Toys of Yesteryear, Dolls from every Decade

With the holiday season fast approaching, most of us are soon going to be scanning the stores in search of that perfect gift for everyone on our list. The problem is that in our modern society of overconsumption, everybody’s already got everything they need, and then some. It has become especially tricky to purchase gifts for kids who nowadays seem to get bored with the latest technology after only mere minutes of use. To the risk of sounding my age, I will ask you to recall when it was so simple that we’d have oodles of long-lasting fun with just a plain doll we’d dress and undress to our changing moods or a new model car we’d move through a plastic one-dimensional racetrack. Well, there’s a way to make it simple again and that solution lies at the McCord Museum.

If you think your youngsters won’t enjoy a visit to the museum, think again. Starting this Saturday, there’s an exhibit that is bound to thrill everyone, from the age of 3 to 103, or so the slogan goes.

Presented by Le Lait, source naturelle de réconfort, Toys gathers 400 of the Museum’s impressive collection of toys of yesteryear, including a number of restored pieces that date back to 1860. Displayed within three of any kid’s favourite hiding places – a closet, a bed and a staircase – are dolls from every decade, the oldest being a 1875 blonde figurine; cars, such as a gorgeous pink 1950 Buick Cabriolet and a 1958 Simca Chmabord (how cool is that?!); tin toys, toy soldiers and teddy bears from the turn of the past century; and cardboard books including the 1930 Raggedy Ann’ In the Deep Deep Woods.

What’s more, visitors will get to view the 1880 dollhouse that belonged to Adaline Van Horne, daughter of our very own William Van Horne!

McCord Vintage Bear Toy

McCord Vintage Toy Doll

McCord Vintage Doll Toy

McCord Vintage Toy Car

McCord Vintage Toy Soldier

And that’s not all! The Museum has left no stone unturned for our little friends as there is an interactive section where kids can express their drawing abilities directly on the wall (we all know how much they love that; I know I did!), a play area, a puppet show stand and a tea corner where they can imitate the three bears and participate in this cherished 4 o’clock custom.

Wait, I’m not done…

From November 14 to January 16, all children aged 12 years and under can enter the Berlingot Rigolo contest, through which they are invited to create their own toy from a milk carton for a chance to win one of the three fabulous prizes:

  1. a birthday party with nine of their friends and an annual family pass to the Museum,
  2. a LEGO gift set and an annual family pass to the Museum,
  3. or a RIGOLOS toys gift basket from the museum’s boutique.

On November 20, kids of all ages are welcomed to visit the Museum for the Santa Claus parade, during which they will receive a free snack, courtesy of Le Lait., source naturelle de reconfort.

From December 5 to February 27, the Museum will offer any visiting family the opportunity to take part in its craft workshops, guided tours and film viewing.

The weekend of January 22 and 23 is a free pass weekend for all grandparents who wish to take their grand-kids to view the Toys exhibit.

From March 2 to the 6th, in time for spring break, there will be LEGO games, a giant checkers game, craft workshops and movie viewings for everyone in the family.

Talk about fun for the whole family for the holidays!

McCord Museum Logo

About McCord Museum: Founded in 1921, the McCord Museum is one of the oldest museums in Canada. It is dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion and appreciation of Canadian history. It is home to one of the largest historical collections in North America, comprised of First Nations objects, costumes and textiles, decorative and visual artworks, and textual archives. The McCord Museum produces exhibitions and develops innovative educational activities and Internet projects in collaboration with local, national and international partners. Visit for more details.

Photo Credits:
Animal en peluche (Bear), 1900-1950, 20th century, M966.15.1 © McCord Museum . 
Poupée (Doll), About 1935, 20th century, M974.81.12.1 © McCord Museum.
Poupée en chiffon (Rag doll), About 1970, 20th century, Fibre, 125.8 x 56.9 x 7.4 cm, Gift of Ms. Moira McCaffrey, M2008.23.1 © McCord Museum.
Soldat de plomb (Soldier), Britains de France, 1912-1940, 20th century, M988.117.23 © McCord Museum.
Voiture (Car), Volvo P1800, 1962, 20th century, M2002.75.3 © McCord Museum

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