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McDougall Cottage

City of Cambridge

Cultural & Heritage, Museums & Galleries, Things to Do

McDougall CottageMcDougall Cottage

Built in 1858, the McDougall Cottage is a granite and limestone labourer’s cottage located in downtown Cambridge’s historic factory district. The cottage now serves as an interpretation centre, and hosts a number of the area’s Scottish heritage events. The McDougall Cottage contributes to the preservation of Waterloo Region’s history by collecting, researching, preserving, and interpreting the Scottish Culture through the lens of the McDougall and Baird families. Not only is it a gathering place for the community, it is also a place for visitors to better understand the Scottish history and traditions in Cambridge, as well as the significance of the Grand River on the Region’s natural heritage.

It was home to the McDougalls and the Bairds, two hard working Scottish families, for more than a century. Visitors will see pocket-sized gardens, stunning hand-painted friezes, and trompe l’oeil ceilings.

Located on the banks of the Grand River, the cottage is the site of unique artistic features, such as the beautifully painted rooms ranging from familiar scenes, to the exotic. These works of art were painted by James Baird’s brother Jack, who was a photographer, painter, and adventurer. A guided tour of the cottage highlights its unique artistic qualities, as well as a number of landscape oil paintings by Jack Baird.

The cottage plays host to a number of special activities that celebrate the area’s Scottish culture. Monthly events include Ceilidhs, Kids in Kilts craft afternoons, Tartan Teas, workshops, lectures, and food demonstrations.

Their Musician-in-Residence program is an annual program, sponsored by the Friends of McDougall Cottage. It aims to support the efforts of local folk musicians and to celebrate Scottish and area music traditions. Past residencies have included a piper, Celtic guitarist, fiddlers, and award-winning musical trio NUA.

For a full list of upcoming events and exhibits, visit their website.

89 Grand Avenue South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2L7

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