Today, Mayor John Tory announced the launch of HistoricTO, a new cultural experience that connects Toronto’s communities by providing inclusive access to local history, heritage and land-based learnings at Toronto History Museums. HistoricTO will offer access and experiences that have not previously been available.
HistoricTO walking tours, a time-ticketed, guided neighbourhood walking tour experience, will offer visitors an opportunity to engage in discussions and explore Toronto through diverse perspectives. Tours will be held from July 30 to September 4, will be 60 minutes in length and vary in content. Themes include: colonization and the evolution of land use over time, the impact of urban development and industrialization, settlement patterns and immigration, Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S+ and women’s history. Tickets must be purchased in advance starting July 29 at toronto.ca/museums. Tickets will be pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10. Hours of operation will be Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As well, the City is offering never-before seen access to the Museums’ artifact and fine art collections through Toronto History Museums Artifact Collection, an online virtual database, available at toronto.ca/museums. This collection consists of 150,000 artifacts, 1.1 million archaeological specimens and 3,000 works of art reflecting the 11,000-year span of human occupation of the Toronto area.
History enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy a new online shopping experience, the Museum Shop, featuring products that are uniquely inspired by the City’s artifact collection and offer diverse local art.
HistoricTO also includes a new youth engagement advisory group that will develop a plan for introducing dynamic youth programming at all City-run museums.
Museum green spaces and gardens that are open to members of the public will be searchable on the ActiveTO map beginning July 31.
Toronto History Museums are a collection of ten museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto. Toronto’s many pasts, presents and futures meet at the museums. The sites range in size, historical significance and time periods. The collection of sites includes: Colborne Lodge; Fort York National Historic Site; Gibson House; Mackenzie House; Market Gallery; Montgomery’s Inn; Scarborough Museum; Spadina Museum; Todmorden Mills; and Zion Schoolhouse.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, HistoricTO is designed to follow Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Guidance for Cultural & Heritage Institutions and Attractions guidelines. These guidelines include mandatory masks indoors, lower ratios and capacity, physical distancing, mandatory health screening and enhanced facility cleaning.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check toronto.ca/covid-19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
“With the ongoing pandemic, our city has had to look at how we can adapt to deliver our services in a new and innovate way. HistoricTO will be a great way for residents to experience the various museums and greenspaces across the city while prioritizing health and safety. I encourage residents to book their tickets and participate in the many tours to learn more about Toronto’s history and heritage.”
– Mayor John Tory
“HistoricTO’s multi-dimensional insights into our City’s unique stories both delight and enlighten visitors. The program brilliantly executes the City’s vision to bring diverse historical experiences directly to Toronto residents and encourage critical discussion about Toronto’s past, present and future.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Scarborough Centre (Ward 21), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee