Nestled into one of the 36 national historic sites of Canada. Toronto’s George Brown house has become home to the official Murdoch Mysteries Escape Room. Though the house now transforms into an intense and immersive theatrical experience throughout the week; before Secrets of Station House Number 4, the house was actually home to one of the Fathers of Confederation.

Attempted Assassination on George Brown

This week, we will be discussing George Brown. Peruse through what might be your next conversation starter at historic sites in Toronto.

  1. For starters, something your average Torontonian might not know is that George Brown was actually born in Scotland! Brown initially emigrated to New York after his upbringing. Once there, he would visit Canada on multiple occasions. With so many invitations to visit, Brown would eventually decide move to Canada 6 years later.
  2. Brown was a journalist. Working closely with his father after arriving in New York. Brown’s interest in political reformation once in Canada would encourage the creation of The Globe. Years later, this would grow into the media company that’s part of The Globe and Mail known today!
    (Though currently closed until the Season 2 premiere on April 1st, The Globe and Mail wrote about the Black Creek Pioneer Village and our Where Dark Things Dwell Escape Room!)
  3. His tense relationship with John A. MacDonald is documented throughout history. Some would argue that Brown was even the former Prime Minister’s “arch-nemesis”! Both were political figures in the racially charged climate of the late 1800’s. Public debates went personal on occasion and MacDonald even went so far as accusing Brown of bribery and falsifying evidence… Yikes!
  4. Brown almost drowned in the Don River. Grateful to the man who saved him, Brown became a mentor to William Peyton Hubbard! Hubbard was groomed as Brown’s disciple and was able to become the first black deputy Mayor of Toronto! 
  5. Brown played a helping hand in starting Canada’s “Anti-Slavery Society”. Members of this organization would assist American Slaves upon reaching Canada via the Underground Railroad. Once familiar with the political figure Black Canadians would enthusiastically be in support of George Brown.
  6. 10 years before the confederation that would take place in 1867, Brown served as a co-premier of the Province of Canada in 1858.
  7. Setting aside his strife with John A. MacDonald to create “The Great Coalition”. Sir Etienne Cartier also played a role in this alliance in 1864. Operating under the Province of Canada, “The Great Coalition” became what would influence the Confederation of 1867!
  8. During his assassination attempt, George Brown was actually able to redirect the gunman’s shot! The bullet would collide with his leg. Despite having a doctor diagnose it as a “flesh wound”, the wound would become gangrenous. This very wound would be the same to take his life several weeks later.
  9. Even after Macdonald’s death, the feud would carry on. On occasion, Lady Agnes Macdonald would visit Scotland. During her visits, when passing by Brown’s wife Anne in the street; the two wouldn’t even exchange so much as a glance!

Known to be one of the Fathers of Confederation, George Brown was able to bring a sense of unity to what would later evolve into today’s Canada. If you’d like to explore George Brown’s legacy, be sure to show up 15 minutes early to the George Brown House when you play Secrets of Station House Number 4!