Historical Sites


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Darcy Hoover
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50 Andrew Street South, Suite 300, Orillia, ON L3V 7T5

Phone: 705-325-4283
Fax: 705-325-5178

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Orillia has a rich history that is celebrated in its charming heritage-themed downtown and throughout its lively neighbourhoods and parks.

Our heritage is especially honoured at our two National Historic Sites:

Leacock Museum

The Stephen Leacock House is historically significant for its association with renowned Canadian author and academic, Stephen Leacock (1869-1944). Though writing extensively on topics ranging from political science to economics, Leacock became famous worldwide as a humorist. His early masterpiece in this genre, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), was published four years after his purchase of this property, and is said to have been greatly inspired by his time spent here.

The present residence was built in 1928 and is reflective of Leacock's financial success as a prolific author and head of the Economics and Political Science Department at Montreal's McGill University. Characteristic of his frugality, the present house incorporated much material from Leacock's original, 1908 cottage which was located closer to the lakeshore. Stephen Leacock was designated a National Historic Person in 1968. The Stephen Leacock House was designated a National Historic Site in 1992.

For more information, visit the Leacock Museum website.  


Mnjikaning Fish Weirs

At the bottom of The Narrows, joining Lake Simcoe and Couchiching, are the remains of the fish weirs that were noted by Samuel de Champlain when he passed here on September 1, 1605.

The weirs consisted of large numbers of stakes driven into the bottom of The Narrows, with openings at which nets were placed to catch fish. The remains of the fish weirs were noted by archaeologists as early as 1887, and their location was partially charted in 1955.

Rama First Nation became stewards of the weirs after they were recognized as a significant historical site in 1982. The oldest wooden stakes are clustered in the east channel, and samples taken from the stakes have provided carbon dates more than 5000 years old.