Situated amidst the idyllic settings of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, the McFarland House is a living testament to the life and times of the early 19th century. This house, with its Georgian architecture and panoramic surroundings, exudes an aura of antiquity and history that captures the imagination of every visitor. In this blog post, we take you on a virtual tour of the historic McFarland House, its place in history, and its enduring charm as a beloved tourist spot with an exquisite tea room and picturesque park.

A Glimpse into the Past: The History of the McFarland House

The McFarland House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Niagara-on-the-Lake, constructed in 1800 by John McFarland and his sons. The house, originally a family residence, has witnessed and weathered the test of time, even standing tall during the tumultuous period of the War of 1812.

During this war, the house served a crucial role as a hospital for British soldiers and, later, for the American forces. Its resilience was tested when the American troops, during their withdrawal in December 1813, burned most of the town but spared the McFarland House due to its role as a hospital.

The house was returned to the McFarland family after the war, and it continued as a family home until the 1950s when the Niagara Parks Commission took over the property. The Commission then undertook an extensive restoration project, reviving the building’s original Georgian architecture and transforming it into an immersive heritage site.

Experience History: The McFarland House Today

Today, the McFarland House stands as a proud symbol of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s past. Open to the public, it offers a unique opportunity to experience the living conditions of the early 19th century. Guided tours of the house display period-specific furnishings and artifacts, recreating the domestic life of that era and providing visitors with a tangible connection to the past.

One of the house’s most popular attractions is the renowned McFarland Tea Room. Here, you can indulge in a delightful high tea experience, complete with an array of delectable pastries, sandwiches, and a wide selection of teas. The Tea Room, housed in the beautiful sunroom addition, offers a quintessential Victorian experience that harks back to the genteel traditions of the past.

Surrounding the house is the verdant McFarland Park, complete with picnic areas. The serene setting provides a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply a moment of quiet contemplation amidst nature.


The McFarland House is more than just a historical building; it’s a doorway into the past, inviting visitors to explore and experience life in the early 19th century. The combination of its rich history, authentic Georgian architecture, charming tea room, and lush park makes it an unmissable attraction in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This grand old house, with its intriguing tales and splendid surroundings, is a place where history truly comes to life.