Events

Main Floor Meeting Room 
(a.k.a. Gathering Place)
Thornhill United Church
25, Elgin St at Dudley Ave
Entrance via south door
(nearest to the parking lot)
Seasonal Refreshments at 7:15 pm
Meeting at 7:30 pm
New Members will be most welcome
Thursday, November 2nd 2017
Heintzman House
Royal Orchard Blvd at Bay Thorn
7.15 pm - refreshments
7:30 pm - Speaker
Maureen Jennings
creator of "The Murdoch Mysteries"
41st Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday 16th September 2017
9 am to 4:30 pm
more information at
www.thornhillfestival.org
Saturday, 10th June 2017
8am to 6pm
Morning : a visit to (Norman) Bethune House in Gravenhurst
Afternoon; the Mystery !!!
Departure point: Holy Trinity Church, Brooke St. Thornhill
Cost: $ 60 includes travel by highway coach and entrance fees

Bus Trip Poster [Download Full Poster]:

Tuesday, 16th May 2017
Speaker: George Sherwood (a change)
Author of 'Legends in Their Time' (Dundurn Press);
Location: - Fireside Lounge, Thornhill Community Centre, Bayview Avenue at John Street
refreshments - 7.15 pm
meeting 7.30 pm
Saturday, May 6 2017 
2.00 pm for 1.5 hours
A day in the life of Thornhill in 1867
Hear about life in the village of Thornhill in the year of Confederation and visit buildings and sites that are part of that story.
Walk leader; Adam Birrell
Meet at: Thornhill Village Library, 10 Colborne Street, Thornhill

Jane's Walk 2017 Poster [Download Full Poster]:

February Heritage Meeting
Tuesday, February 28th 2017
Speaker: Guylaine Petrin (genealogist, author, librarian)
Talk: "Richmond Hill and the Underground Railroad"
Refreshments - 7.15 pm
Meeting - 7.30 pm
Heintzman House
135 Bay Thorn Avenue (at Royal Orchard Blvd)
SPOHT AGM
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
40th Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday, 17th September 2016

More information coming
also check
www.thornhillfestival.org
13th Annual Mystery Bus Trip 
Date: Saturday 11th June 2016
Time 8 am to 6 pm
Morning destination: Old Fort Erie
Afternoon destination(s); the Mystery
Cost for transportation and admission: $ 60 per person
Pre-booking is necessary
Contact: David at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Date; Wednesday May 18, 2016
7.15 pm for 7.30 pm
Heintzman House
Royal Orchard Blvd / Bay Thorn Blvd
Speaker: Joan Elliott
Topic: Toronto Ladies' Golf Club
meeting open to the public
Saturday, May 7th 2016
2pm - 4 pm
leader : Adam Birrell
Topic:  "Early Industry, Commerce and Transportation in Thornhill"
meet at south-east corner of Yonge St and John Street
February Heritage Meeting
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Fireside Room,
Thornhill Community Centre
Refreshments: 7.15pm
Meeting: 7.30 pm
Speaker: Guylaine Petrin
Topic: The Mary Mink Affair

SPOHT AGM

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of SPOHT will be held
at the Thornhill Community Centre, Fireside Lounge
on Wednesday, 2nd December 2015
Refreshments at 7.15pm
Meeting at 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker will be:
George Duncan
Senior Planner,
Heritage and Conservation
City of Markham
Author of a new book:
Historic Unionville: A Village in the City

39th Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday 19th September 2015
More information will be forthcoming
www.thornhillfestival.org

Saturday, June 13th 2015
Castle Kilbride: A Breathtaking Journey into Victorian Splendour
Built in 1877 in the Italianate Style by flax industrialist, James Livingston.
Meet at Holy Trinity Church parking lot at 7:45 am 
Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. and returns by 6:00 p.m. 
The morning Destination is Castle Kilbride, Baden, (west of Kitchener)
There will be a guided tour.
This is museum is wheelchair accessible on the ground floor

Lunch will be planned individually in New Hamburg.
A list of restaurants will be provided.

The afternoon is the “Mystery” part of the trip.
Cost should be about $ 55 / $ 60 (Bus & Admissions)
More information forthcoming

To register, please send your cheque with name(s) and telephone number(s) to:
SPOHT, June Bus Trip, Box 53210, 10 Royal Orchard, Thornhill, Ontario, L3T 7R9
or contact David Rawcliffe at 905-881-3952 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, May 14th 2015 7.15 pm
Heintzman House
Speaker: Larry Cotton
Topic: Yonge Street: 100 Taverns in 100 miles
This is his latest book in his 'Whiskey and Wickedness' series

Jane's Walk in Thornhill 2015
a free guided walk
Saturday May 2nd 2015
Meet at the Lions Parkette at Yonge Street and Centre Street
Meet at 2 pm
1.5 hour walk
Led by Adam Birrell
Route will be along Yonge Street, from the later site of the village to its original site and the cemetery of the Angican Church

Dorothy Duncan
"The One-Room Schoolhouse
Tuesday February 17 2015
7.15 pm refreshments
7.30 pm Meeting
Heintzman House

Join us for the SPOHT Annual General Meeting, happening on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at the Heintzman House, 135 Baythorn Drive, Thornhill, Ontario. Refreshments 7:15pm, Meeting 7:30pm.

On its 40th Anniversary, SPOHT is pleased to present Maureen Jennings, author of the "Murdoch Mysteries" series. "the More Things Change ..."

Tuesday, October 21 2014.
The Heintzman House, 135 Baythorn Drive, Thornhill
7:00 pm for refreshments
Tickets: FREE for SPOHT members. $5 for non-members
Books available for purchase and signing by the author.
To reserve tickets, contact Pam Birrell, 905-731-1678 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

38th Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday, 20th September 2014
9:00am to 4:30pm

Website: http://www.thornhillfestival.org/

11th Annual SPOHT Bus Trip and Mystery Tour
Saturday 14th June 2014
8 am to 6 pm
MORNING - visit the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough
Lunch - as individuals / groups (choice of restaurants will be provided)
AFTERNOON - the Mystery part of the day
Cost $55 for transportation and entrance fees.
meet at Holy Trinity Church, 140 Brooke Street by 7:45 am
TO BOOK
Telephone David Rawcliffe at 905-881-3952 (you may have to leave a message)
or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

June Meeting
Thursday June 5th 2014
Heintzman House, Royal Orchard Blvd.
refreshments -7.15 pm; speaker - 7.30 pm
Sandra Spudic, Black Creek Pioneer Village
The title of my talk is The Successes and Failures of Gardening with Heritage Plants. I talk about the challenge of finding reliable historical references of the types of plants grown in 1860s Ontario and in sourcing heritage seeds/plants. I also talk about growing plants from seed and the benefits of doing so. Sandra has an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture and a diploma in horticulture from the Royal Horticultural Society in the U.K. Prior to joining the TRCA she worked as a gardener at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.

Jane's Walk
Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Guided walking tour of Historic Thornhill
starting at the Village Library, Colborne Street, Thornhill
Tour Guide: Adam Birrell

Heritage Week Meeting
Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 2:00pm
Robert West Heritage House, 7780 Yonge St. (entrance from Old Yonge St.), Thornhill, ON
Speaker: Scott Kennedy, Willowdale historian and author.
Willowdale: Yesterday's Farms, Today's Legacy. (Dundurn Press, 2013)

SPOHT - Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Heintzman House, 135 Bay Thorn Drive
Refreshments: 7:15 p.m.; Meeting: 7:30 p.m.

Guest Speaker: Guylaine Petrin, Research Librarian and Genealogist

Topic: Women, Marriage and Property in Upper Canada: The Case of Elizabeth Sanders

[Elizabeth Sanders (nee Dennis) was the original owner and resident of "Cricklewood"] Ms Petrin's presentation will focus on her article of the same title in Ontario History, Volume CV, No. 1, Spring, 2013 The business part of the meeting will include annual reports by members of the Executive, the election of Executive Officers for 2014, and updates of heritage matters in Thornhill.

Our AGM is a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with other SPOHT members. Please make an effort to bring your friends, as new members are always welcome.

Thornhill Village Festival
Thornhill Village Festival - a community project of SPOHT
Saturday, 21st September 2013
9:00 am to 4:30 pm
The Thornhill Village Festival is a community Street Festival in Old Thornhill (Yonge/Centre/John Streets)
There is a Community Parade at 10:30 am
There are craft booths, other booths, food, beer garden, entertainment, music, historical re-enactments, KidsTown
Adults $6, Seniors & Teens $4, Children and those in Heritage costume FREE
More information at www.thornhillfestival.org
The Festival is run by an all-volunteer community committee.

May Meeting
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Robert West Heritage Centre, 7780 Yonge Street
Refreshments: 2:15 p.m. Meeting: 2:30 p.m.
Our guest speaker will be Dr. Scott McLaren from York University.
Topic: Fire Across the Border: Saving Souls in Upper Canada, 1790-1820
Members - free; Non-members - $5.00On a cold winter night in 1790, a young Methodist preacher with a withered arm crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River into what would soon become Upper Canada. His name was William Losee and he was only the first of a small army of American preachers to cross the border during these early years. The extraordinary revival that followed wherever these preachers went soon became so pronounced that it was dubbed the "Canada Fire" by observers on both sides of the border. This talk will explore how this revival took root, why these American preachers were so successful in their efforts to convert colonists in Upper Canada, and how this brand of revivalism was complicated by a spike in anti-Americanism following the War of 1812.

Scott McLaren holds a PhD in religious cultural history from the University of Toronto. He is a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Humanities and Associate Librarian for Humanities and Religion at York University. His work has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals including the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, Christianity and Literature, and Renascence. He is currently working on a book for the University of Toronto Press on the relationship between reading and religious identity in early Upper Canada.

10th Annual Bus Trip & Mystery Tour
Saturday, June 8th, 2013
8am to 6pm
Price $55 per person includes travel by highway coach & entrance fees

Departure from Holy Trinity Church, Brook Street, Thornhill (south parking lot); please be there by 7:45 am to ensure a prompt departure

Tour Director & Bus Guide - David Rawcliffe (co-author of SideRoad GuideBooks)

Open to members of the General Public

Seats on the 10th Annual Bus Trip & Mystery Tour must be reserved:
Telephone: David at 905-881-3952 and leave a message OR email David at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Payment should be arranged with David

Full Flyer available here: [DOC] [PDF]

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Heintzman House, 135 Bay Thorn Drive
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
Heintzman House, 135 Bay Thorn Drive, Thornhill
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Kate McAuley, Assistant Curator at Toronto's First Post Office

9th Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 9, 2012
We visited Fort George followed by lunch in Niagara-on-the-Lake. In the afternoon the Mystery trip took us to the Laura Secord Homestead and the Brock Memorial.

Full Flyer available here: [DOC] [PDF]

May Meeting
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Heintzman House, 135 Bay Thorn Drive, Thornhill Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: John Webster, Town Crier of the Town of Markham.
Topic: “In Celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”

Heritage Night
Tuesday February 23, 2012
Heintzman House, 135 Bay Thorn Drive, Thornhill
Guest Speaker: Richard Feltoe, curator of the Redpath Sugar Museum and C.O. of the ‘Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada’
Topic: “Redcoated Ploughboys”

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Heintzman House, Thornhill
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
The DVD version of ‘The Thornhill Story’ was shown

35th Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday, September 17 2011
9.00 am to 4.30 pm
Parade at 10.30 am

8th Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 11 2011
We visited the Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford followed by a visit to ‘Her Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks’, a drive along the Grand River and a visit to the Dieppe memorial on the Hamilton Beach

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Heintzman House, 135 Bay Thorn Drive, Thornhill
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Dorothy Duncan, author of the book Feasting and Fasting:
Canada's Heritage Celebrations, published in October, 2010, by Dundurn Press.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Heintzman House, Thornhill
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Debora Kerbel, author of teen novel ‘Lure’.
The story features the haunted history of the Thornhill Village Library.

