During the 19th century, the Campbell House was used as a private residence, and by the 1900s, it went through a series of businesses including offices and factories. The house, without the proper care, went into a state of decline and eventually was threatened demolition by its latest owners, Hallmark Greeting Cards, to make way for a bigger parking lot. The house was saved by the Advocates’ Society in 1972, who moved the building from its original location at Adelaide Street and Frederick Street to its current location at Queen and University. The move required help from the Toronto Transit Commission as maintenance trucks helped carry a 270 ton-force structure northwest for 1,617 metres, and crowds watched in awe from the closed streets downtown. The building was restored after being moved, incorporating late 18th-century artifacts and furniture, opening that year (1972) to the public.
Today, the museum is owned and operated by the City of Toronto, serving as a museum, art gallery, outdoor exhibition space and club for the members of the Advocate’s Society. The museum also hosts group and educational programs along with guided tours. The grand gesture to move this home to preserve its 19th-century architecture was a turning point for Toronto architecture: it would set the tone for future historical landmarks when they were threatened with demolition, inspiring Toronto locals to save these precious historical landmarks.
📅 Campbell House Museum: Tues-Fri 9:30am-4:30pm; Sat-Sun 12pm-4:30pm