History of the Estates

About-History

McLean House

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The history of McLean House dates back to 1928 when James Stanley McLean, President and founder of Canada Packers, commissioned architects George Moorhouse and King Associates to design a unique home for his family on 50 acres of rolling land that he had purchased for $92,000.

The result was Bay View, now known as McLean House, one of Ontario's most splendid Georgian-style mansions. The fieldstone manor house was embellished with Palladian windows, classic moldings, a grand staircase, high ceilings, and spacious rooms. The acres of gardens were spectacularly landscaped by Gordon Culham, a landscape architect who worked in the grand English country house tradition.

McLean House remained the home of the McLean family until 1966, when the widow of J.S. McLean moved to a smaller home. The University of Toronto took over the property, and it was converted by Sunnybrook Hospital into a clinical facility.

In 1982 McLean House was renovated and revitalized by the Junior League of Toronto and the Interior Designers of Ontario, who opened it to the public as a Designers’ Showcase home. Following this revitalization, McLean House was opened by Sunnybrook as a venue for social and corporate events, with proceeds going to fund medical research at the hospital.

Vaughan House

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The Vaughan Estate, originally known as Donningvale, was built in 1931 as a family home for John James Vaughan, Vice President of the T. Eaton Company. The house was designed by architects Burden and Gouinlock in a simple Elizabethan style; typical of a large country manor. The home was sumptuously appointed with massive fireplaces, intricate cornice moldings, carved plaster ceilings, and leaded casement windows with gracefully curved handles. The grandeur continued through beautiful walkouts onto a series of tiered patios, gardens and stone pathways, overlooking their extensive grounds and the Don River Ravine.

After the death of Vaughan, his estate was also used as a clinical facility for the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre. Its restoration came in 1991 when six interior designers donated their time and talent to renovating and revitalizing the home. Now, along with its neighbour, McLean House, it provides a stunning backdrop for private social and corporate events.