Built in 1798, for John Elmsley (1762-1805), Chief Justice of Upper Canada, and his wife Mary Hallowell (d.1831). Situated on the southwest corner of King and Simcoe (what is today the intersection of Bay and Grosvenor Streets), the house was afterwards passed to the Elmsleys son-in-law, Lt.-Colonel The Hon. John Simcoe Macaulay, who lived here with his family between 1835 and 1845. On retiring to Rede Court in Kent, England, Macaulay sold the house to the government as the official residence of the Governors-General of Upper Canada, and Lord Elgin was the first of five to live here....
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From 1855, Elmsley House was sold to Weymouth Schreiber whose two wives were both first cousins of General Sir Isaac Brock. In 1856, the then unmarried Schreiber hosted the author William H.G. Kingston among others: "We returned in time to dress for dinner at Elmslie House, where in the evening there was a gay and animated dance, for which a number of nice, attractive looking girls were assembled. Our friends (the Schreiber family) had not been long settled in the country, having before resided in a quiet county (Essex) in England, and I fancy that they here enjoy a far greater amount of social intercourse than they could at home in a widely scattered neighbourhood". Weymouth sold up after his first wife died in 1861 and the house was then used as Officer's Quarters for the local garrison until it burned down in 1862. In 1874 the new Government House was built in its place.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 20/10/2018 and last updated on 08/12/2021.
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