RESIDENCES: HOMES OF CANADA'S LEADERS
Volume 11 Number 4.
As Pierre Berton points out in his foreword to Residences, Maureen McTeer is one of the few living people "properly equipped to write this book," having "occupied all three residences."
These three residences are: 24 Sussex Drive, home of Canada's Prime Minister; Stornoway, home of Canada's Leader of the Opposition and Harrington Lake, country home of Canada's Prime Minister.
Residences is their story. McTeer traces the origins of the buildings as well as the people who lived there. We are introduced to the original owners, whose interesting and sometimes tragic stories are revealed. The modifications and restorations, both internal and external, made to the buildings, are followed from the early beginnings through to the present.
Photographs take up a large portion of the work. Mainly in black and white, with a small section in colour, they depict not only the residences but also their inhabitants. This interest in people rather than the decor and architectural aspects of the homes is justified in part by McTeer's preface, where she states, "I have tried to capture for the reader a history that is, at its heart, the story of the people who have lived in three of Canada's official residences." Even with this in mind, in some cases it seems that McTeer has resorted to raiding the family album. Of greater interest, at least to this reviewer, is the earlier history of the homes. Floor plans, maps and an index are included.
For the role it plays in documenting Canada's heritage, I recommend this book for public library purchase.
Dale Simmons, National Library, Ottawa, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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