Spadina Museum offers a glimpse of Toronto during the 1900-1930 period through the lens of the Austin family. The museum highlights the effects of transformative events on the Austins such as the First World War, the Great Depression, and societal changes in Canada. Spadina Museum opened in 1984 and completed an extensive interior restoration in 2010. Spadina’s artifacts feature the family’s contributions to the financial, business, and cultural development of Toronto through an intact collection and archival holdings, music, art, and decorative arts.
The site includes six structures: a three-storey large house built in 1866 and enlarged several times up until 1912/1913; a two-storey garage and chauffer’s residence built in 1909; a stable/gardener’s cottage circa 1850; and a greenhouse built in 1913.
Spadina Museum provides visitors an opportunity to go back in time to a very unique period in Toronto’s history. The site offers guided tours of the house and garden, school programs, changing exhibits and workshops, and also hosts one-of-a-kind special events throughout the year.
285 Spadina Road
Toronto History Museums, City of Toronto
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Spadina Museum, named from an Annishnaabemowin word ishpadina (“highland” or “ridge”), sits atop a ravine overlooking Toronto.
If the lush gardens, lavish furniture, and beautiful decor could talk, they would speak of a grand life of galas and garden parties, the pain of losing loved ones to sickness and war, the harsh reality of a servant’s life and the new technologies that completely transformed society during a time of great change. If the internet was a game changer, imagine being able to talk on the telephone for the first time ever.
The splendour of Spadina Museum is as much a feast for the eyes as it is an invitation to discuss how a city and its people adapted during an era of disruption and change.
“Aside from enjoying the gardens, house and tours of Spadina Museum, my uncle wrote a book about this city of Toronto historic landmark.”
– May DeLory, Toronto, ON
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