Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Return To Laurier House

I returned to Laurier House one afternoon in October before the place closed up for the winter. A National Historic Site, this was home to two Liberal prime ministers in turn- Wilfred Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King. First built in 1878 with modifications and additions afterwards, it incorporates elements of Italianate and Second Empire architecture. Wilfred and his wife Zoe made it their Ottawa home in 1897; upon his death, she remained here until her death two years later in 1921. She willed it to King, who had become the leader of the Liberal party, and he lived there while in the city, leaving it and his estate in the Gatineau Hills to the people of Canada in his will.

The visitor sees several rooms on three levels, with items belonging to the Lauriers and King to be found throughout. The drawing room was used to entertain guests. The ladder you see here is part of maintenance- the chandeliers through the house get thorough cleanings on a regular schedule, and I just happened to be visiting while that was happening.

Photographs in the room include President Truman on the cabinet, and Queen Elizabeth and King George VI on the table.

This is the formal dining room. 

A section was open here on the first floor that hasn't been opened in the past, leading back to the kitchen, which looks like it would have been in King's time. During the tenure of both Prime Ministers, the house had a staff- cooks and housemaids, who had rooms of their own, often in the north side of the structure. This radio in the hallway caught my eye.

These rationing posters caught my eye. The kitchen had a number of items out on display- wax copies of food, for instance.

Up a flight of stairs we come to one of the guest rooms, filled with furnishings and art. A formal portrait of Laurier is at the left.

This sculpture stands in what is today called the Laurier Library. Laurier used the space for his office, and some of his books are present, while King used it as a guest room. I have more from here tomorrow.


  1. Such a beautiful place to visit. I don't think I'd care to clean those chandeliers though they look the better for regular maintenance.

  2. I love the serendipity of photography, like the ladder in the photo.
    The blue room is fabulous with the photography of leaders.


  3. A beautiful place to visit and so many interesting things to check out.

  4. Hello, wonderful tour and a beautiful house. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  5. @Kay: it would be quite a job!

    @Francisco: it certainly is.

    @Janis: thank you.

    @Tom: I agree.

    @Nancy: I enjoy visiting it.

    @Eileen: thanks!

  6. A very lovely mansion & a pleasure to visit, I'm sure!

  7. Such a beautiful place with lots of wonderful history.

  8. It's a beautiful house with a rich history. What a pity of that big building at the back of Laurier House.

  9. The two Prime Ministers has a sense of country and put country first or we wouldn't have this house and artifacts from their time.

  10. i am not sure what is my fave part ... love the lighting, the radio ... what great details!! so cool!! fancy even. ( :

  11. Beautiful! I do like that old radio.

  12. @Christine: it certainly is.

    @Sharon: there is much to see inside.

    @Norma: definitely!

    @Jan: yes, it does stick out like a sore thumb. Apartment buildings aren't that plentiful in that neighbourhood.

    @Red: they were great leaders, both of them.

    @Beth: thank you!

    @Bill: yes it is.

    @Lois: so do I.

  13. Love going back in time like this William. Laurier House is impressive on the outside and like a time capsule inside.. fantastic!

  14. It is a lovely home and must have been back then too!

  15. A beautiful home. I do like the old radio, my grandmother had one like that.

  16. The well-off in Canada lived as richly as the well-off in the States. Those old homes can be breath taking.

  17. Beautiful historical home and wonderful post and photos ~

    Happy Weekend to you ^_^

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka A Creative Harbor

  18. I love the radio. Beautiful place outside and inside.

  19. @Lady Fi: it certainly is.

    @Grace: it is a marvelous place.

    @RedPat: it was well worth holding onto.

    @Jenny: I enjoy visiting it.

    @Bill: I like that radio's presence in there.

    @Mari: they are!

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Klara: that it is.