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Visiting Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site

Visiting the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site is a bucket list experience for a lot of people. Situated along the legendary fifty-three kilometre Chilkoot Trail that takes you from the tidewaters in Dyea to the shores of Bennet Lake.  The trail is managed by Parks Canada and is the exact same trail that was tried and tested the First Nations traders and the stampeders heading north to try their luck at finding gold.  The pull off for the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site Log Cabin Rest area is located at kilometre 43.9 along the South Klondike Highway where the White Pass and Yukon Route railway crosses the highway.  There is very little left along of the once booming settlement but if you head down the railway tracks you will see remnants of some of the old buildings standing next to the train tracks.

Here are some of our photos from our visit to Parks Canada’s Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site!

Glacier Flightseeing Over Kluane National Park

Flightseeing through the Saint Elias Mountains over Kluane National Park and Reserve towards North America’s tallest and largest mountain, Mt Logan, was the adventure of a lifetime.  As we travelled down the Alaska Highway towards the dirt airfield that is home to Icefield Discovery, we couldn’t help but be excited – we were going to get to see the beautiful Kluane National Park and Reserve from the air, which really is one of the best ways to experience this breathtaking National Park.

The glacier flightseeing tour with Icefield Discovery over the park is such a special trip as many people never reach the south-west corner of the Yukon Territory to experience it.  Icefield Discovery has been operating out of the region for over 30 years now initially supporting research needs to discover and understand the mountain region and beyond.  Overtime Icefield Discovery branched out to include flights for climbers and flightseeing for tourism.

As we rolled in to the airfield we were met by Tom who would be our pilot and the individual who would be instrumental in providing us with one of the coolest experiences we have ever done!  We quickly got all of our gear ready for our flight (GoPro, Osmo, two Nikon D610 cameras) and could not wait to take off!  Tom took us over the flight plan – we would fly over the St. Elias Mountains passing many of the main peeks along the way including Mt. Steele, Vancouver, King George, Kennedy, Hubbard, Lucania, Pinnacle, Mt. St. Elias and lastly would land in front of Mt. Logan, North Americas largest peak, on the worlds largest non-polar icefield.  Did you know that a glacier is only called a glacier when moving through a valley? Otherwise it is called an icefield!

Chris jumped in the front seat next to Tom and I got in the backseat behind them! I was happy to sit behind the two of them so I could take photos from both sides of the plane.  Our bright yellow Helio Courier C-GXFB headed towards the end of the runway, spun around and we were off in the air!

As we took off we were immediately greeted with views of Kluane Lake and Williscoft Peak.

We began to climb up the Slims River Valley, something that now looks like a dried up river bed was once the place where the glacier’s meltwater drained into Kluane Lake.  In 2016 this glacier receded turning the meltwater towards the Pacific ocean and drying up the Slims River.

Slims River Valley

Shortly after climbing through the Slims River Valley we entered into the Kaskawulsh Glacier which appeared to go on forever.  This vast, temperate valley glacier in the heart of the St. Elias Mountain Range covers more than 39,000 square kilometres.  The Kaskawulsh Glacier is a result of two converging outlet glaciers and has been measured as wide as 4 – 6.5km at its boardest point.  The glacier has slowly been receding, which resulted in the meltwater changing from draining down the Slims River to towards the Pacific Ocean.

Kaskawulsh Glacier
Kaskawulsh Glacier

Kaskawulsh Glacier

Kaskawulsh Glacier
Kaskawulsh Glacier
Kaskawulsh Glacier
Kaskawulsh Glacier

As we soar over the Kaskwulsh Glacier and head west towards Mt. Logan the snowy mountains that had been sitting in the distance finally came into full view!  These beautiful snow covered mountains against the bright blue sky make for a stunning view!

