Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site of Canada
Presbytère de Leaskdale
Leaskdale Manse Museum
Musée du Presbytère de Leaskdale
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site of Canada is the former Presbyterian manse where Lucy Maud Montgomery lived with her husband and family from 1911-1926. It is a modest brick late 19th-century house set on a residential lot just north of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church on Durham Regional Rd. #1 in the hamlet of Leaskdale, Ontario, north of Toronto. The designation refers to the house on its legal property.
Leaskdale Manse was designated a national historic site in 1994 because
- it was the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery in a productive period of her literary career when she wrote 11 of the 22 works published during her lifetime;
- her posthumously published journals for 1911-1926, written in the manse, are important literary works that provide for a greater understanding of the author and her early 20th-century work, and permit new interpretations of her fictional writings; and
- the manse and its immediate environment figure prominently in the journals, being the stage on which the drama of an important part of her life was played and documented.
The heritage value of Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site of Canada lies in its association with the life and later published works of Lucy Maud Montgomery. The value is illustrated in the form, materials, site and setting surviving from the 1911-1926 period when Montgomery was in residence. The house was constructed in 1886 as the manse for St. Paul's Presbyterian Church where Lucy Maud Montgomery's husband, the Reverend Ewan Macdonald, served as pastor from 1911-1926. It was here that Montgomery lived during the first 15 years of her marriage, bore and began to raise her family. It was purchased by the Township of Uxbridge for restoration as an historic site in 1993.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute, 1994; Commemorative Integrity Statement, 1999.
Key elements that contribute to the heritage value of this site include:
- location of the house adjacent to the Presbyterian church and on a street that remains sympathetic to its early twentieth-century state;
- its typicality as a late nineteenth-century middle class house, including its two-storey massing, T-shaped footprint and cross gabled roof with single storey rear shed;
- its yellow brick exterior facing material;
- its vernacular decorative elements, including a wooden verandah with restrained gingerbread bracketing, wooden side and top-lit entry door, simple wooden window frames;
- surviving interior layout, fittings and furnishings from the 1911-1926 period;
- landscape features from the Montgomery/Macdonald time period such as remnants of the carriageway, gardens;
- archaeological evidence from the 1911-1926 period including remnants of the carriage house, well, fence, and the pollen record;
- viewscapes from the house to rural surroundings, from the second floor windows west to Leask farm and beyond, north to the Leaskdale Creek and south to the church.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1911/01/01 to 1926/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace is a one-and-one-half storey vernacular cottage built to a centre hall plan with a kitchen ell addition located in New London.