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Mackenzie House – The House of Toronto’s First Mayor

Merely steps from the busting theatres, Eaton Centre, Yonge Dundas Square, Mackenzie House was the last house of Toronto’s first Mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. Now a Toronto museum, it gives visitors a glimpse of Mackenzie’s life as a editor, mayor, politician and a reform movement leader.

(Left) Front view of Mackenzie House. (Right) The Key that opens the front door of the house.

Excerpt from the Mackenzie House Museum website explains the significance of this house: “The house is significant for its connection to William Lyon Mackenzie, the city’s first mayor and a radical journalist and political reformer. The Bond Street residence was purchased by Mackenzie’s friends and supporters, and presented to him in 1859. Mackenzie lived at Bond Street until his death in 1861, and his family continued to reside in the house until 1871.”

On the day of our visit, guided tour interpreter Cory whom dressed as a print shop worker brought us around Mackenzie House and told us stories of the life of William Lyon Mackenzie as well as showing us different items from the Victorian period.

Gas lamp by the foyer.

Dinning Room besides the Parlor.

Room of the two daughters of Mackenzie. Photo on the bedside table showing a photo of one of the daughters.


In the kitchen with Cory, he was showing us how to turn on and off the gas lamp, the wood stove and the sphere shaped coffee bean roaster.

 

In this surviving Victorian styled row house you will find artifacts from the 1860s period in which some are actual precious heirlooms from the Mackenzie family.

Beaded chair made by one of Mackenzie’s daughters.

A proclamation offering one thousand pounds for the capture of Mackenzie framed and hung up in the dinner room of Mackenzie House. It was Mackenzie’s way to show others he was worth a thousand pounds.

Heirloom dresser of the Mackenzie family in Mackenzie’s room.

A needlework sampler by Mackenzie’s wife, ‎Isabel

Mackenzie was a lifelong newspaper editor, writer and publisher. To give visitors an interactive experience, Mackenzie House has a print shop equipped with an 1845 R. Hoe & Company Washington hand press letterpress for visitors to try their hands at printmaking.

Do you recognize this painting? Colborne Lodge has the same painting on its wall!

Mackenzie House is one of 10 Toronto Historical Museums, visit this link to find out more about Mackenzie House and other city museums: toronto.ca

 

 

 

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