This arrestingly lovely temple-like memorial stands unexpectedly off the side of a rural road. Step inside, and you’ll find vibrant mosaics as colorful as the politician who commissioned it.
Thomas Foster, Mayor of Toronto from 1925 to 1927, had the mausoleum built in the 1930s. It now holds the remains of him, his wife, and their daughter. Though captivating to visit, the memorial has somehow managed to remain a hidden gem.
Foster, who began working as a butcher’s boy and eventually found his footing in the real estate industry, was moved to create the architecturally striking structure after taking a trip to India and witnessing the splendor of the Taj Mahal. The small but striking building also boasts a blend of Byzantine-inspired features like brilliant mosaics and stained glass windows.
The grand memorial isn’t the only legacy Foster left behind. He was certainly a quirky, eccentric character, and the funds included in his will prove just that. The well-regarded former mayor designated money for cancer research, an annual picnic for children, food for Toronto’s wild birds, and most strangely, prize money for a contest to reward the mother who could have the most children in a 10-year span.
Know Before You Go
A pleasant drive from Toronto, perhaps as part of a day trip. Visits and tours are available. A small fee supports the maintenance of the building.