Please also visit the Gibson House Museum’s website for many more ongoing exhibitions and events!
Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based journalist and true-crime author. His most recent book, The Beatle Bandit, won the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence for Non-Fiction 2022. Nate has also written books about gangsters, cons and hoaxes, and bandit duo Bonnie and Clyde. For more information about Nate’s books and background, visit his website at www.natehendley.com.
The Beatle Bandit: A Serial Bank Robber’s Deadly Heist, A Cross-Country Manhunt, and the Insanity Plea that Shook the Nation.
Matthew Kerry Smith was a troubled navy veteran who robbed Toronto-area banks in the early 1960s to finance a one-man revolution. On July 24, 1964, disguised in a Halloween mask and a “Beatle” wig, Smith held up a bank at Bathurst Manor Plaza in North York, Ontario. Smith killed a patron who tried to intervene, then escaped. Dubbed “The Beatle Bandit” by the media, Smith’s actions fueled a nationwide debate about gun control, insanity pleas, and the death penalty.
The book, The Beatle Bandit, written by Nate Hendley and published in November 2021 by Dundurn Press, details Smith’s life.
In March 2020, during the great COVID-19 lockdown, television producer Craig Colby’s work disappeared. He marked the time by wearing a different baseball hat every day, posting a picture with a story about each one on social media. A community of friends started sharing their hats and stories, too. After 125 days, Craig ran out of hats, but gained new insight into what each cap told him about his own life. In isolation, Craig experienced triumph and heartbreak, love and loss. He was meeting his childhood sports heroes and floating weightless with an astronaut. The stories in ALL CAPS weave a tapestry of human connection, one hat at a time.
This Heritage Toronto tour runs rain or shine and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and consider bringing sunscreen and water to make your tour as enjoyable as possible.
This tour uses individual audio headsets. All registered participants will be provided with an individual headset that will allow you to hear the live tour guide throughout the tour.
This tour was developed and will be led by community partner, the North York Historical Society.
Cost and Registration
This tour is provided for $8.00/person. The total cost is $9.85 (includes a $1.85 transaction fee). Please note that space is limited on our tours. You may not be able to join a tour group if you have not registered ahead of time through our website.
If you share our passion for accessible and inclusive heritage programming, we invite you to make a donation while on the tour to help fund one of our next walks. Tour volunteers are equipped to accept both cash and contactless donations, and gifts of $20+ will receive a charitable tax receipt.
Tour Distance and Accessibility
This tour is approximately 2 kilometres in distance and takes place predominantly on paved city sidewalks and streets. There are some unpaved portions of the route that take place in city parks. NOTE: The tour route includes a steep hill that may not be accessible to those with limited mobility.
If you have any questions prior to the tour, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org