Exploring the Past and Looking into the Future at Parkwood Estate
Parkwood Estate is the crown jewel of Oshawa. The former home of GM Canada president, Col. Sam
McLaughlin, looks like it could have even been featured in the Netflix series, The Crown. The building
and grounds are sumptuous in their elegant simplicity. Parkwood has, of course, been featured in
many many films and series, including most recently, Culprits, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol,
Paranormal Hotel II, and Star Trek – Strange New World.
Photo credit: Durham Tourism
The historic McLaughlin family home is maintained with full regard for its heritage status as the
founding story of the city. But like many historically significant places in Oshawa, this home is very
much about the present and the future, as well as the past.
“What excites me most about working at Parkwood,” says Laura Mountjoy, Executive Director of the
Parkwood National Historic Site, “is how we are always evolving, growing, and developing as an
organization and the amazing experience we strive to bring to each and every visitor.”
“In 2023, our event plan consists of over 85 events and workshops, including three vendor markets!
We have worked hard to create a plan that includes events for all ages and interests. Fundraising
events, workshops, and curatorial events, there is something for everyone!"
Film and TV series are notable sources of funds as Parkwood is a charity organization. Location
shoots will continue into 2023 as well. Mountjoy notes they run a ten-day specialty tour in the Fall,
focusing on filming at Parkwood and the magic which happens when a crew rolls onsite.
Photo: Adam Sandler relaxing in the Parkwood Estate pond while filming the 1995 film Billy Madison.
For those wishing to expand on their own magical visit to Parkwood, Mountjoy suggests they seek out
the city’s Ontario Regiment Museum, the Canadian Automotive Museum, the Oshawa Museum, the
Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Lakeview Park!
And as for lunch or dinner, apart from Parkwood’s own Tea House, Mountjoy points to some of her
own favoured places in the downtown.
“There are so many delicious places to eat at in Oshawa; some of my favourites are Avanti’s, Bollywood Tacos, and The White Apron. Enniskillen ice cream is always a favourite too,” she says. Enniskillen Ice Cream, it should be noted, is located two blocks east of Parkwood, and just north of the former GM factory on Ritson Road. The shop is a secondary location for the original Enniskillen General Store and Ice Cream Parlour in Enniskillen, a hamlet east of Oshawa. Their ice cream is a major attraction for miles around. Enniskillen is also well known as the birthplace of the aforementioned Col. Sam.
So yes, crown that Parkwood trip with a cone, and a sprinkle of history.