306 Cyr Avenue
Located at 306 Cyr Avenue, the Gamman House is a modest, one-and-a-half-storey wood-framed house built around 1875 by Nathaniel Gamman and his wife Mary Ann Mulligan. Born in Ottawa’s Lower Town in 1847, Gamman worked as a mason and janitor. In 1873, the year of his marriage, he purchased the parcel of land on which the house now stands. Father of seven, he served as councillor on the Eastview Council shortly after the creation of the amalgamated city in 1909. Gamman lived in the house until his death in 1917.
The Gamman House has been designated of cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act. This small mansard-roofed structure is a fine example of the Second Empire style, which was very popular in Canada in the 1870s. The roofs of working class homes often had two distinct slopes on all sides, as they were not only stylish, but also provided a lot of storage space in the attic.
In addition to its architectural value, this house testifies to Vanier’s history. The Gamman house was built in Janeville, a small, predominantly Anglophone working class community that developed in the 1870s along Montreal Road and stretched all the way to Cummings Bridge. The town of Eastview owes origins to the amalgamation of Janeville with Clandeboye (to the East) and Clarkstown (to the North) in 1909. Janeville’s rectangular shaped borders became the core of Vanier. The emblematic figure of Nathaniel Gamman is representative of the working-class which founded the first businesses on Vanier’s territory. The house at 306 Cyr Avenue now belongs to the City of Ottawa and is the home of Ottawa’s Workers’ Heritage Centre.