The History of MacKay House

1877 Atlas Portrait - Mckay House.jpg

The first is a drawing from the 1877 County Atlas. It was quite rare for a property to have a drawing like this included in the atlas

The History

 The first is a drawing from the 1877 County Atlas. It was quite rare for a property to have a drawing like this included in the atlas, so that speaks to the prestige of Angus MacKay (the owner at the time) and his property.

Story 

Donald MacKay and his wife Margaret arrived in the Ajax area (known then as Pickering Township) in the mid-1830s after having spent several years in the British West Indies. They settled into a log cabin on the north side of Kingston Road, just east of Pickering Beach Road, on a farm property also containing a barn and a carriage shed. The MacKay’s started their family on the property and worked the fertile land prior to purchasing all 200 acres in 1853.

 

In 1854, Donald MacKay built his family an impressive two-storey stone home on the land, reputedly at a cost of £800. The care and craftsmanship of a Scottish or British stone mason is apparent in the front façade, which is constructed mainly of squared local fieldstone. Kingston limestone, which is used for accents and to fill narrow cavities between stones, was likely brought to the area as ballast on a ship sailing from Kingston to Frenchman’s Bay. The front wall of the dwelling, which was visible from Kingston Road, is very finely crafted compared to the rubble stone construction of the side and rear walls.

 

The house was originally known as “Charnachy,” in honour of the village in Scotland where Donald MacKay was born. It is the only two-storey stone house remaining in the Town of Ajax and was moved to its present location in 1999, which is approximately 200 metres south of where it was constructed. In 2010, it was designated by the Town of Ajax as a property of cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Our Sincere thanks to Mike Sawchuck,( MCIP, RPP, CAHP Senior Planner │ Planning & Development Services) for providing us with the pictures and history of the house.