Toronto launches new cultural experience that includes walking tours

Jul 27 2020, 7:49 pm

The City of Toronto announced the launch of HistoricTO on Monday.

HistoricTO will give Torontonians a peek at the city’s past through the access of local history, heritage, and land-based learnings at Toronto History Museums.

According to the City, walking tours will be held from July 30 to September 4 to allow Toronto residents to explore diverse perspectives. Themes include colonization and the evolution of land use over time, the impact of urban development and industrialization, settlement patterns and immigration, as well as Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S+ and women’s history.

Tickets for walking tours must be purchased in advance. They are offered at a pay-what-you-can rate, with a suggested $10 donation.

“With the ongoing pandemic, our city has had to look at how we can adapt to deliver our services in a new and innovative way. HistoricTO will be a great way for residents to experience the various museums and green spaces across the city while prioritizing health and safety,” said Mayor John Tory.

“I encourage residents to book their tickets and participate in the many tours to learn more about Toronto’s history and heritage.”

The City is also providing access to the Museums’ artifact and fine art collections through Toronto History Museums Artifact Collection. This is an online database consisting of 150,000 artifacts, 1.1 million archeological specimens and 3,000 works of art that reflect the 11,000-year span of “human occupation of the Toronto area.”

Toronto History Museums consist of ten museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto. 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.

The online Museum Shop will feature products inspired by the city’s artifact collection.

HistoricTO will also include a new “youth engagement advisory group,” which will develop a plan to introduce “dynamic youth programming at all City-run museums.”

Museum green spaces and gardens that are now open to the public will be searchable on the ActiveTO map on July 31.

“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,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Scarborough Centre (Ward 21), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee.

HistoricTO will be following Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Guidance for Cultural & Heritage Institutions and Attractions. Included in the guidelines is mandatory masks indoors, lower ratios, and capacity and physical distancing.

Irelyne LaveryIrelyne Lavery

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