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Colborne Lodge, Toronto
(4.2/5 based on 15+ reviews on the web)
Colborne Lodge is a historical museum located in an 1836s 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
  • A wonderful historic site in High Park. Colborne Lodge, the home of John and Jemima Howard, is a look back into the Toronto of the 1850s - 1870s. All of Mr. Howard's land, along with properties adjace...  more »
  • A home once belonging to Mr Howard tuned to museum. Its free. The wealth and generous donation of land to become the largest park in Toronto. Has a nice zoo, not great but for one that operates thru d...  more »
  • Had a great, informative tour of the lodge and learned so much about John and Jemima Howard which I didn't the previous year..thank you sooooo much!!! 
Google
  • 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.
  • Toronto's hidden gem. The tour takes you to 1830, the staff is amazing and the stories all interesting. Kids love it!