Nestled in the Highland Creek Valley off Kingston Road, is a century-old retreat that is one of the finest of few surviving intact examples of Arts and Crafts style in Canada. The Miller Lash House was at the heart of the original estate the University of Toronto purchased to create Scarborough College in 1963.
Miller Lash was a successful Bay Street lawyer, businessman, U of T graduate and a relative of scientist William Lash Miller, after whom the Chemistry building on U of T’s St. George Campus is named.
Constructed in 1913, the house was designed by Edward B. Green Sr., of the prominent Buffalo firm of Green and Wicks. The elegant Arts and Crafts style that Lash and Green chose for the estate was a reflection of both the design and social movements of the day. By showing respect for nature, craftsmanship and honesty in materials, every feature in the home was designed to be both functional and beautiful—from the exposed, squared pine timbers that support the cathedral ceilings, to the natural clay used for roof and floor tiles. The poured-in-place concrete structure, which may have been the first of its kind in Canada, is faced with stones gathered from the Highland Creek below. The seventeen-room bungalow was used as the residence for the principal of Scarborough College when the campus opened in 1965.
When the Miller Lash House was designated for preservation in 1998 under the Ontario Heritage Act, no one had lived in the house for 20 years. The civic-minded philanthropist Lyne Dellandrea (BA 1976) marshalled federal and private funding resources for a major restoration of this historical gem. Just as the scale and quality of the Miller Lash House originally took several years to build, so, too did its loving, meticulous restoration, completed in 2005.
Lovingly restored, the Miller Lash House is now a unique conference and event facility.