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Leacock House (Orillia), 1928

This building was constructed on Old Brewery Bay as a summer home for Stephen Leacock, world-renowned humorist and author. Though Leacock wrote extensively on political science, economics and history during his literary career of four decades, he achieved his greatest success as a humorist.

Some of his best work may be found in "Literary Lapses," "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town" and "Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich." The London Times called him a master of satire.

Leacock died in 1944. In 1957, the Town of Orillia purchased the property and established the Stephen Leacock Memorial Home. The building and grounds are now a permanent Leacock Museum, the core of which is Leacock's library and personal papers donated by Mr. L.M. Ruby.

Designed by Toronto architects Noxon & Wright in collaboration with Leacock, this stucco and wood-clad frame building is characterized by a steeply pitched hip roof with several hip dormers, brick chimneys, French doors and windows with multiple small panes, a covered porch on the lakeside and balconies with decorative balustrading. The interior of the house has Norwegian fir panelling both upstairs and down and a glazed enclosed writing porch. The house sits in a landscaped setting with a formal path bordered by gardens leading to the lake, a sundial, a rose garden outside the writing porch, and a catalpa tree.

In 1978, the now City of Orillia designated the residence under the Ontario Heritage Act, and in 1983 the Ontario Heritage Trust secured a heritage easement on the building. The building was designated a National Historic Site in 1992.

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