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
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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.
Events

 

MAY EVENTS AT THE TOLLKEEPER'S COTTAGE

First up:  
THE CHRISTIE PITS WALK ON FRIDAY MAY 24th at 10 am 
 Weather looks promising, and the required
 minimum of 4 walkers have already signed up!

Then THE WEST ANNEX WALK ON SATURDAY 
MAY 25th at 2 pm. Looks like a nice day, so far, 
and again, we have the needed group to proceed.

 

A NOTE FROM DOCENT MARILYN SPEARIN:
The season for our local history walking tours is upon us! 

Here are some of the tours we do:
  • Seaton Village – including its Black history
  • the West Annex – with Jane Jacob’s house
  • the Christie Pits area – Koreatown, unusual houses, the Riot
  • Tarragon Village – with Baldwin and George Brown
  • Wychwood Park – with or without turtles
  • Casa Loma – with very grand stables
If you would care to join us for a guided walk through Seaton Village, the West Annex, or many other interesting areas nearby, send us a message at tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com to be added to the list of those we contact when a walk or two are imminent!

Our walks are for anyone interested. No fee, but we would appreciate a donation! 
 
     
WEST ANNEX TOUR

On this tour you will see the house in which an 18 year old servant girl shot and killed her employer, Charles Massey, in 1915. The book by Charlotte Gray describes the provocation and the subsequent trial that gripped all of Toronto: "the Massey Murder, A Maid, her Master and the Trial that shocked a Nation".

 
 
SEATON VILLAGE TOUR

On Follis Avenue we find one of the few remaining workers' cottages that were once abundant in the area. The house above was formerly a livery stable (probably behind it), a butcher’s premises, and a saddlery over the years. One occupant was a butcher named Sheepway. 
 

CHRISTIE PITS TOUR

This tour covers the western side of Seaton Village, with its eccentric "wood cake" house. We pass by Crestfallen Lane and learn about the horse that provided Canadians with low-cost diphtheria vaccine. We look at the meaning of the tiger in Koreatown and find the plaque that commemorates the riot here that shocked Toronto. We take note of several crooked houses and see the elaborate residence shown above. 

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COMMUNITY HISTORY PROJECT 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2024-25
Thank you to our members for an
 interactive Annual General Meeting,
 where we passed the new Constitution 
and celebrated our Ontario Trillium Grant.
 Thank you to Ethan Doddes,
 who took MPP Jill Andrew's place
 while she was recovering from 
a foot injury. Wishing you a 
speedy recovery,
 Jill! We wish our hard-working
 board another successful year!

 President: Jeannette Mazzocato
                                                        Vice president: Ed Janiszewski
                                                        Secretary: Nick Gunz
                                                        Treasurer: Timothy Watson
                                                        Members at large:
                                                        Ronnie Burbank
                                                        William Kindree
                                                        Doreen Moor-Mapes
                                                        Robin Rhodes
                                                        Erin Shaw
                                                        Marilyn Spearin
                                                        Catherine Watts


 


MENDING IS STILL AVAILABLE!
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 tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com. On the e-transfer you need to ask a question with the answer "museum." 
 
NEW--SUNDAY OPENINGS
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!
   
   
VICTORIA DAY
Are you ready for another elegant Victoria Day Tea with fine china and biscuits? May 20, $10 adults $5 kids
   
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THE IMPACT OF BILL 23: MORE HOMES BUILT FASTER ACT
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 tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com.

The SVRA can be contacted through their google group: https://groups.google.com/g/svranew
At this year's Annual General Meeting i we  formally announced and thanked 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!

MEMBERSHIP
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 tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com 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 tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com.
 




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."


 

 

 
 
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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 tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com.

Email tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com

 

 



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 tollkeeperscottage@gmail.com 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