Tours

Welcome and thank you for your interest in a guided Cabbagetown People tour. Join us as we lead you on a discovery of fascinating lives lived and remarkable legacies.

NEXT FREE TOUR – 2019 SEASON:

THE NECROPOLIS – OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Thursday, May 30, 6:30 PM

Dimanche le 30 juin à 13:30 [en français; in French ONLY]

Sunday, July 14, 10:30 AM

Thursday, Sept. 5, 6:30 PM

Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:30 PM

MEETING PLACE: East end of Winchester Street (200 Winchester Street)

Known as the resting place for prominent Torontonians and giants of Canadian history (George Brown, William Lyon Mackenzie, Jack Layton, etc.), the Necropolis is one of Toronto’s oldest cemeteries.

But this time, we will not visit the graves of prominent characters. Instead, we will take a stroll and learn about a tapestry of souls whose stories are seldom told, from former American slaves and their children, to women and immigrants. We will talk about a woman who rose to the top of the Olympic movement, a slave who used very unusual means to escape his condition. We will also talk about a Black Torontonian who befriended Abraham Lincoln and one who became Toronto Acting Mayor. We will also visit the graves of two heroic Toronto nurses and many more.

The Necropolis opened in 1850 to replace Potter’s Field, Toronto’s first non-denominational cemetery. The buildings came later in 1872. They were designed by renowned architect Henry Langley who also happens to be buried in the Necropolis. They are an excellent example of the High Victorian Gothic style (some say Gothic Revival) popular in the 19th century.

Andre Porteous is the first name entered in the Necropolis register. He died in December 1850 but was kept in a vault and buried in May 1850, following the spring thaw. His grave is near one of the stops on this year’s tour.
We will visit the Necropolis five times in 2019. These tours will be offered in partnership with Heritage Toronto (in English) and the Société d’histoire de Toronto (in French).

Tours are free of charge but a donation will be gladly accepted.

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We offer free tours to students from local schools in the Spring and Fall (see our For Schools section). We also offer free tours to local community groups (e.g. seniors).

We can  offer private and corporate Cabbagetown People tours. There is a charge for these tours, similar to those given in other Toronto neighbourhoods and in other cities. The cost is $10 per person to a maximum of $100 for the group. Up to 15 people can be accommodated on a tour with one guide. Revenues are reinvested in our programs.

Please use our Contact section to request a tour. Advise us of your desired time, date, numbers of persons in your group, as well as your contact information.

This Necropolis tour will also be offered once in French. Cette visite un peu spéciale de la Nécropole portera surtout sur des esclaves américains et autres immigrants (et leurs enfants) qui se sont installés à Toronto. Nous parlerons aussi de femmes qui, envers et contre tout, ont réussi à se hisser au sommet de leur domaine d’activité. La visite de la Nécropole en français aura lieu le dimanche 30 juin à 13 h 30. Rendez-vous à l’entrée de la Nécropole au 200 rue Winchester (extrémité est de la rue Winchester)

WP_000340 WP_000346 Quest tour June 26 2012 005

A group of St. James Town seniors on a Cabbagetown People tour on August 12, 2015.

A group of St. James Town seniors on a Cabbagetown People tour on August 12, 2015.