Watt House

150-152 James Street was built by Charles Watt in 1903. (See description below of him from the Hardware and Metal merchandising magazine.) Describe as a “beacon of light” he was born in Edinburgh Scotland in 1872. Came to Canada in 1888 and shortly after spent 5 profitable year at M. Philbin hardware store in Montreal. In 1900  he and James Thorp Blyth bought an well established business from Robert McAllen continued a plumbing and hardware business at 298 Bank Street called Blyth & Watt 1900-1907(see attach photo of store interior). From what we understand  Mr. Watt was married to Blyth sister (Roberna Isabella Blyth). Watt’s sister, who was married to Joesph Lawson(who was employed at Great West Life) lived at 150 James Street. Blyth and Watt were early men of commerce and influence in a growing city of Ottawa. Blyth’s premature funeral in 1928 was attend by the prime minister of the time William Lyon MacKenize King. Charles Watt, known for is rich melodious baritone voice, participated in many of Ottawa’s musical production over the years till his death at the age of 85 in 1958.  

The current homeowners, appreciating the architectural value of the property, have recently undertaken a restoration of the front porch which was beginning to deteriorate.  Our goal was to preserve and respect the existing architecture consisting of a two-storey curved verandah which is considered unique to Ottawa.  Paul Denys of Denys Builds Designs lovingly raised the front elevation of the porch 5″ to correct a gradual sag the happen over time, plus replace first floor decking, framing, colums and railings. Paul Denys managed to recreate sympathetic top & bottom railing profile which had been lost to time. 

The home was featured in a commemorative book by the Ottawa Citizen named “A Pictorial Memoir of Ottawa’s Past” (2000 A.D.).  

The home was also featured in the “Homes” section of the Ottawa Citizen in June 1986 and included in “Centretown House Tour” of June 14, 1986. 

1900 -Hardware And Metal merchandising magazine #22- June 2. Page 14

The “ beacon light” of a travelers life, is, that someday he will quit his weary wanderings and settle down to a well-earned inside job, or, finding a good opening in his travels, bids adieu to his friends and acquaintances on the road and turn his energies and experience into such channels as will bring him gain and a taste of home life. Such is the intention of Mr. Charles Watt, who, for the past seven years, has successfully represented The Thos. Davidson Manufacturing Co., of Montreal, in Eastern Ontario.

Mr. Watt was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, came to Canada in 1888, and shortly after entered the hardware store of Mr. M. Philbin, St. Catherine street, Montreal, where he spent five profitable years in gaining experience, which stood him in good. stead on the road, and will be of great benefit to him in his present sphere, as partner in the new hardware firm of Blythe & Watt, Bank street, Ottawa, who have bought out the well-established business of Robert McAllen, and will continue the business at the old stand.

As a representative of The Thos. Davidson Manufacturing Co., Mr. Watt became well and favorably known to the trade, and through his untiring efforts the well-established business of the firm became considerably augmented. Socially he was much appreciated, and his rich melodious baritone voice tended greatly to the pleasure of the annual gathering of the firms employes, as well as delighting his customers and fellow travelers who had the opportunity of hearing him.

In resigning his present position, he does so amidst the general regret of the firm and employes, but carries with him their best wishes for a successful career in his new undertaking, and in which all readers of Hardware and Metal will heartily join.

Mr. Jno. N. Young, Who for the three years, has represent ed Gilmour & co., of Montreal , will cover Mr. Watt’s ground in the future, and faving previously been in the employ of Mr. R. H. Smart and A. G.  Dobbie & Co., both of Brockville, Ont. , he combine a good retail experience with a knowledge of the “road”  that enables  a traveler to express an intelligent opinion on all matters pertaining to business.

  1. Mck.


1904-1905 In Auditor General’s Report of in Public Works Department Expenditure Audit

-710 lbs of whiting $7.10 for East Block repair

-100 feet of 4” soil pipe -$27 for Geological Survey


1907 – April 1, dissolution of partnership Charles Watt with J. Thorp Blyth

1907 – Nov 5,  Evening Gazette Charles Watt buys  70 Somerset street for $7,000.00

1914 -Out of business sale Ottawa Journal  Wednesday April 8 address is 116 Spark Street phone #1350


1915 – November 13, Ottawa Citizen participated as vice captain of Team  No. 2  in Ottawa Victory Loan Campaign first team to exceed their goal by $2,000.00

1918 – Participated in the Orpheus production “ The Yeomen of the Guard” 1918 Feb 27and 28th – Charles Watt as “Lieutenant of the Tower”


1929 – Ottawa Citizen Feb 7,

Charles Watt Honored by Choir of Chalmers

The annual dinner and dance of Chalmers church choir, was the occasion last night of a presentation to Mr. Charles Watt, baritone soloist for the past 12 years, of a gold watch for the congregation, and a cane, from the members of the choir. Both were suitably inscribed

The presentation address was given by Rev. J. R. Urquhart, and the presentation  by Mr. W. M. Bailey. The cane was present by Mr. W. Clapperton.

