When visiting another country, it's always nice to see some of the historic and beautiful places it has to offer. You should take time to visit these places not only to appreciate the country even more, but also to learn more about it. And there are no other places more historic or more colorful than houses in which history happened.
Canada is one of the most historic and colorful countries in the world. Everywhere you go, you'll find a place worth visiting. However, there are some places that are more worth visiting than others. Here are some of the houses that you should take time to visit:
1. Lougheed House
This place was first known as "Beaulieu", which means "beautiful place" in French. It's in Calgary, Alberta's Beltline district, and is a national historic site.
The Lougheed House Conservation Society are the ones who manage the place. It is a non-profit and an independent society that devotes itself to restoring the house and allowing the public to enjoy it.
Senator James Alexander Lougheed built the mansion back in 1891, for his wife Isabella Hardisty Lougheed. Together with their first two sons, Clarence and Norman, they moved into the house. After their move, they had four more children: Edgar, Dorothy, Douglas, and Marjorie.
The family expanded the house in 1907, in order to accommodate their growing family, as well as their increasing amount of acquaintances and friends. They made the house according to the municipal building code, because of the Calgary Fire in 1886.
For the most part, the Lougheed House was a residential place, a military barracks for women, blood donor clinic, and a women's training centre. However, preceding the year 2000, the house was empty, yet cared for. On that year, however, new restoration of the house began.
2. Henry House
The house can be found on Halifax Regional Municipality's Barrington Street. It's a two-and-a-half-storey property, and has been appointed as a National Historic Site of Canada. Under the Heritage Property Act of the province of Nova Scotia, the property is a Municipal Registered Property and a Provincially Registered Property.
Henry House was originally built for John Metzler back in 1834. He was a wealthy landowner and Halifax stonemason. The property is originally known as a house associated with William Alexander Henry, a native of Halifax who stayed with the Metzler family from 1854-1864.
Henry was very prominent back in the day, because he was a Father of Confederation. He was also the co-author of the British North America Act, a Mayor of Halifax, a provincial Attorney General, and a Member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. Henry served as Supreme Court of Canada's justice, and was the first Nova Scotian to ever do so.
During the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the property was a Sailors' Home. The Navy League of Canada operated the property during that period.
Jacques Ducau and Richard (Dick) Raymond bought the property back in 1968. In 1969, the duo renovated the property, opening a restaurant and downstairs tavern inside. Little Stone Jug was the tavern, and the restaurant was deemed The Henry House.
The restaurant is still in operation today, but is now known as The Henry House Restaurant & Pub. In 1969, the property was appointed a National Historic Site.
The Victorian manor that was built in the style of the Gothic Revival can be found in Ottawa, Ontario. It was the house of Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. However, since 1930, it has become the house of Canada's British High Commissioner.
The company of Thomas McKay were the ones who built the property. It was built in 1855 for John McKinnon, McKay's son-in-law. In 1866, however, McKinnon suddenly died, and Thomas Keefer, McKay's other son-in-law, bought the property.
After two years, Keefer sold the property to a railroad developer, Thomas Reynolds. He stayed in the property for a couple of years. During his stay, the property got the name "Earnscliffe", which means "eagle's cliff".
In 1879, Reynolds died, and in 1883, Sir John A. Macdonald bought the property from Reynolds's son. During an earlier time, Macdonald had stayed with Reynolds. According to rumors, Macdonald was the one who gave the property its name. Macdonald made renovations to the property, and even added several rooms in 1888. He got sick and died on the property in 1891.
His widow, Lady Macdonald, briefly continued to reside in the home after his death, and Queen Victoria made her Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe. Soon, however, Lady Macdonald and her daughter departed for England, and leased the house to Lord Treowen, commander of the militia. Over the next decades, the building was home to several local notables, including Mrs. Charles A.E. Harriss.
Afterwards, William Henry Clark, Canada's first British High Commissioner, bought the house in 1930. And ever since, the property has been the British High Commissioner's house.
4. Dundurn Castle
If you're stopping by Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, then Dundun Castle is a must-stop. It's an 18,000 sq.ft. historic neoclassical mansion. The house cost $175,000 to build, and was finished in 1835. At the time, though, the house had the latest conveniences - such as running water and gas lighting!
The City of Hamilton is now the owner of the property, who purchased it for $50,000 in 1899. In order to make the property open to the public, the City has renovated it for almost $3 million. All of the rooms have been restored to how they looked back in 1855, when Sir Allan Napier MacNab owned it. Costumed interpreters are there to guide those who visit the house. A descendant of Sir Allan MacNab, the Duchess of Cornwall, is the Dundun Castle's Royal Patron.
Robert Charles Wetherell was the architect who built the house, completing it in 1835. Richard Beasley was the original owner of the house - however, due to financial problems, he was forced to sell it. He was one of the early settlers of Hamilton. MacNab built the house's foundation on the brick home of Beasley.
Once the house was finished, it became known for its grand entertainments all over Canada. King Edward VII and Sir John A. MacDonald are just a few of the people who have been to this historic house.
When MacNab died, the property became an institution for deaf mutes. In 1872, Donald McInnes bought the property. Later on, he would sell the property to the City of Hamilton. It was renovated, restored and appointed as a National Site of Canada.
5. Sir George Etienne Cartier House Museum
Another of Canada's National Historic Sites is the house of Sir George-Étienne Cartier. The place is now a historic house museum, commemorating Cartier's life and accomplishments. Nowadays, the house also has other adjoining houses, which features the architectural heritage of 19th-Century Montreal’s middle class.
