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Prime Minister's Cottage

Chelsea, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/05/28

View of the Prime Minister's Cottage, showing its casual, rustic appearance, 1985.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1985.
General view
View of the Prime Minister's Cottage, showing its stone fireplaces and open verandah, 1985.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1985.
General view
View of the Prime Minister's Cottage, showing the view of the lake and the hills beyond, 1985.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1985.
Side view

Other Name(s)

Prime Minister's Cottage
Prime Minister's Summer Residence
Résidence d'été du Premier ministre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1925/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The two-and-a-half storey Prime Minister’s Cottage, also known as the Prime Minister’s Summer Residence, stands alone in the midst of a large lawn at the south-west end of Harrington Lake where it enjoys a magnificent view of the lake and the hills beyond. It is a hip-roofed, clapboard structure, with a large addition and two prominent stone chimneys that are located on the side walls of the main section of the house. The front façade features a central gable, flanked by two smaller gables and a central, enclosed sun porch that supports the second level verandah. Dormer windows are featured on all but the principal façade. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Prime Minister’s Cottage is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Prime Minister’s Cottage is associated with the theme of the summer cottage, which is an integrated part of Canada’s social history. The building is closely associated with Senator W.C. Edwards and his nephew, C.M. Edwards, both of whom played prominent roles in the economic and social development of the Ottawa region. In 1911, W.C. Edwards, an important lumber baron, began to acquire land property in the Harrington Lake area. On his death, the property went to his nephew, C.M. Edwards, who built his summer house there. Since 1959, the estate has been the country retreat of six Prime Ministers of Canada.

Architectural Value
The Prime Minister’s Cottage is valued for its good aesthetic and functional design. The design is representative of cottage architecture of the 1920s. Stone fireplaces and open verandahs were typical of the informal character of cottage design of the period. When it was constructed, it shared a casual, rustic impression with many other cottages, such as the O’Brien House on nearby Meech Lake. Also notable for its period of construction are the wood and stone materials and the good craftsmanship.

Environmental Value
The Prime Minister’s Cottage reinforces the picturesque character of its country estate setting and is a symbol of the Prime Minister’s Office within the region.

Sources: Sally Coutts, Prime Minister’s Summer House, Harrington Lake, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 85-040; Prime Minister’s Cottage, Harrington Lake, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 85-040.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Prime Minister’s Cottage should be respected.

Its good aesthetic and functional design, and good craftsmanship and materials, as for example:
- the two-and-a-half storey massing with a large addition;
- the hipped roof with a central gable flanked by two smaller gables, and the dormer windows that are featured on all but the principal façade;
- the wood-frame construction clad in clapboard;
- the two stone chimneys located on the sides of the main house;
- the front, enclosed sun porch and upper level verandah;
- the multi-pane wood sash windows with wood shutters;
- the interior layout and features, such as the stone fireplaces.

The manner in which the Prime Minister’s Cottage reinforces the present picturesque character of its country estate setting and is a symbol in the region, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, massing, design and materials that harmonize with its landscaped and natural surroundings at Harrington Lake;
- its well-known role as the summer residence of the Prime Minister of Canada, which makes it a symbol of this office in the region.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1986/05/28

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Residence
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Colonel Cameron Macpherson Edwards

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

2583

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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