Thursday May 20 2010
7.15 pm
a tour of 7822 Yonge Street (the Seager Cottage)

34th Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Cancelled because of perceived community scheduling conflicts.
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) has been the proud host of the Thornhill Village Festival since 1977.

7th Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 12th 2010
Morning Visit: Woodside National Historic Site, Kitchener
Lunch: individual in Kitchener
Mystery Tour:  Waterloo Pioneer Tower and Crawford Lake Indian Village.

Heritage Event
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Location: Markham Museum
Format: 10.00 am - two-hour tour, followed by hot refreshments

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Thursday, November 26 2009
Heintzman House, Thornhill
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Lynn Hodgson, the author of ‘Inside Camp-X’ which has sold over 35,000 copies worldwide.
Topic: Camp-X; the Second World War secret spy camp on the shores of Lake Ontario.

33rd Thornhill Village Festival
Saturdays, September 19 & 26 2009
It was spread over two Saturdays because of perceived community scheduling conflicts.
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) has been the proud host of the Thornhill Village Festival since 1977.

6th Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 13th 2009
Morning Visit:  Parkwood Estate in Oshawa,
Lunch:  group lunch at Parkwood Estate, by the fountains
Mystery Tour:  Camp X museum; the site of Camp X; Tyrone Mill. 

May Meeting
Thursday, May 14 2009
Heintzman House, Thornhill
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Dennis Pollack, retired head gardener from Black Creek Pioneer Village. 
Topic: the various uses that were made of plants and flowers in the 1860's.

Heritage Night
Tuesday, February 17th 2009 
St. Volodymyr’s (St. Vlad’s) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: David Rawcliffe (SPOHT Publicity) will talk about ...
Topic: Discovering Ontario’s Heritage: Stories found along our Country Sideroads

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Thursday, November 27 2008
St. Volodymyr's (St Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speakers: Dale Albers and Scott Bowers of the VIVA/York
Topic: ‘the Yonge Subway Extension into Thornhill”.

May Meeting
Thursday, May 15 2008

32nd Thornhill Village Festival
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) has been the proud host of the Thornhill Village Festival since 1977.

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Thursday, November 29th 2007
St. Volodymyr's Church Hall, 15 Church Lane 
Refreshments: 7:15pm. Meeting 7:30pm
Guest Speakers: Bill and Vivian Wylie (SPOHT),
Topic: History on the Move -  the planning for and relocation of the historic David Chapman house from Yonge & Clark to John & Henderson in 1980. They will show video footage that was taken during the move as well as before and after photographs of the restoration project.

There will also be panels on photographs from the Thornhill Archives, showing the many other buildings that have been relocated around Thornhill.

31st Thornhill Village Festival 
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) has been the proud host of the Thornhill Village Festival since 1977.

5th Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 14th 2008
Morning Visit: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton (heritage aircraft were flying) 
Lunch: individual at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Mystery Tour: Battlefield House Museum and Park in Stoney Creek ... and the Stoney Creek Dairy for ice cream !!!

Heritage Night
Tuesday, February 19 2008
St. Volodymyr’s (St. Vlad’s) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Peter Wokral, Heritage Planner for the Town of Markham and Chairman of the Heritage Committee of Scugog
Topic: Kerosene-Age Lighting; the History of Home Lighting, 1850 - 1900 Mr. Wokral will bring his collection of kerosene lamps for display. Members are invited to bring their own antique lamps for exhibition and appraisal.

