Every country has something or someone to be proud of. May it be their famous cuisines, actors, athletes, tourist actions, or scientists. Whatever or whomever it may be, though, just the mere mention of the name will always bring some joy to the people living there, when they hear it.
Canada is certainly no exception. The country is so full of people who are proud of their country, and they have every right to be. Canada is full of places to visit, people to admire, food to eat, and so much more. However, today, we’ll be giving you a tour of the most iconic houses in Canada.
Canadian Houses Worth Visiting
These Canadian houses are famous not only within the country, but also all over the world. From the corners of Ottawa to the ends of Middle Islands, let’s explore each and every single one of them!
1. Spadina Museum | Toronto, ON
This is also known as Spadina House, which is a historic place on Spadina Road. Spadina Museum is a museum managed by the Economic Development & Culture division of Toronto, Canada.
The museum is working to preserve the house, to make sure that it always stays the way it is. Spadina House's architecture, decor, and art reflects the styles of the 1860s up until the 1930s, and includes the Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, Colonial Revival, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Nouveau styles.
The house was closed for one year for renovations on the exteriors and interiors, and opened up again on the 24th of October, 2010. It was decorated with the inter-war era style during the 1920s until 1930s. Now, the gardens reflect how the landscape was, during the occupation of the Austin family.
Spadina Museum gives people a chance to peek into how Toronto was back in the early 20th Century, getting a glimpse of what it was like. It also showcases the effects of the biggest events on the Austins, such as the Great Depression and the First World War.
3. 24 Sussex Drive | Ottawa, ON
The place was originally called Gorffwysfa. But nowadays, it is referred to as 24 Sussex. This house is the Canadian Prime Minister's official residence. You can find 24 Sussex Drive in New Edinburgh, Ottawa, Ontario.
24 Sussex was first constructed by Joseph Merrill Currier between the years 1866 and 1868, and the place has been the official house of the Canadian Prime Minister ever since 1951. 24 Sussex is one of two houses that are officially known as the home of the Canadian Prime Minister.
The house has 34 rooms, and is situated on the banks of the Ottawa River. It has not been renovated since 1951 but, according to some sources, it needs a lot of work. 24 Sussex Drive was originally commissioned by Joseph Merrill Currier in 1866, completed in 1868, and was given to Currier's wife-to-be.
24 Sussex has a huge lime structure. It's opposite to Rideau Hall's main entrance, and next to the embassy of France. The house's exterior shows a modern take on the architectural style of Norman Revival.
Unlike the White House, 24 Sussex is used exclusively for residence. The work of the Prime Minister is carried out in his office, the Office of the Prime Minister.
3. Griffin House National Historic Site | Hamilton, ON
The Griffin House is a house first constructed in 1827 by Lancaster. It was then purchased in 1834 by an African-American slave, Enerals Griffin, who had escaped captivity. The house offers history-related programs and Underground Railroad tours to anyone interested.
In 2008, Griffin House was appointed as a National Historic Site of Canada. Griffin House is one of the best examples of a typical house in the early 19th Century Upper Canada.
Griffin's descendants lived in the house for 150 years. In 1988, Griffin House was then sold to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority. Between 1992 and 1994, it was restored. During that time, more than 3,000 artifacts were found.
Nowadays, the Griffin House is being operated by the Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum, and the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Aside from the house, the Griffin Falls, also known as Heritage Falls, attracts tourists.
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4. Lady Meredith House | Montreal, QC
Ardvana, more popularly known as Lady Meredith House, was constructed in 1897. It was built for a partner in the Allan Line Steamship Company, Andrew Allan. William and Edward Maxwell are the architects of this beautiful structure.
The house was given to Sir Henry Vincent Meredith and Isabella Brenda Allan, when they were married. Brenda Allan was the daughter of Andrew Allan, while Sir Henry Vincent Meredith was the president of the Bank of Montreal.
In 1929, Sir Vincent died, but Lady Meredith continued to stay in the house until 1941. When she left the house, she gave it to the Royal Victoria Hospital, to function as a nurses' residence.
If you want to visit the Lady Meredith House, you can visit it at 1110 Pine Avenue at Peel Street's Corner. It is now owned by the McGill University. As of the 16th of November, 1990, Lady Meredith House has been declared as a National Historic Site of Canada.
5. Hurtubise House | Westmount, QC
Whenever you talk about old houses, Hurtubise House must be included on the list! It is one of the oldest houses in Canada. In fact, in the neighbourhood of Westmount, Montreal, the Hurtubise House is the oldest.
Jean Hurtubise, Louis Huetubise's son, first purchased the land where the Hurtubise House stands. He bought the land back in 1699, and his family lived in it for six generations.
The area around the Hurtubise House used to be farm fields. Their family worked the fields, which included a market garden and an orchard. And they continued to work on the fields until 1880, when the Cote-Ste-Antoine turned into a residential area.
The property was classified as Ministers de LA Culture et des Communications on the 16th of December, 2004. You can find the house at 561 Cote-Saint-Antoine Road at Victoria Avenue's corner.
