Built in 1892, this imposing Queen Anne-style house sits on a small hillock at 20 St. Joseph Street, downtown. The neighbourhood, once known as Cloverhill, is still dotted with several red brick mansions, although high rise condos are rapidly moving in. This particular residence was constructed for William J. Hill, a contractor and city councillor.
He was succeeded in 1894 by John S. Williams, chief inspector for Imperial Tobacco. Mr. Williams spent a small fortune collecting fine art, with an emphasis on the Dutch School. He also helped young Canadian artists, organizing exhibitions, buying their art and encouraging his wealthy friends to do likewise.
The Canadian Music Centre (CMC) moved here in September, 1983. After months of rebuilding <B/W PHOTO ABOVE>, and with the financial support of Floyd and Jean Chalmers, CHALMER’S HOUSE opened on June 24, 1984.
The most recent renovations by B+H Architects – http://www.bharchitects.com – were finished in 2012. The space was opened up; dropped ceilings removed; interior walls sandblasted; a recording studio, performance space and lounge installed; fireplaces restored; stained glass and leaded windows preserved. No doubt Messrs. Hill and Williams would approve.