Sifton Finds New Queen for London’s Only Castle

Historic Woodholme Manor has new owner after nearly five years in waiting

London, ON – July 15, 2010 –Sifton Properties Limited has sold the historic Woodholme Manor in the City’s north end to London native Sue-Anne Richardson-Siarto after five years of searching for a new owner. She and her husband took possession in May with plans to restore the nearly 10,000 square foot private estate to its former grandeur – a project that is estimated to take several years to fully complete.

“I’m more of a barefoot contessa than a queen, but I’ve always found an elegance and historical appeal in Woodholme,” says Richardson-Siarto. “This home has a history rooted in London, and so does my family – it’s a privilege to come back to London and be able to call Woodholme our home.”

Throughout the renovation, Richardson-Siarto plans to preserve the historic feel of Woodholme which has been maintained by Sifton for the past five years. One of the main changes to the home is the repositioning of the entry foyer to face west from its original south-facing location. The entryway now opens to the spacious great room in the centre of the home which features a substantial fireplace, original woodwork details and large windows that walk out onto the backyard garden terrace.

Richardson-Siarto has even rescued the Manor’s lush peony garden from the surrounding construction as an ode to previous owner, Migsie Lawson. “Small details like this will keep the essence of Woodholme alive,” she says.

Built in 1893 by Richard Shaw-Wood in the late Victorian Gothic Revival style, Woodholme Manor was the first poured-concrete building in Ontario. It was home to the prominent Lawson family before Sifton acquired it in 2005 to develop Woodholme Park – a unique community of 58 custom-built homes centered on the historic Woodholme Manor. In 2009, Sifton received the Heritage Award from the Architectural Conservatory of Ontario and the Heritage London Foundation in recognition of Sifton’s contribution to preserving London’s architectural heritage.

“Woodholme has been a part of the Sifton family for many years now, and we’re excited to see Sue Anne’s restoration plans come to life,” says Phil Masschelein, Vice President, Neighbourhood Developments. “Restoring Woodholme will make it a truly significant heritage home for the London community and will bring another level of elegance to Woodholme Park as the centerpiece of the neighbourhood.”

For more information about Woodholme Park, visit