At the corner of March and Klondike Roads in Kanata resides a one-and-a-half storey, rough cut stone and gable roofed structure. According to a report prepared on September 16, 2003 to the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, Planning and Development Committee and Council, the property was originally built in the early 1850’s as a private house. Although the initial owner is unknown, the McMurtry family resided in the residence until the 1890’s. It was then sold to the Gow family in in 1897 and used for a General Store and Post Office until 1938.
From 1938 on-wards the building served many functions including private residence, pool hall, antique store and art gallery and in the 1980’s became a restaurant. In late 2003 the City of Ottawa purchased the March House Restaurant, to allow for the widening of March Road and the construction of a new intersection at the corner of March and Klondike Roads. Due to these civil construction projects the March House was moved 30 meters by CDS Building Movers and Barry Hobin was retained to oversee the restoration of the house. The present occupant is the March House Spa.
The Heritage plaque affixed to the March House contains the following:
The March House was built by the McMurtry Brothers in 1882 as a post office, grocery and dry goods store. Most of the stone used in this simple structure was quarried from the site. In 1897 its stone construction saved the March House when a fire destroyed most of the wooden surrounding buildings. The store operated until 1938 and was the hub of the small hamlet of March’s Corners.
Designated Heritage Property 2004
If you’re curious about how the structure looked prior to the relocation, Front Page Media Group has an article titled “CDS Building Movers At The March House – Re-Visited” from April 2nd 2014, that shows several pictures of the initial structure and its relocation. As well, the report for the City of Ottawa from September 16, 2003 (mentioned above) contains some old pictures of the structure.
Oddly enough, information from the Heritage plaque seems to contradict information found in the City of Ottawa Report Ref N°: ACS2003-DEV-APR-0114 making it difficult to determine when the building was actually built. Regardless of the discrepancy, the building and surrounding landscaping remain a memorable landmark.
Address: 806 March Road, K2W 0C9, Ottawa, ON