Mrs. Watt was the recipient of a silver basket full of roses from the congregation and bouquet of  roses from the choir. Mrs. E. D. Hardy  presented the gift from the congregation and Mr. Clapperton that form the choir.

Rev. Dr. J. W. Woodside and Rev. G. G. D. Kilpatrick, delivered addresses. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the guests gathered in a circle with Mr. and Mrs. Watt in the center, and the orchestra struck up the old tune “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow.” Re. J. R. Urquhart was the chairman for the evening.

1928 -November 30, Attend the funerial of J.Thorp Blyth

1933 – The Evening Ottawa Citizen November 14, page 21

Mrs. Charles Gordon Watt, formerly Aurora Carriere of Montreal , will receive for the first time since her marriage on Friday afternoon of this week between the hours of four and six  o’clock. , at the residence of her husband’s parents. Mr. and Mrs.  Charles Watt, 10 Monkland Avenue 

December 16, 2008 Paul Gessell


1934 Ottawa Citizen

“My father,” says Douglas Watt, “was photographed by Yousuf Karsh in December 1934 — at the ripe old age of four months. My dad is still with us and has lived most of his life in Ottawa. Interestingly, he is a huge reader of anything and everything to do with Winston Churchill: Coincidence? I think not.”

“My grandfather helped Karsh find his Sparks Street Studio and, without any money to pay for his help, (Karsh) gave my grandfather a complimentary photo session for his wife and newborn son (my grandmother and father).”

1936 – Might be a photo of Charles Watt Senior by Yoursuf Karsh Sitting # 2511 August 11,

1939 – Ottawa Citizen July 29,

Father and son help build Christie lake Boy scout Opemikon camp Father President of Kiwanians 

1952 they lived at 5 Crescent Heights drive.

Friday, January 26, 1951 J. Douglas Watt (son) dies at age of 48,  Lawyer partner in Gowling, MacTavish, Watt, Osborne and Henderson, Army Officer

1953 – January 5, Ottawa Evening Citizen Charles Watt Jr. won Newton Award Glebe Scholarship Award

1958 – Charles Watt Obit Friday Jan 10 Ottawa Citizen

Prominent Businessman Dies at 85

A well-known Ottawa business man at the turn of the century, Charles Wat, 155 Gilmour Street , died yesterday in a local hospital after a long illness. He was 85  years old.

A son of the late James Watt, and his wife Jane Gowans, he was born and educated at Edinburgh, Scotland and came to Canada in 1888, an Ottawa in 1900.

In 1900 he was a member of the well-known Ottawa hardware firm of Blyth and Watt and he later established his own hardware business  on Spark Street., which he directed until 1916. Since then he was with the Imperial Life Insurance Co.

He was widely known as a baritone soloist, was a life member of the Scottish Rite, and recently received from that Masonic Orde his 50 year membership pin. He was a member of the Rivermead Golf and Country Club and Rideau Curling Club.

He was  a member of Knox Presbyterian Church 

He leaves his wife, the former Robena Isabella Blyth, two sons, C. Gordon Watt, with the R. L. Crain Co., and Robert G.  Watt with Dustbane Products Ltd. Another son J.D. Watt, QC, died in 1951; a daughter, Mrs. D. G. Howatson live at Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are also, five grandchildren. A bother, William Watt and a sister, Mrs. Emily MacFarlane, live at Beebe, Que.

