Spadina Museum is a Historic Estate in Toronto

Situated on a steep hill just outside of downtown Toronto, the Spadina Museum is a historic estate that's linked to the prominent Austin family. Visitors may admire the rich architecture, artwork and other authentic artifacts on display at this important landmark that's managed by the city. Click to book your Toronto tours.

Background and History

Spadina Museum in Toronto
Explore this Elegant Mansion
William Warren Baldwin developed the site that's today known as the Spadina Museum. A prominent member of the Province of Upper Canada, he built a small house on the hilly grounds in 1818. As one of Toronto's leading financial tycoons in the middle of the 19th century, James Austin wanted to move into a prestigious area just north of the city's urban core. The head of the Dominion Bank wanted to live in an elegant state, just like the rest of the community's elite class. He bought 80 acres on this property in the middle of the 1860's. Approximately 30 years after acquiring the house, James Austin officially transferred it to his son, Albert William. Several renovations and expansions were funded by the son in the early 20th century. Albert William passed away nearly four decades after inheriting the elegant residence. His daughter, Anna Kathleen, moved into the home in the early 1940s. She resided at the family estate for 40 years, and her death ultimately led to urgent calls for renovations and preservation by the local community. Just two years after her passing, the City of Toronto officially opened the house as a public museum. The Ontario Heritage Foundation has also funded and managed this historic complex since the 1980s. To date, more than 30,000 items have been successfully recovered at the property by authorized archaeologists. Stone foundations, glassware, furniture and personal items are some of the artifacts that have been excavated on the grounds. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour.

Highlights and Facilities

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The Spadina House retains its original Second Empire design that dates back to the middle of the 19th century. Elements of Victorian and Edwardian designs are also clearly visible on the facade and inside. The elegant exterior terraces and spiraling interior staircases have been fully preserved according to authentic blueprints. The elegant house is furnished with artwork from different genres, including Art Noveau and Art Deco. Visitors will also see some of the first telephones, climate control systems and other innovative technologies that were used by wealthy families in Canada between 1900 and 1930. After admiring the lavish installations inside the Spadina House, you can explore other facilities on the well-maintained grounds. The multi-level garage was built in 1909, and the greenhouse was constructed four years later. A stable that dates back to 1850 is another notable facility on the grounds. The Ravine and Natural Feature Protection is a program that preserves the landscape surrounding the house and other structures. The beautiful gardens at this estate retain their original layouts that were designed by the Austin family.

Visiting Spadina Museum

Spadina Museum in Toronto
A Historic Estate in Toronto
Standing near the corner of Spadina Road and Davenport Road, the Spadina Museum is easily accessible by public transportation. Located just one block away from the museum, Dupont station gets daily service from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Yonge-University subway. Also served by this rapid transit line, the St. Clair West station is within walking distance of the historic estate. On-site parking isn't available, but you may park for a fee at the adjacent Casa Loma, a notable mansion on Austin Terrace. The famous Baldwin Steps connect Davenport Road to both of these prominent landmarks.

Location: 285 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5R 2V5

Click here to visit Spadina Museum official website.

By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-09-16
Updated On: 2019-09-16

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