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Colborne Lodge at High Park

Today, Mom and I went to the "Never stop learning; Start of Summer Homeschoolers Pic-nic" at High Park.

It was kind of cold and rainy, so we decided to head over to Colborne Lodge. A City of Toronto Museum. The last time I went was in 2013!
It was my Mom's first time visiting.

We started off by exploring a little outside.

We saw the grave of John and Jemima Howard who lived at Colborne Lodge and donated the property and the surrounding land to the City of Toronto to be used as a public park. He made an agreement with the City so he could stay in his house with a generous pension until the time of his passing and his servants were able to stay on as long as they liked afterwards.

Some of the land remains in its natural state but some of it is nicely manicured.

They have a nice, little vegetable & herb garden.

I was surprised to find a cannon in the yard.
It would have been looking out towards the lake but the landscape has changed quite a bit and now it is facing trees.

I am happy that my Mom takes lots of pictures.... In this blog post I am going to focus mainly on the art that we saw in the house.

John Howard was an architect and surveyor and he was very interested in painting scenes from Toronto and his designs. His art gives us a good idea of what Toronto was like when he was alive.
The curators have included many of his original paintings in the house.

A View of the Lake in front of Colborne Lodge (1870)

A View of the Lake in front of Colborne Lodge (1870)

Here, you can see the same view.

The corner of York Street, looking down King - The British Coffee House in the Chewett Building

King at Church - Old Gaol, Fire Hall and St. James Cathedral in 1835

Proposed design for King's College 

Parliament Buildings and Emigrant Sheds

Jemima Howard

John Howard

I can't remember what this one was, and we couldn't find it online. 

On top of the cabinet is a model of a bridge that John Howard designed. The bridge was built in Oakville.

He kept meticulous records and his journals include lots of information about his daily activities.

He also painted scenes he had seen in prints.

John Howard taught at Upper Canada College.
He did this painting  of The Dejeuner at Upper Canada College when the school was still at King and Simcoe.

When I saw this painting, I remembered something I read in "The Organs of Toronto" by Alan Jackson and James Bailey. The intersection at King and Simcoe was known for "Education, Legislation, Salvation and Damnation" because in each corner there was:
  • Education at Upper Canada College
  • Legislation at the mansion of the Lieutenant Governor
  • Salvation at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
  • & Damnation at the saloon on the remaining corner.
Only St. Andrews remains at that intersection now.

This painting was not done by Howard, but he and his wife carried it with them when they came to Canada

The pomander on the mantle had a nice smell.

I believe this painting was done by John Howard of a scene in Quebec

They are doing work on the indoor bathroom, but you can compare how it looked a few years ago.

It is the oldest surviving indoor bathroom in Toronto.

The master bedroom was designed with high ceilings to help keep them cool in the summer.

We got a quick look inside the shaving set on the dressing table.

This piece was very dramatic

John Howard witnessed this ship going down, and called Thomas Tinning, a rower and a lifeguard to help the crew. 

Here are some other pictures from our visit:

Jemima Howard also painted and it seems that she was better at doing faces than her husband.

Both of the Howard's kitchens had water sources inside

Here you get to see inside of the ice box in the summer kitchen. Ice would be put in the top part to keep the items in the lower part cool.

Here is a picture of the Potting Room.

John Howard used to display his art in the next building. It is not climate controlled so they no longer use it as a gallery.

This is in the winter kitchen

Thank you to Karen for the wonderful tour, and thanks to all of the staff and volunteers at Colborne Lodge!

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