The Percy Shaver House – 164 Clemow


The Queen-Anne Revival house you see below was designed by the architect John Pritchard Maclaren and built in 1913-14 for Percy H. Shaver. Shaver was secretary to the MP the honourable Clifford Sifton (see below)- who had been Minister of the Interior under Sir Wilfred Laurier – and Shaver lived here from 1913 until 1922.


In 1915, Sifton and Shaver were involved in a lawsuit regarding the sale of horses to the French Government.


You can justvsee the house in the following winter shot taken by the Department of the Interior during the 1920s, which also shows Clemow Avenue looking west  as seen from Bank Street. image Later residents have included Harold Cooke, geologist with the Department of Mines and Resources, who lived here in the 1940s.

  The distinctive features of this home include the three-storey rounded corner tower with bell-shaped roof, regular stone banding demarcating the different levels of the house, a modest projecting bay and triangular gable on the eastern front facade, and a simple front entrance surounded by classical style columns that hold up a small second storey balcony.

Architect John Pritichard Maclaren was also responsible for 221 Clemow (1909):

In the same year as his work on Clemow for Shaver, he also designed the First Church of Christ Scientist on Metcalfe Street:

He also was responsible for the 1928-29 St. Giles Church at the corner of Bank and First Avenue:

Also, the Mayfair Movie Theatre in 1932 (as seen here in a streetscape view in the 1950s):

And finally the Rideau Branch of the Ottawa Public Library in 1933:


The Orville B. Shortley House – 197 Clemow Avenue

Here’s an interesting house for you. 197 Clemow Avenue was built in 1911 for Orville B. Shortley. Orville B. Shortley lived here from 1911 until 1918. Shortley was born in Peterborough in 1875 and began his career first with the Canadian Typograph Company and them the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1903. In 1904, he was appointed the Ottawa Superintendent of the company. Before the 1920s, when the new massive Metropolitan Life Building was built at the corner of Bank and Wellington, the Ottawa offices were located at Metcalfe and Queen.  In 1918 Shortley was promoted to Superintendant of the Toronto district office, and moved to Rosedale.

Shortley commissioned the architect John Albert Ewart, son of the Dominion architect David Ewart, to craft this fine house. Built in the Tudor Revival style, with yellow stucco and half timbering on second storey and red brick on stone foundation on first storey, with combination of 8 over 1 and six-paned windows, front french windows, a large front gable and dormer, front entrance with side and tramsom lights, two chimneys at each end of house, and modest veranda roof with a slightly rounded section above main entrance.

As you can see, Ewart Jr. had a varied career, would later design a number of important buildings, including  the Booth Building on Sparks Street:

Glebe Collegiate Institute:

The Transportation Building:

Southminster United Church:

the newer Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building at Bank and Wellington:

the Ottawa Civic Hospital:

And also the Old Ottawa South branch of the Ottawa Public Library:


A later resident of the Clemow house,  from the 1920s through the 1930s, was Colonel Oliver M. Biggar, Chief Electoral Officer.