View from the Cockpit

We followed the glacier bends and turns and we were shortly in the heart of the snowy white St. Elias Mountain Range.  The mountains appear to go on forever with peaks of various size everywhere, and then Mount Logan came into view! All 11 peaks of Canadas highest mountain, Mount Logan, were in view during our morning flightseeing tour.

Mount Logan in the Distance

Mount Logan is surrounded by other giants including Mount Kennedy and Mount Washington both standing at over 5000 metres tall.  We really felt like we were on the top of the world, and we began our descent down onto the icefield.  Tom began to lower the skis for landing – one that was much smoother than we initially expected for landing on a rough icefield!

Coming in for landing on the Icefield in front of Mount Logan

Once we exited the plane, the complete silence other than the wind whistling through the mountains was like nothing else we had ever experienced.  There was no one else on the icefield with us, and to our right was a white and orange tent used for overnight experiences offered through Icefield Discovery.  We explored the area and enjoyed the warm sun beating down on the frozen icefield.

Icefield Discovery Helio Couier on the Icefield
Chris & Icefield Discovery Helio Couier on the Icefield

Icefield Discovery Helio Couier on the Icefield
Mount Logan
Chris & Nicole with Icefield Discovery Helio Couier on the Icefield
Nicole & Icefield Discovery Helio Couier on the Icefield

We spent about 30 minutes on the icefield which was the perfect amount of time to see everything within a close walk of the plane.  Standing on ice that is over 700 metres thick, and seeing areas that no man has ever walked before is an experience you will not soon forget.

Heading away from Mount Logan with Tom and Chris in the Front

As we re-board the plane and have an incredibly smooth take off, we say goodbye to Mount Logan and head towards Icefield Discovery’s hangar.  We take a similar route back, but this time Tom takes us much lower to the ground so we can get a different perspective of the Kaskawulsh Glacier and surrounding mountain range.

Flying over the Kaskawulsh Glacier
Pools of Glacial Ice on the Kaskawulsh Glacier

The ever changing Kaskawulsh Glacier has thousands of cracks, ridges and even pools of bright, turquoise blue pools.  These turquoise pools are rich in oxygen making the water turn this colour.

After we re-enter the Slim River Valley we are almost back in Silver City at the Icefield Discovery airstrip.  We fly over Kluane Lake.

Flying over Kluane Lake
Flying over Kluane Lake

As we land back on the dirt airstrip another group is waiting for Tom to take them on their own adventure of a lifetime.  We could not thank Tom and the Icefield Discovery team enough for such an incredible adventure!  Without a doubt this was the highlight of our road trip through the Yukon and should be a bucket list item for everyone travelling through the territory.

As we leave the plane we can see the excitement in the next group’s eyes – we turn to them and say “Have fun your going to love it!’ – How couldn’t they? It’s the ultimate ride of a lifetime.


Make sure to watch the video of our flightseeing trip below!

Top 10 Reasons To Visit Dawson City

Dawson City is the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush.  The town feels frozen in time and invites you to turn back the pages in time and experience the rich living history.  With many of the original buildings still standing from the gold rush there is the look and feel of a true wild-west town with the personalities to boot.  First Nations, Miners, Artists, Hikers and more still call this place home.


The View From the Top of the Midnight Dome

Located just outside of town, drive the winding Dome Road for 10-15 minutes up to the top where you will be greeted with panoramic views of Dawson City and the surrounding landscape.  The Midnight Dome, at 880m above sea levels offers unparalleled views of the Klondike Valley, the Yukon River, and Dawson City.


Explore The Paddlewheel Graveyard

Crashed into the banks of the Yukon River across from Dawson City and left to sit and become a playground for adventurers, this Paddlewheel Graveyard is a unique piece of history in the Yukon.  Tucked hidden amongst the Spruce Trees on the west bank of the Yukon River, several paddlewheelers have been left here in their final resting place after many years of handwork on the Yukon River.  The paddlewheelers that were once the primary mode of transportation for the Yukon were abandoned once highways and roads became a viable option throughout the territory.  These once beautiful ships now linger waiting for you to explore their collapsed wooden structures and rotting struts.  To read all out the Paddlewheel Graveyard make sure to check out our post!


