The land presently known as Gairloch Gardens was originally part of 400 acres of farm land. In 1922 Colonel William Mackendrick, a civil engineer from Toronto, purchased 11.4 acres of this land.
He then landscaped the grounds with hedges, trees and rose gardens and built a Tudor style house on the south-east of the property.
Colonel Mackendrick died in 1957 and James A. Gairdner, an investment dealer residing
in Oakville, bought his property in 1960 and named the estate Gairloch, a Gaelic word which means "short lake".
James Gairdner died in 1971. He bequeathed his estate to the town of Oakville with the wish that "the
residence and the land immediately adjacent thereto be used as an Art Gallery for the display of art by contemporary artists and the remainder as a public park".
In 1978, Gairloch Gallery was amalgamated with the Centennial Gallery to form Oakville Galleries.