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Ideas for the City Museums

A few days ago my Mom showed me this article about the City of Toronto Museums looking for ways to engage our communities.

I've been to all 10 of the City of Toronto Museums and I think I have a good idea of what goes on.

Here are things that I like about the museums already:
- Hogmanay
- Printing keepsakes at Mackenzie House
- School programs like making ice cream, scones and cookies
- Haggis making (even though I haven't done it myself yet)
- Quilting and knitting at Gibson House
- Tours of historical sites
- Dramatic interpretations
- Reenactments
- Summer camps and PA Day camps

I like the school programs but they don't do them for the people who drop by on the weekends. Maybe they could rotate through them on weekends for everybody to enjoy?
Maybe they could have after-school programs for kids to go?

Mom and I sat down and thought of things we'd like to do at the Toronto Museums.
Here is a short list of what we came up with:
- Open Hearth Cooking - I think they already do this at Montgomery Inn, but I think they could do it at most of the museums
- Making Jams & Jellies
- How to dry, preserve, candy and pickle
- Making candied orange peel and apple pomanders... and maybe show us how they decorated with pineapples
- Making Christmas Pudding
- Making fancy greeting cards
- Home remedies (ones that are safe and effective)
- Healing herbs that can be grown in Toronto
- Making soaps and candles
- Paper making
- Doing a whole newsletter from scratch (I think this would be good as a school activity)
- Getting Victorian Makeovers and taking pictures (it would be even cooler with a 'period' camera)
- How to do different period hair styles
- Learning simple dances
- Needle point and embroidery
- Practical sewing skills... maybe you can compare hand sewing to using a machine.
- Traditional cleaning methods
- Wood carving
- Games like fact or fiction (eg. we could guess if something is a Victorian invention or not, or Canadian or not)
- Etiquette skills

Maybe they could even have programs where grown ups and kids can go and learn how to do things like
- Make shoes
- Complete a sewing project
- Making wooden toys, cutting boards and boxes
- Grind grains, prepare all the ingredients and go all the way through to baking something.
- Learn about foods that are in season

Maybe they could print graphic novels about historical figures like James Austin, William Lyon Mackenzie,  John Howard and others?

I don't want to sit down and watch another video of what life was like, I want to do stuff and I want to make things. :-)


  1. It would be nice to learn tatting.

  2. I hope you forwarded your ideas to the city, hands on is so much better then videos and would be great for drop ins as people dont know what is happening all the time and out of town ppl could enjoy them too Tracy Forsyth

    1. Thanks. :-)
      My Mom sent the link to this blog post by facebook to the City of Toronto Museums.