Like the rest of the 363 square-kilometre Gatineau Park that surrounds it, the Mackenzie King Estate is managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC), a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada. The NCC was created in 1959 to serve as “the steward of federal lands and buildings in the National Capital Region.” Its mandate is “to plan, develop and use” the properties under its care as a “source of pride and unity for Canadians.”
The historic site known as Mackenzie King Estate includes 231 hectares of landscaped green space south of Kingsmere Lake in the heart of magnificent Gatineau Park.
For nearly fifty years, the Estate served as the summer residence of Mackenzie King, Canada’s tenth and longest serving Prime Minister. King, who served as Prime Minister from 1921-1926, 1926-1930, and 1935-1948, during a period of profound change in Canada, was one of Canada’s most influential figures. When he died in 1950, he bequeathed his beloved estate to the people of Canada. It was around this property that the Government of Canada, through the National Capital Commission, established what we now know as Gatineau Park.
Today, visitors from far and wide come to the Mackenzie King Estate to admire the restored chalets of Kingswood – which include two summer cottages purchased by King in 1903 and 1922 respectively and Moorside – a large elegant cottage built in 1901 and purchased by King in 1924. Also located on the Estate is The Farm, a 19th century farmhouse purchased by King in 1927 and renovated in the 1930s as the Prime Minister’s permanent residence (note: The Farm is off-limits to the public and serves as the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons).
It was at Moorside that King laid out his splendid flower gardens and his picturesque collection of stone ruins. It was also here that he entertained such dignitaries as Sir Winston Churchill, Yousuf Karsh, and Charles Lindbergh. Visitors to both Kingswood and Moorside will also enjoy the landscaped grounds, wooded trails, and waterfalls.
Trails in and around the Mackenzie King Estate link up with the broader trail network of Gatineau Park.
At Mackenzie King Estate, visitors are invited to “re-live fifty years of Canadian history” as they stroll about the landscaped grounds of this remarkable heritage site. They can visit the chalets and admire King’s unusual collection of ruins. Interpreter-guides are available to answer questions or direct visitors to various sites on the Estate.
Other activities include films on Mackenzie King’s life and times, or a visit to the famous Moorside Tearoom, where snacks or light meals are available (by reservation) throughout the season.
For young people (ages 10 to 18), educational programs are offered (please inquire for more information).
The Mackenzie King Estate is wheelchair-accessible.
GUIDED TOURS (Minimum 20 people, reservations required):
• Free of charge for school groups (parking included);
• $3 per person for all other groups (parking included);
• Group Tours: A private tour can be arranged for your group from mid-May to mid-October. By reservation only, subject to availability.
To reserve a guide for your group, contact the Friends of Gatineau Park at 819-827-311
School Groups: The Mackenzie King Estate offers free programs for school groups. Reservations are required. Available from mid-May to mid-October. Contact Canadian Heritage Reservations Service at 1-800-461-8020 / 613-944-2898 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Please note that reservations are not required for non-guided tours and that parking fees will apply.
Call (819) 827-3405. Mackenzie King Estate Tea Room only.
For other enquiries about the Estate, individuals should contact the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre at 819-827-2020 or toll-free at 1-866-456-3016
Fees and Parking
There is no fee to visit the Estate. An access fee is charged for vehicles using the Mackenzie King Estate parking lot.
May 15 to October 18, 2015, from 9 am to 7 pm
Day pass (pay and display)
Bus: $55 (over 20 passengers)
Season Pass: $75
The Mackenzie King Estate (Kingsmere) is located within Gatineau Park, via the Gatineau Parkway.
Gatineau Park: (819) 827-2020; Toll free: 1 (800) 465-1867
Reservations for guided tour or school program: (613) 239-5100; Toll free: 1 (800) 461-8020
Moorside Tearoom: (819) 827-3405 (also available for wedding receptions and other events).