This historic property was built in 1851 by David Gibson, a Scottish immigrant, land surveyor and participant of the Rebellion of 1837. For his activities in the Rebellion, his house was destroyed and he was banished from Upper Canada, so he fled to nearby western New York, settling with his family in Lockport. Though he was threatened with losing his land, he continued to own the property in what was then York County, near Toronto. His wife was not banished, and she was able to travel between Lockport and Toronto to collect rents and profits on the farmstead.
A provincial plaque tells of David Gibson's storied life.
In 1843 David Gibson was pardoned, along with many who took part in the Rebellion. He returned with his family to York County in 1848, and built this house in 1851. Its style reflects a properous man, and some of its furniture and engravings reflect his U.S. residence in motif.
Gibson House is set back from Yonge Street, one of the colony's pioneer roads and today often called the world's longest street. It is shielded from traffic, however, by construction hoarding for the Gibson Square Condominium development. Gibson House once welcomed carriages to its front door, now shielded from Yonge Street by construction. The house is one of several museums operated by the City of Toronto.
Tours are available, and a museum attached to the old house offers insight into the lives of a family which continued to reside here into the 20th Century. Children's programs welcome school groups and birthday parties, and certain days (e.g., First of July) offer guests a chance to play period games, sample kitchen treats, and help make ice cream.