'Parkwood is a national historic site, the home of Robert Samuel McLaughlin. Sam, as he liked to be called, was the auto baron and founder of General Motors Canada and his private residence and gardens leave one in awe.
Located in Oshawa, the twelve acre estate has a 55 room mansion and formal gardens that were before their time. Take the house for example, the family lived there from 1917-1972 and wanted for nothing, right from the beginning.
Central vac was installed, an elevator, an intercom system, air conditioning and indoor plumbing, all unheard of back in 1917. Common to wealthy folks, the home has many secret doors that were used by servants and the family when they needed to get from one part of the house to another unseen by guests.
With eleven greenhouses and twenty-four gardeners, the family understandably had an avid interest in horticulture and McLaughlin sought out the best in their field to create the gardens.'
Excerpt from my column this week.
Ladies in period costume roam the grounds offering the kind of hospitality that Sam was well known for. This man even had 'make-work' projects during the depression to employ workers that otherwise would have been without an income.