New Collegiate Institute ca. 1920s – Foreshadowing of a new School Year

New Collegiate

This photo, part of the Department of the Interior’s photo collection located at LAC, shows the new Glebe Collegiate Institute school building, as it looked in the late 1920s.  I am sure no one really wants to be reminded of the new school year next week, but I couldn’t resist sharing this image!


Central Glebe From the Air – ca. 1930s

The photo above shows the central part of the Glebe, taken from the air for the Federal District Commission in the 1930s.  It is in preparation for the Greber Report, the planning document  that was to change the look of Ottawa from the 1950s onwards.

Some things to note:

1. the spine of the neighbourhood, which is Bank Street, running at a diagonal on the left side of the photo;

2. the railway line that cuts across towards the top of the photo and effectively defining the Glebe from Centretown;

3. the solid line of dark (trees) that runs from the middle top  right to left and which follows Clemow Avenue Driveway (including Monkland Avenue);

4. the highly defined Central Park running from roughly middle top right to left, with a larger dark (treed) area to the left of Bank Street (Central Park East) and the more defined and manicured area running at a  diagonal across Bank towards the northwest;

5. And if you look closely, in the upper right near the railway line you can see the traffic circle of the Federal District Commission Driveway as it crosses Pretoria Avenue.

The photo is courtesy of the fantastic National Capital Commission’s historic images of Ottawa collection located at the NCC Library. Incidentally,  you can view these images at the library until the end of September, after which time the library will be closed due to cuts to the budget. I will be profiling other Glebe images from this collection in the coming weeks.



Heritage Ottawa Walking Tour – Noffke and Younghusband Houses

This coming weekend, on Sunday Aug. 19, Heritage Ottawa’s John Macleod will be conducting a walking tour of parts of the Glebe:

Here’s a sampling of some of the houses he’ll be showing you, starting out with Thomas Birkett’s house at 517 O’Connor (at intersection with Clemow):

Thos. Birkett's Residence [517 O'Connor Street, Ottawa, Ont. (item 1)


Or F.X. Plaunt’s Residence, near the corner of Clemow and O’Connor:

or Noffke’s own home at 20 Clemow, now undergoing a large restoration job:

As well as Central Park, where there used to be summer pavilions:

Central Park, showing summer house. [Ottawa, Ont.]. (item 1)

And maybe one or  two of architect David Younghusband’s 1930s houses, like this one on Imperial Avenue:

134 Imperial Ave

Hope you get out and enjoy the tour – you’ll learn a lot!



Broadway/Findlay Instersection – Then and Now

The intersection of Findlay and Broadway Avenues, in the southwest part of the Glebe near Bronson Avenue’s bridge over the canal, is a less-well known area for those living in the central part of the Glebe.  Many drivers will encounter this spot when they are turning from Bronson from the south and are hoping to get to the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, as there is an access point near here.

Here is a photo of the unusual intersection from the 1920s, courtesy of the Dept. if Interior photo collection of Ottawa, housed at LAC:

Here’s the same intersection today (photo courtesy of Google Street View)…notice how the house with the corner lot at the intersection now has somewhat more expanded grounds…and bigger trees and more signage.

One of Noffke’s First Glebe Houses – 86 Ralph Street

The other day, Urbsite talked about one of Noffke’s early houses in Centretown, so that got me thinking that it might worth profiling all the houses he designed in the Glebe.

One of these, according to a recent article by Heritage Ottawa members John Macleod and Richard Belliveau, was the Charles Ernest Baker house.  Here’s what the house looked like in the 1920s:

Designed by Noffke in his trademark Spanish Colonial Revival Style, it was built in 1912 for a family that had lived on this spot since the 1870s.  Originally numbered as 65 Wilton Street, it is now 86 Ralph. Here’s what the view from the house would have looked like, across Brown’s Inlet:

Charles Ernest Baker was the owner of the house from 1912-1953, and ran the Baker Boot and Shoe Company.  His son Clarence lived here until the late 1970s.  Read Baker senior’s  obituary, from the Ottawa Citizen’s Aug. 4 paper here:

The lovely large grounds of the house were sold off for late 1970s infill housing, but the original Noffke house itself was maintained and cleverly divided into two units.

One of these units was for sale recently, and you can see a photo of the place here.  It is a wonder that this aesthetically pleasing house is still not designated.