Creativity and innovation inspired the original owners of Colborne Lodge, John and Jemima Howard, to leave High Park as a legacy that all Torontonians benefit from today.
Built by John Howard and Jemima, two painters, one also an architect and engineer, this Regency-era lakeside summer cottage still holds original collections of their art, architectural drawings, and inventions as well as stories of their eccentric lives. From 19th century science, technology, and medicine, to illness, adultery, and reported hauntings, Colborne Lodge truly has a story to engage all visitors. Colborne Lodge engages in the inclusion of Indigenous narratives and stories through a partnership with First Story Toronto where Indigenous guides embark on a truth-telling journey through their own lens.
Nearly 200 years later, Colborne Lodge is an active hub for community events in High Park, with cottage and garden tours, special events, workshops, and more. Locals and visitors alike are welcomed to see the place where the vision for High Park was born.
Explore 19th-century innovation and creativity, city building, science, technology and design as exemplified by John Howard at Colborne Lodge. The site was built in 1837 and is located at the south end of High Park. The park’s 165 acres were originally the property of the Howard family and included the Lodge and a variety of farm outbuildings. John and Jemima Howard gifted the property to the City of Toronto to be used as a public park.
The museum site consists of two buildings: an original Regency Picturesque stucco cottage and John Howard’s original Picture Gallery.
Colborne Lodge offers ongoing events and exhibits, popular kids programs, school trips as well as a unique glimpse of Toronto history. Drop in to Colborne Lodge to view the many original furnishings and artifacts, and some of John Howard’s own watercolours depicting images of early Toronto.