Blyth & Watt 289 Bank Street

Supplied Lead Pipe. Tin, copper and sheet iron


Born Scotland 1872 Death 1958 buried in Beachwood Cemetery




<a href=”https://www.newspapers.com/clip/108097280/charles-watt-closing-out-sale/” style=”text-decoration: none;display:block;” target=”_parent”><img src=”https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?clippingId=108097280&amp;width=700&amp;height=934&amp;ts=1607535806” alt=”Charles Watt Closing Out Sale” style=”max-width:100%;”><span style=”display:block;font: 13px helvetica, sans-serif; color: #747474;padding: 4px 0;max-width: 700px;”><strong>Charles Watt Closing Out Sale</strong> 08 Apr 1914, Wed <em>The Ottawa Journal (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)</em> Newspapers.com</span></a>

James Thorp Blyth part owner of  Blyth & Holloway 1908(1913-1930) at 394 Bank Street Phone # 3114 Emergency Phone# 4114



page 252

James Thorp Blyth

Sanitary and Heating Engineer, 358 Frank str. Ottawa. Born Ottawa Jan. 2 1873, son of George James and Annie Currie ( Geggie) Blyth. Educated : Model School:  Collegiate Institute, Ottawa; Toronto University, B.A., 1894 Engaged in plumbing and hardware business, Ottawa 1899; partnership with E.C. Holloway, 1907; bought his interest and established present business, 1912. Married Isabella Evans Thomson, St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 11, 1903; has one son and one daughter .

Clubs: Rivermead Golf:  Laurentian: Varsity (Toronto); New Edinburgh Canoe.
Recreations: Golf, fishing, Liberal; Christian Scientist.
Residence: 1 Linden Terrace, Ottawa, Ontario
1928 – The Ottawa Journal  Wednesday, November 28,
Dead instantly Tuesday November 27, 1928
Death Is Sudden Of J. Thorp Blyth At Residence Here
Prominent Ottawa Business Man and Member of Rotary Club Dies Almost Instantly

  1. Thorp Blyth, a member of a prominent Ottawa family and widely known  in business circles here, died suddenly last night at his home 1 Linden Terrace. He was 55 year of age.

Stricken with an attack an attack of acute indigestion shortly before 9 o’clock he collapsed and died with a half hour. Dr. A. S. McElroy was summoned but on his arrival it was found that death had occurred.

Was Heating Engineer.

For the past 25 years a manufacture’s agent,  Mr. Blyth had represented many large heating concerns here.  He was a heating engineer  by profession and following his graduation from Toronto University, he started in business. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George James Blyth of Ottawa.

Actively connected with the Rotary Club of Ottawa and a charter member  of the that organization. Mr. Blyth was the writer of the Rortary Anthem which is sung at Rotary gatherings the world over. This song was the written five years ago and became popular from the beginning.

It runs:

Mighty union, glorious plan
World-wide brotherhood of man.
Friendship, service, liberty,
All are found in Rotary.
Ours the joy to prove the test,
He profits most who serves the best,
Let every brother sing with gest,
Long live the day of Rotary.
The music for the song was composed by Cyril J. L. Rickwood, another well-known Ottawa resident.

At the time of his death, Mr. Blyth was chairman of the program committee.  He had taken a keen interest  in affairs of the Rotary Club since it start in Ottawa and many knew him through this connection.  He was also a member of the Laurentian Club, the Badminton Club of Ottawa and belong to Dalhousie Lodge, No 52 A. F. and A. M.

Tremendous Loss

As indicating the thoroughness with which he did everything he undertook, Joh Murphy, president of the Rotary Club , to The Journal that not only had Mr. Blyth  as chairman of the committee, provided the club meeting with excellent programs this year, but he had complete outline of arrangement for the club luncheons for rest of the year. “ His loss to the Rotary Club will be tremendous.” Said Mr. Murphy. “ Genial, sociable and capable, a good mixer in the best sense of the term and with a nice sense of dignity. Thorp Blyth was a typical Rotarian” he said.

  1. M. Hill secretary of the Rotary Club, characterized  Mr. Blyth as energetic, enthusiastic, an efficient. “ His loss  is a terrible one.” He said. “and it is going to be difficult to replace such a man.”

Mr. Hill said that as secretary  of the club he could appreciate fully the thoroughness with which Mr. Blyth did his work for Rotary aa it removed considerable anxiety from the club officers. Cleve and resourceful, he said,, Mr. Blyth never seemed to regard anything as trouble.

Afflicted with slight deafness and somewhat stooping in his walk, Mr. Blyth was a familiar figure on Spark street. His salutation usually consisted of a smile and a slight lifting of one hand.

Prominent In Athletics

During his college career, he took a prominent part  in athletics and during his business life he retained an interest in sport. An accomplished musician, he had written number of songs many of which he presented to his friends.

In addition to his widow , he is survived by a son , John Blyth; a student at Royal Military College, Kingston. A daughter, Mrs. Melville Rogers of Ottawa and to sisters. Mrs. Agnes Mac Laren and Mrs. Charles Watt, also of Ottawa.

