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Address to a Haggis at Mackenzie House

Yesterday, Dad and I went to Mackenzie House for their Robbie Burns celebration.
We really went to see the "Address to a Haggis".

To read the Robert Burns' poem and it's translation, you can check out this website:

Paul Federico did the address and he also explained what it meant.

I got to help out again when he asked for volunteers.

Paul Federico is a really talented orator. He is able to convey exactly what he means by using his tone of voice as well as his body language and he does it in two languages too!

They had dancing and they had the harp again this year.
You can see my blog post from last year to get an idea of what else was going on.

If you're wondering who Robert Burns was, you can watch this short video on youtube:


The Toronto Archives

This afternoon, Mom and I went to the Toronto Archives. It was our first time there.
We wanted to research who lived in our house before us.

The Archives are really close to Casa Loma.
It looked really cool with the snow but I was glad we weren't walking up that hill.

When we got inside we filled out Application Forms so we could use the Archives and we got ID cards to use while we're there.
They have lockers to put our coats and bags. You can take pictures of the documents, save to a USB stick or you can print them there for a fee. 

 I had no idea that the Archives were this huge!!!

We chose to look at the City Directories. They have records from 1834 - 2001.
We searched for our address and then we looked up the name of the person who was living there in those years.

I learnt how to use Microfilm!

We had some un-expected but exciting results!

They had other displays up in the Archives.

They had a map showing the different wards in Toronto through the years.

They had a picture display in the lobby.
I thought these two pictures were cool:
(Search the Archives using the terms "Chinese Couple" to see a better version of this picture.)

(Search the Archives using the terms "Plowing Match Scarborough" for this picture.)

There was a small display about the Great War

And there was also an exhibit called "No Little Plans" which was about buildings and transportation in Toronto.

Here's a link with what you can find out about the history of your house in Toronto.


Homeschoolers Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village

I know it was a long time ago, but last September I went to Black Creek Pioneer Village for a special Homeschooling Program.

We got to do 3 different activities and we also got to explore the village.

The first activity I did was Dancing.
I won't post any pictures of the dance because there were other kids dancing with me. We learnt the Sir Roger De Coverly Dance which is a Contra Dance.
It was something like this video, but we weren't as good.

Here is a picture of me with the lady who taught us the dance.

We were upstairs in the Half Way House.
Here are some pictures from the house.

We made sure to order some fresh baked bread from the kitchen. It tasted really good!
The bread alone was worth the trip all the way out to Black Creek!
(If you do go to Black Creek, order the bread in the morning when you get there and you can pick it up in the afternoon.)

My second activity was "Apprentice to the Printer". :-)

In the Printing Office they had a couple old Newspapers that were published by William Lyon Mackenzie (Toronto's First Mayor).

Paper used to be made from cloth so people would sell their old cotton and linen rags to the printers.

Printers would make their own ink from lamp black or soot mixed with linseed oil or turpentine.

They had several different types of presses in the Printing Office:

A Tops or Acorn Press

A Washington Flat Bed Press from about 1840
(which we got to use)

A Gordon Press or Job Press
(This one is a bit on the dangerous side because your hand could get caught when the clam-shell closes)

A Proof Press

And a Cylindrical Press from the 1850s or 1860s

The Globe Newspaper used a Washington Flat Bed press before switching to a Cylindrical Press. I can just imagine the type of press they would use now!

At the Printing Office I heard about mnemonics to learn the order of the letters in the lower case.
The one I remember from the Homeschooling day is:
"Let me now help out your punctuation with commas".

When I googled that mnemonic I found other ones that you can use for the other rows:
"Be careful driving elephants into small Ford garages"
& "villains usually take three-em-spaces and run".

For more info on printing you can check out my blog post on Printing at Mackenzie House.

Here are some pictures of Notices that were up in the Printing Office.

The third activity that I did was a tour of the Grist Mill.

I don't remember as much about the tour but I did take a few videos:

Here you can see the water wheel:

And what it is like inside:

Here is a model of Roblin's Mill.

And the flour that you would get from the Mill.

I hope I'll be able to go on a tour again and next time I promise I'll blog about it soon after so I will remember more.

Here are some other pictures from my day at Black Creek:

A huge "Thank you" to the people who organized the Homeschoolers Day at Black Creek. It was really fun and I hope that you have more programs like this again in the future!