The Tollkeeper’s Cottage, Toronto 2017
This is not Spadina House. The modest white building at the North West corner of Bathurst and Davenport, not far from the grand heritage home that is currently the Spadina Museum, is the original tollhouse where tolls were collected from 1835 to 1895 at this same intersection that was then the top of Bathurst Street. Tolls paid for the development of roads in the area.
This cottage is a museum furnished to the 1860s when the tollkeeper and his wife with seven children shared three simple rooms. It is now owned and operated by the Community History Project, and animated by women in period costume with a wealth of knowledge about the hard labour and survival skills required by most Toronto settlers at that time.
March is mending month when each Saturday afternoon in March, lessons from the past can be learned for the present.
Marilyn Spearin shows off a wool sock that has been darned three times (right), and provides some no-nonsense tips about how to make clothing last (video above - one minute)