Changes to the team! New Administrator

We are sorry to say goodbye to our Administrator, Debbie Keffer, and we thank her for her dedicated and expert support during her time with the Foundation. We wish her well as she embarks on new adventures, and welcome new Administrator, Lori Lytle. Lori has a Master of Arts in Classical Studies, a Master of Museum Studies, and has worked at several not for profit cultural organizations here in Toronto. She brings her experience in fundraising, event planning and administration to the team.

Two Successful Talks So Far in 2016

2016 has been a great year so far!

In April, the Foundation hosted author and historian Ted Barris, who presented a talk entitled Fire Canoe: How Canada Became a Nation From Coast to Coast. Snapd was there and captured some great shots.

Composite image with cover of Fire Canoe book on left, and crowd attending lecture in West Hall on right

Then on June 1, Lori Oschefski came to talk about the British Home Children. Many in the crowd had questions for Lori and stories to share about their own Home Child ancestors. Once again, Snapd was on hand to document the evening in photos. The image below was taken by Dan Philips, one of the attendees.

Lori Oschefski at lecturn delivering a talk, with presentation projected on screen behind her

It was a great end to 2015 at the Schoolhouse this year!

In November we hosted writer and broadcaster Ted Barris who gave an engaging presentation on the Victory at Vimy. Snapd was there to capture the events and images can be found here.

On December 3, we celebrated the season with our Annual Founder’s Dinner. There was wonderful food, great entertainment and lots of holiday cheer. We’d like to thank our fantastic emcee, R.H. Thomson, who kept us entertained and on track throughout the evening.

At this event we also take time out to celebrate one of our community’s great Heritage Champions. This year, we honored A. Charles Baillie.

The entire evening was lots of fun and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Collage of images showing people at events at the Schoolhouse throughout the year

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation Receives a $15,000 Grant from the McLean Foundation

In September 2015 the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation was awarded a $15,000 grant from the McLean Foundation.  The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation will use these funds to significantly increase its support of the school program where children explore and discover what school was like one hundred and sixty years ago . Each year, through memberships, donations and fundraising events such as the Annual Founder’s Dinner, the Foundation pays the admission fees for elementary school children who cannot otherwise afford to attend the School Programs offered by the Ontario Heritage Trust. Thanks to this very generous grant, an additional one thousand students per year for each of the next three years will attend the school programs for free.

The Schoolhouse regularly receives notes and thank you letters from teachers and children who have attended thanks to a subsidy from the Foundation. Please enjoy these excerpts, received in the spring of 2015.

“I want to thank you for letting us in the Schoolhouse. I like it when we were reading together. I liked how we dress up. I can’t wait to come back soon.”

“I liked the desks because in my country we sit on wood too. I liked that we had to read to the class. I did not like doing the weekly spring examinations.”

“I love you classroom, I never saw a classroom like that before. And I love how we practice to stand with the bell that was so fun. The best rule was since I’m a girl I can’t sit with boys, so no boys could bother me.”

“The children really did enjoy their visit. And “Mrs. Henderson” was great. She really had a nice way of speaking to the students respectfully and they responded well.” [teacher]

Ontario Heritage Trust to operate Enoch Turner Schoolhouse

TORONTO: Mar. 26, 2008 –  Today, The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust, and Lynne Kurylo, Chair of the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation, announced the transfer of the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse to the Ontario Heritage Trust.

“The Ontario Heritage Trust and the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation are dedicated to the continued conservation, interpretation and public use of the Schoolhouse,” said Mr. Alexander.
‘By working together to transfer the site, we have secured long-term protection for this Toronto landmark.”

“The Foundation is pleased to have successfully arranged the transfer of the Schoolhouse to the Ontario Heritage Trust,” said Ms. Kurylo. “This important move will ensure the Schoolhouse is sustained for years to come as a viable heritage site museum and community resource.”

Located in Toronto’s historic Corktown neighbourhood, the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse is a provincially significant heritage property. The Schoolhouse is representative of the development of Ontario’s educational system, particularly free schools in the province. Established in 1848, it has associations with its founder Enoch Turner, a wealthy brewer, and architect Henry Langley – both provincially significant Ontarians. The Schoolhouse also possesses provincial interpretive value as an authentic demonstration of the 19th-century classroom experience.

“As the first free school in Toronto, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse provided an education to thousands of new Canadians in the second half of the 19th century,” said Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture. “The Schoolhouse is a provincially significant historical landmark and I am pleased that its transfer to the Trust will preserve it so that many generations to come will be able to learn about its unique history.”

Building on the important work of the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Foundation, the Ontario Heritage Trust will maintain and operate the Schoolhouse as a provincially significant heritage site, a public museum and a conference and special events venue. The Foundation will continue as an independent charitable organization, working with the Trust to support the programming and operation of the Schoolhouse through fundraising and special events.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario’s heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. The Trust owns and successfully operates other museums and historic conference centres across Ontario, including George Brown House and the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre in Toronto, Fulford Place in Brockville and Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden. For more information on the Ontario Heritage Trust, visit