Wilfrid Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada
Wilfrid Laurier House
Maison Wilfrid Laurier
Links and documents
1876/01/01 to 1877/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located in the old municipality of Arthabaska, (now amalgamated with Victoriaville) Quebec, the Wilfrid Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada is a two-storey building in the Italianate style. This elegant red-brick residence, once Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s home, sits on a gracious lot behind a semi-circular driveway framed by mature maple trees. Official recognition refers to the building on its legal lot.
The Wilfrid Laurier House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1999 because it is directly associated with a national historic figure, namely, one of the former prime ministers of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
Built between 1876 and 1877 to Laurier’s specifications, the building served as his principal residence for 20 years and illustrates his success as a lawyer, in the Arthabaska region. This house was Laurier’s principal home until elected prime minister in 1896, after which he visited regularly and used it as his summer home until his death in 1919. The house was eventually given to the Quebec government and used as a museum dedicated to the memory of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. After the building opened as a museum in 1929 some alterations were made to accommodate the museological functions.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November, 1999.
The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- its prominent location in an old Arthabaska residential neighbourhood;
- the rectangular, two-storey massing set under a hipped roof;
- the brick construction with white-accented details;
- the Italianate stylistic elements, notably the symmetrical, three-bay principal façade with central entry sheltered by an ornately detailed porch, the lively detailing that include brick quoins, a central arch containing a bulls eye window, arched windows, oriel windows, an ornate dentillated cornice with consoles, high stone foundation and small roof terrace surrounded by a balustrade;
- surviving detailing and materials from the Laurier era, notably the wooden casement windows, panelled doors, and remaining evidence of the original domestic plan, interior finishes, and remaining Laurier furniture.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Politics and Political Processes
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Louis Caron Sr.
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec
Cross-Reference to Collection