Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cool Toronto: Coulbourne Lodge

I used to live very near Toronto's High Park. Now I visit it no more than once a year, but that's usually before Christmas, and it's always to visit Colbourne Lodge, the lovely Regency cottage of Jemima and John Howard, who left their land to the city to create a park, long before anyone knew they'd need a park! In the 19th century, the area that is now High Park was far away from the city centre, and so the fact that John Howard bequeathed the land so that city families would have a place to go that was green and spacious seemed a little eccentric. He was on the mark, because, to this day, High Park is exactly that for a very great many Torontonians.

M and I visited the week before Christmas. It's a small historic house, but there is a very distinct charm about it. The docents are dressed in period costume and are very informative and friendly. We had their homemeade shortbread (infused with candied peel) and hot cider when we visited one of the two kitchens.

And I always learn something new... like this fact: Colbourne Lodge was the first house in Toronto to have an indoor toilet. Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, Toronto's first loo:

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