Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada
The Laurier House Act 1951
Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent opening Laurier House to visitors, August 1st 1951© NFB 57680 or National Archives of Canada / PA-108064
To give effect to the terms of King's will regarding Laurier House, the government enacted legislation known as the Laurier House Act. The purpose of the act was to detail how the house would be administered and who would be responsible for its operation. According to the act, "The Dominion Archivist ... has the care, custody and control of Laurier House ...and the contents thereof and shall administer the house and its contents in accordance with the desires and purposes expressed in the late Mr. King's Will.... " King had stated in his will the hope that the house would be used as a place for scholars visiting Ottawa to work, but he made no clear statement about other public use beyond the interior's being maintained much as it was, with appropriate displays of important documents and objects of special interest. The house was opened as a public museum in 1951. It remained under the administration of the Public Archives of Canada until 1988, when the ownership was transferred to Parks Canada.