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Nellie McClung House


Other Names:
McClung Residence
Nellie McClung Residence

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Nellie McClung House is an early twentieth century, one and one half-storey home situated on four landscaped lots in Calgary's Beltline community. The home features Tudor Revival architectural elements, including asymmetrical massing, half-timbering in-filled with stucco, and a steeply sloped roof.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Nellie McClung House lies in its association with the determined and eloquent social activist, politician, and writer from whom the residence takes its name.

Nellie McClung was a determined and eloquent social activist, politician, and writer in western Canada. Born in Ontario, McClung came with her family to Manitoba as a child. As a young adult, she actively participated in the province's temperance movement and played a significant role in winning the women of Manitoba the right to vote. McClung moved to Edmonton in the mid-1910s and continued her career as a public intellectual and reformer. She established herself as a passionate and popular orator and author on issues like the evils of alcohol, the plight of the underprivileged, and the rights of women. In 1921, she was elected to Alberta's Legislative Assembly as a Liberal. Two years later, she moved to Calgary, commuting to Edmonton to fulfill her political duties. After her first term in office, McClung mounted an unsuccessful campaign to win election as a Liberal MLA for Calgary. Following her defeat, she dedicated herself to her prolific writing career, penning several of her popular novels and many of her essays and newspaper articles from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s. In 1927, McClung joined with Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby, and Louise McKinney - Alberta's "Famous Five" - to press for the right of women to be recognized as persons eligible for nomination to the Canadian Senate. The British Privy Council found in the group's favour in 1929 - a landmark ruling in the history of women's rights in Canada. McClung and her husband moved to Victoria in the mid-1930s, where Nellie continued her active public life, being appointed the first woman on the CBC Board of Governors in 1936 and serving as Canada's sole woman delegate to the League of Nations in 1938. Nellie McClung died in 1951.

The Nellie McClung House was likely built around 1900 and features a design and materials typical for the time and place. The home incorporates several elements from the Tudor Revival architectural style, including asymmetrical massing, half-timbering in-filled with stucco, and a steeply sloped roof. The Nellie McClung lived here from 1923 until the mid-1930s, one of Nellie's most active periods as an author.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 250)

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of Nellie McClung House include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- steeply sloped cross-gable roof featuring two brick chimneys;
- half-timbering in-filled with stucco on second storey facade;
- cedar shingle siding on first storey;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- dormer windows and bay window on east wall;
- open verandah on east elevation wrapping around to a portion of the south elevation;
- tongue-and-groove verandah flooring and ceiling;
- original French doors on north side of home and leading onto verandah;
- original main floor interior features, including oak hardwood floors, fir panelling, window and door frames, dados, baseboards, wood mantles on fireplaces and some fixtures;
- original second floor interior features, including fir hardwood floors, fir panelling, window and door frames, dados, baseboards, and some fixtures;
- staircase to the second floor;
- sun-room in southwest corner with horizontal pipe heating under bay window and ivy planted by Nellie McClung;
- spruce trees and flower beds near house, especially near sun room.


Street Address: 803 - 15 Avenue SW
Community: Calgary
Boundaries: Lots 17 to 20, Block 110, Plan A1
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
2 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.038771 -114.079649 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1978/03/15

Historical Information

Built: 1900 to 1900
Significant Date(s)
Theme(s) Governing Canada : Politics and Political Processes
Governing Canada : Security and Law
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):

This house is of importance to the Province primarily due to its former association with Nellie McClung. Nellie McClung, a suffragette, was instrumental in gaining the vote for women in Manitoba. The family moved to Edmonton in 1914, where Nellie served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1921 to 1926. In this Calgary home she wrote approximately six of her well-known 16 books. Included among her many laurels are her membership as the only women on the Dominion War Council and her representation as Canada's only female delegate at the League of Nations, both in 1918. In 1929, Nellie was one of the 'Famous Five' who brought about the legal recognition by the British Privy Council of woman as persons. In 1936 she was appointed as the first women on the CBC Board of Governors.

This building is a good example of a Tudor Revival house of the early 1990s.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0560
Designation File: DES 0250
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 19192
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 250)
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