Overlooking the rich farmland of the Fraser River floodplain, 'Glen-Lyon' is an Edwardian era rural estate, with a tall, two and one-half storey plus basement wood-frame mansion, set in a pastoral and formal landscape with an associated barn and early log pond, located near a ravine and forested ar…
Overlooking the rich farmland of the Fraser River floodplain, 'Glen-Lyon' is an Edwardian era rural estate, with a tall, two and one-half storey plus basement wood-frame mansion, set in a pastoral and formal landscape with an associated barn and early log pond, located near a ravine and forested area adjacent to Marine Drive in South Burnaby.
‘Glen-Lyon’ is valued as an excellent example of a privately-owned Edwardian era country estate built at the turn of the nineteenth century. The property retains significant heritage features including the Edwardian era mansion with rustic Arts and Crafts features, and elements of a working agricultural landscape. The property was originally the Royal City Mills logging camp, and in 1900 was purchased by Duncan Campbell McGregor (1853-1929) and Margaret Jane McGregor (1875-1960), who named their estate ‘Glen-Lyon’ after Duncan McGregor’s birthplace in Perthshire, Scotland. The McGregors were active in municipal affairs and social activities, and played a significant role in the early development of Burnaby. Duncan McGregor served as a city councillor from 1909 to 1912 and was elected reeve of Burnaby in 1913. Margaret McGregor was instrumental in the formation and fundraising activities of the Victoria Order of Nurses in Burnaby.
Additionally, the site is historically significant for its association with early social welfare and correctional reform. The estate was sold in 1926 to an inter-denominational religious organization called the Home of the Friendless, which used it as their B.C. headquarters. The organization was charged with several cases of abuse and neglect in 1937, after which a Royal Commission was formed that led to new legislation to regulate and license all private welfare institutions. 'Glen-Lyon' was sold to the provincial government, and was dedicated in 1939 by the Lt.-Gov. E.W. Hamber for use as the New Haven Borstal Home for Boys and Youthful Offenders (later renamed the New Haven Correction Centre). The Borstal movement originated in England in the late nineteenth century, as an alternative to sending young offenders and runaways to prisons by providing reformatories that focused on discipline and vocational skill. This site’s role as the first North American institution devoted to the Borstal School philosophy was historic, and influenced corrections programs across Canada. The site retains significant features from its development in 1939 as the Borstal School, including a large gambrel-roofed barn designed by Chief Provincial Architect Henry Whittaker of the Department of Public Works that is the only remaining structure of its kind in Burnaby. Between 1941 and 1945 the mansion housed the Provincial School for the Deaf and Blind when the Borstal School was closed temporarily as a war measure during the Second World War.
Key elements that define the heritage character of 'Glen-Lyon' Mansion include its:
- location on a sloping site with expansive southern exposure, adjacent to Marine Drive
- residential form, scale and massing of the house as exemplified by its two and one-half storey height, above-ground basement and rectangular plan
- Arts and Crafts elements of the house such as its stone foundation, multi-gabled roof line with steep central hipped roof, symmetrical cross-gables, side shed dormers, bellcast upper walls sheathed in cedar shingles and lower walls sheathed in narrow clapboard
- original exterior features of the house such as the full width front verandah with square columns, central staircase on the southern elevation, original doors and stained glass windows; and the irregular fenestration such as double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows, bay windows, and projecting windows in the gable ends
- original interior features of the house such as the U-shaped main stair designed around two symmetrically placed Ionic columns, and interior trim on the main floor including boxed beams and fireplaces
- gambrel-roofed barn with roof vent with finial, sliding hay loft and access doors, small multi-pane windows, and lapped wooden siding
- associated landscape features such as the original garden plantings with some exotic and many native specimen trees; the original log pond and its concrete Marine Drive causeway and culvert; rockeries and a rose garden