Saturday, April 5, 2014

Downton Abbey exhibition is sold out but all is not lost!

Spadina House is still going strong
Spadina House (and Gardens) may be more modest that its flashy neighbour Casa Loma, but at first glance, its visitors realize the large castle pales in comparison. To discover its splendors, nothing beats a guided tour by one of their knowledgeable history buffs. 

Fans of the Downton Abbey series will be sad to know that even though the current exhibition Dressing for Downton: Costumes from Downton Abbey is going on until April 13, the tours are sold out. (Update May 15, 2014: Due to the success of the event, Spadina House will offer Downton Abbey-inspired tours on Sundays!)

The good news is that on April 15th, they'll resume the great Meet the Austins tours normally offered (and included with the admission price). Spadina's guides are fiercely passionate about history and heritage restoration. And I would bet they'll pepper their tour with allusions to Downton Abbey, after the full immersion they just had. 

Spadina House was recently restored to its splendour of the 1920s and 1930s (which was a perfect fit for the period covered in the famous series). 

In those days, they didn't just through away all the furniture to make room for the new. In the 1920's, Spadina House did not have an Art Deco vibe. It still had the air of a Gran Victorian Lady. A real beauty to visit.

There are a few tables on the lower floor past the little gift shop and they sell coffee and snacks on the premises.

When you're done, take a stroll up and down the Baldwin Steps located between Spadina Museum and the Casa Loma. It is quite a workout! 

Spadina House and Gardens
Where: 285 Spadina Road, Toronto (est of the Casa Loma).
Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. The tours are offered Tuesday to Friday at 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 and 4 p.m.. Saturday and Sunday, tours start at 12:15, 1, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15 and 4 p.m. 
How much: $9/adults, $5.50/6-12 years old. There's a vast pay parking lot at the Casa Loma.

The 3rd floor was open to the public
for the first time during the exhibition.
It hosted the servants quarters.

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