More shots of OIC Canal Driveway Near Bank Street Swing Bridge, ca. 1910

A century ago, the Ottawa Improvement Commission was completing its first beautification efforts of the capital, with the canal driveway (which went along the west bank, more or less, of the canal from downtown to Dows Lake.  The driveway converged with the main north-south artery at the time, Bank Street, just south and west of Lansdowne.  At the time, there was a swing bridge over the canal, from which most of the following shots were taken.  The first image is  taken just to the south and west of the bridge, and looks north towards Browns Inlet and the Glebe houses (located along Wilton Street) backing onto the inlet.  You will notice that at this stage, the OIC had not installed the iconic street lamps that now line the road and the canal.

The next image is pointing a little further towards the northwest, but still you can see that amazing elm tree dominating the view:

The next shot is a little back to the east, taken from intersection of the driveway with the bank street bridge, and faces west. You can just see Browns Inlet on the  right side, you will notice the new trees that have been planted, and you will see how the OIC has built up the road gradually so that it meets with Bank Street as it is about to cross over the bridge.  Also note the lovely wooden fencing that has been put in.

The next image shows the same kind of perspective but from a little higher up on the middle part of the bridge.  Notice how forested this part of the Glebe is; and also notice the three people wiling away the time at the edge of the canal…two on little platform at the edge of the water, and another sitting in a chair next to the stairs.

This next shot (facing east) shows how the OIC dealt with the steep hill (known as the Notch) that goes up quite sharply west of Bank, and you will see how they dealt with this problem by splitting the road in two with parkland in the middle…today, drivers whiz through this scenic section without a second thought today.

And finally, here is the section of roadway as it approaches Bronson, and within the area known as the Notch.  As you can see from this image, one part of the road goes right to the edge of the cliff that drops down to the canal, and just beyond the horse and carriage, you will see one of the splits in the road that head further away from the canal.

Overall, this is a work of marvelous engineering combined with an insight into making a road trip scenic and pleasurable.




Linden Terrace, Patterson Creek, and Canal Driveway – 1895-1920s

Linden Terrace, like Monkland and Clemow, was designed and administered by the Ottawa Improvement Commission starting in the first decade of the 20th century.  Though it did not have the same status as Clemow Avenue Driveway, it was still important as it looked onto the semi-wild semi-manicured parkland bordering Patterson Creek.  As you can see from the image from the 1920s, some houses had been built here on the north side of the street only, and the iconic lamp posts have been inserted on the south side of the street, and the roadway has a gentle curve close to the canal driveway, from which intersection this shot is taken as it looks west along the street.

Here is what the intersection of Linden Terrace and the driveway looked like, as taken looking north from the bridge over Patterson Creek:

And here the same location, looking generally south, with a view of part of the bridge and the canal…this image is dated from 1910:

Going back a little further in time, to April 1902, we see the same general location looking north, showing the canal driveway under construction:

And again, another shot, showing the canal, new work being done on the driveway, and a couple of houses on the other side of the canal:

And finally, here is what the area looked like in November 1895, still very much untouched by much development….notice of course the iconic windswept trees which can be found in most of the previous photos, one of which you can just see in the background of my previous post showing Elgin and Patterson Avenue intersection!

Elgin Sreet and Patterson Avenue – ca. 1902 (Before Canal Driveway Completed

This  shows the new government driveway still under construction as it followed the canal from downtown  towards Lansdowne Park. In the area just south of the Pretoria Bridge, the Ottawa Improvement Commission met up with a challenge: the southern end of Elgin Street.  They hadn’t quite worked out what to do at this point in 1902.  The start of Patterson Avenue can be seen on the right side of the image.

This is courtesy of the NCC Library.

NCC Administration Building – ca. 1960s

Just on the outside of the Glebe proper (but part of the Glebe Annex), near Lebreton Street and Carling Avenue intersection, this is the original NCC administration building, first built in 1930 to house the Federal District Commission. This was a good location, given that it was near the end of Clemow Avenue Driveway, the end of the Canal Driveway and Commissioners Park at Dow’s Lake, and near the driveway through the experimental farm . It was built on land that used to be a quarry, and it would appear that stones taken out of this area were used to lay some of  the roadbed for Clemow Avenue. (I will have more images of what  the area looked like before the building was constructed in another post)

This was a recognized federal heritage building, but the NCC chose to demolish the building  a few years ago (the building had stood vacant for a number of years before that) and nowe there is a parking lot in this spot for employees of the Department  of Energy Mines and Resources. It was a well-designed low-rise  classically inspired  building that took advantage of the sloping land  that goes down from Bronson and Carling to the low land near Dow’s Lake.And here we see the front entrance, which has a spare but aesthetically pleasing design.
These images are courtesy of the miscellaneous colour photo collection from the now closed NCC library downtown..