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The Grange: Overview

The Grange: A National Historic Site

The Grange is proud to belong to the family of national historic sites. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated The Grange in 1970 for its national historic and architectural significance. The Grange's plaque, received at a ceremony in 1984 and revised in 2010, reads as follows

The Grange was built about 1817 for lawyer and merchant D’Arcy Boulton jr. in an area of exclusive residential estates in the town of York, now Toronto. One of the few such houses to survive, its symmetrical 5-bay façade and central pediment reflect the conservative influence of 18th century British classical tradition. The west wing represents two later additions. One from the 1840s and the other built in 1885 for the new owner, eminent public figure Goldwin Smith. In 1911, through the bequest of his wife Harriet the house became the property of what is now the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Harriet Boulton Smith, the last owner of The Grange, married prominent historian and liberal thinker Goldwin Smith in 1875. In 1975,the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated him a person of national historic significance. The plaque to Goldwin Smith, also received in 1984, reads as follows:

Born and educated in England, Goldwin Smith taught history at Oxford and Cornell before moving to Toronto in 1871. He married Harriet Boulton in 1875, widow of William Henry Boulton of The Grange. From The Grange, Smith wrote in controversial and compelling style for periodicals such as Canadian Monthly, the Week and his own Bystander. Initially a proponent of Canadian nationalism, he later became, contrary to growing imperial sentiment, a strong advocate of commercial union with the U.S. This view in 1891 inspired his best-known book, Canada and the Canadian Question.

The Grange is a member of the National Historic Sites Alliance for Ontario (NHSAO)

The NHSAO is an unincorporated body that links the 240 national historic sites that are currently recognized in Ontario. The alliance promotes the commemorative integrity and value of national historic sites through cooperative action by site owners, managers and stakeholders. To learn more about the NHSAO, contact

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