Over-The-Top Grandeur on Clemow Avenue


Have you seen anything like this elsewhere in Ottawa? Located at 211 Clemow Avenue, on the northeast corner of the intersection with Lyon Street, this grand house was built in 1910 by Dr. J.E. Taggart, Dentist (yes, a dentist, you heard me right!) and designed by the architect Arthur Le B. Weeks.  Weeks also designed Ashbury College in Rockcliffe.

This is an over-the-top Georgian/Classical Revival style house with giant “southern-style” columns holding up an a large bracketed porch roof which covers a hooded front entrance.  Notice the red-coloured brackets underneath the roofline, the symmetrically placed windows on the front facade with unusual “starburst” semi-circular stone arches over the first floor front windows.  Other details include a closed in one-storey sun room with fenced-off roof, a front dormer, and tall chimneys at each side of the house.

This place would be a sight in any neighbourhood, and even on a street such as  Clemow, with many other large well-designed houses, this stands out!

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Small Working Class House Renovations, part 1

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The three images you see here show a small vernacular “working class” house undergoing renovations on Ella Street.  There are many houses like this one in the Glebe, built quickly in the 1890s and early 1900s by those in working class professions, such as carpenters, masons, or clerks.  Recently, these houses are being demolished in favour of newer, much larger ones…but in the case of the one on Ella Street, the owners decided to undertake a large renovation job at the same time as constructing an addition to the back of the house.

Here is what the house looked like in its early phases of renovation in 2011…notice how the wood frame construction has been covered over the past century with many different layers of siding, which are in this case being peeled away.  New windows are being added as well.  These small houses were affordable and versatile a century ago, as they remain today in comparison to many other houses in the neighbourhood.

Posts in the coming days will show more of the progress of this renovation, which is almost complete.

Some of the influential figures of Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood, ca. 1890s-1920s

William Washington Wylie (1860-1921), one of the important people of Ottawa in the 1890s and early 1900s.  He built streetcars, and was responsible, along with Thomas Ahearn and William Soper for expanding Ottawa and other Canadian cities.  Streetcar suburbs, such as the Glebe neighbourhood, grew quickly.  Wylie retired in 1911, and built a house for himself at 190 Carling Avenue (now Glebe Avenue).

Francis Conroy Sullivan, the hot-tempered Irishman and daring early 19th century Ottawa architect.  Sullivan was a follower of Frank Lloyd Wright, and of the Prairie School of Architecture, and is responsible for designing the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, which was completed in 1914.  I wonder what he would think of current plans to move the building and rehabilitate it?  Ottawa did not appreciate his talents, and he left after a couple more years for Chicago, and then later to Arizona.George P. Mackenzie was known for being the Gold Commissioner of the Yukon and then, in the 1920s, for leading expeditions to the Eastern Arctic.  In this photo, he is with Dr. Frederick Banting and painter A.Y. Jackson; and is in charge of a 1927 expedition to learn more about the Inuit and establish Canada’s sovereignty over the the arctic islands.  He retired in 1930, but was kept on as a speaker for Canadian Government, and moved into a house at 517 O’Connor Street in the Glebe.