Patterson Creek Park east of Bank Street was developed by the Ottawa Improvement Commission between 1904 and 1912 in response to a report by Frederick G. Todd, landscape architect, who recommended this place be set aside. Todd, however, felt the area should be kept as wild and natural as possible, yet the OIC had other ideas in mind for the beautification of the park.
We can get a sense of the general arrangement of the park in relation to other parts of the Glebe in these fire insurance plans:
The first image (ca. 1911, from Topley Collection, LAC) shows the forested nature of the area around Patterson Creek pond, near First Avenue School and O’Connor Street
The second image shows Clemow Avenue (ca. 1909) running east through the park and filled in over the former creek bed. O’Connor Street Bridge is visible in distance, as well as the school. Notice the new trees planted along the street.
Here’s what the OIC did to beautify the park, as you can see from the following image, ca. 1911, with the floral arrangements…notice the very wild and mature forestland at the edge of the park.
The OIC also added pagoda-like wooden houses and bridges in the park, such as this one near Linden Terrace, looking north towards the new Victoria Museum on Metcalfe Street (ca. 1911)
By the 1920s, the OIC’s efforts had led to some good results, as we can see in the following image, looking east from the stairs at Bank Street.
And finally, by the late 1940s, the plantings by the OIC had paid off, as we can see from the following images, including the lovely mature elm trees lining Clemow through the park.
On June 19th, there will be a celebration of this park’s 100th anniversary and of the new heritage conservation district that surrounds it.