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Exotic grandeur in Rockcliffe

Dyanne Wilson

By Margo Roston

The main reception room at the expansive Rockcliffe home of Indian High Commissioner Shashishekhar Gavai and his wife, Rina.

W

hen a house is sold during a game of bridge, the players might need a little glass of port to get over the shock. When the deal is made between the guys over a drink in the library without consulting their wives, a double is probably in order. It sounds like fiction but it actually happened in the Acacia Avenue home that is now the residence of the Indian high commissioner. The house has an interesting diplomat and international canada

history. But these days, it is a cultural beacon for those who enter. Many sculptures and artworks from India are highlighted in the spacious reception areas where High Commissioner Shashishekhar Gavai and his wife, Rina, entertain. Like so many houses in the area, this one has its roots in the lumber business. Built in 1909 by civil engineer Allan Gilmour Mather, whose father had a connection with the Gilmour Lumber

Company, the home was designed in the Edwardian Classical style. It made an imposing sight with its white-painted brick exterior, a gallery running across the front and sides and a notable red tile roof. The house was probably designed by Mather's uncle, local architect James Mather, Martha Edmond speculates in her book Rockcliffe Park: A History of the Village. According to Edmond, the stock market crash of 1929 forced Mather to sell his 71

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Diplomat Winter 2012  

Diplomat & International Canada magazine is a leading source for international affairs and Canadian foreign policy. Diplomat is the magazine...

Diplomat Winter 2012  

Diplomat & International Canada magazine is a leading source for international affairs and Canadian foreign policy. Diplomat is the magazine...

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