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Toronto history society plans self-guided tour

June 11, 2012
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - The Historical Society of Toronto is sponsoring a self-guided driving tour of historical sites in the city based on a lithograph of the city dating back to 1899.

The tour, which will begin at the city gazebo commons and will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, will include details on the self-guided tour along with a packet of information on the history of the Gem City at the turn of the last century, according to Linda McFerren, society vice president and Carolyn Walker, society president.

"This is a self-guided driving tour. It's based on the lithograph of the city," said McFerren, adding some houses on the lithograph, which is a map of the city at the time, are highlighted. "We wondered about the houses. Are they still there?"

McFerren said society members also wondered why some houses were on the map and others weren't. She added society members did research on residences and other history depicted in the lithograph, and those interested would have to take the tour to discover that history.

"The tour packet comes with a $10 donation," said Walker. "If someone buys or renews a membership in the Historical Society of Toronto they will get a $5 discount on the booklet for a limited time.

"The (tour packet) introduction tells how the lithograph was drawn," continued Walker, adding the detailed map was created before flight was possible. "But we're not going to tell how it was done unless (those interested) take the tour."

The packet contains information on the histories of prominent families at the time, a page on local manufacturing including clay works and the former Toronto Horse Race Track, said Walker.

"The racetrack was developed around 1881," she said.

Booklets can be picked up at the gazebo during the tour hours, said McFerren.

"(Those taking the tour) won't be entering any of the houses or yards," said McFerren. "It's just a view from the street."

"We're hoping to have a good turnout," said Walker.

For information on the history society or the tour, call (740) 537-2157.

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