4th Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 9th 2007
Morning Visit: Kawartha Settlers’ Village in Bobcaygeon
Lunch: individual in Bobcaygeon
Mystery Tour: Horseless Carriage Museum; Osprey nests; Kirkfield Lift Lock

May Meeting
Thursday, May 17th 2007
St. Volodymyr’s (St Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill
7:15 Refreshments 7:30 Presentation
Guest Speaker: Christine Moore; Christine is the author of Growing Lavender:  A Guide for Cooler Climates, the first Canadian book about growing lavender.
She is also the Past President of the Greater Toronto Rose and Garden Society.
Topic: Lavender Through the Ages: Fact and Fiction. Christine will share some of her findings from her extensive research about lavender.  She will also describe the uses of lavender through the ages.

Heritage Night
Thursday, February 22nd 2007
St. Volodymyr's (St. Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill
7:15 Refreshments 7:30 Presentation
Guest Speaker: Wilf Cowin
Topic: Greetings from Yesteryear - Wilf Cowin has an extensive collection of historical picture post cards which he will share with us. Wilf will not only share his collection of post cards through a slide presentation but also his memories of why and how he began his hobby. 

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Tuesday November 28, 2006
St. Volodymyr's (St Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill
Refreshments 7:15 Meeting 7:30
A short business meeting included a vote on the recommended changes to the constitution and the election of a slate of officers for 2007.
Guest speaker: Adam Birrell, SPOHT, Thornhill Archives & Special Collections chair.
Topic: "Thornhill: Stories in a Changing Landscape"
Using selected examples, Adam gave an overview of the changes in land use and appearance of the Thornhill area from early settlement to the present day.

30th Thornhill Village Festival 
Saturday, September 16, 2006
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) has been the proud host of the Thornhill Village Festival since 1977.

3rd Annual Mystery Bus Ttip
Saturday, June 10th 2006
Morning Visit: Nancy Island Historic Site, Wasaga Beach. 
Lunch: individual in Wasaga Beach
Mystery Tour: Fort Willow by Minesing swamp

May Meeting
Tuesday, 23rd May 2006
St. Volodymyr's (St. Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill.
Refreshments 7:15pm, Meeting 7:30pm
Guest Speaker: Ron Brown, author of many books on Ontario's heritage,
Topic: Ghost Towns of Ontario.

Heritage Night
Thursday, February 23 2006
St. Volodymyr's (St. Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill.
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Mike Filey
Topic: "Toronto, Then and Now"

Christmas Outing
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Location: Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum - 'A Candlelight Christmas'
Format: The tour, led by costumed interpretors, explored the development of Canadian Christmas traditions in the 19th century.

SPOHT Annual General Meeting
Tuesday,  November 29th, 2005 SPOHT
St Volodymyr's (St. Vlad's) Church Hall, Church Lane, Thornhill. 
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Topic: Highlights of the year's developments and events were presented, and the meeting was accompanied by a display of items from the Thornhill Archives.

29th Thornhill Village Festival 
Saturday, September 17, 2005
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) has been the proud host of the Thornhill Village Festival since 1977.

2nd Annual Mystery Bus Trip
Saturday, June 11th 2005
Morning Visit: Joseph Schneider Haus Museum and Gallery, Kitchener.
Lunch: Individual in the village of St. Jacob's  
Mystery Tour: West Montrose Bridge that spans the Grand River, the Badlands.

May Meeting
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005
St. Volodymyr's (St. Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill. 
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: historian, George Duncan, senior Heritage Planner, the Town of Markham, 
Topic: the Ontario Barn - the history and architecture of a rapidly disappearing feature of our landscape . 
George Duncan's talk was complemented by an Archives display on Thornhill barns. 

Heritage Night
Monday, February 21, 2005
St. Volodymyr's (St. Vlad's) Church Hall, 15 Church Lane, Thornhill.
Refreshments: 7:15 pm; Meeting: 7:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Dorothy Duncan, former Food Editor of Century Home Magazine
Topic:  'Canadian Heritage Cooking'. We learned a lot about our home-grown culinary delights and were treated to some delicious samples!