Welcome to Sibbald Point and Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. If the walls of Sibbald Mansion could talk they would tell stories of dinners with famous playwrights and painters and even Kings! Susan Mein was born in 1783 to a wealthy British aristocratic family. At the age of 24 she married Colonel Thomas Sibbald, a physician in the Royal Navy.
In 1833 two of the Sibbald sons came to Orillia in what was then upper Canada to learn farming techniques. Susan Sibbald visited the area two years later to see how her sons were faring. At this time she took the ferry Sir John Colborne and purchased over 600 acres that she had seen from the steamer on Lake Simcoe. Upon returning to Scotland, and the passing of her husband, Susan settled her affairs and embarked on her journey back to Canada. The farm the family built was named Eildon Hall. Eventually Susan decided to move to Toronto where she continued to live until her death in 1866. She was buried in St. George’s Anglican Church.
The church is located just outside the park’s boundaries. The church was constructed in 1839, largely with funds raised by Susan Sibbald. The original wooden structure served the Georgiana community until1877 when the wooden church was replaced with a field stone one. Inside the church you will find two beautiful stained glass windows. On the east side is the Simcoe window, designed and created by John Graves Simcoe’s seven daughters. If you look carefully you can see seven crosses – one for each of the girl. On the west side is a window dedicted to Ann Mossington, a descendant of one of the area’s earliest settlers.
St. George’s cemetery contains many early settlers and pioneers to the area such as Mossington and Bourchier. A famous Canadian, Stephen Butler Leacock penned many a famous word will summering on the shores of Sibbald Point.
Generations of Sibbald family members remained on the family farm until 1951 when it was purchased by the County of York and made into a public park.
The park has recently begun celebrating Heritage Weekend to pay homage to Sibbald Points’ long and extraordinary history. Pre confederate re-enactors recreate the period in time when Eildon Hall was at it’s peak. Tours of the historic carriage house as well as a trolley pulled by two Belgian horses are available.