Toronto Feature: Colborne Lodge, High Park | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Toronto Feature: Colborne Lodge, High Park

This article is from our Toronto Feature series. Features from past programs are not updated.

This content is from a series created in partnership with Museum Services of the City of Toronto and Heritage Toronto. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Colborne Lodge Entrance Gate
The entrance gate to Colborne Lodge, 1855-65 (courtesy City of Toronto Culture, Museums and Heritage Services/1978.41.9).
Colborne Lodge, High Park
Colborne Lodge, High Park, southeast elevation, circa 1912 (courtesy City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 1231, Item 87).
Colborne Lodge 2012
Colborne Lodge was named after Sir John Colborne (photo \u00a9 2012 by James Marsh).

Toronto Feature: Colborne Lodge, High Park

"Rare Example of Regency Picturesque Preserved"

Colborne Lodge is among Toronto's most significant historic homes. Built in the Picturesque style, with a spacious veranda and a tall three-part chimney, the house, which originally sat on a 165-acre property, was designed to complement, not dominate, the natural surroundings.

Toronto's first city architect, John Howard, built the residence in 1837 when the boundary of the City of Toronto was far to the east. Howard was also an accomplished painter and his scenes of Toronto now provide an invaluable record of the city. The home was named after Sir John Colborne, an early lieutenant governor of Upper Canada (1828-1836).

In 1873, Howard and his wife Jemima deeded their country property to the City of Toronto. The deed specified that the park remain "for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of Toronto and it be called High Park." The Howards' gravesite on the property includes a stone monument that is fronted by a portion of fencing from St. Paul's Cathedral in London.