Government House

'Government House' was the name of the four official residences of the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, and then of Ontario. None of the buildings still exist, but instead Ontario's Lieutenant Governor uses an office and suite of rooms for entertainment at the Ontario Legislature.

First vice-regal residence of Upper Canada

Fort York was the location of the first vice-regal residence of Upper Canada until it was destroyed in 1813 when a nearby powder magazine exploded.

List of all subjects. You can also see all the historic photos for a given neighbourhood. We also have a list of all the photos arranged by date.


Second Government House - Elmsley House

Originally built in 1798 to the west of the Town of York near King and Simcoe Streets, Elmsley House served as the colony's Government House from 1815 to 1841. It was destroyed by fire in 1862.

Follow this link to our 2 entries, dated from 1834 to 1854 related to Government House (Elmsley House)


Third Government House (King and Simcoe)

After the second Government House burnt down in 1862, a new one was built in 1868, also at the south-west corner of King Street West and Simcoe. It was designed by architect Henry Langley, in the Second Empire style and completed in 1870. "Old Government House" as it is now know, was a three-storey red brick and Ohio cut stone building with a central tower, built at a cost of just over $100,000. When first built it had a wonderful view over the gardens south to Lake Ontario, but as the city, and the railroads, grew, the location became more and more industrial, so in 1909 a new location was found. The building was finally torn down in 1912 and the land sold to the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

Follow this link to our 21 entries, dated from 1870 to 1912 related to Government House (King and Simcoe)


Cumberland House

Frederick William Cumberland was born in London, England in 1821 and came to Toronto in 1847. He entered into a partnership with William George Storm and together they designed and built many public buildings around the city, including University College. They designed and built this Italianate villa in 1857-1860.  ...more

Follow this link to our 7 entries, dated from 1886 to 2011 related to Cumberland_House


Chorley Park

The forth, and final, Government House in Ontario was called Chorley Park. Designed by Francis R. Heakes in a French Renaissance style, it was built of Credit Valley stone between 1911 and 1915 on 14 acres of the still relatively undeveloped Rosedale neighbourhood. One of the most expensive residences ever constructed in Canada up to that point, it cost over a million dollars.

But the lavish building was expensive to maintain, and even heat, especially as the world slide into The Depression, and was closed in 1937. It was acquired by the federal government  ...more

Follow this link to our 17 entries, dated from 1910 to 1959 related to Government House (Chorley Park)