Sommerville Court Bed and Breakfast: Rich in History

The Sommerville Court

In the Beginning

In 1880 James Sommerville began construction of his large, stately home in a town called Lucknow (pronounced Luck-No). Located 214km (133 miles) northwest of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a trip to Lucknow brings you to an area of Ontario called Bruce County. Named after Lucknow, India, where the Indian Rebellion of 1857 took place, many streets bear the name of British Generals who took part in the campaign.

Mural Depicting Highlights of History of Lucknow
Mural Depicting Highlights of History of Lucknow

History abounds, with a strong Scottish heritage. This includes a nod to the Lucknow Caledonia Games champion wrestler, Donald Dennie, honoured on Lucknow’s welcome sign. Also, hockey legend Paul Henderson grew up here. Henderson, a professional hockey player, of course scored the winning goal in the Summit Series of 1972, to defeat the USSR.

Present Day

Sommerville Court Sign
Sommerville Court Sign

Fast forward to today and the home that James Sommerville built, still stands. It’s now a unique bed and breakfast called Sommerville Court Bed and Breakfast. It changed over the years from a single-family home to a seven-unit apartment complex. Purchased in 1994, by its current owner Brenda Cathers and her son, they continued to operate the building as an apartment complex for almost ten years.

When significant renovations were needed, as is typical with older heritage buildings, Brenda and her son, decided to change direction and entertain the idea of a very large B&B. Thus, Sommerville Court was born.

The Rooms

The Sepoy Suite Sommerville Court
The Sepoy Suite Sommerville Court

With 12 guestrooms and nine washrooms the heritage home can accommodate up to 28 guests. The name of each room honors one of the town fathers. We stayed in the beautiful Sepoy Suite, complete with a king-size bed, fireplace and Jacuzzi. An additional guest room is in the plans to be called the Donald Dennie room with plans to decorate it in a Scottish style.

Sitting Area Sepoy Suite Sommerville Court
Sitting Area Sepoy Suite Sommerville Court

While each room is individually decorated, what gives the bed and breakfast life is its host. Brenda Cathers warmly welcomes all her guests, making you feel like part of her family. During our visit, we felt like we were staying with a long-lost aunt.

Light Breakfast Sommerville Court
Light Breakfast Sommerville Court

Breakfast, served each day in the dining room just off the kitchen, provides an opportunity to chat with other guests. The dining room is an antique lover’s dream, filled with cabinets showcasing Depression Era glass and china.

Wandering the hallways and other living spaces throughout the house find you making discoveries at every turn. According to Brenda, “Many years of garage sales, antique collecting and hoarding, as my kids would say, resulted in the ability to furnish all of these rooms and more.”

New Addition at Sommerville Court

A recent addition to the property is a new event building. The beautiful post and beam barn framework was dismantled by Amish carpenters near Goderich, Ontario and reconstructed at Sommerville Court.

The event room includes two lofts, sizable main floor space with a kitchenette, washroom, patio and a soon to be completed pergola. Brenda uses this space to host weddings, workshops, company meetings and recently listed her property on Ontario By Bike’s website.

Post and Beam Event Building Sommerville Court
Post and Beam Event Building Sommerville Court

Sommerville Court Bed and Breakfast offers a beautiful place to stay while you are taking day trips in the area. Indulge in the Ice Cream Trail, visit many lighthouses and beaches or enjoy the small towns along the way.

Asked about her favorite guests or moments, Brenda replied, “All my guests are special, but one elderly couple immediately comes to mind. Reunited after years of being alone, they appeared to be having more fun than two people should legally be able to have. She drove a little convertible MG, and as they sped out of the driveway, heading for the beach, I can still see the big smiles and waves. Oh, to be a kid-at-heart again.”

Sommerville Court Bed and Breakfast welcomes you to step back in history, feel right at home and enjoy the area.

When you go:

Sommerville Court is located at 287 Ross Street, Lucknow, Ontario, Canada
1-866-863-2557(toll free) or 1-519-357-7067

We were hosted for this stay. As always, all opinions expressed are our own. Members of ITWPA & IFWTWA. Host of the travel radio segment, Maple on The Map, on Our writing can be found on


Lori and Sylvio are freelance travel writers based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. They have both had a life-long passion for travel and for learning about other cultures, while travelling on and off the beaten path. Taking detours along the way has enriched their experiences immeasurably. Both enjoy writing and photography, so it was a natural fit to combine this with their love of travel. Lori was in education for 30 years. She was able to combine that with 14 more

Recently Published Stories

Healthcare in a Foreign Land: Our Experience of Portugal’s Healthcare System as Expats

What cost hundreds of dollars in the states, cost exactly eleven euros. And we have countless examples from x-rays to mammograms, and everything in between…excellent healthcare is just plain cheap here. It is one of the many aspects of life in Portugal that has been positive.

Estaing, France

Dreaming of Travel While On Lockdown: An Update on House Sitting

Once again, we found house sitting to be an absolute joy! There is not the hurry of trying to see everything in one day and then rush off to the next place. One has time to feel what it is like to live there, to slow down and really get to know the area, the restaurants, the nicest walking trails, and the local attractions.

Portugal Covid Masks

Living A Peaceful Life In Portugal During A Pandemic

After leaving the states in 2016, we noticed the difference in pace instantly. My husband and I joked that it is as if they are living on ‘island time’ in Portugal, even though it is not an island. And though there are times that can be frustrating, for the most part we find that we have adjusted to a slower, more peaceful pace of life.