Gamble at Canada’s First Casino

Play your odds at Canada’s oldest, quaint one-room gambling hall! Diamond Tooth Gerties offers three Cancan shows telling the story of the first stampeders to find gold and lots of opportunity to strike it rich in Dawson!  Lots of fun can be had at Diamond Tooth Gerties located at 4th & Queen Street.  To read all about our night at Diamond Tooth Gerties make sure to check it out here!


Join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club

Head over to the Sourdough Saloon between 9-11PM each night to join the ranks of the daring and adventurous few who have sipped the Sourtoe Cocktail.  The toe (an actual preserved human toe) much touch your lips while you take a shot of your choice liquor.  It is must do or at least see while in Dawson City.


Visit the Historic buildings with Parks Canada

Many of the buildings throughout the town are deemed a national historic site by Parks Canada.  Take a walking tour offered by Parks Canada to learn the history of Dawson City.  Another option as you explore the town is to stop at each of the homes and find their detailed story on a plaque outside each of the buildings.  Make sure to check out the Robert Service Heritage Cabin, Berton House and Jack London Museum to name a few!


Explore the S.S. Keno National Historic Site

The S.S. Keno National Historic Site invites you to step into an era when the Yukon’s rivers were the highways for the territory and the sternwheelers were the main means of transportation, trade and really the only contact with the outside world.  Take a step onto the gangplank and experience what a typical riverboat of the era looked like and its roles.  Located on the Dawson City waterfront the S.S. Keno National Historic Site is open mid-May until mid-September.


Klondike Spirit

Take a cruise on the Yukon River aboard the only operating paddlewheeler in the Yukon.  This nostalgic journey along the Yukon River will teach you about the history of Dawson City, show you stunning landscapes along the river and the historical site of Moosehide.  The Klondike Spirit runs several times a day – for exact times and pricing call the Triple J Hotel!


Visit Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site

Dredges were the behemoth machines of gold mining and they owned and roamed the creeks of the Klondike until the early 1960’s.  Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site in Bonanza Creek is the worlds largest wooden hull dredge.  This Parks Canada National Historic Site now sits on Claim 17 where she sank in November 1960.  This beautiful restored dredge now offers summertime tours to give you an insight into what gold mining back during the Klondike was like.  To read all about visiting Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site make sure to read our guide here!


Visit Where It All Began – Discovery Claim

In 1896 three men searched Bonanza Creek and found gold there on August 17.  Finding gold in the creek would ultimately be the start of the gold frenzy that would see over 28,000 people come to Dawson City in hopes of becoming rich.  Take a drive out to the original claim site where gold was found, sit in the Parks Canada red Adirondack chairs and imagine what life would have been like there over one hundred years ago.  To read all about Discovery Claim make sure to read our post here!


Try Your Luck at Panning for Gold

Why not try your own luck in the place that started the Klondike Gold Rush! You can try your luck at Claim #6 where you can have an authentic panning experience.  With no pans or instructors onsite, come prepared with your own pan to find a spot along Bonanza Creek and hopefully find some gold.  Everything you find at Free Claim #6 you get to keep yourself!  If you are looking for somewhere with a little more instruction, head over to Claim #33 where you can have someone walk you through hand panning and gold is guaranteed to be found!


With so many things to do in Dawson City which one will you choose to do first?

Visiting Discovery Claim – The Beginning of the Gold Rush Story

Discovery Claim is home to the first finding of gold in Dawson City which would spur the Klondike Gold rush in the late 1890’s.  Take a walk down the trail leading to Bonanza Creek and hear the rushing water and imagine what it was like over 100 years ago.

Here is our experience exploring Discovery Claim!

