The last chapter of the historic Conroy-McDonald House is approaching
Gatineau’s Demolition Applications Committee will hold a meeting at Maison du citoyen on May 13 at 4:30 pm to decide on a demolition application for the historic Conroy-McDonald house located at 47 Symmes Street.
This house, which was destroyed by a fire in November 2018, dates from the 1850s and is a listed heritage home. The approximate amount of the damage was estimated at $175,000 by the Service de sécurité incendie de Gatineau (SSIG).
Unfortunately, the fire interrupted a renovation project for this residence. The work was aimed at renovating the roof, cornices, windows and exterior doors. The purpose was to preserve the historical features of the building. The green asphalt roof shingles were to be replaced with steel sheet roof panels, while the siding was also to be replaced.
As a result of the fire, the property on the northwest corner of Symmes and Parker Streets, once owned by Aylmer’s founder Charles Symmes, is likely to be demolished.
According to the book by historian Diane Aldred, Aylmer Québec, Its Heritage / Son Patrimoine, it was the masonry contractor William Davis, “the one who built the second St. Paul’s church in 1862”, who built the Conroy-McDonald house at the request of bar owner Moses Holt or blacksmith Michael Donahue.
Aylmer’s famous entrepreneur Robert Conroy became the owner of the house, which was “topped by a two-sided roof”, around 1860. It was he who was responsible for the construction of the British Hotel, located not far from the Conroy-McDonald house. The Conroy-McDonald house remained in the extended Conroy family for many years.
Again, according to Ms Aldred’s book, “in 1885, the house was sold to wentrepreneur Donald B. McDonald, whose daughter Maria had married Conroy’s son William.” The latter was mayor of Aylmer at the end of the 19th century. A member of the Conroy-McDonald family owned the house until the 1990s.