History of Tadja Hall

 History   History     

Tadja Hall, originally known as Throstle Lodge, was built c. 1861 - 62 by Lieutenant-Colonel George Dowker, who had purchased the property (complete with a house and cow shed!) in the early 1860's for $700. Unfortunately, the original house was consumed by fire, and the new home which George Dowker built on the same site was called "Throstle Lodge" afte the English bird sent to him by his cousin.

The Dowker family held the property until 1946 - although it was not occupied for several years prior to WWII - and it came to be known on campus as the haunted house.

Although owned by the Veteran's Land Act by 1947, it was bought by then Baie d'Urfe mayor William Cruikshank and his wife in the mid-50's, and it is they who initiated the major renovations and complete upgrading of the property after years of neglect.


However, it is Peter Hickey, owner of the property from 1964, who is responsible for most of the present appearance of Tadja Hall. The original house ended at the archway between the bar and the kitchen and serving area area; in fact, it was on the site of our present kitchen and serving area that the Dowker family had a stable, torn down by the Cruikshanks.

Mr. Hickey extended this area and added an indoor swimming pool (now the outdoor terrace, although the changing rooms are still below, complete with a couple of abandoned bathing costumes), and a double garage (now the Games Room). The second floor was also enlarged to hold what now serve as the two Conference Rooms.

Much of the wood paneling, and the interior doors and fireplaces come from houses that were demolished for the construction of the Decarie Expressway, while many of the lovely pieces of furniture were given to the Club by the Stewart family. The "King" and "Queen" chairs in the lounge are from the Angus House in Senneville, and the sideboard belonged to Sir William Macdonald.

It was in 1975 that the property was acquired by the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, and on November 10, 1978 this magnificent residence was officially opened as "Tadja Hall" by Dr. David Stewart, named after his favourite cat whose portrait is proudly displayed over the fireplace mantel.