The merchant and businessman James H. Ashdown built his residence at number 529 on the Crescent, near Academy Road. The architect on this project was the prominent Winnipeg architect, John H. G. Russell. By 1912, Russell already had had such triumphs as Augustine Presbyterian Church; the McArthur Building; and the Great-West Permanent Loan Building. When completed, Ashdown’s house boasted a green tile roof, which is still in good repair; limestone walls; and a tile-roof garage with an automobile turntable and grease-pit.
If the Shriners had not acquired the old Ashdown House as their Khartum Temple in 1956, this building would probably have been demolished as The Isaac Pitblado and The William Mulock Residences on either side had been. Since then it has become a restaurant. The interior of the first storey has remained unaltered, and at the head of the stairs, leaded glass proclaims the Ashdown family mascots.