Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project

Jarman House - 834 Colonel By Dr

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Title: 834 Colonel By Drive

Address: 834 Colonel By Drive (Plan 214 Lot 5 E Part lot 3.)


The home located at 834 Colonel By Drive was built in 1908 by Frank Jarman, an art dealer.1 Beginning from the time of its construction, it has been home to many prominent residents of Old Ottawa South, including Frank Jarman, a framer and art dealer, an intellectual property lawyer, and John Gleeson a manufacturer. It is a brick building based on a centre hall plan, and notable for being architect designed, making intentional use of classical architectural vocabulary, and for being a superior example of early twentieth-century Edwardian Classicism.






Hardwick Moreland Jr. subdivided his property between Galt, Barton, and Aylmer streets.

Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214.



Lot 5 was sold to Samuel J. Jarvis, an Ottawa photographer and art dealer.

Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214, lot 5, roll no. 4AR55 document no. 19590.


Lot 5 and part of lot 3 were sold to Frank and Wilhelmina Jarman. They built a home the same year.

Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214, lot 5, Roll no. 4AR55 document no. 21915.


Frank Jarman sold the home to John Gleeson after Wilhelmina Jarman’s death.

Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214, lot 5, Roll no. 4AR55 document no. 241369.


John Gleeson sold the home to Barbara Trottier.

Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214, lot 5, Roll no. 4AR55 document no. 432998.


The home at 834 Colonel By Drive is built across lots 3 and 5 from a subdivision created by Hardwick Moreland Jr. Unlike most of Old Ottawa South, which was subdivided into large “neighbourhoods” such as Wyoming Park, Rideauville, and Oakland Heights, Moreland’s subdivision covered only 9 lots, one of which he lived on himself. Moreland had constructed a house on the property in 1905 (now 838 Colonel By Drive), after having subdivided his property in 1902.2 The Morelands were a very successful merchant family, owning between them three grocery stores in Ottawa in 1912.3 William Moreland, a relative of Hardwick, also built a home at 27 Aylmer on lot 1 of the same subdivision.4 Perhaps intentionally, the subdivision became an elite enclave, becoming home to several wealthy families.5

Although the Morelands’ property was subdivided in 1902, no home was constructed at 834 Colonel By Drive until 1908 when lots 5 and 4 were bought by Frank and Wilhelmina Jarman. Jarman is listed as a “Picture Frame Manufacturer” supplying “Artists’ supplies, Pyro goods, Mouldings and Mathematical Instruments” in early city directories for the city of Ottawa, (from 1910) yet it appears as if Jarman also ran an art gallery. There are many extant paintings with Frank Jarman gallery stickers on them, many of which were by local artists. For example, Library and Archives Canada’s collection contains two paintings by Franklin Brownell which display a “Frank Jarman Limited Fine Arts Dealers” label. 6 This material seems to indicate that Jarman was a fairly major figure in the Ottawa arts community. A brief search through newspaper advertisements from 1916, however, did not result in any advertisements for his business that may confirm or deny this hypothesis.7 Regardless, in 1909, Jarman employed three framers. This seems to suggest that his business was a relatively major undertaking, and was likely quite profitable at that time.8

Jarman and his wife Wilhelmina lived at 834 Echo Drive (now 834 Colonel By) until Wilhelmina’s death in 1943, after which the home was sold to John Gleeson, who owned an oil reclaiming machinery manufacturing company along with E. Murrary Leahey. As the Jarmans did not have any children, the house stayed in the family for only 30 years.9


The home located at 834 Colonel By Drive is situated on a very large landscaped lot covering 11,799 square feet with mature trees and an extensive back yard.10 The home holds significant architectural value for the community of Old Ottawa South both for the purity of its Edwardian Classical style, and for its immaculate condition. Likely due to the fact that the owners were prominent members of the Ottawa art community, the home is an excellent reflection of early twentieth-century aesthetic values, and in particular, Edwardian Classicism.

It is a side-gabled, two and a half story brick home with bay windows at the proper front and proper right. It displays a Classically influenced portico supported by Doric columns [except with bases, are they still Doric?] with a dentilated cornice on the entablature supporting a small second story balcony. The home has a low-pitched roof, and symmetrical low-pitched front gables above the bay windows. The windows seem to have been replaced at present, but have retained a series of different shapes and sizes designed to emphasize simplicity and balance in the home.11 The brick work is for the most part monochromatic apart from grey brick lintels above the windows. Other Classical elements of the home are the modillions apparent on the cornice just under the roofline, the focus on horizontality rather than verticality, and the symmetry of the house’s form. Typical of Edwardian Classicism, however, the house successfully integrates nineteenth-century elements such as the mixing of shingles and brick, and ornate crosshatched brickwork, see figure 2.12

When this home was built it would have been considered both modern and fashionable. The home is clean, balanced, without a complex floor plan or multileveled roof. It was fitted with indoor plumbing at the time of its construction (and most likely electricity as well since there was no summer kitchen), and very strongly reflects the values of the middle class at the turn of the twentieth century.13 The relatively unusual combination of wealth and attention to style made this house an excellent example of the values of the period which emphasized cleanliness, simplicity, self-made middle class versus aristocratic wealth.14 There are many windows, reflecting a new focus on germs and healthy air which began in the late nineteenth century, there are no servants quarters, and far more subtle displays of wealth than those typical of elite architecture in the nineteenth century.15 Its well-preserved form and attention to turn of the century aesthetics rank it among the best examples of this style in Ottawa.16

Suggestions for Future Study

Although I have been unable to find much information on the Jarmans’ art gallery, I suspect that there are advertisements of some sort in existence, either in magazines, newspapers, or flyer form. The gallery ran for many decades, so there is almost certainly material available. Further information may also be found on why the Morelands chose to subdivide their property, and how they intended the lots to develop. The Morelands were a prominent family in Ottawa and may have sources.

