Foxbar was built sometime between 1840 and 1851. The document "Hamilton's Heritage Volume 5: Reasons for Designation Under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act" states that Foxbar was built for prominent Dundas lawyer Thomas Robertson, however given the time, it may be more likely that it was built for Thomas' father Alexander Robertson, as suggested by Susan Evans Shaw in her book "Heritage Treasures".1 2
Whether father or son presided over the construction, it is known that Thomas and his wife Frances Louisa Read lived at Foxbar until 1878 when Robertson was elected to represent Hamilton as MP and moved to Rock Castle. (Heritage Treasures) Robertson retained ownership of Foxbar, but rented it out until the property was sold to Harvey Binkley in 1890. In 1901 the property was sold again to Frank Ernest Lennard. In approximately 1931, there was a major fire that destroyed the interior of the house. This prompted renovations to the interior. The house then passed to Frank's son Frank Exton Lennard, who represented Dundas as an MP. After the death of Frank Exton Lennard and his wife Gladys, the house was sold to a foundation who transformed the house into a home for severely handicapped children, called Reigal House. The present owners have restored the home after it was altered for institutional use.1 2
The house is constructed entirely of Whirlpool Sandstone, using dimension stone at the front, and N side, and rubble at the back (S and W side). The addition (conservatory) on the S was built after the original family owners sold the house and is of carefully matched stone, wood and glass, and that on the N is built of wood and glass. Note particularly the main doorway with its immense lintel (carved from a single block, with an oblique crack near the centre) and sill, and the prevalence of Aberdeen bond on the front and N side. 3
Foxbar is the exterior filming location for Grey House in The Good Witch series.
1Heritage Treasures: The historic homes of Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, East Flamborough, Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Waterdown By Susan Evans Shaw Photographs by Jean Crankshaw
2Hamilton LACAC (Municipal Heritage Committee) Hamilton's Heritage Volume 5: Reasons for Designation Under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act
3 Gerard Middleton