Muddy York Walking Tours

Join us in exploring the City of Toronto

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Toronto’s Rebel March

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

This tour takes place in the Old Town Toronto / St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood and lasts about 2 hours.

Please email richard@muddyyorktours.com or telephone (416) 487-9017 to make reservations for this tour.  Once your tour reservation is confirmed, you will receive all the information on exactly where the tour starts, where it ends, how long it is, and other important information.

We recommend booking ahead to guarantee availability.  Our calendar can often fill up in advance.  Although it can be difficult for us to arrange last minute tours, it’s possible that we may already have a tour booked that you can join.  Please feel free to contact us by email at richard@muddyyorktours.com or by telephone at (416) 487-9017.

We usually require a minimum of four people for a tour.  However, if you have fewer people than that, feel free to contact us by email at richard@muddyyorktours.com or by telephone at (416) 487-9017, to see if there is a tour that you can join.

The tour cost is based on the number of people in your group.

A tour for four people costs $25 per person.

A tour for five, six or seven people costs $20 per person.

Tours of eight people or more cost $15 per person.

Do you have a large group of grade school or high school students, or other large numbers?  We can usually arrange a lower rate for some groups, depending on the situation.

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