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Firm: J. A. Cawston

Address: 27 Bel-Aire Place SW

Date of final plans: May 1955

Status: demolished in 2011

The William N. Graburn house was originally an estate property in what later became the neighbourhood Bel-Aire. When the neighbourhood was built in the 1960s, the Graburn house was incorporated into the plan. Graburn's property sat near the bank of the Elbow River and the house's deck looked out on the south face of the Glenmore Dam.

Cawston's design features a long, low-pitch gable roof supported by protruding beams. The double garage is built into the house at a set-back. Like so many of Cawston's houses, the Graburn House includes a walk-out basement with an overhead porch.

The house was demolished sometime in 2011.



William Nelson Graburn (1903–1989) was born to Kingsforth Francis Arthur Graburn (1869–1927) and Isabella Penella "Ella" Toole (1872–1919). Isabella was the sister of Toole Peet co-founder William "Barney" Toole (1871–1952). Barney had come to Canada from County Wexford, Ireland with the support of family friend Christopher Graburn (1839–1908) of Winnipeg. Toole later married Christopher's daughter (and Kingsforth's sister) Edith (1875–1904). Isabella came to Canada later.

William Graburn attended law school at Dalhousie and graduated around 1924. While at school he played for the Law hockey team. In September 1925 he opened a law practise in Delia, and in 1930 he moved to Hanna where was was the Crown prosecutor. In January 1937 he became the manager of the Toole Peet Trust Company and moved with his family to Calgary. After the Eastern Trust Company acquired Toole in 1951, Graburn became its western supervisor.

On 6 August 1930 in Vancouver, Graburn married Evelyn Sybil Martin (1907–2000). Sybil was from Whitehorse and was the daughter of steamboat captain Paddy Martin. She and William had met in Kenora while he was on holiday visiting his uncle. William and Sybil had three daughters: Linda, Ann, and Judith. All three daughters married members of the Calgary élite. In 1953 Ann married lawyer Edward Douglas Arnold Jr (1928-1971), who later had a partnership with George L. Crawford. In 1955 Linda married Big Rock Brewery founder Edward Elliot McNally (1925-2014), and in 1959 Judith married Peter Bawden (1929-1991).

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