Stephen Leacock once received fan mail from F. Scott Fitzgerald

Leacock House Orillia © Lucy Izon

Leacock House Orillia © Lucy Izon

Orillia, Ontario – On the waterfront of Brewery Bay in nearby Orillia sits the charming summer of famed Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock. Now a national historric site, Leacock purchased this land in 1908 and started off with just tents and a cookhouse, and commissioned the present house to be built in 1928. This is where he spent his most creative time, happily returning each summer to what he called ʻLake Simcoe Countryʼ.

It was here at The Leacock Museum that I was able to confirm a story Iʼd once heard: that as a student at Princeton University, F. Scott Fitzgerald did write a fan letter to Leacock. It said: “As imitation is the sincerest flattery I thought you might be interested in something you inspired…” Fitzgerald went on to explain about two stories heʼd written which he felt were of the ʻLeacock schoolʼ of humour. “In fact Jemina is rather a steal in places from ʻHannah of the Highlandsʼ.” And he sent Leacock a copy. Leacock replied “your stories are fine…Go on”.

Orillia iis in an area known as Ontarioʼs Lake Country – a region of farms, lakes and rolling countryside, which begins just one hour north of Toronto. The area encompasses the northern area of Lake Simcoe and reaches west towards Georgian Bay, and includes Oro-Medonte, Rama, Ramara, and Severn.



Leacock Ln, Orillia, Simcoe County, Ontario


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