A Day Trip to the Ottawa Electric Park – ca. 1890s

Before the Ottawa Improvement Commission beautified the Glebe around Patterson Creek, and turned it into a park, there was another park, on the edge of a much larger expanse of water: the Ottawa Electric Railway Park.  It was a innovation by the new street railway to get people to go out for picnics to the new and still relatively undeveloped suburb (the Glebe),  land that had just been annexed in 1889 by the city of Ottawa.  The first images in this set shows the old Grove Hotel (by 1892 converted into the Ottawa Snowshoe Club clubhouse), located at what is now the northeast corner of Bank and Clemow:

This was a lovely setting, for Patterson Creek was actually a large pond or inlet from the canal, and so you would get a scenes like this right next to Bank Street :

There was even a stage and refreshment stand so that picnic goers could come and listen to concerts:And what betrter

And what better way to get people to the park and fill all those chairs but to take the street railway down Bank Street! This is the case in the next shot, which shows the  Ottawa Church of England Sunday School group going there in July 1893!


3 thoughts on “A Day Trip to the Ottawa Electric Park – ca. 1890s

  1. It’s easy to imagine that before there was nothing, but it’s a complete mind-bender to see that there was life and energy and people here 120 years ago!

    • Sure thing…the neighbourhood was a hive of energy in the 1890s once the streetcar tracks were laid down Bank Street to Lansdowne Park. And many of the houses you see in the area in the northeast section of the Glebe (ie Strathcona, Patterson Ave, etc) were mainly built in the late 1880s and early 1890s with other houses popping up south of Patterson Creek during the 1890s. Before 1890, the area was increasingly filled with market gardens and large houses owned by gentleman farmers…or land speculators like Mr. Mutchmor and his house that is known as Abbotsford.

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