Built by William T. Thomas in 1874, this Second Empire building is made of two symmetrical houses, one on the west side and one on the east side. The west house was first occupied by Duncan McIntyre, while William Van Horne was the first owner of the east house.
Following Van Horne, T.G. Shaughnessy later inhabited in the east house. These three men had in common to be senior representatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Van Horne was president of the CPR from 1888 to 1899.
In 1890, a notable addition was made to the building: a beautiful semicircular greenhouse was added on the west side of the building. As for the east side, it was enlarged a few times over the years: first, from 1897 to 1899, then in 1906 and again in 1923.
The building was later occupied by a religious congregation, the Sisters of Service, who decided in 1941 to make an opening in the central wall to connect the two houses.
The Van Horne/Shaughnessy house was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1973. Despite this title, it came close to be demolished in the 1980s. It was rehabilitated and integrated into the Centre Canadien d'Architecture, following the plans of architect Peter Rose. The CCA now has its offices and meeting rooms in the historic building.
SOURCES: Canada's Historic Places
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The Past Whispers
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