Waterloo Historical Society
Waterloo Historical Society
C/O Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen Street North
Kitchener, Ontario Canada
On Saturday, July 22, 1950, William Lyon Mackenzie King died peacefully at his Kingsmere
retreat near Ottawa. That ended one of the most remarkable lives in Canadian political history---a
life which began right here in Berlin, Ontario, 75 years earlier.
On Saturday, July 22, 2000, the Waterloo Historical Society and Woodside National Historic Site combined to honor our community's most famous citizen---fifty years on!
Mackenzie King was still Prime Minister when he last visited Kitchener in September 1947. Here he addresses a crowd from the steps of Kitchener City Hall. If the Kitchener Hotel across the road was removed, King would be looking directly at his birthplace on Benton Street. Within a year, Mackenzie King retired and within 3 years he had passed away.
The boyhood home of Willie King is not to be missed. Inside you'll be transported back to the 1880s when John and Isabel King, along with their four children, Bella, Jennie, Max and Willie lived at
Woodside. Mackenzie King always referred to his 8 years at Woodside as the most memorable of
Did You Know!
- There's a school named after William Lyon Mackenzie King in Kitchener. In fact it is the
second one. Originally it was a small Township school near the present-day corner of Victoria
and Frederick in Kitchener. The present school is on Natchez Road.
- The University of Waterloo has honored Canada's longest-serving Prime Minister by naming a
new residence after him.
- WHERE HAVE THEY GONE? There were, literally, thousands of photographs taken on
Mackenzie King's various visits to Berlin/Kitchener, Waterloo and the county. Very few are
available in collections. Waterloo Historical Society urges you to either donate, or allow copies
to be made of, any in your family collection. Contact Susan Hoffman, past-president of Waterloo Historical Society, at the Kitchener Public
- Once Mackenzie King left home to attend the University of Toronto in the early 1890s he
never again lived in Berlin/Kitchener for any length of time. During his three local elections in
1908, 1909 and 1911, he either took rooms at the Walper Hotel or rented a house on Queen
- William Lyon Mackenzie King has three of his homes in the Canadian National Historic Sites
- Laurier House in Ottawa was willed to him by Sir Wilfrid's widow, Lady Laurier, and he stayed
there when in Ottawa.
- Kingsmere his wonderful country estate in the Gatineaus was both a working home and a retreat
- Woodside, here in Kitchener, was his boyood home. The combination of all three provides a
unique glimpse into the life and times of this fascinating Canadian figure. All three are open to
the public. For information, contact Woodside at 571 56 84.
- In Kitchener City Hall, there's a portrait of Mackenzie King unveiled by Mackenzie King!! In 1925, during the Old Boys' and Old Girls' Reunion, the Prime Minister did the actual
unveiling of the Stanley Moyer painting. When that building was torn down, the portrait was put
into storage. In 1999, on King's 125th anniversary, the portrait was re-hung at Kitchener City
Hall and one of its 'unveilers' was..... William Lyon Mackenzie King!.........a great-nephew of
the original and a grandson of Willie's brother Max.
- The Kitchener Public Library has a special Mackenzie King collection.
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Maintained by Marjorie Kohli and last updated July 29, 2003