I received a message through my blog asking about the Reford House, but unfortunately the email address provided does not work. Here is a response to his question….
“My grandmother was lady-in-waiting to Elsie Reford and traveled extensively with her around the time of WW1. My grandfather was also butler to the Meighens (Elsie’s parents) which is presumably how they met for the first time although they were both originally from Scotland.
The Meighen mansion is still standing (although converted into a hideous hotel) so I know where my grandfather worked but I’m a bit confused about the Reford residence. The one picture of it they have at the McCord Museum looks quite different than the one in Alexander Reford’s book about Elsie’s Grand Metis garden as well as aerial photos of it from 1947. So since you’ve seen pictures of the house can you confirm that the McCord Museum picture (I can send it to you if you haven’t seen it) is the original house at 300 Drummond and presumably highly renovated at some point or perhaps the McCord picture is somebody else’s house? Also have you ever seen any pictures of Robert Reford Sr. house on Drummond? On old maps he seems to have owned a gigantic property just south of his son’s place but I’ve never seen a single picture of it anywhere online.”
Thanks to my friend Heather, who works at the McCord Museum, I have a bit of an answer for him.
I actually was not that familiar with the Refords residences, as I was more interested in other aspects of their life. However I had a friend at the McCords who is super familiar with their photographic images, and this is what she came up with:
I had a look at our photograph, and at Alexander Reford’s book, and at the Lovell’s and online maps at the BANQ for good measure. The photograph of the Drummond Street house that he saw on the McCord’s website is of Robert Reford Senior’s residence on Drummond Street (the one that he mentions at the end of his message).
During WWI his grandmother would have worked at the house that we do not have any pictures of, though it is shown on p. 88 in Alexander Reford’s book. In later days, after the civic addresses had changed (for the umpteenth time in some cases) the address was 3510 Drummond, but when it was first built, it was 300 Drummond.”
REFORD FAMILY residences on Drummond Street, Montreal
P. 86 in Alexander Reford’s The Reford Gardens:
“Elsie and Robert Wilson Reford’s home was located at the top of Drummond Street, the last section of street below the mountain. When it was built in 1900…
Robert Reford’s parents lived down the street in the old Torrance mansion.
Dr. Lewis Reford and his wife, Jean, lived across the street, in a house demolished to make way for McGregor Street. “
“Facing south, the house had large rooms looking out over the city. There were 35 rooms.
The McCord’s photograph is of Alexander Reford, Senior’s house, at 260 Drummond Street located to the south of Robert Wilson Reford’s house at 300 Drummond Street
Inscribed in ink below the original image on the cardboard support:
RESIDENCE of ROBERT REFORD. ESQ FORMERLY THAT of DAVID TORRANCE ESQ”
I hope that helps.