Often in my Thursday posts I write about locales that are far away. But sometimes I like to remind myself of the amazing places close to home. So for the month of December, I’ll be writing about the city where I live, Toronto, and some fun Christmas activities in the area.
Montgomery’s Inn is a local museum that was not only an inn, but also a bar, a farm and a homestead. Established in a rural area in 1830 by Thomas and Margaret Montgomery, it’s now a busy city intersection. From the kitchen through the bar and ballroom, the curator has compiled enough information to keep any history student fascinated. For example, tenants generally shared their room with strangers, and those rooms would have been unheated. The most popular drinks in the bar were beer and whiskey, but Montgomery also sold meals, cheese, crackers, tobacco and pipes. And according to the inn brochure, “chairs were occasionally broken” in the bar. Sounds like a lively place.
Although staff doesn’t decorate the inn itself (at the time, Christmas decorations weren’t in vogue), the tearoom is decorated. And the range of activities over the next month is unbelievable: Visitors to the inn can take part in gingerbread workshops or participate in an evening of singing 19th century carols. "A Christmas Carol" is being performed later this month. And if you want a more mobile activity, the Twelfth Night Dance Party on January 7 is not to be missed. (No chairs will be harmed in this activity.)
Montgomery’s Inn has been targeted for possible closure by the city to save funds. In addition to being a great landmark (and possibly the best place ever to attend a Twelfth Night Dance Party), it’s a true part of the community. We have friends who rent the dining area every year to host a community potluck and when we go we’re reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a city that celebrates its history. Let’s hope this history isn’t forgotten, and Montgomery’s Inn is saved.