Mackenzie House
Mackenzie House
4.5
Saturday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
temporarily closed due to flooding Mackenzie House is the restored home of William Lyon Mackenzie, Toronto's first Mayor, a radical journalist and publisher, and leader of the Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada. This house was given to Mackenzie by friends and supporters, when he retired from public life, and in recognition of his many years of serving the community. Mackenzie House is one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. Toronto's Historic Sites engage visitors, inspire passion, challenge ideas and connect the past to the present.
Duration: < 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown
At the heart of Toronto, Downtown is the destination for cheap eats and fast fashion. Cut through by hip and trendy Yonge Street, the vibe here is young, with a strong student influence from the Ryerson University Campus. As a result, the Downtown area is always in flux: undergoing the construction of new facilities, with fresh retail spaces and pop-up cafes. Home to Toronto's largest indoor shopping mall, a number of vintage cinemas, and a healthy nightlife centered on the area's Distillery District bar and clubs near the East End, it's both an easygoing daytime spot and a popular party place after sunset. It also features some of Toronto's best outdoor landmarks, including Yonge-Dundas Square and the Nathan Phillips Square: perfect for a concert, a skate, or a relaxing sit-down.
How to get there
  • Dundas • 3 min walk
  • Queen • 5 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles84 reviews
Excellent
55
Very good
21
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
3

Tracy K
New Jersey68 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
House is not currently open for visits, and apparently has very little inside anyway (according to our tour guide). We walked by during a Tour Guys tour of the Old Town. I wouldn't head there independent of a walking tour unless you are interested in one of their occasional printmaking workshops. Not architecturally significant.
Written June 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janko W
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Misleading information (or lack of information) ruined our family Sunday.
I came with my family (1hr 10 min driving distance times 2), parked the car for $20 and we walk to visit the museum to find out that it is closed.
Written July 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IOSHAf
5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I visited Mackenzie House to join its (ghost) storytelling activity and for some history-packed fun on a winter day. This is the last home of Toronto's first mayor, for many, is the city's most haunted house. Sitting in a dimly lit room built in 1830, with only candle lights, sipping apple cider and munching cheese shortbread, I got this unique chance to listen to ghost stories written in 1863. Also tried the Washington Press, one of the oldest printing presses in Canada, to print a lovely new year card for myself. 😚
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DGVNJ
Elmwood Park, NJ148 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
On a quiet side street you step into Mackenzie House and are transported back 175 years and treated to an informative history of Toronto and if you go during the holidays you can feast in the joyous experience of a Scottish Hogmanay celebration.
When we arrived we were able to explore the entire house and had the chance to use what I believe to be one of the the oldest working printing presses in existence in a recreated print shop. The costumed docents gave insightful and informative descriptions of house and the way of life that we were being given a view to.
Since this was a special Hogmanay event we were also treated to some wonderful live music by Gin Lane and a delicious feast. For the first time in my life I tried haggis and loved it! The haggis looks like a medium sized pumpernickel loaf and you are given a 1/2 in slice. It's a rich concoction that tasted wonderful.
The entire event was well worth it and a great way to start our visit to Toronto.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

runningwild32
united kingdom320 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Not knowing anything about the history of Toronto, having been on a walking tour, we decided to go back to Mackenzie House and not past it this time. At $8 we thought it was excellent value for money. We were the only ones on the tour to start and got our own personal guide, who gave us information on the family life of Mackenzie along with the history of the house. We then had a fascinating chat from Bruce explaining about Mackenzie, the printing press and Mackenzie and the newspaper, going into exile along with being the first Lord Mayor of Toronto.
Excellent value for money, definitely a case of small is best, highly interesting couple of hours delivered by staff enthusiastic about Mackenzie.
Written November 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue H
United Kingdom28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
MacKenzie House is quite difficult to find but it's a great place. One of the oldest houses in Toronto. It has been refurbished to the time of Mayor MacKenzie (the first major of Toronto). He was a printer as well as a politician and the house has printing press from his time which all visitors can try out.
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marjorie Stewart
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Only open for 4 hours mid-week 12pm to 4pm. Only $8 entrance for adults, We arrived at 12.05pm and immediately were taken on a tour by a chap in character dress. He was knowledgeable and passionate about his subject matter. He knew so much incidental detail about the goings on of the times and handled questions easily as we went along. The tour guide had such a lovely smooth way of speaking and his manner was very open and welcoming.

Such a lot of very interesting history which, as visitors to Canada, we knew nothing about but which fit well with our knowledge of history elsewhere in the world so the guide knew the history pertaining to Mackenzie but also to the bigger political picture too.

From previous reviews we thought the tour lasted around 40 minutes but at 1.20pm we had to run off for a lunch date and promised to return afterwards. We returned at 3pm to tag on to another tour just ending, perfect timing as they had reached the printworks by then. We received a quick lesson in typesetting and then had a shot at pressing our own news-sheet with our own names etc.

Absolutely brilliant wee tour; not so much because of the artefacts and the objets in the house which were all of the period and very appropriate but more because of the guide being so knowledgeable and interactive. Very enjoyable, huge thumbs up!

More than worth the very small entrance fee of $8 and I would encourage everyone to leave a small donation as well. In a city where everything costs a lot, here is a small hidden gem being run by a group of enthusiasts. They also do evening events, demos, part of the haunted Toronto walk, they had a seance (not real) and cooking classes using the real stove and range in the funny basement kitchen. They run classes for groups, in type setting. Sooo impressed but as with all things, you only get out what you put in so if you're interested and engaged in interacting and being educated then this is definitely the place for you.

Would advise flat shoes, we didn't ask about taking photos. I am sure that if anyone had wanted to they would have been encouraged to play the piano in the parlour, I was very tempted but didn't ask. To do the house justice you need at least 2 hours minimum. I think there was a small coffee shop at the back but we had to break our tour in half with our lunch date. There's no wifi and no connectivity even for mobile data.

Hidden gem - absolutely fascinating.
Written October 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marjanne
London, UK14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Solo
I decided to do some solo touristing for the first time while my husband was in meetings and very much enjoyed the tour here. Having arrived when a small group was finishing their tour and getting their souvenir prints, I was kindly added to the printing portion of the tour normally done at the end and then taken around the house by myself before another couple of people joined us half way through. The tour guide was very good at accommodating awkward walk-in times and ensuring everyone gets to see and do everything by simply doing the bits of the tour in a different order based on when you joined and I appreciate that he took me round by myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour which was interesting, informative, and humorous. I would say it is definitely worth the $8 and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in historical house museums or, like me, simply likes beautiful buildings and a view into a different time.
Written July 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CameronToronto
Toronto, Canada158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
We thoroughly enjoyed this event with dinner. The actors that portrayed the Mackenzies were exceptional and we were spared a dull and lengthy history lesson.

Diners were welcomed with a trio of musicians and a tour of the print shop wit an amuse bouche beef Wellington. All taxes & gratuity was included.

After the Mackenzies made their grand entrance in the reception area, all the “guests” made their way to the dining room upstairs. The food catered by Daniel & Daniel, was quite good and filling. Wine or cider was abundant and kept flowing for the many toasts that were made by our hosts.

The actors stayed in character and for dessert in the basement (mini portions of cakes/ puddings on a buffet table with hot apple cider) they stopped acting.

Lots of fun and would highly recommend, especially if you appreciate history.
Written February 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cass B
Toronto, Canada50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
Really fun evening! Sit down dinner in the dining room with great actors playing the Mackenzies! Great experience. Would love to do it again
Written February 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MACKENZIE HOUSE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Mackenzie House

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