The Mississaugas of New Credit are the aboriginal landowners of Toronto who were forced out of the Toronto region after 1805 and sent to live at the Credit River (in today's City of Mississauga) until they were forced out of that area as well.

With no place left to go, as all of their other lands in southern Ontario had been taken over by the government, they were invited by Chief Joseph Brant to go to live on part of the lands given by government to the United Empire Loyalist Five Nations League (now the Six Nations Confederacy).

These lands along the Grand River were originally Mississauga lands for which they have not been paid, and in 1923 when the New Credit Mississaugas received some government money under the Williams Treaty, they bought two blocks of the Grand River tract from the Six Nations - in effect buying back from the Six Nations their own land for which the government has still not paid them. The two blocks where they live today are called the New Credit Reserve located near Hagerville, ON.
Cottage Sketch
A Community History Project site
Tollkeeper's Cottage Mementos

Tickets: $15 per lecture or $50 for the series of four. They can be purchased Saturdays at the museum (10 am - 5 pm), from a CHP member or by calling 416-515-7546 or just pick them up at the lecture (if room available). Tickets are limited to a maximum of 30 people per lecture.

Where: The Tollkeeper's Cottage, NW corner of Bathurst and Davenport.

When: Starting promptly at 7 pm.

There will be a break part way through the evening for tea or coffee. After each lecture, the lecturer will accept questions from the audience.

Jan.  Feb.   Mar.  Apr.  May  June  July  Aug.  Sept.  Oct.  Nov.  Dec.


Volunteer David Woodhead, in the photo above, has been busy for many weeks working to refresh our model of the Tollkeeper's Cottage. A local musician, David is also a hobby model craftsperson who has made our beloved model more realistic and animated. He has added wagons, people, horses, a cow, and pigs--some from 3D printing. 
Thank you so much David! See more about David on
SUNDAY AFTERNOON TALK: April 21 at 2:00 pm.

Returning speaker Ron Beaupre' is a Great Lakes marine historian
who has researched and written about a ship built in Toronto Harbour by the Polson Iron Works Company, the GRENVILLE (See photo below left).
He will regale us about her many adventures over the years (we won't spoil the ending!)
We invite all members of the Community History Project (as well as those who would like to purchase memberships at the meeting) to our

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on Sunday April 14 at 2:00 pm. 
This meeting will include a formal thank you to the ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION  for their generosity in funding our new heat pump which will allow us to be cool in summer and warm in winter. An added benefit is that it will move us away from fossil fuels. We also thank them for the new roof about to be built over the resource area where we hold our meetings, workshops and talks.  This is a huge gift to our organization, which receives funding almost completely from donations and from memberships. A representative from the Trillium Foundation will be here, and possibly MPP Jill Andrews, if her schedule allows.
After the business part of the meeting, we will hear from ADAM WYNNE who will speak about heritage in Toronto.

We have extended the 2024 membership to all those who purchased memberships from June 2023 onwards. For our planning, please RSVP at if you will attend. Thank you!

Have you ever wondered how tiny Taddle Creek just west of the Cottage must have looked at the time of our tollkeepers? Artist Shannyn Porter mixed the past with the present by layering archival photos of old waterways with images of their present-day appearance. She has used inks from the plants near each work to add colour, and offered the pieces to venues near the spot they depict. We were lucky to receive one of her works and will display it starting April 6. Come take a look!

Don't throw out that well loved sweater, jeans, shirt, tablecloth, toy, just because it has a rip or hole! Our menders at the Tollkeeper's Cottage are happy to give these items new life. On any Saturday, you may leave your piece, wrapped in a plastic bag, with the message: "To be mended" and your contact information. One of our volunteers will be in touch when it's ready. Repairs are by donation at the Cottage (in cash) or by e-transfer at On the e-transfer you need to ask a question with the answer "museum." 
Due to our long and collaborative relationship with the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Group at nearby St. Matthew’s Church, we are always happy to promote their worthwhile events. They are hosting the following concert: 
Saturday May 11 at 7:00 pm 
St. Matthews United Church $27.96
We know that Saturday is not possible for all who would like to visit the Tollkeeper's Cottage, so in addition to our regular Saturdays, beginning on Sunday April 7, we will be open the first Sunday of every month from 1:00-4:00!
APRIL 21 AT 2:00 PM 

The Grenville Steamship was built by Polson Ironworks in Toronto in 1914 as a lighthouse supply and buoy vessel. She was the first vessel through the St. Lawrence Seaway locks in 1957. Ron will tell us in his talk about her tragic end!
Are you ready for another elegant Victoria Day Tea with fine china and biscuits? Watch for upcoming details!
A truly once-in a lifetime solar eclipse in the Toronto area will occur on Monday April 8 between 2:00 and 4:00 pm and not again until 2144. Wear your solar glasses or make a pin-hole camera--stay safe, everyone!

Many of you who live in Seaton Village know that the Residents' Association has become active again. Jeannette Mazzocato and Ed Janiszewski, both on the Community History Project Board, have attended the SVRA meetings and we are eager to see where collaboration will be possible on heritage matters. The issue right now is what buildings in this neighbourhood need to be designated before their time as listed buildings runs out, as per the province's Bill 23, passed by the provincial government in Nov. 2022.  If the buildings do not receive designation by the end of 2024, they will be unprotected from possible development and will be unable to achieve protected status for another five years.