History of Discovery Claim & The Klondike Gold Rush

Dawson City’s name is unanimous with the Klondike Gold Rush and for good reason it is where it all began.  In mid-August 1896, an American prospector, George Carmack and his wife Kate, along with her brother Sookum Jim and their nephew Dawson Charlie were travelling through an area on the south of the Klondike River.  As they stopped to rest along the side of a stream that miners called Rabbit Creek, one of them noticed metallic glitter in the creek.  They had found gold! This would be the first piece of gold that would spawn the Klondike Gold Rush.  By the next morning – August 17 – their claims had been staked.  News of gold spread throughout the Yukon and abroad and miners and Yukon citizens alike abandoned their previous work and rushed to the Klondike.

It would not be until another year later when word of gold would reach the outside world and the true Klondike Gold Rush began.  Stampeders from around the world dropped everything they had and headed to the Yukon.


Getting to Discovery Claim

Head south out of Dawson City to the Klondike Highway and head up Bonanza Creek Road. Drive for approximately 15 minutes passing the Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site and the claim will be on your left marked with clear signage.  There is a large parking lot where you can park and head out onto the trail.

The trail is marked with boards that explain the history of the area as you walk towards Bonanza Creek. Explore the 1.5 km interpretive trail and learn all about Discovery Claim and the Klondike Gold Rush.

 

26 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Dawson City

The town of Dawson City is inseparably linked to the Klondike Gold Rush and for good reason – this real life gold rush town that looks and feels very much like it did in the 1890’s during the Klondike Gold Rush.  As you walk the streets you relive the history of the stampeders that came to Dawson in hopes of finding gold.  Set at the narrow shelf at the meeting of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, a mere 240km south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City is still today best known for its gold mining past and present.  Today, as you drive into Dawson from the south you can see remnants of old gold fields and dredge tailings.  Wander the dirt roads of the town, passing buildings riddled with permafrost foundations that are slowly sinking into the ground and experience the rich culture of the city.  From the gold fields, Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site, the midnight dome, Diamond Tooth Gerties, the historic buildings throughout the city, S.S. Keno National Historic site and more there is so much to see in Dawson City!

Here are 26 photos that will inspire you to visit Dawson City!

 

Visiting Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site

The behemoths of gold mining machines owned and roamed the creeks of the Klondike until the early 1960’s.  Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site in Bonanza Creek is the worlds largest wooden hull dredge.  This Parks Canada National Historic Site now sits on Claim 17 where she sank in November 1960.  This beautiful resorted dredge now offers summertime tours to give you an insight into what gold mining back during the Klondike was like.

Here is our experience visiting Dredge No 4. National Historic Site!

How To Get There

Dredge No. 4 is located 12.3 km from the Klondike Highway on Bonanza Creek Road.  From Dawson City you head south out of the city onto the Klondike Highway and will turn right onto Bonanza Creek Road.  There are signs pointing towards Dredge No 4. National Historic Site.  From the turn off onto Bonanza Creek it is a 12 km drive down a dirt road and the dredge will be on your right – you will not be able to miss it!


History of Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site

Dredge No. 4 ws building in the mid 1912 for the Canadian Klondike Mining Company on Claim 112 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek.  It began operating and mining for gold in May 1913 and began to dig its way upstream in the Klondike Valley.  It would sink in Boyle Concession in 1924 and would remain there for three years.  In 1927 it was refloated and continued to operate the Klondike Valley.  The dredge moved along in a pond of its own making, digging gold bearing gravel at the rate of 22 buckets per minute and would operate for 24 hours a day each season that would consist of 220 days (April-November weather depending).  Although only moving half a mile per season, it unearthed nine tons of gold, grossing 8.6 million dollars over 46 years.  On its best day Dredge No. 4 produced over 800 ounces of gold!

