Alexander Duncan McRae was a successful businessman, a Major General in the Canadian Army in First World War, a Member of Parliament, a Canadian Senator and a farmer.
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After McRae settled in Vancouver in 1907 he proceeded to build a mansion for his family, to become known as Hycroft Manor, in Shaughnessy, an exclusive suburb of Vancouver. The home was built on the brow of a hill on 5.5 acres of land. The land upon which the 30 room, 3 story mansion was built cost $10,000 and the construction, completed in 1911 cost $100,000. The house was designed by Vancouver architect Thomas Hooper. After the death of his wife Blanche in 1942, McRae donated Hycroft Manor and the adjacent Hycroft Tower to the government of Canada. Hycroft Tower was to be used as a hospital for wounded veterans. Once converted, it housed 130 beds. In recent years, Hycroft Manor has become the home of the University Woman's Club, and is home in that capacity to a variety of high-society driven charity balls and other events. The French Olympic Team used the building during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It is also heavily used by Vancouver's film and television production industry as a set.