Roselawn

1851
Roselawn (Donald Gordon Conference Centre), 421 Union St, in 1992. Source: photograph by Jennifer McKendryPinterest
Roselawn (Donald Gordon Conference Centre), 421 Union St, in 1992. Source: photograph by Jennifer McKendry

From the 1857-58 city directory: “Roselawn…a large heavy stone building surrounded with fine grounds, and forming a residence fit for any gentleman in the country, and with the tame deer sporting thorough the rich lawn, forms a picture far too seldom seen in Canada.” Lawyer David Smith’s home was likely designed by George Browne, in town as the government architect during the capital era, 1841-44. The house with its unusual garden wall and porte-cochère was located well away from downtown. In 1849, it was claimed to have a good view of Lake Ontario, to be equipped with hot air heating and possess rare shrubbery. Today, it is a conference centre for Queen’s University.