314 Clemow – The Tommy Gorman House

This is 314 Clemow Avenue (hiding behind the trees), midway between Percy and Bronson on the south side.

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It is a nicely styled but surprisingly modest looking house given the person who lived there.  From 1920 to 1961, this was the home of Tommy Gorman, owner, among other things, of the Ottawa Senators.

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Born in 1886, Gorman had a storied career: starting as a page in the House of Commons at age 9, he was also part of various sporting teams, such as  the House of Commons Pages Hockey Team in 1900:

Cricket Team, as seen here in 1901:

And the baseball team, as seen here, ca. 1900:

He went on to become Olympic gold medalist for the men’s lacrosse team in 1908:

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Also a sports journalist for the Ottawa Citizen from about 1910 to 1921, owner and manager of the Ottawa senators for ca. 1915-1925, including playing a role in the team winning three Stanley Cup playoffs in a row from 1920 -1923:

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Gorman was also co-founder of the NHL in 1917, and then from 1923 to 1925,co-owner of the Ottawa Auditorium on Catherine Street:

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He then gave up hockey for a while, championship horse racer in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  This was followed by a second career in hockey, starting with the Chicago Blackhawks,as seen here with goalie Chuck Gardiner:

leading up to becoming general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, where he signed up the still unknown Maurice Richard in 1942, and this helped lead the Canadiens to two Stanley Cup victories at the end of the 1943-1944 and again at the end of 1945-1946.

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In his later years, after retiring from the managership of the Montreal Canadiens, he was involved in various sporting enterprises in the Ottawa area, including management of the Connaught Park Racetrack.

Late in life, in May 1957, Gorman recollected some of his endeavours in the pages of the Ottawa Citizen:

imageIncidentally, uncle Jerry Gorman, was a stage actor of note in the late 19th century who also went on to race and train horses, owned a much nicer house designed by Francis Sullivan in 1913.  The house, located on Ardmore Avenue near where Cleary is on the Ottawa River, was demolished sometime in the early 1960s to make way for the Ottawa River Parkway:

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Here’s Tommy Gorman’s obituary in the Ottawa Citizen and as well in the Ottawa Journal:

image Ambitious and energetic, enthusiastic and well-liked, Gorman seems to have done it all.  His widow lived on in the house on Clemow until her own death in 1970, and then  the house was sold  outside of the famiy.l

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172 Clemow Was Here

 

UPDATE JULY 2014

 

The house that was the home of many prominent Ottawa people, concluding the chairman of the NCC, Douglas Fullerton, who lived here with his wife from 1961-1996, and then his widow from 1996-2012, was demolished sometime during the week of July 15-20, 2014.  The Elm tree, one of the last remaining elms on the street, and which was saved through the effort of Fullerton, was damaged at the base during the demolition work.  This tree should be designated natural heritage under the Ontario Heritage Act.

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John J. Allen, mayor of Ottawa from 1931-33, built this house in 1912-13. This historic place is designed in a distinctive Prairie architectural style, with key features being the boxy contours, deeply inset side veranda with classical revival pillars, symmetrical fenestration pattern, the l-shaped layout, and the the buff brick exterior.  Either Allan Keefer or Francis Conroy Sullivan or Walter Herbert George was the architect,  as all three were well-versed in this particular style, but there is no confirmation on who the architect was this yet.

Allen established Allen’s Drugstore in 1905 at the corner of Bank and Laurier, and ran the business until he sold it to the United Drug Company in 1918, which later changed its name to Rexall. Allen stayed with Rexall until 1925, first as a branch manager, then operating 2 stores, located at 20 and 48 Sparks Street. Before becoming mayor, Allen served as president of the Ottawa Welfare Bureau.

Allen died suddenly in 1935 while on a visit to Montreal.

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His widow sold the house in 1936 to a John McRae, a consulting engineer for the city of Ottawa.  McRae lived here until 1939.  From this date until  1945 Lloyd Breadner, Air Vice Marshall RCAF Headquarters, called this place home. For more info, see http://breadner.hpedsb.on.ca/index.php/about-breadner/history and  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=20938476

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From 1946 to Nov. 1950, C. Reid Hutchison, lived here with his wife.  Hutchison was assistant manager of Hugh CArson Co. Ltd, manufacturers of Harness, Trunks, and Bags, Head office and factory, 68-74 Albert Street (near the intersection with Elgin).

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Prior to this home on Clemow, Hutchison lived at 124 Powell.  He was  very active as a curler, with membership in Glebe, Ottawa,and Rideau Curling Clubs, and was the son of a prominent dentist and curler O. Hutchison. He Died in a hunting accident in Nov. 1950 in Buckingham, Quebec.  From 1951-1959, widow Margaret Hutchison, lived here and worked as a real estate secretary at AH Fitzsimmons and Son.

 

204 Clemow and Alexander Johnston


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This unusual house that has both prairie style and gothic revival architectural charactertistics is over a century old, and was built in 1913 for the politician Alexander Johnston (1867-1951).

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Johnston began his career as a journalist but was first elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal in 1900, re-elected in 1904, and was defeated in 1908.

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From 1910 to 1931 he was the Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries. responsible partly for the Dominion Fisheries Museum located near Queen and O’ Connor,

and he was also a representative at the International Radio Conference in Washington in 1927 and in London in 1929.  He is in this group somewhere from the 1927 conference.

When he retired there was this story from the Montreal Gazette.

He lived in this house until his death in 1951, and his widow lived on here until the 1960s.

Clemow Avenue Streetscape images, part 3

Yes, it looks like I’m going back in time here, instead of the other way round…! Here are some shots of the Clemow Avenue in the time period between 1905 and 1920.  The first, which were published in a 1909-1910 Ottawa Improvement Commission annual report, shows the section, still unbuilt, ca. 1908 or so, in Central Park just west of O’Connor:

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Here’s another of the section of Clemow near the intersection with Lyon, ca. 1910:

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This image,likely taken by the Topley Studio, is somewhere on Clemow west of Bank, ca. 1914:


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The second last image was taken in ca. winter 1920 by the federal Department of the Interior, shows Clemow looking west from Bank Street:

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And the last image is looking from O’Connor Street along Clemow toward Bank Street, ca. 1920s:

Clemow Avenue Streetscape Images, part 2

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The images above show Clemow Avenue in all its glory! The first image shows the street looking east from just west of the intersection with Percy Street, taken some time during the 1930s!  The second image shows the street looking west from the same intersection, likely sometime during the 1920s. Notice how well-manicured the street looked.  By this time, most homes here would have been about 15-20 years old.

Photos are courtesy of National Capital Commission Library.

Clemow Avenue in late 1940s

 

 

imageHere is what Clemow Avenue looked like in the winter of 1948, as seen here as part of an illustration for the Greber Report.  (Click on images, courtesy of Greber Report and National Capital Commission photo library, for larger view).

And here is what the street looked like in the summer of 1948, with the same trees with leaves on them:

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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.

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

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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: