Friday, July 6, 2018

A Prime Ministerial Residence

Yesterday I featured the neighbour to this building, and today I feature Laurier House, a prominent fixture and National Historic Site here in the Sandy Hill area. The residence of two prime ministers, it is administered by Parks Canada and open to visitors through the summer. It regularly participates in Doors Open. The equipment on the front lawn was only there temporarily- new glass panes were being installed.

This Second Empire manor dates to the 19th century, and starting in 1897 was the residence for Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier and his wife Zoe. She outlived him by a couple of years, and willed it to the new leader of the Liberal Party, William Lyon Mackenzie King, who used it as his in-town residence and pretty much ran the country from his study. Artifacts of the Lauriers and King can be found within. This is the Morning Room on the ground floor.

A small office off this room was used in King's day by the Mounties as a security post. A uniform remains today, while a photograph of King George VI with Queen Elizabeth share the wall with one of Mackenzie King and Winston Churchill. The latter stayed here in Laurier House during wartime visits.

This room is the formal dining room, used by both the Lauriers and King for entertaining.

Laurier House is hosting an exhibit this summer on Josh Silburt, a Canadian editorial cartoonist and artist whose work in the first dates to the 1930s and 1940s, ranging from national to international subjects, with a sly sense of humour to them. Some of his paintings, from after that period, are also included, and I'll show you them in tomorrow's post.


  1. I particularly like the veranda and those hooded dormer windows are very attractive.

  2. Great photos of this lovely old building. I especially enjoyed seeing inside and loved looking at the cartoons. I have been looking at a lot of political cartoons lately, they give you a sense of light relief but with a point to them.

  3. Nice view from outside! I would enjoy looking through the cartoons!

  4. Nice bit of Canadian history. Love the cartoons.

  5. I like those cartoons. Looking forward for the paintings.

  6. They were lucky to live in such a beautiful house ! The cartoons are funny !

  7. Such a lovely home. Glad they are maintaining it!


  8. ...the Second Empire style is so classic, I love it!

  9. cool lighting. boy this week just flew on by. have a great weekend. ( :

  10. Hello, a lovely home. Funny cartoons. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  11. @Rosemary: it's quite a house.

    @Denise: I wasn't familiar with his name, but I imagine some of the Canadian editorial cartoonists still around today would know his work.

    @Nancy: the cartoons were a surprise, as was getting into that area where they were exhibited.

    @Stefan: thank you!

    @Jan: he was quite an artist.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Gattina: it's a beautiful place.

    @Janis: yes, such places do require upkeep. One of the Parks Canada staffers said the new windows are meant to protect the artifacts within, so I imagine such windows do need to be replaced at a given point.

    @Tom: it's a tremendously appealing place to visit.

    @Beth: thank you!

    @Marie: they are.

    @Eileen: thanks!

  12. That's a very grand looking house.

  13. Interesting place but you'd think somebody would change the ugly green trim.

  14. Always enjoy seeing Laurier House William. Editorial cartoonists are brilliant. It's the first thing I look for in our newspaper, they always get it right 😀

  15. There are certainly beautiful homes in this area. I love the political cartoons.

  16. @Sharon: it's definitely well kept up.

    @RedPat: definitely!

    @Red: ah, not a fan of green? I like that shade of green.

    @Grace: we've got a number of excellent editorial cartoonists here in Canada who do great work.

    @Jeanie: Sandy Hill is a marvelous area.

  17. Beautiful residence. I wish our town had the Open Door event.

  18. I really like this Doors Open idea! Neat to see these places!

  19. I adore the political cartoons. They help me realize this, too, shall pass! Great photos.

  20. I have a soft spot for wrap-around porches, and oh, that fireplace...

  21. Cool cartoons that help tell the stories. Very nice photos, William.

  22. @Janey: it's a wonderful program. Many cities and towns in Ontario do it over the course of a few months.

    @Jenn: it's ideal to get into places you might not otherwise see.

    @Jennifer: thank you.

    @Pat: it's quite an appealing porch.

    @Bill: he was quite talented as an artist.

  23. That house looks incredible, I have always been a huge fan of wrap-around porches! Looks like you had a great day, thanks for the share. Love checking out your blog.
    World of Animals

  24. Great architecture photos!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  25. Great photographs, those cartoon are good.

    All the best Jan

  26. How weird is it to be some place and know all these world leaders were once in that same room? That just strikes me...but for a few moments in time, our paths would cross theirs.

  27. Like so many of those great mansions the woodwork is gorgeous. And the cartoons portray a very nice slice of life "back then."

  28. I like green veranda. I'd spend afternoons there reading books.

  29. @WOA: thank you.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Jan: thanks!

    @Sandi: yes, the place includes a small elevator that I've stood in once. Churchill stood in there- until he realized King was going up the stairs instead of using the lift, and he insisted on going up the stairs too.

    @Kay: it's an amazing place.

    @Klara: it's a good spot for that.