Inside the Museums


Heritage Toronto Book Award — Shortlisted, Non-Fiction Book

Illuminates Toronto’s early history through its small heritage museums.

A portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie stares from a mural at Queen subway station, his face as round and orange as a wheel of cheese. He served as Toronto’s first mayor, led the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, and was grandfather to William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s tenth prime minister, whose own orange-pink visage graces the Canadian fifty-dollar bill. Three blocks from the station, Mackenzie died in the upstairs bedroom of a house now open as a heritage museum, part of a network of such homes and sites from early Toronto. Inside the Museums tells their stories. It explains why Eliza Gibson risked her life to save a clock, reveals the appalling instructions that Robert Baldwin left in his will, and examines how the career of postmaster James Scott Howard shattered on the most baseless of innuendos at one of the most highly charged moments in the city’s history.


Heritage Toronto Book Award


Goddard doesn’t just draw the reader in; he walks us through each of the ten sites, building-by-building and room-by-room. When he writes of the Mackenzie House he allows readers to envision the most intimate details of the Mackenzie family’s lives…[Goddard] provides detailed stories that make for enjoyable reading.

Canada’s History Magazine

Focussing on power struggles and social histories, Goddard explores a connected network of properties that embody the spirit of 19th century Toronto, while also considering their impact on Torontonians today. Through humour, excitement, and tragedy, Inside the Museums will quickly persuade readers to embark on their own historical pilgrimage of this culturally rich city.

Spacing Magazine

This is an excellent resource, clearly written and organized, for those intending to explore the places whose histories and mysteries are detailed here, both as visit preparation and also to take along as enriching accompaniment…

OHS Bulletin

About the Author

John Goddard

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
John Goddard photo

John Goddard

John Goddard is an author, magazine writer, and former Toronto Star reporter. His books include Inside the Museums: Toronto’s Heritage Sites and Their Most Prized Objects and Rock and Roll Toronto, with pop critic Richard Crouse. John lives in Toronto.