I escaped the past few days to our Ottawa house which, unlike the modest house that we are building on the farm property, is a mansion which was built in 1909.
In reality, the house doesn’t quite belong to us but is owned by Trinity Western University and it houses the University’s Laurentian Leadership Centre (LLC). As an instructor there, however, I do stay in a small suite in it that is available to me when I am teaching there (and Sheila is welcome to join me there too).
Not only is it an amazing old building that has been beautifully restored, but the LLC is a highly successful program that takes senior students from TWU and other universities across Canada and places them for one semester in internships in government, business and non-government organizations in Ottawa. The students live together in the mansion and take several courses in addition to doing their internships. I teach the Canadian Governmental Leadership course and drive to Ottawa, a three hour drive, four or five times in the semester and stay there for 2 or 3 days at a time.
The building was purchased about 15 years ago from the Laurier Club, basically an old-boys Liberal club in Ottawa that was winding down its operations. Its leadership was so impressed with the University’s program idea that they made their building available for much less than they had been offered by a foreign embassies. In the 13 years that the LLC has been operating since, its graduates have gone on to significant positions in government, law, non-profit organizations and business in Ottawa and beyond.
Here are a few shots of the inside of the building.