Some of the buildings we think should be designated are: the Russian Orthodox Church on Manning Avenue (formerly St. Cyprian's Anglican Church), St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church on Bathurst Street, the ambulance building on Markham Street; and two bank buildings: one on the north east corner of Christie and Dupont (now Popeye's), and the other across the street, now the A & W.

We will be meeting with other groups hoping to provide a combined response to our local and provincial elected representatives. If you are interested in helping with this, please let us know at

The SVRA can be contacted through their google group:
At this year's Annual General Meeting in April, we will formally announce and thank the Trillium Foundation for its generous grant to us that made possible a brand NEW HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM. The gas fired hot water heater will be replaced with an "on demand" and more environmentally friendly electric HEAT PUMP. We hope that the grant will extend to replacing and insulating our 25 year old roof over the resource centre to further improve energy efficiency. These investments will improve your experience and comfort whenever you visit the Cottage or resource room!

By taking out a membership at the low cost of $20, you can support our work and participate in the decision-making at Annual General Meetings. Current membership runs from this January to December. You may e-transfer the funds to with your name, email and home address. Be sure to type membership in the message section. Tax receipts the following February.

Also, we are eager to showcase the skills of more VOLUNTEERS, including docents and people skilled in nineteenth century crafts (spinners! YES!). We can also use people to help with maintenance, gardening, finance, governance, tech skills. Let us know at
Do you know a COMMUNITY MINDED ACCOUNTANT OR A FINANCIALLY SAVVY PERSON who can spare one meeting per month to serve as volunteer Treasurer for the Community History Project? We are looking for someone who will provide financial guidance with a budget and a few policies to keep us on track, with lots of help from our very knowledgeable and experienced bookkeeper. We'd be very happy to speak to anyone considering such a role. Offering lots of support in a congenial environment. Anyone?

You may have noticed that the HERITAGE PLAQUE describing the importance of Davenport Road has been missing for many months--a victim of one of the thefts of such coveted bronze signs around the city. Our Board of Directors has followed up and seen a preview of the new, re-worded plaque that emphasizes local Indigenous heritage. Such is the silver lining behind this dastardly deed! It'll take several months for the new plaque to be installed, but do look for it, on the north side of Davenport Road just west of Bathurst Street.

Davenport Road was known in Ojibwe as Gete-Onigaming: "at the old portage."



RECONSTITUTING NATURAL MATERIALS FOR RE-USE: Here is Mical, busy at work hammering in a rebar. She is making a "hugel mound" on the north east side of the property. The design was originally pioneered by Sepp Holzer and involves developing what is effectively a raised bed, filled with rotten wood and materials that would otherwise go to waste to create a hi


Our membership year is now January to December. Your membership fee of $20 individual or $35. per family will get you one whole year of membership, voting at the Annual Meeting in March or April, and an opportunity to run for the Board of Directors. Any questions, please email us at




We have some new and updated Slideshows on the site!! (Thanks to all ).. You can find them here



You too can be a member of the Community History Project! It’s only $20 a year. Just mail in or email us your membership fee to this address

If you would like to make a donation or pay a membership fee, you can now do it in the modern way – online! We can now receive an e-transfer at our email address! Donations and membership fees will receive an income tax receipt next February.



Event Background

The Tollkeeper’s Cottage is a museum wholly owned and operated by the Community History Project – a local history society serving on a volunteer basis. The museum is in a restored historic building dating from around 1835 and is a rare remnant from the beginning of the 19th century tolling system in Upper Canada. The restoration has been to the building’s earliest start – 1835 – but has been furnished mostly with antiques up to 1860 when a family of nine lived in the building’s three rooms.. Designated by the City of Toronto, the Tollkeeper’s Cottage is of national significance as it is the only historic tollhouse known to have survived into the present time, and it is also rare for its vertical plank construction. In period dress, trained docents are on duty every Saturday (non pandemic) from 10 am until 5 pm (4pm winter--closed between Christmas and New Year) and will take visitors on a tour for a modest donation. The museum is not subsidized by governments and raises its own operating costs through these donations and various fundraising programmes. Some items now part of the museum are extremely rare and interesting, but you will have to visit to find out what they are! And yes, very selected furnishings are still being accepted into the collection but only after being vetted by an expert.
Additional Events and details are provided here and on the bulletin board at the Cottage as soon as they become available

Some of the annual programmes that may be offered at the museum are: a series of lectures by experts in a spring and fall series on various historical subjects, knitting, rug-braiding, a Food Focus series of events featuring indigenous Canadian foods (berries, nuts, etc. and actual recipes using these foods as taken from historic sources. Special arrangements can be made for school classes, seniors and other group tours or special programmes preferably by emailing and leaving a message for rates and dates. The modern addition to the historic building can also be rented for special events such as meetings, receptions. The museum is open at special times throughout the years, for example for selected Wednesday evening lectures. The museum has events such as Victoria Day Tea, St. Patrick's Day Tea, December Cookie sale, Strawberry Social. Visit this website periodically to learn more about these and other events. We usually have the activities for the next two months in more detail on this page.

Watch this site for changing tidbits on local history, announcements of new programmes etc. You may wish to watch some of our slide shows showing the restoration process, educational programs, activities and even our gift shop.

Virtual tour of the cottage (thanks to Andrew Jones)


Where's The Tollkeeper's Cottage?
The Tollkeeper's Cottage