Skip to main content


Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

The MacDonell House. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)This Georgian house was built in the 1830s for Col. Charles MacDonell, an officer in the British army, who organized the Argenteuil Rangers during the 1837 Rebellion. He married Ann Turner, the niece of the English painter J. William Turner; his grandfather was Sir John Johnson.The house was one of the finest of its day and a centre of much of the social life of the time. The original six-foot surrounding wall was controversial as it cost almost as much as the house. Was it built as a defence during the rebellion (the house is said to have been a barracks at that time)? Was it to prevent parading soldiers behind the house from eyeing the colonel's daughters? "Eyes forward!", he would yell. Or was it merely Victorian exclusivity?