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History of McGee’s Inn

The former home of famous John McGee

John McGee was born in Wexford, Ireland on August 6, 1845 and came to Canada in 1863 after his famous brother, D’Arcy McGee, poet, colourful politician, and one of the founding fathers of Confederation. After completing his university degree at McGill, John McGee worked as Dominion Land Surveyor. In 1882, Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, appointed him Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada as well as Deputy Governor to the Governor General. He worked for the Privy Council until 1907 when he retired at the age of 61.

When this house was built for John McGee in 1886, his property extended all the way down to Besserer Street. He had stables and tennis courts built in the gardens behind the house. Originally built as his family home, this was a house of grandeur and Victorian charm. Tile workers and artisans were commissioned from as far away as Toronto to build this house. Their work still remains today in the stunning hand-carved cherry-wood fireplace mantels and beautiful tile hearths. John McGee and his family resided at 185 Daly Avenue for over 30 years.

John McGee married Elizabeth Crotty in 1871. Together, they had three daughters and six sons, two of whom were killed during the First World War. His son, Frank was a famous Ottawa Silver Sevens player and still holds the world record for scoring 14 goals in one Stanley Cup playoff game.

Frank McGee, the hockey legend

One-eyed Frank McGee (Francis Clarence McGee) was the cornerstone of one of the greatest teams in hockey history. During his tenure with the Ottawa Hockey Club and Ottawa Silver Seven, the franchise won or defended the Stanley Cup over three consecutive years from 1903 to 1905. McGee's superior puck handling skills and gifted scoring touch made him one of the most feared offensive threats of his day.

McGee enjoyed a successful Canadian Amateur Hockey League debut with Ottawa on January 17, 1903, by scoring two goals in a 7-1 victory over the famous Montreal Amateur Athletic Association. This proved to be a prelude to an even greater achievement as he netted five goals against the Montreal Victorias three weeks later. A month after this, Ottawa captured the Stanley Cup at the expense of the Victorias and successfully defended a challenge from Rat Portage (later Kenora , Ontario ). During the four games against these two clubs, McGee scored seven times and established a reputation for being at his best in Stanley Cup matches. A short time later, the Ottawa club became known as the "Silver Seven." The name was a tribute to the success attained by an outstanding unit of seven players that often changed - except for Frank McGee.

The 1904 and 1905 seasons witnessed an even greater period of success for McGee. On February 25, 1904, he scored a then record five goals in the second game of Ottawa 's successful Stanley Cup defense against the Toronto Marlboros. He duplicated this achievement a month later while helping to defeat the Stanley Cup aspirations of Brandon, Manitoba .

The Silver Seven won the championship of the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1905 with Frank McGee leading the way with 17 goals in only six games. In January, Ottawa successfully beat back the challenge of Dawson City . It was in this series that McGee put forth his, most legendary performance by scoring a Stanley Cup record of 14 goals in the second match. During the 23-2 rout, the Ottawa star at one point recorded eight consecutive goals in less than nine minutes. A month later, he scored the winning goal in the third and deciding game versus the challengers from Rat Portage - while playing with a broken wrist.

The following year, McGee enjoyed a strong regular season with 28 goals in seven games. His last memorable showing in Stanley Cup competition took place in February and March 1906 when he scored six goals in a two-game sweep of Queen's University and then recorded nine goals during a two-game annihilation of Smiths Falls . At the end of March, the Silver Seven's three-year stranglehold on the Stanley Cup came to an end following a two-game series against the Montreal Wanderers. Ottawa fell short by a 12-10 aggregate score, but McGee played particularly well in the second match.

McGee retired prior to the commencement of the 1907 season. He was the focal point of one of hockey's early dynasties and his superior abilities enabled him to form potent forward combinations with the likes of Billy Gilmour, Hamby Shore and Alf, Tommy and Harry Smith. Frank Patrick said: "He was even better than they say he was. He had everything - speed, stickhandling, scoring ability and was a punishing checker. He was strongly built but beautifully proportioned and he had an almost animal rhythm."

Frank McGee died September 16, 1916 serving his country at Courcelette, France, during World War I. This sad news was delivered to his parents, still residing at 185 Daly Ave.

It is beleived that John McGee and his family left this home sometime after WWI. The inside was modified later to accommodate 4 large and stately apartments, one per floor. It remained this way for much of the 1900's, until the building sadly became nothing more than a rundown boarding house by the early 1980's. After many months of renovations, McGee's Inn opened its doors for its first guests in 1984. Now run by the Armstrong family, McGee's Inn is still graciously welcoming guests from all over the world.

We stayed there over Canada Day yet again. I can't say enough good things. The room was fantastic, the Inn is very close to Parliament Hill and the Market, and the food was great. - Doug Cambell, Montreal

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"There is such exquisite charm in this lovely B&B. I am so glad to have had an opportunity to stay here.". - Tanya Kozak, Coquitlam, BC

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