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Colborne Lodge, Toronto

4.4
#13 of 26 in Historic Sites in Toronto
Colborne Lodge is a historical museum located in an 1836 home in Toronto's High Park. John George Howard, an architect, engineer, and prominent Toronto citizen built this house, which became the property of the city following his death in 1890.HistoryBuilt in 1836 by City Surveyor John George Howard to house himself and his wife Jemima Frances Meikle, it is perched on the top of a hill overlooking Lake Ontario. When built, the area was considerably to the west of the city. The house is a classic example of the Regency cottage style, and one of the first such buildings in the city. The small house tries to blend in with the landscape around it, in sharp contrast to the rigid formalism of Georgian architecture that was then the standard Toronto style. It was originally one storey, but Howard later expanded it by adding the upper level. The house was named after Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada from 1828 to 1836 and first Canadian patron of Howard's architecture.The cottage sat on 165acre of land owned by Howard. His original intent was to start a farm on the property. Later, he attempted to subdivide his holdings and sell off small lots to create a new neighbourhood. At the time the area was still a considerable distance west of the city, and a difficult commute to town. Howard himself maintained a second home in the city. The landscape of the property with its steep hills, wetlands and sandy soils would have been difficult to develop in any event.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
19 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • August 13, 2017
    Had to wait in the car parked along the street in the park as I couldn't find parking when my out-of-town visitor went into the gift shop. He wanted to buy some gifts relating to the Toronto area. Mak...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    Colburne Lodge, in High Park is a really cool place to visit. A tour doesn't take that long, so you may want to combine it with some time in the Park. In this tour, you really are able to see the pers...  more »
  • June 11, 2017
    This restored home of John Howard, the great benefactor of High Park, is a historical gem. Our group had a personalized house tour by a very knowledgeable costumed guide who brought to life the intere...  more »
Google
  • May 15, 2016
    A very educational and immersive experience. Great for kids and anyone who is interested. The tour guides were great and the tour groups are just a few people or you and whoever else is there.
  • January 23, 2016
    Toronto's hidden gem. The tour takes you to 1830, the staff is amazing and the stories all interesting. Kids love it!
  • January 11, 2017
    Interesting little bit of history.
  • January 30, 2017
    Lots to learn about the beginning of the park
  • June 26, 2017
    Everything here is wonderful
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Where to stay in Toronto

Most visitors stay in the historic neighborhood of Old Toronto, as the central district offers unparalleled access to the best attractions in the city and several metro stations within walking distance. If you're looking for a different taste of Toronto, stay in the trendy neighborhoods of West Queen West or King West Village, popular for their nightlife, arts, and cafe scenes. You can embrace Toronto's multicultural charms by staying in Chinatown, perhaps the city's best location for foodies.
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