Gatsby Garden Party 2015

Cool mist hung in the air with the promise of rain but that didn’t stop all of the golden age thinkers from making their way to Toronto this past Sunday. Held at the Spadina Museum, the Gatsby Garden Party was a gem of an event centered around all things from the 1920’s.

As people strolled up the walkway leading to the house, jazz music drifted over the stone wall of the historic grounds providing a taste of what was in store. Stepping through the main gate was like stepping back in time. Everyone was clad in 1920’s fashion from dapper to flapper. Everywhere you looked were ladies with bedazzled headbands and beaded purses, and men with oxford shoes, newsboy hats and suspenders. Other than all of the twenty-first century cameras and phones we were in our own little world, or should I say our own era?

The grounds were beautiful and there were countless places to pose for pictures but a favourite choice was the vintage cars parked in the front of the house. I was surprised at how cushiony the seats were… I sunk right in!

The bathroom had a claw foot tub!

The house was open for self-guided tours with the aide of knowledgeable staff who were stationed in selected rooms. They were more than ready to shed light on the family, history, furnishing and other facts about the house.

One woman stood near the front entrance and spoke specifically about the members of the Austin family. I have a soft spot for history and always found it captivating to hear or read about the lives of people of the past.

Seeing old photographs is just as good because it allows one to see someone from the past who they would otherwise never have the opportunity to look upon in person. Not surprisingly, I wrote an entire post about my fascination with old photographs titled A handsome stranger in a frame.

One of the master bedrooms… Just look at that headboard!
I really fancy the ornate frames against the patterned wallpaper… and wicker furniture indoors? Yes!

My friend and I dropped in on the craft room and made our own silhouette frame! It was pretty fun and made for a nice souvenir to remember the event by.

When we entered the servant’s quarters we were surprised at how quaint the bedroom was! My friend thought it would be the perfect room for me. I quickly agreed as I adored the slanted, wallpapered ceiling and arched window. Servant or not, I felt right at home and could completely picture myself making it my own.

Would anyone care for a spot of tea?

The more of the house my friend and I saw, the more we wished we lived there, or at least somewhere like it. The size was a little daunting but the antiques and interior decor were exquisite. Walking through historical houses like the Spadina House really makes me wish that wallpaper was more popular.

While exploring the house my mind kept wandering back to the Baldwin Sisters’ house from The Waltons. I thought how funny it would be to see them sitting in the drawing room sipping “the recipe” from teacups while sharing memories of their poppa and Ashley Longworth to anyone with ears to listen. Then again The Waltons was based during the Great Depression and not the 20’s but the Baldwin ladies house had much the same atmosphere and character as the Spadina House.

The fact that scenes from Anne of Green Gables, which has always been a favourite of mine, was filmed at the Spadina House was also a neat tidbit. The movie geek in me was just bubbling with joy!

The indoor garden room reminded me of the Hogwarts’ greenhouses for some reason…
Vintage taxidermy wolves were guarding the main doors… My, what big teeth they have!
I purchased this elegant hair clip (crafted by JJ’s studio)
in the gift shop at the Spadina Museum.

Despite the weather, the 2015 Gatsby Garden Party turned out to be a smashing good time indeed! It was my first visit to the Spadina Museum and it certainly won’t be my last. I hope to come back to this event next summer and I encourage all of my friends and readers to do so as well!

Keep an eye out for my next post which will contain vintage-style photos from the Gatsby Garden Party!

Did you attend the Gatsby Garden Party this year (or a previous year)? Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts and memories of the event or of the Spadina Museum. I would love to hear from you!

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