Goderich - The Park House
The Park House was built circa 1837 making it the oldest building in Goderich, and one of the oldest buildings still standing in Canada. In its 185-year history, it has withstood fires, storms and even the F-3 tornado that tore through the town in 2011.
The Georgian-style building was originally built as an elegant home for the commissioner of the Canada Company and served as its headquarters, known as “The Castle”. Over the years, it was a home, a bank and eventually was bought by the Grand Trunk Railway and converted into a hotel.
The present owners, Herb and Sherry Marshall, have been the caretakers for the past 17 years. Herb, a former investment banker, says that they have become “emotionally and romantically attached” to the building and the restaurant business. From the moment that he decided to purchase the building, Marshall had a very specific vision for the bar and restaurant. “I know that the Cheers bar ‘where everyone knows your name’ has become a cliché, but that’s really what I dreamt for this place,” Marshall explained. He wanted a warm, welcoming atmosphere where people feel comfortable and at home. With a restored, historic building that oozes charm, Marshall set about building a menu and staff that support that vision. The result speaks for itself.
The menu is constantly evolving with new dishes added and some leaving, but Marshall and his chef pay close attention to what the customers want. By far the most popular, the fresh perch and pickerel are perennial favourites and mainstays on the menu. Another high-demand item is the perfectly prepared liver and onions, which Marshall admits is his personal favourite. The plant-based options and the “from the garden” sections of the menu are growing in popularity, and feature new dishes that the chef has created, such as a sunflower beet burger that is also gluten-free.
Perched on the bluffs overlooking the harbour and beside the beautiful Harbour Park, the Park House is the perfect place to enjoy a meal with friends and family. 168 West St., Goderich www.parkhouserestaurant.com