Thu, 15 Oct 2020
On May 25, 2020, Oakville Town Council resolved to pass a Notice of Intention to Designate the following property under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.18, as amended, as a property of cultural heritage value and interest:
Part of Lots 7 and 8, Concession 4 Trafalgar South of Dundas Street, as in 330179 and 381274, except Part 1 on Plan 20R-5754; Oakville
Gairloch Gardens is known municipally as 1288 – 1306 Lakeshore Road East. Located on the south side of Lakeshore Road East, east of Morrison Road and west of Maple Grove Drive. Lower Morrison Creek runs along the west side of the property and Lake Ontario lies to the south. The 4.5-hectare (11.2 acre) property is a significant cultural heritage landscape and is currently the location of Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens.
Gairloch Gardens is a designed cultural heritage landscape. The property has significance as a rare and representative example of an early 20th century lakefront estate; because it is historically linked to Lt. Col. William Gordon MacKendrick and James Arthur Gairdner; and, as a public park that is physically, functionally, visually, and historically linked to its surroundings.
Gairloch Gardens has design and physical value as a representative example of a designed cultural heritage landscape. The property is notable for its elevated man-made embankment, viewscapes, natural heritage attributes, structures, landscaping and hardscaping features. As the principal structures on the property MacKendrick’s residence and Gairdner’s artist studio were deliberately placed on the elevated man-made embankment overlooking the shore of Lake Ontario, the property’s gardens, and the banks of Lower Morrison Creek. Just as deliberately, MacKendrick’s early 20th century teahouse and the property’s functional outbuildings were relegated to less visually prominent parts of the property.
The placement and design of the various structures, hardscaping elements, and the mature vegetation result in significant views and vistas to, from, and between the three historic buildings, Lake Ontario, the gardens and Lower Morrison Creek. The result of this successful integration of architecture and landscape is a cultural heritage landscape that displays a high degree of craftsmanship and artistic merit and represents significant design value.
Architecturally significant structures on the property include MacKendrick’s early 20th century residence “Chestnut Point” and contemporaneous teahouse “The Teahouse”, and Gairdner’s mid-20th century artist studio known as “The Studio”. Chestnut Point and the teahouse buildings were constructed in the Tudor Revival style of architecture, while The Studio was constructed in the Modern style. Also of note is a large early 20th century concave stone and concrete wall which forms part of the retaining wall along Lake Ontario at the southern end of the property. These structures are representative examples of their respective architectural styles and display a high degree of craftsmanship and artistic merit.
Gairloch Gardens has historical and associative value because of its direct associations with the theme of early 20th century lakefront estate development activities in Oakville. It is also associated with the late 19th/early 20th century concept known as the Park Movement, which arose out of concern for the health of residents of over-crowded, densely packed urban areas. The movement espouses the view that parks provide restorative environments in which the population can enjoy their leisure time engaging in refined activities such as concerts and sporting events, and improving themselves at horticultural displays, museums, art galleries and libraries.
The property has historical and associative value through its direct association with property owners Lt. Col. William Gordon MacKendrick and James Arthur Gairdner, two wealthy Toronto businessmen who physically and fundamentally shaped the subject property into what it is today. Further, the property has historical and associative value through its direct association with Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens, a not-for-profit contemporary art museum, and Gairloch Gardens, a public park.
The property yields, or has the potential to yield, information that contributes to: an understanding of early 20th century lakefront estate development activities in Oakville; to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) who, as one of the area’s pre-contact Indigenous inhabitants, have an interest in Lower Morrison Creek; and, to the archaeological record of the area.
The property’s c. 1923 Tudor Revival residence is a copy of MacKendrick’s Toronto home which reflects the work of Ashton Spencer Pentecost, “a talented delineator”. Further, it demonstrates the work of local architect William Gould Armstrong who designed Gairdner’s c. 1948 Modern Classical artist studio. Lt. Col. MacKendrick had a passion for gardening, and remnant landscape elements reflect the design and/or work of both MacKendrick and James Gairdner. MacKendrick was a member of the Toronto Horticultural Society and was President from 1910 until 1913. In 1917, fellow Toronto Horticultural Society member Howard Burlingham Dunington-Grubb, who is recognized as being the father of landscape architecture in Canada, laid out a practical checklist to be considered in the planning of suburban and country house gardens. This list is sure to have influenced the design of the subject property.
Gairloch Gardens has contextual value as a publically accessible park which defines, maintains, and supports the character of the area. The area composes large, and remnants of large, late 19th and early 20th century estates, as well as more modest mid to late 20th and early 21st century residential buildings. Between 1900 and 1930, so many wealthy Toronto families purchased property along the lakefront and built large homes, stables and beautifully landscape grounds that the area came to be known as “Millionaire’s row”. The property is physically, visually, and historically linked to its surroundings, including a number of remnant historic lakefront estates, Lake Ontario, and Lower Morrison Creek. The property is a landmark within the Town of Oakville.
Key attributes of the designed cultural heritage landscape include its:
various hardscaping features, including the:
layout, materials and finishes including:
layout, materials and finishes including:
Any objection to this designation must be filed no later than November 23, 2020. Objections should be directed to the Town Clerk, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, Ontario L6H 0H3.
Further information respecting this proposed designation is available from the Town of Oakville. Any inquiries may be directed to Susan Schappert, heritage planner at 905-845-6601, ext. 3870 (TTY 905-338-4200), or by email at email@example.com.
The last date to file a notice of objection is November 23, 2020.