MACKENZIE HOUSE, 82 BOND STREET, WAS HOME TO TORONTO’S FIRST MAYOR – AND A REBEL

William Lyon MacKenzie was an outspoken newspaper editor, a leader of the 1837 Upper Canadian Rebellion, and following a sojourn in the United States – our city’s first mayor. Located in downtown TORONTO, the MacKenzie row-house was purchased by the community when he retired from politics. It’s now a museum featuring changing exhibitions and special events. Reputedly it’s haunted.  Website – http://www.toronto.ca/culture/mackenzie-house.htm

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THE SPADINA MUSEUM, 285 SPADINA ROAD, IS A VICTORIAN HOUSE IN AN EDWARDIAN GARDEN

The Spadina (Spa-dee-na) Museum, 285 Spadina (Spa-dye-na) Road, sits atop Davenport Hill. One of several museums operated by the City of TORONTO, the house was built in 1866. Its interior is furnished in styles from the 1860’s to the 1930’s.

Located near Casa Loma and the stables, the surrounding neighborhood contains some of TORONTO’s finest homes. Within easy walking distance – Nordheimer Ravine and its trails, Ardwold Gate, Winston Churchill Park and the St. Clair Reservoir.  A short drive or walk away – Forest Hill Village.

PHOTOS ABOVE by Roland Shainidze – http://www.ilovetoronto.com

The Museum is surrounded by immaculate Victorian and Edwardian gardens.  The Spadina Museum is open Tuesday to Friday, noon-4 pm; Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 pm.  Subway stop: DUPONT, and then walk northwest uphill, or ST. CLAIR subway stop, and then streetcar #512 westbound to Spadina Road, and walk south.

TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL’S MUSEUM SHOWS OFF A PRICELESS COLLECTION OF ART, OBJECTS & ARTIFACTS

Over many decades the TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD (TDSB) has been assembling a vast archive on the history of schools and schooling, and of the city itself.

Free of charge, the public can peruse parts of the collection at the TDSB Museum in Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, 16 Phin Avenue, near Danforth and Donlands.

The 10,000 square-foot space has been given the honourary Ojibway name Debwemowin, meaning House Where The Truth Resides. On display is “a tiny snapshot of our collection”, says Superintendent of Education John Chasty. “This gives us a permanent space we can work on and be proud of.”

And there is much to be proud of – a unique tear drop boardroom table from the 1870’s, School Board meeting minutes from 1847, a massive calculating machine that dates back to the 1890’s, a dentist’s chair, large gramophone, science class specimens, sports equipment, textbooks, the “strap”, slides, inkwells, desks, a 1920‘s table top piano from the Metropolitan School for the Deaf, a restored chandelier, seats of honour from the original Board, taxidermy, record albums on venereal disease, sex education and marijuana smoking. Etc.

Visitors are most welcome. To book an appointment call 416-397-3680; group tours can be arranged; free, but donations are accepted.

BUT ALL IS NOT LOST – TORONTO ALSO HOSTS A SUPERB “TECHNO TEMPLE FOR THE AGES”

The MZTV Museum of Television & Archive is a creation of broadcast mogul MOSES ZNAIMER. There’s nothing like it in New York or Los Angeles.

Mr. Znaimer, an on-air television veteran himself, has spent six decades chasing roughly 10,000 artifacts from the earliest days of television to the present, and his collection is open to the public.

Among the exhibits is a multiplicity of television sets, some dating back to World War II; books, magazines, toys, ephemera from North America, the UK, Germany, Italy and Russia; and Marilyn Monroe’s Magnavox from 1957.  A commemorative wall celebrates the inventors of television – John Logie Baird, Charles Francis-Jenkins, Philo T. Farnsworth, Allen B. DuMont, Vladimir Zworlkyn and NBC’s David Sarnoff.

The Museum has a tremendous collection of televisions and related broadcasting and pop culture items – including a 1928 Felix the Cat doll, which was placed on a turntable, scanned by a primitive camera and transmitted – one of the first TV stars.

The highlight of the Museum is a very rare TRK-12 Phantom Telereceiver, discovered in Israel, restored, and now on display. The TRK-12 <PHOTO ABOVE by Bill Brioux> was the first television set visitors to the 1939 New York World’s Fair had ever seen.  The museum’s address: MZTV Museum of Television and Archive, 64 Jefferson Street, Liberty Village, in the King Street West/Dufferin neighbourhood, http://www.mztv.com

TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD SHOWS OFF ITS VAST ARCHIVE IN A NEW EAST-END MUSEUM

TDSB3 Over a very long time the TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD (TDSB) has assembled a priceless collection of objects, art and artifacts, focused on the history of public schooling and the city itself. Now, free of charge, the public can peruse parts of the collection in a new museum at the TDSB Museum in Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, 16 Phin Avenue, near Danforth and Donlands.

