The Algerian Chancery in Canada, an Ottawa City Building, was designed in 1901 by John Watts, one of the best architects of his period, for lumber baron J. R. Booth who built it for his daughter Gertrude and her husband Andrew Fleck, a railway magnate.
J.R. Booth, son of Irish immigrants and self-taught person who joined his son-in-law in various projects, has started his business by building bridges and sawmills but he built his fortune in the middle of 1850-1860 when he was charged to provide softwood lumber to build the Canadian Parliament building.
Mr. Paterson has also been a politician who marked his era. Nominated Senator in 1940 by the Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King, he remained so until 1981. Senator Paterson was interested during his life in philanthropy. He was member of the Canada’s Presbyterian Church and President of the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada. In tribute to his contribution to the human and economic development of Canada, Ottawa’s Carleton University created in 1965 a school that name it “The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs”.
Since Senator Paterson passing away, private developers who hoped to turn the house into a commercial area (a retirement home), but these efforts fell through as the City of Ottawa refused it.
In 1989, the building was purchased by Robert Van Eyk who proposed to turn it into inn by respecting its historic and architectural feature. The City of Ottawa recognized heritage structure in 1978.
Few months later, the building was sold to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian spiritual circle. They used it as a meditation center (practice yoga and transcendental meditation and as headquarters of the Natural Law Party of Canada.
Renovation works estimated at two millions dollars have been made during this period and allowed the building to restore its glamour and its current appearance.
In 2002, it was bought by the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, to make it as official chancery in Canada.