THIS MONTH (December 2018)


  • Saturday, December 1: Frost Fair, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CHC will once again participate in this recreation of a 200-year-old winter observance at Fort York National Historic Site, selling books and baked goods. Admission: Free.
  • Saturday, December 1: Hearth Cooking Workshop: Hogmanay Favourites, 10 a.m. to noon. Gibson House Museum celebrates Hogmanay, the Scottish observance of the New Year. In this workshop, participants will prepare a variety of Scottish classics, both sweet and savoury. This hands-on workshop is led by an experienced historic cook. Children must be 12 or older. Admission: $35.
  • Sunday, December 2: Mon Beau Sapin: Historitours Gastronomique 2018, 2 to 4 p.m. La Société d’histoire de Toronto presents a talk in French by CHC member Chantal Véchambre on French Christmas traditions, including making and serving a Bûche de Noël, at Campbell House. Admission: $10 to $30. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Pre-registration is required.
  • Sunday, December 2: Christmas Dinner at Half Way House Inn, noon. Black Creek Pioneer Village invites visitors to explore the historic village decked out for the holiday season and experience a traditional Victorian Christmas with all the trimmings. Admission: $34.95 to $69.95. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 8: Sweets & Treats, 10 a.m. to noon. Gibson House invites visitors to explore 19th-century holiday traditions, make historic sweets in the kitchen and decorate a gingerbread cookie to take home. Led by experienced historical interpreters, children and adults work together in this hands-on holiday program. Children must be 4 or older. Admission: $30. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 8: Christmas Baking Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mackenzie House invites visitors to try Victorian Christmas baking on the historic kitchen range and learn about the tastes and culinary technology of the 1850s in this hands-on holiday baking workshop. Admission: $30.
  • Sunday, December 9: Christmas Dinner at Half Way House Inn, noon. See Sunday, December 2.
  • Saturday, December 15 & 22: Victorian Christmas Talk & Tea, 2 to 3:30 p.m. St. Lawrence Market Gallery invites guests to enjoy a 20-minute illustrated presentation on Victorian Christmas traditions, followed by tea and Christmas-themed treats. Admission: $25 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
  • Sunday, December 16: Christmas Dinner at Half Way House Inn, noon. See Sunday, December 2.
  • Sunday, December 23: Christmas Dinner at Half Way House Inn, noon. See Sunday, December 2.
  • Thursday to Monday, December 27 to 30: Gingerbread Make and Bake. Fork York National Historic Site presents a hands-on workshop in which kids (4+) use period cooking utensils to sift flour, crush cinnamon, cloves or allspice, pound sugar and grate nutmeg and ginger as they prepare an 1800s gingerbread recipe. Samples can be taken home—if they last that long! Admission: $6 to $8; sign-up upon arrival.
  • Friday & Saturday, December 28 & 29: Hogmanay!, 7 to 9 p.m. Mackenzie House presents an evening of Scottish music and foods at this traditional celebration of the new year. The decorated house will be illuminated by gas and candlelight, and musicians Gin Lane will perform. Admission: $30. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 29 & 30: To the New Year: A Gibson House Hogmanay Dinner, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Gibson House invites visitors to a special evening inspired by the Scottish traditions of Hogmanay: share a scrumptious dinner, music, stories, and welcome the First Footer, celebrating the 2018 season and bringing luck and best wishes to Gibson House Museum for 2019. Admission: $60. Pre-registration is required.

Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (GTHA)