TDSB4The 10,000 square-foot space has been given the honourary Ojibway name Debwemowin, meaning House Where The Truth Resides. On display is “a tiny snapshot of our collection”, says Superintendent of Education John Chasty. “This gives us a permanent space we can work on and be proud of.”

TDSB2And there is much to be proud of – a unique tear drop boardroom table from the 1870’s, School Board meeting minutes from 1847, a massive calculating machine that dates back to the 1890’s, a dentist’s chair, large gramophone, science class specimens, sports equipment, textbooks, the “strap”, slides, inkwells, desks, a 1920‘s table top piano from the Metropolitan School for the Deaf, a restored chandelier, seats of honour from the original Board, taxidermy, record albums on venereal disease, sex education and marijuana smoking. Etc.

TDSB1Visitors are most welcome. To book an appointment, e-mail greg.mckinnon@tdsb.on.ca

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TORONTO’S SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED MUSEUMS – CHECK ‘EM OUT

MUSEUMS3 The Art Gallery of Ontariohttp://www.ago.net – and the Royal Ontario Museumhttp://www.rom.ca – are TORONTO’s two largest art galleries and museums. But several medium-sized galleries dot the cityscape. They’re either free or charge a miniscule admission or donation.

MUSEUMS4Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, one of only two shoe museums in the world – http://www.batashoemuseum.ca or 416-979-7799.

MUSEUMS7Toronto Police Museum, 40 College Street, open Monday to Friday, free, http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/museum

MUSEUMS1The Market Gallery, St. Lawrence Market, Jarvis at Front Street East, http://www.toronto.ca/culture/the_market_gallery.htm

MUSEUMS6Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Street, permanent collection contains more than 12,000 artifacts and spans almost 2,000 years and 200 world regions – http://www.textilemuseum.caSOME OTHERS:
**** BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Heritage Museum, 61 Clairville Drive, 416-798-2277, http://www.toronto.baps.org **** Colborne Lodge, 11 Colborne Lodge Drive in High Park, a monument to the founders of High Park, http://www.toronto.ca/colborne **** Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, 111 Queen’s Park, ceramics exhibits, great gift shop and restaurant, fine architecture, http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca  **** Mackenzie House, 82 Bond Street, the last of home of TORONTO’s fist mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, http://www.toronto.ca/museums  **** Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Road, house and gardens, once home to the Austin family, http://www.toronto.ca/spadina  ETC.

The Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West, is Canada’s leading public gallery devoted exclusively to conemporary visual art. Admission is free. 416-973-4949, http://www.thepowerplant.org

MOSES ZNAIMER’S NEW TELEVISION MUSEUM IS A “TECHNO TEMPLE FOR THE AGES”

znaimer3There’s nothing like it in New York or Los Angeles. The MZTV Museum of Television and Archive, 64 Jefferson Street in Liberty Village, is without equal when it comes to the history of the “box”.
TORONTO’s broadcasting mogul, MOSES ZNAIMER, has spent six decades chasing roughly 10,000 artifacts from the earliest days of television to the present, and now his collection is open to the public right here in our town.

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Among the exhibits is a multiplicity of television sets, some dating back to World War II; books, magazines, toys, ephemera from North America, the UK, Germany, Italy and Russia; and Marilyn Monroe’s Magnavox from 1957.  A commemorative wall celebrates the inventors of television – John Logie Baird, Charles Francis-Jenkins, Philo T. Farnsworth, Allen B. DuMont, Vladimir Zworlkyn and NBC’s David Sarnoff.
The Museum is a tremendous collection of televisions and related broadcasting and pop culture items – including a 1928 Felix the Cat doll, which was placed on a turntable, scanned by a primitive camera and transmitted – one of the first TV stars.

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The highlight of the Museum is a very rare TRK-12 Phantom Telereceiver, discovered in Israel, restored, and now on display. The TRK-12 <PHOTO BELOW – Bill Brioux> was the first television set visitors to the 1939 New York World’s Fair had ever seen. To prove there wasn’t a film running inside the box, the set’s transparent case allowed fairgoers to see all the wires and tubes.  Even as an object, it’s a stunner.  You can see all four of the TRK series in the MZTV Museum. As BILL BRIOUX – http://www.brioux.tv writes in the Toronto Star “that they are all in one place, and that place happens to be TORONTO, is pretty astounding.”

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MOSES ZNAIMER is a Canadian broadcasting visionary.  He’s the founder and CEO of ZoomerMedia, a company specializing in media and entertainment for adults 45 and over. The company’s properties include radio stations (two in TORONTO), television (Vision TV), digital, trade shows and conference programming. He’s the president of CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons). He was a founder of Citytv, CEO of 22 television stations including MuchMusic, Fashion Television, Bravo and Sex TV.

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The Museum is showing a special exhibit from Montreal’s Cinémathèque québécoise – “Aspects of the Global Village: The Television Era in Canada, 1950-2000”. The museum’s address: MZTV Museum of Television and Archive, 64 Jefferson Street, Liberty Village, in the King Street West/Dufferin neighbourhood, http://www.mztv.com