Historic Bovaird House
is an exceptional example of a mid-19th century Ontario
farmhouse, built in the “Georgian” style.
The hallmark of Georgian architecture is symmetry
and proportion; these characteristics are evident
on both the exterior and interior of the home, where
windows, fireplaces, and rooms are evenly matched
to create a visual balance pleasing to the eye.
Volunteers at Bovaird House have
endeavoured to turn back the clock, and restore the
property to its original appearance. The result is
a farmhouse steeped in history, furnished with authentic
artifacts and period craftsmanship
Historic Bovaird House was built
with double brick construction made from locally quarried
red clay. It has two stories, a cellar, and second
floor labourer’s quarters, as was the custom
of the day for a prosperous farm. The house contains
five fireplaces, original plank flooring, and windows
made with hand-blown glass panes imported from England
at the time of construction.
Many years ago, the original driveway
for Bovaird House was accessed from Kennedy Road.
Although the main door and formal front entrance face
west toward Kennedy Road, today, visitors and volunteers
may enter the home via the “side entrance”
nearest to the parking lot.
Located on the main floor are a substantial
farm kitchen (with Dutch oven and tin pantry), a carriage
room, the parlour and dining room (with matching fireplaces
and distinctive chimney cupboards) and the front entry
Two small additional rooms on the
main floor (once bedrooms) were partially sacrificed
when modern conveniences such as indoor pluming and
electricity were added. Part of one room now functions
as a washroom, and the other was converted into a
“modern” kitchen in the 1940s.
The original carriage house, near
the side entrance, has evolved into the Carriage House
Gift Shoppe, featuring many unique, handcrafted and
vintage items for sale.
The second storey of Historic Bovaird
House consists of four bedrooms, furnished in styles
authentic to the home’s renaissance. One room
has been converted into a display area, featuring
maps and surveys of historic Brampton, as well as
antique dolls and children’s toys.
On special and seasonal occasions,
the large farm kitchen, parlour, and dining room are
transformed into Mossie’s Tea Room (named after
the home’s last owner and generous benefactress.)
Historic Bovaird House is host to a number of exclusive
events throughout the year. Click
here for more details:or here
for more information on Mossie’s Tea Room.
Out of Doors
Many items of interest can also be
found outdoors, on the Bovaird House grounds.
Often mistaken for an outhouse, one of our newest acquisitions
is a rare, 1850s milk house. This structure was painstakingly
dissembled and moved from a heritage farm on the Gore
Road. The milk house serves as an excellent example
of pioneer methods of refrigeration: water from a
stream or well could be diverted into troughs, and
made to pass directly through the milk house via two
small portals in its walls. Milk cans were placed
in these troughs, to keep cool and fresh even in the
Our orchards and herb garden have
been carefully nurtured to best represent plants and
fruits befitting a 19th century farm. Several trees
on the property were planted by the Bovaird family
and heritage rose gardens feature many original species,
some dating all the way back to 1500.A rustic gazebo
also graces the property, and is available for weddings,
photography, and outdoor functions. Contact
Haunted by the Past
No old house is complete without
Upstairs in Bovaird House, there
is a tiny nursery connected to the master bedroom.
In the nursery is a beautiful and rare antique baby
crib, which was generously donated to the House.
Thereby hangs a tale…
The tiny and costly wooden bed was
initially purchased a number of years ago by a soon-to-be
grandmother for her daughter’s first child.
After the baby was born, the mother sometimes heard
gentle noises coming from the child’s room .
On a few occasions, she witnessed a smoky, spectral
light in the shape of a woman beside the crib, overlooking
the sleeping child.
The grandmother had little faith
in these stories. Until…
One evening when babysitting her
grandchild, she heard strange sounds coming from the
bedroom. Upon entering the room, she saw for herself
the same wispy image of a lady at the foot of the
little bed. Although she did not fear the spirit or
sense any danger, the grandmother immediately removed
the baby from the bed.
The crib was then donated to Historic
Bovaird House as an attractive piece of children’s
period furniture, with the understanding that “no
babe or child ever sleep thereon,” and it would
be used for display purposes only.
Parapsychologists, ghost hunters,
and persons with ESP have visited Bovaird House on
numerous occasions. Almost all have been drawn to
this curious piece.
The spirit-woman is not described
as a menacing or disturbing presence. Many feel that
perhaps a young child passed away in this crib many
years ago, and that its mother never abandoned her
sad vigil, even in death.
Free tours of Historic Bovaird House
are conducted during operating hours: Wednesdays,
Saturdays, and Sundays, from 12:00 – 4:00 pm.
Our knowledgeable volunteers can provide guided tours
of the entire premises, answering your questions,
and interpreting the many features throughout.
Members of the volunteer committee
at Historic Bovaird House have recently published
an informative, full-color booklet about the House.
This booklet contains all information known about
Bovaird House – past and present – including:
its owners, history, and many furnishings and artifacts
found therein. Copies are available for $15 in the
Carriage House Gift Shoppe, with all proceeds going
toward Historic Bovaird House.
For volunteering information, please
click here: Volunteer.