Search This Blog


Spadina House and Gardens

We're trying to visit all of the City of Toronto Museums.
On May 19th, we went to Spadina House.

James Austin was an apprentice of William Lyon Mackenzie before the 1837 rebellion! Even though James Austin had his own print shop at the time of the rebellion, he went to the United States because people knew he was associated with Mackenzie. When he came back to Canada in 1843 he had enough money to start a grocery store with a partner. They were so successful that they were able to start lending money to others within a few years.

James Austin bought the land that Spadina House is on in 1886. 
Three generations of Austins lived in Spadina House.
The Austin family donated the house to the City of Toronto and it's now a museum. 

There is some archeological excavations in the basement of Spadina House and you can still see where they dug. They found out more of the history of the property. It was owned by the Baldwins before.

Spadina House is set up as it was in the 1920s.
At the front door they have 2 wolves. Here's a picture of one of them. Don't you think it's strange?

They had an inside garden!
There was a trap door so that the servants could go into the room to take care of the plants without being seen.  (I wonder if they'll open up those secret passages for tours.)

Here's a picture of the dining room. Do you see the curtain at the right? The servants would put the food out onto the table from behind the curtain. That way, you would only see their hands. 

I liked this painting the most because it shows Mary Austin holding a music score. She used to play organ for her church before she got married, but back then it wasn't 'proper' for a rich, married woman to play for a church.

This is a picture of the Drawing Room.

The 1888 Steinway piano was a wedding gift for Mary Austin from her husband.  

Mom tried to get a close up picture of the gas light chandelier or would you call it a gasolier?

Here's a picture of the billiard room. Since the Austins were wealthy, they were able to have time to unwind. They had a golf course (which is where Casa Loma is now) and indoors they had a billiard table. 

You can see that they used to travel. Here's a picture of them in Egypt.

You can also see that they liked to hunt.

Next to the billiards room was a small washroom. The water tank is above the toilet and you have to flush it by pulling the string.

We got to see the kitchen.
I noticed that some of the brands are still with us today. Christie's, Mazola, Quaker Oats, Kraft, Del Monte, Clover Leaf, and Carnation are brands I recognize.

They had 2 stoves. One is a little more modern with gas burners and the other one looks like a wood burning stove.

Here's a picture of the ice box. The ice would be put on top to keep the food and drinks inside of it cold. When the ice melted, they would collect the water and use it in the garden or around the house.

Upstairs, we got to see the Austin's master bedroom.

There was a perfume sampler on the dresser. 
I wonder what it would have smelt like?

Here's a picture of the master bathroom. There's a little tub behind the bathtub that they would use for  water therapy when they were sick.

Here's the other wolf that's at the front door. 

After the tour we went into the gardens for a little.
I really liked these white flowers.

Here's a picture of me and Dad. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment