Leacock Museum and National Historic Site


Jenny Martynyshyn



Museum Hours/Admissions



Gift shop


 Leacock home

When I build my house, I shall make it very plain but at the same time very large. ... it will become a charming English place - I'm tired of cities and people - it's a case of Good-bye proud world, I'm going home.   - Stephen Leacock

Stephen Leacock, Canada's beloved humourist spent his most creative time in what he coined as Lake Simcoe Country.

The success of his Elements of Political Science and his first satirical books Literary Lapses, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town and Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich allowed him to move from his family's summer house at Sibbald Point, Lake Simcoe and over time develop his own lakeside retreat at Old Brewery Bay, where Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching join.

Here in 1928 he built Leacock House (above) designed by Wright & Noxon, Toronto.  The scale and ambience of the plans reflected Leacock's success and prestige as a world renowned author and a celebrated academic.


Stephen Butler Leacock 1869 - 1944 

He was born 30 December 1869 at Swanmore, county of Hampshire, England.

In 1876 he emigrated to Canada with his family and settled on a farm near the hamlet of Egypt, south of Sibbald Point on Lake Simcoe.

Leacock was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto.  He completed a degree in modern languages at the University of Toronto in 1891.

Inspired by Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, receiving a Ph.D. in political economy and political science under Veblen in 1903.

Concurrently he joined the Department of Economics and Political Science at McGill University, Montreal.

In 1906 he published his first and most profitable book:  Elements of Political Science, a university textbook.  Twenty-seven other books of non-fiction followed.

In 1908 he became head of his department at McGill, helped found the University Club and began developing Old Brewery Bay.

The first of his thirty-five books of humour, Literary Lapses was published in 1910.  Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town followed in 1912 and in 1914 Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich.

Leacock was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1919 and in 1921 made an extensive lecture tour of the United Kingdom.  In 1935 he received the Mark Twain Medal.  He retired from McGill in 1936.

Stephen Butler Leacock died 28 March 1944 at Toronto from throat cancer and was buried, across the lake from Old Brewery Bay, in the Leacock family plot at St. George's Church, Sibbald Point.


Hours of Operation (subject to change)

 Day  Museum  Gift Shop Administration Office
Monday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CLOSED
Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CLOSED



In time for Canada's sesquicentennial, admission to this National Historic Site is by donation for 2017. Suggested minimum is $5.00.

For booked  groups  of  10  or  more  persons, the Group Rate Admission rate will be $3.50 per person. 



Renting the Grounds or Facility

Leacock wedding photo

Leacock Home

The Leacock Museum is a unique and intimate setting for your private function.  Whether it be for a birthday celebration, anniversary or wedding, you will wow your guests with our beautiful location nestled on the shores of Lake Couchiching.

Rooms large or small are available for meetings, parties, events, luncheons, product launches and more. For information on the Leacock Home or the grounds, contact 1-705-329-1908 or jmartynyshyn@orillia.ca

Swanmore Hall

For Swanmore Hall (Leacock Cafe)

-89 licensed capacity

-75 seated

-50 terrace (seated)

 For information on the Leacock Home or the grounds, contact 1-705-329-1908 or jmartynyshyn@orillia.ca


Leacock Café (The Window)

Leacock Cafe

Drop by and Meet Marie Brennan of Gourmade Thyme Catering

Hours are subject to change due to season.


Lakeside High Tea Thursday's 11am - 2pm

Fri. & Sat. 10am - 2pm - Window Open

Picnic Pickup Sunday's 10am - 2pm

Carry Away Window Open ~ Stop by & Pick up Refreshments for Sunny Day Picnics, Morning Trail Walks,

Call for more information:  705-329-1908 x806

Ask About our Full-Service Catering for your Special Event

Call: Leacock Museum  705-329-1908 x801




The Leacock Gift Shop hours are dependent when the museum is open for tours. Times may vary. Inside the visitor will be able to find a vast array of Leacock titles and themes including many one-of-a-kind gifts. Come in and explore.



July 20 - 23 - Leacock Summer Festival

Readings, book signings, dinners and exhibits


July 20 - Mariposa Exposed


Thursday, July 20 at 5 PM - 9 PM
Join editors Dennis Rizzo and Ross Greenwood as they celebrate the success of their first volume of Mariposa Exposed.  Visit with contributing authors while enjoying the stories told by the writers themselves.  Included in the cost of the ticket is a flavourful country-wide BBQ tour ending with delectable sweets from North to South and East to West.This event begins at 5:00 PM and tickets are $31.50

July 21 - History of the Mariposa Folk Festival


FRIDAY, JULY 21st:  History of the Mariposa Folk Festival Host/Author: Mike Hill with Musical Guests shares stories of the highs and lows of the Grand Old Dame and her history that has spanned six decades.This event begins at 1:00 PM and tickets are $15.


July 21 - Humour Showcase


Host:  Terry Fallis with Guests:  Drew Hayden Taylor and Amy Jones

Come laugh with us as we welcome Leacock Medal winner Terry Fallis as he showcases his latest novel, One Brother Shy.  Joining him that evening are the two shortlisted finalists for the 2017 Leacock Medal for Humour, Drew Hayden Taylor and Amy Jones. This event begins at 5:00 PM and tickets are $40, dinner included.


July 22 - Writer's Workshop and Lunch with Janet Matthews: How To Write a Story From The Heart


Author, editor, professional speaker and spiritual mentor, Janet is co-author of the Canadian best sellers, Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul, O Canada, the Wonders of Winter, Christmas in Canada, & The Spirit of Canada. Space is limited to only 20 people. This event begins at 10:00 a.m., includes lunch and tickets are $50.

July 22 - Feast of Thrones

This event has been postponed.

Feast of Thrones logo

For refunds contact 705-329-1908 or on-line through the Orillia Opera House box office.


July 23 - 2nd Annual K. Valerie Connor Poetry Celebration


Awards will be presented before a high tea and the event will end with readings by poets Jaina Kelly, Mitchell Cochrane and Josh Poitras. This event starts at 4:00 p.m. and tickets are $30. 

Call for tickets:  705-329-1908 or on-line through the Orillia Opera House box office at www.orilliaoperahouse.ca


July 25 - Shakespeare in the Park presents Othello

Shakespeare in the Park

Driftwood Theatre returns to Orillia with a new production of William Shakespeare's Othello. This year the performance will take place in the round on the grounds of the Leacock Museum and National Historic Site. Event is pay what you can with minimum suggested donation.

One performance July 25 at 7:30pm

Shakespeare in the Park - Othello

Leacock Museum, 50 Museum Dr., Orillia

Presented by Driftwood Theatre

Admission by donation - suggested $20

Bring a lawn chair and blanket.

Parking available

 For its 23rd annual Bard's Bus Tour, Driftwood Theatre presents Othello. William Shakespeare's blistering tale of race, jealousy and revenge is set against the backdrop of Canadian history, when in 1974 Canadian soldiers are caught in a life or death struggle on the small island of Cyprus. 

All performances of Othello are accompanied by a special audio installation, The Cyprus Project, beginning at 6:30pm

The Bard's Bus Tour is supported by Touring Partner, Ontario Power Generation. Toronto performances are generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council Animating Toronto Parks Program.

"Driftwood Theatre is changing the conversation around [Shakespeare]."  Carly Maga, The Toronto Star 

"Sharply witty, playfully bawdy, LGBTQ+"  Cate McKim, life with more cowbell 

"Driftwood Theatre's Taming of the Shrew is bold and provocative"  Stephanie Tzogas, The Theatre Reader

"Fascinating Taming of the Shrew brings up questions about consent, domination and rape culture"  Jordan Bimm, NOW Magazine. 

"A ray of sunshine in a darkening world"  Drew Rowsome, My Gay Toronto


Aug 5 - Children's Literacy Day

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Celebrate 60 Years of Scholastic Books. Featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog, Geronimo Stilton, Captain Underpants, the Magic School Bus, Goosebumps and more! Event is by donation. Suggested $5.00.

Event takes place from 1pm to 4pm on the Leacock Grounds

Celebrate Canada's 150th with Honest Frankie's Shoreline Review: Puppet Play

Books and treats will be available for purchase

Games, activities, crafts and more

Parking on-site


The Leacock Museum Presents

CHILDREN'S DAY "Name our event" contest

Runs from July 10 to July 24

5 Finalists will be posted on our Facebook page on Friday, July 28th

The winner will be announced before the puppet play on Children's Day.  The winning name will be placed on a banner in a space of honour at Manticore Books.

Children's Day has been a part of the Leacock Summer Festival for over 9 years.  Since its beginnings, it has grown to a point where it had to be moved from festival week to its own date.  With the success of events such as Robert Munsch, Dr Seuss and Harry Potter, it has now earned its right to be an event in itself.  

Please include the fn and submit to:  jmartynyshyn@orillia.ca


"Name our event" contest

Name:  ________________________________________

Age:  _________________________________________

Ph. Number:  ___________________________________

Children's Event Name Suggestion: ______________________________________



September 16 - Greater Than Gatsby

Greater Than Gatsby logo

Join us for a magical night of dining, dancing and romancing in Great Gatsby fashion.   Put on your top hat and tails or your flapper dress and grab early bird tickets. Event starts PM.  Live music by The Bettys, incredible appetizers, and something bubbly of course.   Darling, it wouldn't be a party without you!  Early bird tickets: $50.00 until   August 1st  $65.00 after August 1st---Call for tickets:    705-329-1908 or on-line at the Orillia Opera House box office.

Oct. 6-9 - Images Thanksgiving Studio Tour