The childhood home of William Lyon Mackenzie King — Canada's longest serving prime minister — has been damaged in what police are calling an act of vandalism.
The incident took place close to midnight on Sunday at the Woodside National Historic Site in Kitchener, Ont., and police said they are looking for those responsible.
William Lyon Mackenzie King is shown in an undated file photo. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
"It's disheartening, but we're going to move forward," said Lisa Curtis, Parks Canada superintendent of national historic sites for southern Ontario. "We're protecting and preserving a national treasure for present and future generations...It's extremely important to keep it intact."
Police said someone heard glass and wood being smashed in the area of the home and an alarm was set off before officers arrived to find a number of windows and doors had been damaged.
A final tally indicated 66 panes of glass were shattered and one door was broken in the incident, Curtis said. A broken piece of the home's eavestrough was also found and is believed to have been used to smash windows, she added.
Nothing, however, was stolen from the Victorian-era home, which is filled with King family heirlooms, Curtis said.
"We're protecting and preserving a national treasure for present and future generations...It's extremely important to keep it intact."
"We did a full investigation to ensure everything (inside) was intact and it was," she said. "It was just pure vandalism."
Work is already underway to repair the damage, which is expected to cost Parks Canada just under $10,000, Curtis said.
The site, which is not fenced in, is also considering extra security measures for the future, she added.
Repairs to cost $10,000
King, who was born in Kitchener, lived in the home for seven years, between 1886 and 1893, with his parents and three siblings, according to Parks Canada.
He was Liberal party leader from 1919 to 1948 and served as prime minister for almost 22 years.
Local police said it's disappointing someone would target a site of such significance.
"It's a criminal offence but ultimately it's an offence to a very historic site in our city," said Staff Sgt. Mike Haffner. "We're appealing to the public for information."
Woodside was built in 1853 and has been restored to represent the period when the King family lived in the home.
The grounds of the site are open to the public year-round and the home itself is open to visitors from October to December, as well as on Family Day, Canada Day and special events.
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