King Township Museum

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King Township Museum
King Township Museum in 2007.jpg
Established1979 (1979)
LocationKing City, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates43°55′25″N 79°33′02″W / 43.923615°N 79.550564°W / 43.923615; -79.550564Coordinates: 43°55′25″N 79°33′02″W / 43.923615°N 79.550564°W / 43.923615; -79.550564
TypeMunicipal museum
Key holdingsArtifacts associated with township history
Collection size1800
CuratorKathleen Fry
OwnerKing Township

The King Township Museum in King City, Ontario, Canada is a local history museum for the township of King at 2920 King Rd. It was previously known as Kinghorn Museum, and is located on what was once known as Kinghorn, now subsumed by King City. It is operated by the township Parks, Recreation and Culture Department and is curated by Kathleen Fry.[1]

The Museum is affiliated with the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), and the Virtual Museum of Canada.


The museum consists of a building which houses the majority of collections held. This building was originally built in 1861 as the site of the Kinghorn School SS #23.[1] It was updated and expanded in 1958 and again in 1963,[2] and purchased by the township in 1978.[1] The township gave operational control of the building to the King Township Historical Society, which established the museum in 1979 and opened it in 1982.[1] The museum was operated on a volunteer basis until 2001, when the township municipal government assumed control of the museum.[3] The government established a management board, to which individuals are appointed by the township council.[4]

In 2012, a 749 square feet (69.6 m2) addition was built by the real estate development company Genview Homes, which leased it and used it as its sales office for a development adjacent to the museum grounds[1] in exchange for repairing or upgrading damaged parts of the building.[5] The flat, leaky roof was rebuilt as a peaked roof.[5] Once vacated by Genview, the space may be used for various services, such as a lecture hall with a capacity of 60 to 80 guests.[6]

On the grounds of the 2.5 acre property[1] owned by the museum are several heritage sites. The King Township Historical Society raised funds to acquire and move King Station from Black Creek Pioneer Village to the grounds in 1989,[1] where it now fronts King Road. It was the original railway station building of Springhill (now King City), and believed to be the oldest surviving railway station in Canada, built by the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway in 1852 and first served passengers in 1853.[7][8] The single-storey board and batten structure was in poor shape by then, and restoration began soon after to repair the damage.[1] It was painted green and grey after the initial restoration,[8] and is now painted cream yellow with green trim. It is the only surviving station building of the original Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway buildings.[9]

The other heritage building is the King Christian Church built in 1851 by the Children of Peace, a religious group active in Sharon from the 1810s to the 1890s.[1] It was renamed to the King Emmanuel Baptist Church in 1931 and permanently closed in 1978.[1] It was moved from its original location at Kettleby Road and Jane Street to the museum grounds in 1982.[1]

Laskay Hall in 2017, before it was moved to the museum grounds

In August 2017, Laskay Hall was moved to the site from its original location in Laskay.[10] It will be used for cultural programs such as art, music, dance, and theatre; an event venue for Laskay residents; a performing arts space; and as an additional exhibit for the museum.[10] A basement will eventually be built for it, which will be used for storage by the museum and Arts Society King.[10]

The site also contains a dredge built in the 1970s that was used to clear the canals of the Holland Marsh until the 1990s, and was obtained by the museum in 2001.[11]

Collections and programs[edit]

The museum's collection contains over 1,800 artifacts associated with the township's history, such as books, clothing, tools, and other household items.[1]

King Township Museum operates a variety of March break and summer camps,[12] and established an Art Camp and Puppet Theatre Camp in 2006. Since 2006, the museum has hosted Music at the Museum, a weekly concert showcasing local musical talent.

Works of local and regional artists are also exhibited by the museum.[13][14]


The museum conducts several annual events, including a trunk sale, a fundraising antique appraisal, an appreciation barbecue for its volunteers, and a garden tea hosted by the Nobleton and King City Horticultural Society at the beginning of summer. [15] It participates in Doors Open and the Arts Society of King studio tour, and hosts Christmas and Halloween celebrations.[3]

The church may be rented for small weddings.[16]

One-time events hosted by the museum include a reenactment of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion, retracing the route of the rebels from Lloydtown to Toronto.[17] The six-hour tour stopped at the rebel statue in Lloydtown, Gibson House in North York, and Mackenzie House in Toronto.[17]


The most famous person associated with the museum is Walter Rolling, who taught at the schoolhouse for over 40 years. The school was originally one room, but was expanded later. In the late 1970s, the school was converted into what is now the King Township Museum.

In 2012, the museum board undertook a program to create a 5-10 year strategic business plan to replace the ad-hoc volunteer administration plan.[3] As part of the project, physical accessibility to the museum will be improved and business hours extended.[18]

It will also change the administrative structure to eliminate board appointments by the township council, replacing the board with a community museum board.[18][4]

In late 2011, the museum received a bequest of C$400,000.[19]



  • Brown, Ron (2008). The Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore: An Illustrated History of Railway Stations in Canada (3rd ed.). Dundurn. ISBN 9781770703193.
  • Brown, Ron (2013). Wilson, Britanie (ed.). Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage. Dundurn. ISBN 9781459707542.
  • Martin, Simon (20 February 2013a). "Museum ready for growth spurt". King Connection.
  • Martin, Simon (10 April 2013b). "King partnership experiences bumps". King Connection. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • Pavilons, Mark (13 August 2013). "King Township Museum poised to become 'hub' of the community". King Weekly Sentinel. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • Pavilons, Mark (17 December 2013b). "Museum plan moving forward". King Weekly Sentinel. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • Pavilons, Mark (4 March 2014). "Terms of reference for museum board presented". King Weekly Sentinel. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • Pavilons, Mark (6 September 2017). "Laskay Hall moved to new location". King Weekly Sentinel. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  • "King museum to re-enact 1837 uprising". Aurora Banner. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • "Local artists part of King exhibition". Newmarket Era. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • "Check out kaleidoscope in King City". Newmarket Era. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • "2012 Budget and business plan" (PDF). Township of King. 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • "Visitor guide" (PDF). Township of King. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  • King Township Historical Society Newsletter, King Township Historical Society, February 2013 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • "Kinghorn School SS#23, 1861-1974". Virtual Museum of Canada. Retrieved 15 May 2014.

External links[edit]