1928 – Friday, November 30,

Ottawa Journal

Right Honorable W. L. Mackenzie King (than prime minister & Rotary Club and Other Present  In Cortege.

The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, and many other prominent residents  in the Capital, Representative of its business,  commercial, professional and social life, paid their tribute  of respect yesterday afternoon to J. Thorp Blyth, whose sudden death at his home on Tuesday night caused widespread regret and whose funeral took place from the parlors of George H. Rogers Ltd., Elgin Street.  Burial was at Beechwood Cemetery.

A special automobile containing the floral tributes, bore striking testimony to the esteem in which the late Mr. Blyth was held by all who knew him .

1963 – Watt, Robena Isabella -The Ottawa Journal  Jan. 7

In hospital, Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Sunday, January 6, 1963. Robena Isabella Blyth, widow of Charles Watt, mother of Mrs.D. G. Howatson (Marjorie), Kirkland Lake, Charles Gordon Watt, and Robert Gowan Watt of Ottawa and the late James Douglas Watt, in her 86th year. Interment Beechwood  Cemetery.




The home at 1 Linden Terrace was completed in 1913 and is understood to have been built by James Blyth, the first occupant.   This house was renumbered to 250 The Driveway for the period 1943-1945 but returned to be numbered 1 Linden Terrace in 1946.   This home does not fit entirely into a single style. The first storey is brick while the second storey is finished in stucco – a popular combination in the Glebe at that time. The Arts and Crafts movement is acknowledged by way of the dominant front facing gable (with exposed purlin ends), the two groups of casement windows in the second storey, and the small window tucked beneath the eaves. The ground floor however, is completely different. It is characterized by three sets of double-header segmented arches, filled halfway in with wooden panels, and casement windows above. A shed roof creates a visual division between the first and second storeys.


James Thorp Blyth (Proprietor: Blyth and Holloway Plumbers and Gas Fitter) 1913-1928; Mrs. Isobel Blyth (Widow) 1929-1930; Campbell M.D. Laidlaw (Physician) 1931-1955; David P. Crawley (C.A. at Arthur P. Crawley Chartered Accountants) 1956-1962; Mrs. Donalda Crawley (Widow) 1963-1965; No Listing 1966-1967; John L. Galf (Department of External Affairs) 1968; Otto Lang, M.P., Cabinet Minister 1968-1969; Thakin Chan Tun (Ambassador, Embassy of Burma) 1970-1972; Michael K. Oliver (President, Carleton U.) 1973-1979; William F. Beckel (President, Carleton U.) 1980-1989; No Listing 1990; Robin Farquhar (President, Carleton U.) 1991-1994 ….


Dr. Campbell Laidlaw and his family moved here in 1931 and he ran his family medical practice in this home.  His patients included Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan) and Prime Minister Mackenzie King.  He was at King’s bedside when King passed away and was considered to be his only friend.

Donald P. and Wife Donalda Crawley bought the house in 1956.  Don worked in a large accounting firm owned by his father.  Donald’s brother was Budge Crawley who founded Crawley Films here in Ottawa. 

Otto Lang, M.P., P.C. and his then wife, Adrian, rented this house in 1968 after having been elected earlier that year in the first Trudeau Government.  He was appointed as a minister without portfolio.  Their daughter, CBC TV business journalist Amanda Lang, was born in Ottawa but not until the family moved to a house purchased in 1970 in Rockcliffe.

Source:  Wikipedia

Thakin Chan Tun, the Burmese Ambassador, lived here from 1970-72.

Carleton University:  In 1972, the house was purchased by Carleton University and was used for many years as the residence for its presidents.  The home is now in private hands.


Do you have any heritage back ground information on 150 & 152 James Street?

 I believe one of the original owners was the Charles Gordon Watt  of Blyth & Watt  Hardware store 1901-1907  on the corner of Bank Street and Somerset Street owned or built 150 & 152 James Street. (James Thorp Blyth went on to own Blyth & Holloway Plumbers and gas fitters  and lived at 1 Linden Terrace from 1913-1928 He died 1928)

 Attach black and white photo is of the hardware store. I believe the man standing with his arm on the stove might be James Thorp Blyth and the man sitting with his arm on the counter might be Charles Gordon Watt. From 1901 to 1907. Phone # 1350

They are mention here.

From 1904 Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical … Volume 28, issue 9  page 55

Installed Cooper’s Nautilus  closets and Cooper’s  brass works in a residence in