Press Release: New Administration Building Under Construction at Ruthven Park


For Immediate Release
April 17, 2018


Betsy Smith, President

Marilynn Havelka, CAO


Ruthven Park National Historic Site’s staff are pleased to announce that it has undertaken a project to expand. As of June this year, visitors arriving on site will be greeted in our new administration building which is currently being built adjacent to the parking lot within the public area of the site.

Local contractor Harrison Brothers Contracting Inc. was the successful bidder.

This new location will be convenient for staff who can work closer to the historic buildings where activities on site most often take place, subsequently enabling them to better serve visitors. The building will accommodate staff offices, a small gift shop, exhibit area, and meeting space. The rationale for the location is to maximize the use of utilities already present at the public washroom building; to keep the modern building out of the picturesque landscape; to protect the historic views from the mansion; and to minimize the disturbance of the cultural resources, vegetation, and ecology of the site. The design will be simple and in keeping with the purpose it will serve.

The red brick Gate House office has served the site as the point of entry to the Site since 2001. The building, built in the 1860s, was originally a house for the Ruthven Park gate keeper. The Thompson family rented it to local families for many years until The Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc. took over the site in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the building as it stands today is not accessible for persons with disabilities, staff have no privacy, there is very limited room to work, and the 1950s addition to the historic footprint of the Gate House is not in keeping with the original architecture. The new purpose of the Gate House will be to act as storage and additional staff workspaces.

The building is a bit behind schedule due to unseasonal weather conditions, but we expect by next week you will see the framing up for the structure.

The Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc. Board have been working on plans for the new building over the past year. We are fortunate to have received one of Haldimand County’s generous grants through the Rural Business and Tourism Community Improvement Plan to help assist with the cost of construction.

We hope you visit Ruthven this summer to enjoy the landscape, mansion tours, public events, and the new welcoming atmosphere of the administration building.




Ruthven Park National Historic Site is located at 243 Haldimand Hwy #54, just North of Cayuga. The Site and Thompson Family Mansion are open to the public 7 days a week from May 19, 2018 to September 3, 2018 and throughout the remainder of the year for large group tours, facility rentals, trail hikes, education programs, public events, and more.  Admission charges apply for guided Mansion tours and some events. Donations are always most welcome and appreciated. For more information, please call the Gate House office at 905-772-0560 or visit the website: