Toronto’s Rebel March
For many of us in Canada, the idea of open revolution seems literally foreign. England had its civil war in the 1600s, when a group of fanatic religious revolutionaries killed the king and reigned terror on the countryside. The Americans have their idolized Revolution, when a third of the population rose up, tarred and feathered their opponents, and gave birth to their nation. But to many, Canada is a sleepy, quiet country where everyone always got along, and sheepishly signed our Confederation agreement, which made us a nation in 1867.
But in 1837 our city was the centre of open rebellion. Reformers read out their own declarations of independence and attempted to seize power. Nowadays, most people here are vaguely aware of this incident, but seem to picture it as a few dozen disgruntled farmers spilling out of a rustic tavern and stumbling down Yonge Street.
The Rebellion of 1837, and the years leading up to it, was one of the greatest eras of tension in our civic history. It was a period of scandal, discontent, fatal duels and public hangings. Was William Lyon Mackenzie, the local leader of the Rebellion, a champion of democracy, or a hypocritical traitor? Discover things about him you may have never known, and decide for yourself!
This walking tour is ideal for encouraging a passion for history in anyone. It ends on the front lawn of Mackenzie’s last home. From there, for a few dollars more, you will have the opportunity to explore the interior of the building, under the auspices of costumed guides.
“Be of Good Courage”
Many of us may be familiar with the famous last words of dying Americans. Nathan Hale quipped, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”. Patrick Henry demanded “Give me liberty, or give me death.” But in the aftermath of the failed Rebellion, Samuel Lount was dragged up to a scaffold and hanged in front of an outraged public. His dramatic last words should stir patriotism in any Canadian, but are sadly unknown to most.
With a steady voice, he spoke his final words before having his neck stretched in the noose. “Be of good courage boys. I am not ashamed of anything I’ve done, I trust in God, and I’m going to die like a man.”
Things You will Need to Know about this Tour
- It begins on the southeast corner of Queen and Yonge Streets, underneath the clock
- It ends outside Mackenzie House, just south of Dundas Street East, on Bond Street – click here for map
- This tour is approximately two hours long, not including an additional visit to Mackenzie House
- The walking tour itself is conducted entirely outdoors
Mackenzie House is operated by Toronto Culture. The cost of Muddy York’s walking tour does not include admission into the Mackenzie House museum
Dates & Times
Saturdays at 11.00 a.m.
EXCLUDING THE FIRST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH
This tour is available throughout the entire calendar year. REMEMBER, if it is not scheduled for when you want to do it, just let us know, and we’ll change our schedule just for you! We suggest making reservations at least 24 hours before the tour starts.
$25.00 each for one or two people
$20.00 each for three or four people
$15.00 each for five or more
Group Rates available for students and youth.
We offer GIFT CERTIFICATES and special discount passes for visitors who plan to attend more than one tour. Contact us to find out more information.