50 Ella – Demolished June 2012

Last week this house was demolished:

Here are some shots of the demolition, which didn’t take that long, and the wood frame house seems like it went down like a house of cards.  Everything was gone, including the stone foundation, by late in the day, a new large hole had been dug into the ground.  Strange to say, but the early morning light and the dust floating about made the scene of destruction seem almost beautiful.



June 2012: 68 Craig Demolished

You may remember I mentioned this house back in January.  Located at 68 Craig Street, this house was a single-family home dating from ca. 1920s.  An application for a minor variance has gone through, which means the house would be demolished and replaced with a three storey, three-unit building.  Current zoning bylaws permit this to occur, and this is happening with increasing regularity everywhere in the neighbourhood.

Since January, the minor variance was approved and the house came down in mid-June 2012.

Central Park and Clemow Avenue News items, ca. 1907-1912

Here’s the plan of subdivision for the area north of Clemow Avenue, and between Bank and O’Connor, and near Central Park, ca. 1906:

And here are a few items of interest about Clemow Avenue and Central Park that I’ve dug up recently by trolling through the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, courtesy of Google News Archive:

From Jan. 1907, one of the first references to the development of Central Park by the Ottawa Improvement Commission:

From March 1909, an ad entitled: Choice Building Lots (on Monkland Avenue Driveway):

And from May 1912, an ad for houses for sale on Clemow, Linden Terrace, and Powell Avenue (notice the prices, which are a lot even for 1912):

Bank Street near Lansdowne

With all the changes coming in the next little while along Bank Street near Lansdowne Park, it seemed like a good time to look back at what the street looked like once upon a time

Here’s what the new bridge over the canal looked like in 1916, as taken by photographer William Topley:


Here’s one looking north from the Bank Street Bridge, taken ca. 1920s by Dept. of Interior:


The next image is of Brown’s Inlet, just to the west of the bridge, also 1920s:

And a rare photo indeed of Sir Wilfred Laurier, Sir Robert Borden, and a group as members of the Central Canada Exhibition Association, from 1912 just outside Lansdowne Park, (photo taken by WR. Lancefield):


The Early Evolution of Patterson Creek Park (now part of a new Clemow Estate East Heritage Conservation District)

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.




JB Harkin, Commissioner of Canada’s Dominion Parks Branch (National Parks), at 222 Clemow Avenue

JB Harkin, one of the founders of Canada’s National Park System, and commissioner of the Dominion Parks Branch from 1911 until his retirement in the 1930s, lived in this house on Clemow Avenue during his retirement years.  He was here from ca. 1936 until his death in 1953.  Harkin was also responsible for persuading the govt. to create the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1919.  Harkin is pictured below as a young man in his early years as commissioner.

Learn more about Harkin’s efforts (with the help of his secretary and Ottawa native M.B. Williams) to expand Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites here:http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/pages/13_canadas_national_parks.aspx

Albert Horton at 208 Clemow

Horton and Official Reporters

This image shows Albert Horton, House of Commons reporter in the 1880s, a young and dapper man with other dapper young men who were interested in reporting on the business of parliament.  Horton went on to be the chief editor of hansard (the official record of the House of Commons) and later chief editor of the senate’s official record as well.  These posts he would hold from the early 1900s until his retirement in 1928.

From ca. 1908 until his sudden death in the Bahamas in 1929, he lived at 208 Clemow (seen below in 1912, left side of image; and 2012), a Tudor Revival House located at the intersection with Lyon Street.

This house recently went through substantial renovation and restoration work.