The Gibson House Museum is one of the 10 historic museums that are operated by the City of Toronto. It was built in 1851, and was the home of the Scottish immigrant David Gibson and his family. David Gibson was a land surveyor who is known for his contribution towards mapping Toronto in its early days, which eventually lead to a settlement in Ontario’s wilderness.
For his participation in the failed Upper Canada rebellion, he earned the wrath of the government. His house was destroyed and he was banished from Upper Canada, and for this reason he fled to New York. He lived with his family in Lockport, New York for eleven years before he could find a way to come back home. While he was in New York, he still owned land in the York County, near Toronto. Since his wife hadn’t been banished, she was safely able to travel between Lockport and York County to collect rent and the profits from the farm.
David Gibson was officially pardoned by the government and came back with his family to York County in 1848. He set about to building himself a house and ended up with this beautiful mansion. Made of red brick, this house is built in the Georgian Revival style and reflects the taste of a prosperous man. The Gibson House is set back from the Yonge Street, which is also referred to as the ‘World’s Longest Street’ today. It seems miles away from noisy traffic and bustling crowds, as a garden park separates it from the main road. For those walking to the Gibson House Museum, you can use this park to gain access to this site.
If you’ve enrolled yourself for one of the tours, you will be conducted around the museum by a costumed guide. The tour usually starts at the kitchen where you get to see an interesting brick oven of the ancient days. The kitchen now acts as a venue for the cookery workshops conducted here. The tour will next move to the family dining room which has an interesting (and original) tall case clock. You can also view the front parlor and the bedrooms upstairs. The most interesting part of the tour is the workroom where one can see the gadgets of the bygone era like the spinning wheel, foot-operated sewing machine, and wool winder. The kids can dress up in period costumes, and play with 19th century toys in the Discovery Gallery.
Apart from the guided tours the Gibson House Museum arranges for a lot of other activities for children, teenagers and even adults. You can take part in community programs, birthday parties, hearth-cooking classes, summer Camps, Arts and Heritage Workshops, holiday celebrations and many other things here.
Gibson House Museum
Address: 5172 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5P7, Canada
Phone: +1 416-395-7432
Outdoor Historic tours at Gibson House Museum are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10.
Hours of Operation
Time-ticketed Historic outdoor walking tours are offered Wednesday to Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
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Featured Image: Sangwon Lee
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