About the Mackenzie King Estate
The Mackenzie King Estate was created by William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s 10th and longest serving prime minister. During a career that spanned some fifty years — almost half of that as prime minister — King guided Canada from semi-colonial status to complete autonomy.
For more than four decades, King spent most of his summers at the Estate. He gradually expanded and beautified the grounds until he owned 231 hectares (2.31 km) of land. The Mackenzie King Estate has many heritage and natural features to explore. It is an expression of King’s love of nature, architecture and romanticism.
The cottages were recently restored and now feature interactive exhibits that will bring you back in time. You can read more about it here.
After falling in love with the wilderness scenery by Kingsmere Lake, King purchased land there in 1903 and built the first of several cottages. The area came to be known as Kingswood. From 1903 to 1928, King spent most summers there, building and landscaping the grounds and enjoying time with family and friends.
As a visitor to Kingswood, you can discover firsthand this wilderness scenery that King fell in love with. Through revitalized exhibits in the recently rehabilitated Kingswood cottages, you will travel back in time to the early 1900s and see how the young King spent his summers before becoming prime minister. You can relax in the Guest Cottage and entertain yourself as King’s guests may have with a game or two of checkers, or you can spend your time out of doors and pose for a picture on the carriage by the Kingswood garage or by the shores of Kingsmere Lake.
In 1928, while in his third term as prime minister, King moved to Moorside. At this large, elegant cottage, King received guests such as Winston Churchill and Charles Lindbergh. King expressed his romanticism at Moorside. He laid out formal flower beds and gathered a collection of picturesque ruins from Canada and abroad. He also traced trails through the forest, which we still enjoy today.
As a visitor to Moorside, there are discoveries to be made indoors and out. Inside the Moorside cottage you can visit the museum showcasing King’s life and work at the Estate and as Prime Minister of Canada during the 1930s and 1940s.
Outside, you can stroll through the formal gardens, enjoy a picnic on the grounds, go for a hike along the Waterfall Trail, or marvel at the beautiful ruins. In need of some refreshment after all of this exploring? Visit the Mackenzie King Tearoom, located on the main level of Moorside Cottage.
During the last years of his life, King gave free rein to his passion for architecture. He devoted himself to a new project — restoring a 19th-century farmhouse and transforming it into an elegant year-round residence. He settled at The Farm in 1943 and died there in 1950, only two years after he retired from politics.
The Farm is now the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons and is not accessible to the public.
A Gift to Canadians
Upon his death, King left the Estate as “…a public park in trust for the people of Canada.” It is around the Estate that his government established Gatineau Park, the Capital’s Conservation Park. Come explore this beautiful legacy!