Mackenzie House

Built in the 1850s, the Mackenzie House was occupied by Toronto's first mayor for three years. This Greek Revival home was converted to a public museum in the middle of the 20th century. Visitors will learn about the fascinating history of this charming dwelling that's tied to the highest levels of local and national politics. Click to book your Toronto tours.

History and Highlights

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Born in Dundee, Scotland, in the late 18th century, William Lyon Mackenzie became one of the most powerful politicians in Canada during the early 19th century. He served as Toronto's first mayor between 1834 and 1835. Two years after leaving the municipal office, he initiated the Upper Canada Rebellion against colonial British rule. He was exiled into the United States because of his leading role in the rebellion. However, Mackenzie returned to Canada in the 1850s with great political ambitions. He served seven years in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. At the end of his tenure in this legislative branch, he moved into a private residence that was built by fellow friends and colleagues. Deep financial troubles prevented him from buying private properties and other luxuries. Mackenzie lived in the charming three-level dwelling until his death in 1861. The prominent politician was laid to rest at the Toronto Necropolis. In 1936, the Mackenzie House was in jeopardy of being demolished to make way for new developments. Mackenzie's grandson, who served as the nation's prime minister at the time, successfully preserved the historic property. In the early 1960s, the Toronto Historical Board restored the house according to its original design. All elements of the original Greek Revival facade were meticulously renovated and reinstalled. Various Georgian features were also added to the exterior and interior. Furnishings from the middle of the 19th century were also placed inside the restored rooms. Click to book your Toronto tours. Today, the City of Toronto officially operates the restored house that has strong ties to a prominent political pedigree. Visitors can expect to see Victorian furniture and other decorative items that were common in the 1860s. Some of the artifacts on display were directly traced to the Mackenzie family. Other items in the museum originate from middle-class families that lived in Toronto during the relevant period. From portraits and dressers to mirrors and kitchen utensils, all of the antique artifacts are purposefully placed inside the cozy rooms. The tour guides provide detailed information on the lives of the Mackenzies and other notable individuals in Canadian politics. The knowledgeable guides present history lessons on the house, neighborhood and Toronto in general. Visitors are also encouraged to explore other sites that are related to the former residents of the house. For instance, the grave of Toronto's first mayor is located just a short drive away from this landmark. There's also a bust of him at the lush lawn of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Visiting Mackenzie House

The Mackenzie House is located on Bond Street in downtown Toronto. The nearest rapid transit stop is Dundas Station, one of the busiest points along the Yonge-University Line. This subway route directly links Dundas-Yonge Square with Union Station, which offers convenient transfers to commuter rail. TTC streetcars and buses also stop within walking distance of this historic house. The 301 and 501 lines run along Queen Street, which is located just a few blocks south of the museum. The CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Ed Mirvish Theatre are some notable reference points that you could use to locate the well-preserved home.

Location: 82 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5B 1X2

Click here to visit Mackenzie House official website.

Published On: 2019-06-11
Updated On: 2019-06-11

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