Guelph01 | McCrae House

McCrae House
1991, 20th century
15 x 10.4 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Guelph Museums
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Keys to History

The Royal Canadian Legion, Guelph Branch 257, made the first monetary contribution to prevent the demolition of John McCrae's birthplace in 1965 when a developer wanted to replace it with an apartment building. The Colonel John McCrae Birthplace Society was formed and donations solicited for the restoration of the house.

Designated by the Canadian government as a National Historic Site in 1966, the home opened in 1968 as a museum. Exhibition galleries and period rooms display many artefacts from McCrae's life, including his medals and his family's belongings.

A nearby memorial garden and shrine honour his memory. Yearly memorial services are held on November 11.

  • What

    This modest limestone cottage is typical of the architecture of Guelph, Ontario, in the mid-19th century.

  • Where

    The house faces north to the Speed River, in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

  • When

    The house was built in 1858. An 1864 addition doubled its size.

  • Who

    This is the birthplace of John McCrae, and was home to his parents David and Janet together with brother Tom until 1873, when the family moved to 121 Woolwich Street, where sister Geills was born in 1878 .