New look for old house

Spadina House, one of Toronto’s most historic living museums, has reopened after a 10-month restoration that has returned the manse to its glory days in the 1920s and ’30s.

Spadina House, one of Toronto’s most historic living museums, has reopened after a 10-month restoration that has returned the manse to its glory days in the 1920s and ’30s.

The faded fabric and furnishings, used to recreate the story of three generations of the Austin family who lived in the home from 1866 to the early 1980s, have been replaced with material faithful to the time period.

Lush silk wallpaper, true to the 1920s, now covers the formal calling room where the first generation of Austins would have received visitors on Fridays, the appointed day for their quadrant of the city. Original furnishings in the drawing room have been recovered with silk and wool fabric sourced from France. Floors have been resurfaced with linoleum from Holland, silkscreened to match the pattern and colours of the original tile.

The city and province purchased Spadina House in the mid-1970s, with the intent to turn it into a museum when the last Austin family member, Anna Kathleen Thompson, eventually moved out.

 
 
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