June 5, 2023
The story behind a piece of Quebec anglophone history, and its $25M price tag – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

The story behind a piece of Quebec anglophone history, and its $25M price tag – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

A piece of Quebec’s anglo history is up for grabs in Montreal, but its price tag isn’t for the faint of heart.

The asking price for Braemer House, as the property is known, is a whopping $25 million.

The house is nestled on a hill, away from the street, on Westmount’s The Boulevard.

The City of Westmount is located as the name implies, on the southwestern slope of Montreal’s Mont-Royal. It’s known as a predominately anglophone enclave and is home to some of the most affluent neighbourhoods in the country.

Read more:

The 20 richest neighbourhoods across Canada

Inside Bramer’s expansive interior are seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a powder room, six fireplaces and a chef’s kitchen.

Story continues below advertisement

Braemer House was built in 1847 in the Regency style, which was popular at the time.

Read more:

Here’s how much home you could buy in 8 Canadian cities — if you had a million dollars

It is now one of the few remaining Regency cottages in the Montreal area, according to Quebec’s Culture and Communications Ministry. On its webpage devoted to Braemer House, the ministry says most Regency housing left in the province is found in eastern Quebec.

In a co-listing by Bunny Berke of Profusion Realty and Garen Simonyan of Groupe Sutton-Excellence, the building is described as a Regency-style plantation home, which is more typical in tropical climates.

The stately verandas that wrap around the house on both the main floor and the second level are among its most distinctive features. The upper balcony also offers a stunning view of the St. Lawrence River down below and miles beyond.

Click to play video: 'Humpback whale spotted swimming in St. Lawrence'

Humpback whale spotted swimming in St. Lawrence

Brokers, however, are banking on more than the home’s architectural allure to make a sale, by highlighting Braemer’s intriguing past.

Story continues below advertisement

The real estate listing suggests one of the dwellings’ early owners was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. It is believed she may have named it Braemer “after the village in Scotland near Victoria’s beloved Balmoral Castle.”

In a 2015 article detailing the extensive preservation and restoration efforts by opera singer Sharon Azrieli, who purchased Braemer in 2010, the Westmount Historical Association specified that Eliza Jane Ross was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen when she visited a castle in Scotland by the same name.

The government, however, while acknowledging a woman named Eliza Lane Ross likely named Braemer in honour of Queen Victoria, makes no mention of a royal connection.

Likewise, the city of Montreal, recognizes that Ross gave the home its name but doesn’t allude to the queen at all. Instead, the city explains how Braemer translated from Gaelic means hillside beauty.

Read more:

Architect consultants publish new book on Westmount homes and their owners

Nonetheless, a list of early owners of the property reads like a who’s who of Montreal’s Anglo community at the time.

In 1846, John Eadie, an actuary at the head office of the Saving Bank of Montreal and William Footner, a wine and food merchant purchased a vast piece of rural land.

Story continues below advertisement

The following year, Braemer and its twin house Clairevue were built. William Footner’s son, whose large body of work as an architect includes Montreal’s Marché Bonsecours with George Browne, is also believed to have laid out the plans for Braemer. Although, the city of Montreal says it may actually have been Browne’s work.

Click to play video: 'Montreal police confirm last two bodies pulled from ruins of heritage building fire'

Montreal police confirm last two bodies pulled from ruins of heritage building fire

While Braemer stood the test of time, Clairevue was demolished at least 100 years ago. In its place is The Study — a private girls’ school.

Read more:

Am I ready to buy a home? Questions to ask before entering the housing market

In 1850, the ministry says Eadie sold Braemer to John Redpath, remembered now by most Montrealers for his sugar empire. Redpath turned around and sold the home the same year to T.C. Morgan — a Montreal merchant.

Story continues below advertisement

Morgan stayed on until 1866 when Ross took over and gave it its official name.

Ross kept Braemer until 1880, at which time the ministry says it changed hands frequently. Among the notable owners were Thomas Carie Panton – a wine and food merchant, and Peter Alfred Thompson, vice-president of Nesbitt Thompson and Company Limited. Thompson owned Braemer from 1925 until his death in 1958.

Click to play video: 'Touring Montreal’s history with a new app'

Touring Montreal’s history with a new app

In 1984, the Quebec government recognized the home as a historic monument but it was classified as a heritage building in 2012, under the Cultural Heritage Act.

The ministry says Braemer’s importance stems not only from its architectural value but also because of its history.

Read more:

Quebec government fails to safeguard heritage buildings, auditor general report says

Story continues below advertisement

The house represents a time of great transformation in Montreal in the mid-19th Century, when farms that dotted the landscape were gradually being replaced with “vast bourgeois residences, like Braemer,” the ministry said.

Its historical significance is also linked to the people who lived there – part of Montreal’s business elite. The house stands as a “witness,” the ministry said, to their way of life.

Its heritage designation means work done on the property is subject to city of Westmount regulations as well as those of the ministry. The status applies to the interior and exterior of the home, as well as to the land.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link