6. Gibson House Museum | Toronto, ON
Back in 1829, the Gibson House Museum was acquired by the Gibson family. It’s a red brick Georgian Revival farmhouse, owned by David Gibson. Gibson was a land surveyor who mapped Toronto.
He participated in 1837’s Upper Canada Rebellion, which made him wanted by the government. Gibson was forced to leave the country and go to the United States. He stayed there for 11 years, before finally going back to the York Country. Once he was back, Gibson built the house.
Gibson may have built the house in 1851, but in 1971, it became a heritage museum. The house is a museum that interprets the 19th Century rural life skills and domestic arts, showcasing the evolution of North York, and seeing it through the eyes of David Gibson.
Gibson House Museum provides ongoing exhibits, events, school trips, and kids’ programs. You can enjoy board game nights, the heritage garden, community quilt groups, or historic rooms.
7. Rideau Hall | Ottawa, ON
Since 1867, Rideau Hall has been officially known as the Government House. This is where the Canadian monarch officially resides. It’s in the capital of Canada, at 1 Sussex Drive.
The main building of Rideau Hall is made up of 175 rooms and 27 outbuildings all over the grounds. Rideau Hall is at the center of Ottawa, which is the capital of Canada. The placement of the hall gives it the feeling of “privacy”. Aside from the Citadelle of Quebec, Rideau Hall is the only official royal residence being managed by the federal Crown.
Only 500 sq.m of the Rideau Hall is being used as private living quarters, however. The rest of the areas are being used as offices of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. Primarily, Rideau Hall is the workplace of the Governor General.
This place is where plenty of Canadian investitures and award presentations are held. Members of the Federal Cabinet, and the Prime Minister, are also sworn in at Rideau Hall. Lastly, constitutional and ceremonials are also done at Rideau Hall.
8. Charles Connell House | Woodstock, NB
Hon. Charles Connell’s residence is the Charles Connell House. You can find it at 128 Connell St., Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. In 1975, it was appointed as a National Historic Site of Canada.
Connell had the house built in 1839, and it showcases the classicism’s peak in Canada’s architectural scene. Its style is Greek Revival; a style which takes advantage of wood, in order to imitate stone’s look.
The Charles Connell House was broken up into apartments during the late 19th Century. And in the 1890s, the house was turned into a double tenement; and around 1920, it was then divided into three apartments. During the year 1960, it was further divided into four apartments.
In 1975, the Carleton County Historical Society purchased the Charles Connell House. It’s now being used as storage for the archives and artifacts of the society. The society also had the house restored to its original layout, from before it had been divided into apartments.
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9. Campbell House | Toronto, ON
The Campbell House is located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, and is an 1822 heritage museum. It was constructed for Sir William Campbell, the Chief Justice of Upper Canada, and Hannah, his wife. Campbell House was designed for the comfort and entertainment of the couple, during a time when their children were all grown up, and the both of them were already economically established.
The Campbell House is one of the few houses in Toronto which showcases the Georgian architecture. It was built in the late Georgian era, where the trend was Palladian architecture.
When Sir William Campbell died in 1834, Lady Campbell became the sole owner of the house. Ten years later, Lady Campbell died, and the property was auctioned off by her estate. Aside from the property, all of the house’s inner contents were also sold. All of the proceeds earned were then equally divided to their heirs.
During the 19th Century, the house was mainly used as a private residence. In the 20th Century, the property was used commercially, and was turned into a factory and an office space. The Coutts - Hallmark Greeting Cards Company was the last owner of the house. They wanted to demolish the property, but they offered it to anyone who could remove it. Fortunately, the Advocates Society stepped in to save the house and secure it.
These days, the property is owned by the city government of Toronto, where it currently serves as a club for the Advocates Society members and a historic house museum.
10. Mackenzie House | Toronto, ON
Speaking of historic museums and buildings, it’s hard to discount the Mackenzie House. This is the last house of William Lyon Mackenzie, the first mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The house is now a museum, managed by the Museum and Heritage Services of Toronto.
Mackenzie House was built by Major Andrew Patton in 1830. Patton was the barrack master of York Garrison, where he stayed until he died in 1835. Mackenzie lived in the house from 1835 until 1837. After the failed rebellion of Mackenzie, the government took the property, and Colonel Hill occupied the property.
Since Mackenzie had led the 1837 Rebellion, he was forcibly exiled into the United States. In 1850, after he was pardoned, however, he returned to the new Canadian Province. His finances were in a shaky state. Gladly, in 1858, his family, friends, and supporters bought the Mackenzie House. And in 1861, Mackenzie died, but his wife and daughters would continue to stay there until 1871.
In 1936, while William Lyon Mackenzie King, Mackenzie’s grandson, was the Prime Minister, the houses near the property were demolished. Fortunately, though, because of the house’s historical significance, the house was saved.
Canadians are proud of these houses for a reason. They have so much history in them - so much history that it’s worth visiting them, even if only just once. So, why don’t you hit the road and drive to one or two of these houses?
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