Lawyer, coroner, soldier, senator (for less than a year: he resigned to join the civil service) and Deputy- Minister of Militia and Defence (1875 to 1898), Panet was the grand-son of the first speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec and a member of a large military family. The Panets served their country’s military over seven generations stretching from New France to the Korean War and peace-keeping in Cyprus.
Panet built an imposing grey-stone house with a mansard roof at the corner of Laurier Ave. E. and King Edward (189 Laurier Ave. E) where he lived between 1877 and 1898. Panet was married three times and had 16 children. It was during his term that the Royal Military College in Kingston was founded, that the first munitions factory in Canada was built and that the Quebec City fortifications were restored. When Panet lived here, canons on the lawn “defended” Sandy Hill.
Panet’s greatest challenge came during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion when he had to deploy an army thousands of kilometres away with no assured means of transport.
His funeral was held at Sacré-Coeur church. When he died, the Department of militia was the government’s biggest budget item.
Col. Louis Pineault, also Deputy-Minister of Defence, lived in this house after Col. Panet.
In 1915, the house was converted into elegant apartments. The house was threatened with demolition twice: in 1965, when the City proposed to turn King Edward Ave. into a freeway connecting the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to the Queensway and again in 1982 when the City proposed to replace it with a fire station. Fortunately, local opposition saved the house both times. The house was restored to its current appearance in the late 1980s after it was added to the King Edward Ave. Heritage Conservation District.