Ruthven Park consists of approximately 1,500 acres and is situated along the banks of the Canadian Heritage Grand River. It was owned by five generations of the Thompson family from 1845 to 1993.
The major feature on the estate landscape is an exceptionally fine 1845 Greek Revival mansion filled with original family furnishings and possessions. Ruthven David Thompson I, soldier, politician and businessman, built Ruthven as a symbol of his prosperity.
Ruthven Estate, the main house and its wing, were designed by the master architect, John Latshaw. It is considered his masterpiece in the domestic field, and Ontario’s finest house in the Greek Revival style. This house is believed to be without peer in the entirety of Canada and vying with the best in the United States of America.
Historically, the property is important for its connection with five generations of the Thompson family. The Thompson family were entrepreneurs responsible for milling and related enterprises on this section of the Lower Grand River, as well as being involved in early improvements to the waterway. Earlier generations of this family were much involved in politics and military, as well as community affairs.
A visit to Ruthven may include a guided tour of the mansion, hiking on one of our trails, a picnic on the grounds, or a visit to the two onsite cemeteries. The site also boasts the North Cayuga Slough Forest, with provincially significant wetlands and Carolinian Forests. It is home to many significant species of flora and fauna.
A bird-banding station, one of three as part of the Haldimand Bird Observatory, is located on the site. Operated by a licensed bander and assisted by volunteers. The restored Coach House is used for special events or programmes and can be rented for mid-sized gatherings and conferences.
This National Historic Site is open for mansion tours, hiking, bird watching, and for those seeking solitude and relaxation. Throughout the year, pre-booked tours can be arranged and programmes, special events and workshops are scheduled.
The property and mansion is a project of the Lower Grand River Trust Inc.