The house is made up of adjacent houses: the 'west house' and the 'east house'. These houses were separate at first, but now they form one building. The 'west house' portrays the Cartier family's way of life during the 1960s, and an exhibit can be found on the 'east house' which showcases the life of Sir George-Étienne Cartier. Sir George-Étienne Cartier was a prominent man of his time, as a politician and a middle-class Montrealer.
Sir George-Étienne Cartier House showcases the work and career of one of the Fathers of Confederation. It's also a great example of a neoclassical building that went through modifications.
The house museum can be found on the northeast edge of the Old Montreal district. It was appointed as a Canadian National Historic Site in 1964. The house was recognized because of the architectural importance and historical value.
6. Park House Museum
When you go to Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, then you should go to Park House Museum, a historic house museum that was built in Detroit in 1796. However, in 1799, it was moved to Amherstburg.
The house has had plenty of owners, but only the Park Family is widely-recognized. The Park Family lived in this house for 102 years.
The Rotary Club of Amherstburg would buy the property in 1972. It was renovated, and became a local history museum, portraying how it was in the 1850s.
Park House Museum was built by a British loyalist near the Rouge River in 1796. The owner went to Malden when the American Revolution was over. Two years later, in 1798, it was disassembled and moved, with the help of a canoe. The property was built back up again in Amherstburg on the 17th Lot, Dalhousie St., and it would stay there for the next 173 years.
Through a draw, the lot was awarded and given to Leigh, Duff, and Shepherd. Captain Hector McLean, Fort Malden's Commanding officer, chose to give it to Nancy, a schooner, instead. Nancy's owner held the property.
In 1817, the property was bought by Alexander Mackintosh. Soon after, however, in 1823, Jean Baptists Macon bought the property. Macon, who was a famous merchant, hired the Park brothers as clerks - and in 1839, Thomas F. Park bought the house. He lent it to Theodore Jones Park, Thomas's younger brother.
After Theodore Jones Park died, John R. Park, his younger brother, bought the property. The son of Theodore, Dr. Theodore James Park, lived in the house after that. And when he died, Lizzie, his sister, owned the property.
The property changed hands multiple times afterwards. Nowadays, though, it's educating everyone about day-to-day living in the 1850s. The Park House Museum was appointed as a National Historic Site on October 4, 2018.
7. McCrae House
One of Canada's Historic Sites is the McCrae House. It can be found in the birthplace of John McCrae in Guelph, Ontario. John McCrae is a soldier, doctor, and the author of "In Flanders Fields".
McCrae House is a small limestone cottage that is owned by the McCrae family. It was first built in 1858, and the McCrae family stayed there from 1870 until 1873. The property changed hands multiple times, until a group of Guelph citizens bought it in 1966. They created the Lt. Col. John McCrae Birthplace Society, and raised money to restore the house.
Every year, the house offers a different theme. It has temporary and permanent exhibition spaces, which showcase the life of John McCrae. The house was appointed as a place of national significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. John McCrae was also appointed as a person of national significance.
8. Manoir Papineau
The Papineau family stayed in the Manoir Papineau from 1850 to 1929. Manoir Papineau is now being operated by Parks Canada. In 1993, Parks Canada were appointed as its custodians, and they opened it to the public.
Manoir Papineau is considered to be one of the Ottawa River region's most important heritage locations. The property was built to remember Louis-Joseph Papineau, who was one of the leading politicians of the 19th Century, and was the first leader of the French-Canadian nationalists. Later on, he became La Petite-Nation's first seigneur.
The house was built when Papineau came back to Canada, after he had been exiled to Europe. And he and his family lived here, in the house, until he died. Generations of his family continued to live in the house until the 1920s.
9. Maison Cartier
One of the most historic houses in Montreal is Maison Cartier. In Old Montreal, you can find the Maison Cartier, which is also appointed as a Canadian National Historic Site. It was appointed as a National Historic Site back on November 19, 1982.
The Maison Cartier was built from 1812 to 1813. Amiable Amiot dit Villeneuve, a mason, and Antoine Bouteiller, a carpenter, constructed the house. The walls and the dormers on the roof are made of ashlar. They are great examples of the 19th Century's urban architecture of Quebec. Augustin Perrault and Louis Parthenais were the first owners of the Maison Cartier.
Maison Cartier can be found in one of the most colorful areas in Montreal, The Village. Its interior design is heavily inspired from Art Deco's style and elegance. Each room has its own terrace or balcony, allowing you to enjoy the view of the city. If you want to enjoy Montreal, then you should definitely visit Maison Cartier.
10. Château Dufresne
One of the most historic places in Canada is Château Dufresne, a historic house in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve's borough. Oscar Dufresne and Marius Dufresne, two French-Canadian entrepreneurs who had huge involvements in the Maisonneuve's history, stayed at this house for a time.
Originally, the place was parted into two different houses - one for each Dufresne. The Dufresne family would later sell the property to the Congregation of the Holy Cross, who would use it as the Holy Cross College's pavilion annex.
In 1957, the City of Montreal became the new owner of the property. However, until 1961, Holy Cross College stayed as a tenant. Then, from 1965 to 1968, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art was the tenant. From 1976 to 1997, the mansion's tenant was the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts. And the Château Dufresne Museum has been staying in the property from 1999 up until now. In 2014, the property was renamed “Dufresne-Nincheri Museum”.
Marius Dufresne and Jules Renard designed the property in the style of the Beaux-Arts. It was appointed as a historic monument by the provincial government in 1976.
Worth The Visit
Each of the houses on this list is worth the visit. You will not only get to experience the history of Canada, but you will also be able to enjoy the view! If you're planning to learn history, or to simply enjoy a trip or two, then why don't you hop in your car and drive out to visit!
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