The dredge sank in Claim 17 Below Discovery in 1960 where is now lives.  In the summer of 1991 and 1992 the dredge was excavated, re-floated and relocated to its current position on higher ground to protect it from seasonal flooding.  Parks Canada has continued to invest in the restoration and stabilization of the Dredge.  Being the largest wooden hull, bucket line dredge in North America needs to ensure its survival through the harsh Yukon winters for many years so people can learn of the significance of the gold rush and mining for years to come.


Things To Do While Visiting Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site

Take a Tour – Tours are available for $20 which will provide you with an informational session prior to entering the dredge.  The tour guide will take you through the dredge and it is the only way to see the inside of North Americas largest wooden hull, bucket line dredge.

Explore the Grounds – If you do not want to take a tour feel free to park in front of the dredge and take a mini self-guided tour.  There are plenty of signs that will give you information about the dredge, how it worked and the history behind it.

Top 13 Things To Do In Whitehorse

Summer days in Whitehorse are endless! With some days having nineteen hours of daylight leaves you with a lot of time to explore.  Spending time outside exploring the beautiful Wilderness City, walking along the banks of the Yukon River, take a step back in time on the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site or learn all about Whitehorse and the Yukon’s past in one of the many museums.  The beautiful city of Whitehorse offers views of the surrounding mountains from anywhere in the city is a must visit place on your trip through the Yukon.

Here are our top 13 things to do in Whitehorse, Yukon!

Visit the Visitor Information Centre

Your first stop in Whitehorse should be to the Visitor Information Centre where you can speak to a local expert about everything to do in town and the surrounding area.  Here you can grab free maps and brochures on activities available all throughout the Yukon.  If you are looking for a bit more guidance a local guides will be able to assist you in booking tours for your.


Walk the Waterfront

Just steps outside the Visitor Centre is a paved path that follows the Yukon River.  Take a walk along the footpath to get some great views of both the river and Whitehorse.


Spirit House 

As you walk along the river don’t forget to look across the water to see a First Nations burial ground.  It looks like a home with a white picket fence, but it is actually a place where the ashes and personal effects of the deceased were laid to rest.  This final resting place for the First Nations is called the Spirit House.  Please do not take photos of the site or visit the site as both are considered disrespectful.


MacBride Museum of Yukon History

The MacBride Museum offers a comprehensive look of the people and events that shaped the Yukon.  Explore the museum to learn the stories of the gold rush, discover the truth of the Robert Service Ledgend at Sam McGee’s Cabin and more.  The MacBride Museum was named Canada’s #1 most under-rated attraction by MSN Travel Canada and it really is!


Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is a place where the Kwanlin Dün First Nations people celebrate both their heritage and contemporary way of life.  The purpose of the cultural centre is to revive, preserve and demonstrate the values, traditional ways of life, language and practices of the Kwanlin Dün people.


Old Log Church Museum

Step into the Old Log Church Museum and experience history of the people and places that built Whitehorse.  From 1861 onwards the museum looks at the history of the area and its pioneers.  A visit to the museum will help provide a better understanding to the first chapters in the Yukon’s history.


Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery

Explore the Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery where you can learn about salmon migration.  The Whitehorse Fish Ladder is believed to be the longest wooden fish ladder in the world.  Building the ladder will aid the migration of the Chinook salmon on the final leg of their journey to their spawning ground at the headwaters of the Yukon.   With the help of underwater cameras, TV monitors and viewing platforms you can watch the fish.  You can experience and learn about the migrating salmon and freshwater fish on your visit to the Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery.


Whitehorse Rapids Dam

The Whitehorse Rapids Dam also constructed in 1958 is located next to the Whitehorse Fishway & Hatchery.  This 15,000 horsepower hydro generating station provides power to the people of Whitehorse.  The force of the water rushing through the dam is quite the site to see and provides a great spot to watch the sunset.


S.S. Klondike National Historic Site

The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site is looks at when Whitehorse was a hub for transportation for the region for both miners and their families during the Klondike Gold Rush.  The S.S. Klondike hauled fuel, food and passengers back and forth between Dawson and Whitehorse.  This now Parks Canada National Historic Site is situated on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse free for the 2017 year for those to explore.  To read all about our experiences make sure to read it here.


Explore the Downtown

Downtown Whitehorse has so much to offer in a compact area.  You can step outside from any hotel room and explore the city on foot.  From the various museums, national historic sites and beautiful boutique stores you could easily fill an entire day exploring the downtown.  Take a stroll along Main street and pop into some of the boutiques like Paradise Alley for souvenirs, Midnight Sun Emporium for local, hand-crafted products like moccasins and mammoth ivory jewelry.


Stop to Visit the 11 Metre High Healing Totem

The healing totem stands 11 feet high on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse. This beautiful totem pole was a 20 week project that took 20 carvers in total to hand carve.  The healing totem is a symbol of the people impacted by residental school experience.  The healing totem is at the end of Main Street on the waterfront, next to the White Pass building.  You can read more about the healing totem here.


Yukon Transportation Museum

Explore the history of transportation in the Yukon that helped shape the territory it is today.  The museum looks at over 100 years of transportation history in the territory.  You will learn about pilots, the building of the Alaska Highway and so much more.


Explore The Murals in Whitehorse

Since the early 1900’s, dozens of murals have been painted on buildings in Whitehorse all over the city.  There are tons of beautiful murals on the sides of buildings throughout downtown Whitehorse.  Each mural depicts something different all with significance to the people of Whitehorse.  Murals range from landscapes, famous Yukoners, animals, historical images and more.


With so much to do and explore in Whitehorse where will you start first?

Visiting the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site

The beautiful 80 year old sternwheeler is a welcome sight as it greets visitors and residents alike as they enter the beautiful city of Whitehorse, Yukon.  The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site is a look back into the time when Whitehorse was an important hub for both transportation for the region for both miners and their families hoping to strike gold during the Klondike Gold Rush.  The S.S. Klondike would haul cargo of fuel and food as well as passengers back and forth between Dawson and Whitehorse.  This now Parks Canada National Historic Site is situated on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse free for the 2017 year for those to explore.

Getting There

Walk – The S.S. Klondike is a close walk from any hotel in the city and is easy to access with the pedestrian trail that follows the Yukon River.

Transit – Whitehorse Transit bus as well as the Waterfront Trolley both stop at the sternwheeler and is an option if you prefer to take transit.

Drive – If you choose to drive to the S.S. Klondike there is plenty of parking as well as pull through pots for RV’s and trailers.

Things To Do

Self Guided Tours – Talk a step back in time as you walk onboard the S.S. Klondike that has been fully restored to look as it did in its prime in the 1940’s.  Learn about the history of the ship, the people that relied on the steamboats and why the sternwheelers were so important to the Yukon.  Pick up a self-guiding brochure for $3 in the Visitors Centre that guides you through the entire boat and makes sure you do not miss anything!

Watch The Historical Video – There is a 20 minute historical video titles ‘In the Days of the Riverboats’ that shows footage of the sternwheelers in use and teaches you about their role they played in the early days of the Yukon.  The video is shown in a white tent located to the right of the S.S. Klondike.

Find The Red Chairs – With two sets of red Parks Canada Chairs located on either side of the Sternwheeler make sure to sit in them, take a picture and share your experience at the S.S. Klondike.

The S.S. Klondike is a must visit Parks Canada Site while on your visit to Whitehorse, Yukon!

Exploring Laurier House National Historic Site

Take a step back in time to visit the former resident of two of Canada’s most important Prime Ministers.  This Second Empire mansion in downtown Ottawa was the heart of Canada’s political life where both Sir Wilfred Laurier and Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King were able to call home.  The Laurier House National Historic Site is a Parks Canada site and a must visit while in Ottawa.

Here is my experience visiting the Laurier House!

History of the Laurier House

The Laurier House is the former residence for both Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King.  The house was built in 1878, but has gone through several alterations throughout its years.  The home was the personal residence of Sir Wildrid Laurier from 1897 to 1919 and then was given to Mackenzie King to serve as his home during his time as the leader of the Liberal Party from 1923-1950.  Upon Kings death he granted the house to the country and their people

 


Getting There

Laurier House is located at 335 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa. There are several different options on how to get here.

On Foot: Located just over 2 kilometres from Parliament Hill on a nice day this site is easily walkable.  Taking just over 20 minutes from Parliament to Laurier House it is a nice peaceful walk that will take you past the Shaw Centre, along the Rideau Canal, through the University of Ottawa Campus and finally arriving to the house.

By Car: From highway 417, take exit 118 for Nicholas Street/Lees Ave (if you are coming from the eastbound direction of the Queensway, you must turn left onto Lees Ave).  Turn turn onto Mann Ave, then left onto Chapel Street. Laurier House is on the corner of Laurier Avenue East and Chapel Street.  Note: There is no on site parking, but there is street parking nearby.  

By Bus: There is a bus that takes you from the War Memorial, leaving at the corner of Wellington and Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa, and is about a ten minute drive to Laurier House.  Take the number 5 bus for an easy and hassle free commute to the national historic site.

 


Admission & Hours of Operation

For the 2017 year Laurier House National Historic Site is free to all visitors to celebrate Canada 150th birthday.

The hours of operation are as followed:

May 1-June 30 – Open Thursday to Monday (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) 10:00am – 5:00pm

July 1 – September 4 – Open daily, including holidays – 10:00am – 5:00pm

September 5 – October 9 (Thanksgiving) Open Thursday to Monday (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) 10:00am – 5:00pm


What To Do

Self-Guided Tour: The visitors centre provides you with a self guided tour book that explains the layout of the house with floor plans, the history of each of the Prime Ministers when the lived in the house and much more.  Additional to the guide books the house is full of Parks Canada Guides that are more than happy to share their additional knowledge of each of rooms and the history behind the house.

Take a Guided Tour: If you are interested in taking a guided tour they are offered for $7.30 by the Parks Canada Guides. They will take you through the collection of antiques and paintings that were owned by each of the Prime Ministers during their time living on Laurier Avenue as well as the lives and accomplishments of both Sir Wilfred Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King. Tip: If you visit on a week day during off-peak times (morning, after lunch) you will likely find yourself in the house with very few other visitors and the Parks Canada staff will be happy to give you a mini-tour of each floor without having to pay for a guided tour.  

Have Afternoon Tea on the Veranda: Every Saturday throughout the summer (July & August) light tea and pastries are served on the veranda.  There are two time slots for your historic tea at the Prime Ministers house which are 11:00am an 2:00pm.  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance through Cordn Bleu by calling (613) 236-2499 or emailing contact@signaturesrestaurant.com.  If you are in town on a Saturday make sure to stop by and stake a step back in time and sit where both Laurier and Mackenzie King would have and enjoy some tea and pastries!


Must Visit Rooms & Exhibits in the Laurier House

Second World War Homefront – Canada’s Kitchen: This brand new exhibit that opened May 1, 2017 allows you to explore what a kitchen would have looked like in Canada during the Second World War.  The kitchen was normally the largest room in the house as so many activities took place in this space.  In the kitchen you will find both original and replica books for rationing, price inflation, coupons and much more.  Make sure to open the fridge, oven, cupboards to explore what is behind each door and decide if you would have wanted to dine in the 1940’s.

The Elevator: Did you know there is an elevator in the Laurier House? If you did not make sure to ask one of the Parks Canada staff to show you! The door to the elevator blends so well into the wooden walls you would never notice to look for it unless you knew it was there.  Unfortunately, you cannot ride in the elevator as it has been getting stuck since the time Laurier lived in the house, but its cool enough to be able to go in and take a look at!