The Adamson Estate

The Adamson Estate is located in south Mississauga.

The property was part of a plot of land granted to the Joseph Cawthra of the Cawthra family by the Crown after the Mississauga purchase in 1809.  The property was eventually give to Mabel Cawthra by her father, John Cawthra, as a wedding present when she married Agar Adamson in 1899.

The property was then developed and some of buildings still standing, including the house, barn, gatehouse and a house, known as Derry House, which was built by Anthony Adamson, their son.

The house, which replaced a previous cottage was finished in 1920, while the gatehouse dates from 1904, and the Derry House from 1932.

The property also contains a pet cemetery for pets that were owned by the family.

The property was sold by Anthony Adamson to the Credit Valley Conservation Authority in the mid-1970s.  The property was recognized as a heritage property in 1978.   The house has been used since then by the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Blyth Academy, and the barn is used for storage by Mississauga Parks and Recreation.

The land is now a public park and is located on the waterfront.

Joseph Cawthra was a member of the first City Council in Toronto in 1834, and a was a wealthy merchant in Upper Canada.  Cawthra Road and Cawthra Secondary School in Mississauga are both named after him.

Mabel Cawthra Adamson was born in 1971 in Lucerne, Switzerland.  In 1903, she became the first President of the Society of Arts and Crafts of Canada.  She ran the Canadian franchise of the Thornton-Smith Company, and was a founding member of the Heliconian Club in Toronto.

Agar Adamson was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Army, seeing action in the Second Boer War and the First World War, and was the Commanding Officer of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry between 1916 and 1918.  He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order during the Great War.

Agar and Mabel’s eldest son, Agar Rodney Adamson, was a Member of Parliament for York West from 1950 until his death in 1954.  He was an intelligence officer during the Second World War.

Anthony Adamson was an Officer of the Order of Canada and was the Reeve of Toronto Township (now the City of Mississauga) in 1953 and 1954.  He was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Associate Professor of Town Planning for 17 years at the University of Toronto, and Chairman of the Ontario Arts Council for five years.  He was also involved with helping to save Toronto’s Union Station from being demolished.

The Adamson Estate is a wonderful area to go to for a walk or to use as a venue for wedding pictures (a permit is required for that, though.)  The family has also played an important part Canada’s history.

Sources:

Adamson Estate
Derry House
A Look at One of Mississauga’s Famous Warrior Sons

About Edward Brain

I am a long time condo activist and have a background in Business Administration.
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