Craftsmanship
The nominees for the Community Heritage Award are also considered for the Members Choice Award. A Special Achievement Award is also announced, with the recipient named by the Heritage Toronto Board of Directors.
- Annual Heritage Toronto Awards,
- William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture.
- Comprehensive list of history-related organisations and locations in the city.
- A program of heritage plaques and markers ,
Conservation / Preservation:
Archives / Library
Paper records include HVAC related catologues and magazines.
Holdings include over 350 heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration parts from the 1920s to the 1960s. The website lists the archival and artifact holdings.
Website also includes an on-line exhibition on the effects of refrigeration entitled Chilling Out.
- Industrial and domestic objects,
- Over 200 taped interviews with Canadian designers, engineers, and architects,
- Design and ephemera,
- Books and periodicals,
- Photographs and documents related to corporate histories.
- The Andy Smith Collection includes architectural photographs from 1965 to 1990. Dieter Reppin Collection includes history and output of Art Associates and TDF.
Furniture, objects and industrial design.
Photographs and summaries of past exhibitions are located on the website. Toronto Subway: A Love Story, Honest Edwardianism Hand Painted Signs in the 21st Century, Alumni Hall of Fame, Vinyl Graphic
Conservation / Preservation:
This archives contains
- Early land surveys and the development of the province.
- Diaries of David Gibson covering the years 1819 to 1864, and misc letters. These are typescript, originals are available on a case-by-case basis.
- Misc documents surveying, reform politics, rebellion.
- Mid-19th century objects used for tours and recreations: kitchen and housewares, weaving looms.
- Gibson’s mid-19th century surveying equipment.
- Mid-19th century furniture and other period pieces not necessarily owned by the Gibson’s are used to recreate the setting.
- Static exhibit is an experiential examination of mid-19th century homelife targeted to school-aged children.
- Changing exhibit is often archival based. For example, displaying materials related to the 1834 survey of Toronto.
Re-enactments / Theatre
Experience based and offered to school aged children, looking at period living, food preparation and games.
Adult level classes on hearth cooking. Seasonal dining using 19th century recipes in theatre.
The oldest house remaining on the site, the Jesse Ashbridge House, was built in 1854 according to a design by Joseph Sheard, architect and Toronto mayor (1871-72).
- A blend of Neo-Classical brick quoins.
- Decorative cornice brickwork and Regency style (as seen in the veranda’s bellcast roof and fanciful arcaded treillage).
- The mansard roof is in the Shingle Style, added c. 1899.
A significant collection of household and personal artefacts:
- The original land grant and wax seals, samplers, a conch shell, a family bible, an 1888 canoe, and bean pot are other artifacts that express the scope of the collection, dating from the 19th to the early 20th century.
A large collection of archival documents representing the personal characteristics, tastes and influences that affected six generations of the Ashbridge family.
Open seasonally to the public during special events such as Doors Open Toronto and Toronto Heritage Week.
The building, moved in 1980 to avoid demolition, serves as an example of the architecture of 19th century farmhouses in this region.
The interior of the homestead has been restored and furnished in the Victorian period of 1870-1890 (e.g. furniture and personal effects such as desks, china dolls, roll top desks, kitchen appliances).
A tour of the main floor rooms and basement, with a slide presentation of the big move and restoration of the homestead.
Tours can also be tailored to a group’s interest, (i.e. J.S. Woodsworth, historic buildings, pioneer life, the Shaver Family, etc.).
Visitors may drop in and staff are available to answer questions.
Artefacts are from the period 1830-40 and are generally domestic items that would be found in a household of this time period, such as kitchen items, tools, pottery and china. The Bradley House is arranged to reflect what a home would have looked like during this time period.
Guided tours are offered to the general public and group tours can also be arranged. Tour guides and historic interpreters are in costume reflecting 19th century dress.
Some of the programs offered to the public include cooking over an open hearth, spinning, weaving and historic crafts.