I also would recommend speaking with the current owner of the home. He may have further information on the history of the house to flesh out its story, and more importantly he may give access to the interior which may be as well-preserved as the exterior, and may allow for further analysis of the home’s architecture.


Land Registry Records

Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office Plan 214, Lot 5, Roll. 4AR55.

City Directories

The City of Ottawa Directory 1908. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1908).

The City of Ottawa Directory 1909. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1909).

The City of Ottawa Directory 1912. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1912).

The City of Ottawa Directory 1935. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1935).

The City of Ottawa Directory 1940. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1940).

Library and Archives Canada Material

Brownell, Franklin. Edwards Lumber Mills, Edwards Family Fonds, Library and Archives Canada, 1906. R13004-0-0-E

Brownell, Franklin. Gatineau Landscape. Edwards Family Fonds, Library and Archives Canada, 1910. R13004-0-0-E.

Online Sources

City of Ottawa E-map. http://apps104.ottawa.ca/emap/ (Last accessed July 24, 2009).

Glebe Community Association. http://www.glebeca.ca/history/question_4.html (Last Accessed August 10.)

Printed Sources

Mikel, Robert. Ontario House Styles, Toronto: James Lorimer and Co., 2004. pp 111-118.


1 Jarman's profession is outlined in many early Ottawa City Directories. For example, The Ottawa City Directory, 1909. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1909). Pp. 41.

2 Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214, lot 2, Roll no. 4AR55.

3 Perhaps more telling of their wealth is their involvement in philanthropic endeavours. The Morelands constructed a hall called “Morland’s Hall” which was used as a meeting place for Methodists in the Glebe until 1911. Glebe Community Association. http://www.glebeca.ca/history/question_4.html (Last Accessed August 10.) The Moreland's grocery stores are listed in the early twentieth-century Ottawa City Directories. For example, The City of Ottawa Directory 1912. Ottawa, Might's Directories Ltd. (1912). 617-8.

4 Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office, plan 214, lot 1, Roll no. 4AR55.

5 Along with Frank Jarman, Hardwick and William Moreland, there also lived the manufacturer John T. Fotheringham, all of whom were relatively wealthy. See The Ottawa City Directory 1912. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1912). Pp. 75.

6 See Franklin Brownell, Edwards Lumber Mills, 1906, Library and Archives Canada, archival reference no. R13004-0-0-eE, and Franklin Brownell, “Gatineau Landscape” 1910, Library and Archives Canada, Archival Refence no. R13004-0-0-E.

7 Having sampled newspapers from several weeks throughout the summer months of 1916, a year in which the Jarman gallery was certainly well established and active, the advertisements from these newspapers were generally repeated in several issues seeming to indicate that there were no advertisements for the Jarman gallery in the Ottawa Citizen at that time. A more exhaustive search may, however, yield results.

8 The Ottawa City Directory 1909. Ottawa: Might's Directories Ltd. (1909). pp. 182, 329, 594.

9 The sale of the property to John Gleeson is recorded at the Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office Plan 214, lot 5, roll no. 4AR55. Gleeson's profession is outlined in contemporary city directories. For example The City of Ottawa Directory, 1940. Might's Directories Ltd. (1940). Pp. 350.

10According to property information provided through the city of Ottawa e-map service, the lot measures 69 by 171 feet. See http://apps104.ottawa.ca/emap/ (Last accessed July 24, 2009).

11 Note for example that the half moon windows on the front gables are symmetrical with one another, and are the same width as the rectangular windows on the bays. See figure 1.

12 Robert Mikel effectively describes the style known as “Edwardian Classicism” as it is seen in domestic architecture in Ontario in Robert Mikel Ontario House Styles, (Toronto: James Lorimer and Co., 2004.) pp 111-118. He emphasizes that Edwardian Classicism and the Arts and Crafts movement were two major trends in the early part of the twentieth century which reacted against the ornate architecture of the nineteenth century by returning to simplified forms as opposed to extravagant display.

13 Mechanics liens held on this property at the time of its construction indicate that a large sum of money was paid for plumbing. See Ottawa-Carleton Land Registry Office Record number 22058 May 21, 1908.

14 Cf. With a home from Lebreton Flats, one of Ottawa’s large working class neighbourhoods in the period, built in the same period (figure 3.) The home shows similar aesthetic concerns (i.e. a simple floor plan, Doric columns supporting the porch, monochrome brick, simple voussoirs above the windows, prominent modillions at the roofline.) The owners of this home would not have had the wealth or architectural knowledge to display these same aesthetic concerns as carefully or skilfully as the Jarmans did.

15 i.e. there are few ornaments, no outbuildings, no areas for servants or carriages etc.

16 Although every Ottawa home of this period has not been compared, 834 Colonel By Drive seems to be a better example of this style of home than those chosen as representative of the style in Robert Mikel’s book. This observation leads one to believe that it is indeed a very unusually good representative. See Mikel, 110-118.

Last modified on Thursday, 09 January 2020 22:39

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