Kingsmere | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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Kingsmere

Kingsmere, Quebec, is a community associated with the property, known as Kingswood or the Farm, left to the nation by former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. The Mackenzie King Estate is administered by the National Capital Commission and is located within Gatineau Park and the National Capital Region. The Farm is now the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Mackenzie King at Kingsmere

William Lyon Mackenzie King discovered Kingsmere in 1901 while on a cycling trip through the Gatineau Hills. (It is not named for him, as it had acquired its name long before he arrived in the area.) King fell in love with the area and in September 1902, he arranged to purchase a lot by the lake, where, in 1903, he built a four-room cabin he called Kingswood. It grew over the years into an estate of some 231 hectares. There, King would walk his guests — among whom were the Duke of Windsor and Winston Churchill — over miles of nature trails and where from May to October he conducted much of the nation's business. It included five country homes, barns, garages, gardens and the Moorside ruins, a peculiar collection of materials from old Ottawa buildings. King died at his beloved estate 22 July 1950. He bequeathed the estate to "the Government of Canada... in trust for the citizens of Canada." The Farm has been the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons since 1955.

Isabel and Janet King

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