Many guests who stay at our bed and breakfast inn ask about the history of our lovely building and we thought we would write a brief blog of Albert House Inn and its builder, Thomas Seaton Scott. (Following are excerpts from a more extensive history on our website).
Thomas Seaton Scott (1836-1895) – Before accepting the prestigious position as the first Chief Architect of the Dominion of Canada, Scott was employed by the Grand Trunk Railway in Quebec and Ontario and designed a number of important works for the company.
Scott began his career around 1871 with the federal government as Public Works sole architectural employee and went on to make the Chief Architect’s Branch into the largest building design firm in the country. Scott’s was appointed in February of 1872 to the post of Chief Architect of the Dominion of Canada.
As Chief Architect Scott eventually assumed responsibility for the design, construction, maintenance and repair of all federal buildings across Canada from 1871 to 1881, including the original post office at Elgin and Sparks (1875-1938), the Cartier Square Drill Hall (1879)
and the Langevin Block where the Prime Minister’s offices are located. Also during this period the grounds of Parliament Hill were landscaped (Scott revised the plans of the New York landscape architect Calvert Vaux) and the Library was completed.
In the early 1870′s plans were drawn up for a new Customs House in Victoria, British Columbia the capital of Canada’s newest province. They were discarded as being “not grandiose enough to represent the Dominion”, and the building erected under the new plans in 1873 still stands on the Victoria waterfront near the Empress Hotel. Known as the Malahat Building, it has been given historical designation by the City of Victoria.
Scott, partially for technical reasons, used those plans for this building, albeit one third (or one set of fireplaces) shorter. The building remains largely unchanged from the time of construction and is considered a rare and well-crafted example of the Second Empire style.
Visitors from out of town are always surprised to find our bed and breakfast inn located amid the high rises and office buildings in downtown Ottawa, Locals often say that they wonder about our unique property as it stands out so much when they go by on the bus. We encourage people to drop by and have a look at our bed and breakfast inn as we are proud of our heritage property.
We have enjoyed Albert House Inn and our role as innkeepers since 1987 and have always endeavoured to preserve and enhance the historic integrity of this wonderful old building. In continuing to do so we hope to see it well on its way into another century.