Thomas Birkett was mayor Ottawa in 1891, and a well-known figure. He had operated a hardware store at 24 and later 115 Rideau Street, was a trustee on the school board, and served as an alderman on city council in the 1860s and He was also federal MP for the conservatives, representing Ottawa Centre from 1901 to 1904. He owned a “castle” on Metcalfe Street, He died in 1920 and was buried in Beechwood Cemetery, two headstones away from Sir Robert Borden’s. Though outspoken and often not on the right side of the public opinion, he was nevertheless a charitable man whose philanthropic work for the poor was highly regarded. His son, also named Thomas, lived in a house designed by W.E. Noffke in 1913, which was located at 517 O’connor Street near the intersection with Clemow. This house would later become the home of the arctic explorer George P Mackenzie, and still later become part of the Clemow Estate East Conservation District. Here is the house as it looked in the early 1920s.