  • Saturday, December 1: Gingerbread House Workshop, 11 a.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn invites families to decorate a gingerbread dream house. All supplies will be provided. Admission: $30. Pre-registration is required.
  • Monday, December 3: Cooking in the Parkwood Kitchen, 7 to 9 p.m. (Oshawa, Ontario). Parkwood National Historic Site presents a unique opportunity to create a special holiday dish—Christmas Pudding—in the Parkwood kitchen. The evening will conclude with tea and scones in the kitchen servery, where curator and CHC vice-president Samantha George will share stories and information on Parkwood and its servery artifacts. Admission: $40 + HST, including all supplies.
  • Friday, December 7: A Night at Ireland House, 6 to 9 p.m. (Burlington, Ontario). A holiday evening treat of samples of seasonal foods prepared on the hearth and woodstove along with tastings of local wine and craft beer. As guests tour the historic home, they will hear the beautiful voices of the High Five quartet singing Christmas songs. Admission: $40 (early bird).
  • Friday, December 7: Historic Cooking Workshop: Delicious Delights, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Hamilton, Ontario). Dundurn National Historic Site invites visitors to delve into a bit of Scottish heritage by learning how to make Christmas pudding and baked goods. Suitable for ages 14+. Admission: $50, including recipe book. Pre-registration is required. 905-546-2872.
  • Saturday, December 8, Jane Austen Christmas Dinner, two seatings: 5 & 8 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). A chance to enjoy the pleasures of the Georgian table at Montgomery’s Inn during the festive season, supping by candlelight and the comfort of an open fire. The meal, ranging from such traditional holiday dishes as mince tarts to less familiar but utterly delicious dishes of Austen’s time, is based entirely on reconstructed Georgian-era recipes. Historical clothing is encouraged, but optional. Admission: $60. Pre-registration is required.
  • Sunday, December 9: Christmas Tea at Parkwood, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Oshawa, Ontario). Parkwood National Historic Site invites guests to enjoy afternoon tea in the beautiful sunroom and loggia. Admission: $50 + HST. 905-433-4311.
  • Monday, December 10: Cooking in the Parkwood Kitchen, 7 to 9 p.m. (Oshawa, Ontario). Parkwood National Historic Site presents a unique opportunity to create a special holiday dish—Christmas Pudding—in the Parkwood kitchen. The evening will conclude with tea and scones in the kitchen servery, where curator and CHC vice-president Samantha George will share stories and information on Parkwood and its servery artifacts. Admission: $40 + HST, including all supplies.

Other Regions

  • Saturday, December 1: Wassail by Candlelight, 1 to 5 p.m. (Picton, Ontario). Macaulay House is decorated for a beautifully candlelit 1850s Christmas, with tasty heritage recipes to sample at the hearth, entertainment in the parlour and costumed characters! Plum puddings and other baked items will be sold. Admission: $5. 613-476-2148, ext. 524.
  • Wednesday, December 5: Heritage Luncheon at Hutchison House, two seatings: noon & 1:30 p.m. (Peterborough, Ontario). Hutchison House Museum invites guests to enjoy a homemade meal served by costumed interpreters in the historic Keeping Room. Admission: $15. Pre-registration is required. 705-743-9710.

LOOKING AHEAD (January 2019)


  • Sunday, January 20: Robbie Burns’ Day Celebrations, noon to 4 p.m. Mackenzie House celebrates the birthday of the beloved Scottish poet with toe-tapping live music, shortbread and a taste of haggis. Admission: $5 to $8.
  • Saturday, January 26: An 18th-Century French Maritimes Feast, 1:15 to 3:45 p.m. CHC presents a hands-on historic cooking workshop at Ralph Thornton Community Centre in Toronto, led by chef and historic cook Chantal Véchambre. Admission: $65 (general), $60 (CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)

  • Friday & Saturday, January 4 & 5: Twelfth Night Traditions: Supper and Dance Party, 5 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn hosts this chance to step into the atmosphere of times gone by on the twelfth day of Christmas. Partake in the yuletide customs of Old England: dance to live music and enjoy a historical supper, hot mulled cider and other seasonal treats by the fire. Admission: $55 to $65. Pre-registration is required. 416-578-1031.
  • Saturday, January 19: Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball, 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn hosts this annual recreation of a ball that was organized by the officers of the Garrison at York (Fort York) in January 1817. Admission: TBA.
  • Thursday, January 31: Thirsty Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn presents Thirsty Thursday tavern night with beer, wine or a Thomas Montgomery specialty in the restored 1847 barroom, along with Irish stew, fresh-baked bread and live traditional music. Admission: Free. Cash bar; $5 for a bowl of stew, while supplies last. 416-394-8113.

