In case you’ve always wanted the luxurious splendour of a 19th-century mansion without paying the high price tag of an ultra-expensive property, then you’re in luck. You might be able to book the event of your dreams at Heintzman House, one of Thornhill, Ontario’s oldest buildings.
Moreover, music lovers will be delighted to take a seat behind one of two vintage Heintzman and Co. pianos in the house. Maybe it’s best to start with the story of Heintzman House and its significance to the community—not to mention the dozens of people who use the city-owned venue for everything from weddings to business events. It ought to be no secret to history buffs that the Heintzman name has long been associated with high-quality pianos in Toronto.
Founded by German immigrant Theodor August Heintzman and based in Toronto from the mid-1860s—legend has it he emigrated to North America alongside Henry Steinway of Steinway and Sons fame—the company would go on to produce thousands of upright, grand and player pianos that were a fixture in discerning homes across the province well into the late 20th-century.
A rich loyalist named George Crookshank built Heintzman House in the 1820s, which is also called Sunnyside Manor Farm. As the property went through several owners, the Heintzman family eventually acquired it in 1930 and added several additions to the impressive Georgian and Regency architecture, including the front pillars, servants’ quarters, and a conservatory.
“The house is unique in that its appeal derives from its rich history,” according to Lori Caruk, a customer service supervisor with Thornhill. “Located in the middle of a neighbourhood, it is a magnificent residence. The 1700s were a time of rich agricultural activity on this land.”
You could say that the only thing that’s growing here now is incredible memories. The Heintzman House is one of our favourite spaces in or around Thornhill and Markham for this reason.
A seated dinner can be held in the house for up to 113 guests, while a cocktail reception can hold up to 125, making it ideal for intimate gatherings. There are many options available on that front. Wedding ceremonies are frequently held on the expansive patio, followed by receptions in the stately dining room. It is also possible to host their nuptials in the dining room at times when the weather is not cooperating. It can then be transformed quickly into a dinner venue as soon as the ceremony has concluded.
It’s perhaps what makes Heintzman House in Thornhill so appealing to those who want to transform it into the star of their dream event that it’s an open canvas that can be transformed into what suits their vision best. Many organizers emphasize that they do not double-book events such as weddings – a problem often faced by busy banquet halls or other high-demand venues – allowing for a more relaxed atmosphere on your wedding day.
Nearly 200 years later, it’s easy to see why Heintzman House in Thornhill continues to please its visitors. Hopefully, this piano palace, whose construction was funded by the profits of a successful piano empire, will continue to produce beautiful music for many more years.
Coming Up: Thornhill Village Library