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.




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