When reviewing the giving legacy of the McLaughlin Family and their impact on philanthropy in Canadian history one is always in awe of their achievement, a generous achievement, which to date, has not been matched by any other Canadian in terms of donorship.   One of the areas that the family was keen to support was that of child welfare and health issues. In fact many of the programs which have long been equated with the McLaughlin Family are programs that support or endorse the key elements of the well being of children: including the scouting and guiding movements; the Home & School Movement; the Boys and Girls Clubs; and the Intensive Care Unit of Sick Children’s Hospital.

When one reflects on the causes supported, we can see both the influences of former school teacher, Adelaide McLaughlin, in terms of her support and interests, but also many of the foundations of small “l” liberalism in terms of community support and philanthropy which would have been part of their social circles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


The idea of  Parkwood and philanthropy continues to this day, but in most cases it is the Estate that is benefitting the philanthropic donations as opposed to dispersing them, as it once did pre-1972.  What many people forget in this post- Sam McLaughlin world is that Parkwood is a charity, yes, a charity. With a property as big & beautiful and historically important as Parkwood it should be no surprise that help is always needed—volunteers, sponsors, partners, heritage enthusiasts and, of course, donors. 

As a charity, we are always looking for opportunities to generate the dollars needed to preserve and present the Estate, best reflecting the stories and stewardship of the family.  Canada Helps.org offers perhaps the best website support to Canadian charities and is the most prominent, frequently- used portal for making secure donations on-line. Canada Helps handles any type of gift and tax receipting too, making it invaluable to small & medium organisations. The website was recently redesigned, and it allows Parkwood to be presented succinctly, even more visually. We have been able to add photographs, and links to historic McLaughlin home movies, to help showcased our special place in history and the comparative rarity of our historic resources- and ultimately present a compelling case for donor support.

Joint Fundraising Poster

Other opportunities present themselves for raising dollars, also. Modern philanthropic types have hosted events of their own donating their proceeds to a Parkwood project or joint fundraising opportunities emerge, like the one with Their Opportunity, whose mandate parallels much of the philanthropic spirit of Sam and Adelaide McLaughlin.

Their Opportunity makes it possible for children to participate in sports by removing financial barriers. In return, children are asked to pay the opportunity forward through volunteer service.  We think this work resonates handsomely with Parkwood’s heritage preservation mission, which ensure public access to historic resources, education and enjoyment opportunities. 

The wine & scotch tasting event marks the first collaborative fundraiser for both organisations. It will raise funds to support both charitable organisations and their public- benefit mission in our community, with some sampling of the fine Parkwood heritage resources, and the amazing stories these resources tell.