Other Regions

  • Tuesday, January 1: New Year’s Levee, 1 to 4 p.m. (London, Ontario). Eldon House invites guests  to enjoy music in the elegant drawing room, exchange greetings and gather for hot cider and treats in the Interpretive Centre. Admission: Free.
  • Saturday, January 19: Iordan—Feast of Jordan, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Edmonton). Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village celebrates one of the  most important holy days of the Ukrainian church calendar, Iordan, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. Admission: $5 to $20.


  • To December 21: Eating Montreal in the 20th Century: Dining In & Out (Montreal, Quebec). An exhibition of culinary literature published in Montreal during the 20th century, from the McGill Rare Books and Special Collection’s cookbook collection. Curated by Colin Rier, Goodman Intern Rare Books and Special Collections, it focuses on restaurants, community cookbooks, celebrity chefs, promotional works and tourism. It also highlights the contributions of the Montreal Jewish community. McLennan Library Building Main Floor, Lobby, 3459 rue McTavish. Admission: Free.
  • January 25 to February 2: Dinner with the Mackenzies: A Winterlicious Event, 7 to 10 p.m. nightly. (Toronto). Mackenzie House invites guests to join William Lyon Mackenzie and his wife, Isabel, for a four-course meal and a theatrical portrayal of the Mackenzies’ family life in the restored 1860s dining room and parlour. Admission: $125, including a souvenir printed on the museum’s historic 1845 flatbed press. Pre-registration is required.
  • To February 24, 2019: Brewing Changes Guelph (Guelph, Ontario). Guelph Civic Museum presents an exhibit that examines the social and economic importance of brewing beer in the Royal City and the changes brought about by the rise, fall and resurrection of Guelph breweries. Admission: $5 (general), free (under 4), $15 (family).
  • Daily: Historic Afternoon Tea & Tour at Fort Langley National Historic Site, tea 1 to 2:45 p.m., tour 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Fort Langley, British Columbia). An elegant afternoon tea at the Little White House (LWH) Salon Café in the coach house of the historic Marr House. Fort Langley, a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, was first established in 1827. On the tour, visitors will hear about local historical characters and explore the homes and workshops of the people of the trade. Admission: $15.68 per person (plus admission fee for groups of 15–30), including tea, tour and HST. 604-513-4799 or
  • Daily: Fishing the West Coast and the Canning Line, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. (Steveston, British Columbia). The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site offers exhibits on the development of fishing on Canada’s West Coast and modern fishing practices, too. Admission: Free.
  • Sundays, 1 to 3:15 p.m.: Tea and Tour of Roedde House (Vancouver). A tea tasting of Roedde House blend by Metropolian Tea Co., along with a tour of the museum. Admission: $8. No reservations required.
  • Sundays: Gibson House Tea & Tour, 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). Every Sunday, there’s tea, cookies and a seat for you at the harvest table in the 1850s historic kitchen. Free with regular admission.
  • Indefinite run: Ongoing exhibits at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum(Ottawa). Admission: Free with entrance to the museum. 613-991-3044 or 1-866-442-4416.
  • Indefinite run: Beggar’s Banquet (Louisbourg, Nova Scotia). Participants enjoy an 18th-century maritime meal while dressed in period clothing.


Compiled by Julia Armstrong




June 1 to 7 (Vancouver, British Columbia)
In association with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Theme: Circles of Conversation.

June 6 to 7 (Tours, France)
Focus: Multi-disciplinary, covering all time periods.

June 6 to 8 (Washington, D.C.)
Theme: Power in Agricultural History.
Of note: 100th anniversary of the society.

June 8 to 12 (Saint-Marie Among the Hurons, Midland, Ontario)

June 18 to 21 (Barcelona, Spain)
Themes and information: Click here.
Venue: Observatorio de la Alimentación (University of Barcelona) and Fundación Alícia.

July 12 to 14 (Oxford, England)
Call for papers deadline: mid-January 2019.


June 21 to 25 (Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts)

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