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.


3 thoughts on “The Orville B. Shortley House – 197 Clemow Avenue

  1. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse
    your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic blog!

  2. Someone told me that Pierre Amelotte of the “Pierre Amelotte International Hair Replacement” company owns this house. I’ve seen a new Porsche convertible with the license plate “PAI” parked across the street many times so this rumor is probably true!

    They have a unique and amazing garden at this house.

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