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Benares Historic House

1507 Clarkson Rd N.
Closed today


Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday Closed

The last guided tour leaves at 3:30 p.m.


Benares Historic House is a Georgian-style estate with more than 165 years of history. It features an interpretive gallery, rotating exhibitions and displays, and original family possessions spanning four generations.

Take a virtual tour of Benares.

Admission is free. A $10 donation is suggested to support educational experiences. To donate, text MUSEUMS to 30333. Terms and conditions apply.

Book a guided tour

View all events at Benares Historic House


Benares Historic House was built in 1857, although parts of the home and several outbuildings date back to 1837. The house was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1977.

Benares was home to four generations of the Harris and Sayers families. Today, more than 95% of the artifacts on display are original to the Harris family and the home. These include furniture, dishes, letters and pictures.

The house and most of its contents were donated by the great-grandchildren of Captain Harris (Geoffrey Harris Sayers, Dora Sayers Caro and Barbara Sayers Larson). It was restored to reflect daily life in the World War One era and opened to the public as a museum in 1995.

Why Benares

Varanasi, also known as Benares or Banaras, is a city in northern India on the banks of the Ganges River. It’s the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism and also played an important role in the development of Buddhism.

The original owner and builder of Benares Historic House in 1835 was Edgar Neave. He named the property “Benares”. At the time, naming a property after a travel destination was common practice.


As historic sites, some of our spaces do have physical barriers. The top floor and the basement of Benares Historic House have stair access only.