The CNR’s Over/Under on Bloor Street

I’m always captivated by a fine-grain urban fabric, like the integration of buildings with infrastructure. Image: December 29, 2016.

As I wrote about a few times this past Fall, one of the homiest neighbourhoods in Toronto for me is the Junction Triangle. I won’t go over the ultimately poetic reasons again, but there are also more mundane things that really pull me in. One of those is one of my favourite examples of buildings being integrated with infrastructure is the warehouse on Bloor built into the first of the two subways (underpasses) in the area. I should note that in the time I’ve been researching this, the good folks on the Urban Toronto discussion boards have also been sleuthing the same underpass.

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Mayor Whitton on Housing (1952)

In her 1952 inaugural address, Mayor Whitton tried to spark Council into action. Image: Ottawa Journal / LAC Accession 1979-203 NPC Box 04438.

Coming only four months after her Fall inaugural address, Mayor Whitton spared her Council colleagues by delivering a much shorter address1By her standards. It was still much longer than those delivered by her predecessors. that focused on developing a sense of urgency and the setting aside of small differences. The Mayor’s address listed 10 points, with housing placed right at the top.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. By her standards. It was still much longer than those delivered by her predecessors.

Mayor Lewis on Housing (1945)

Ottawa Mayor, J.E. Stanley Lewis on December 15, 1946. Image: City of Ottawa Archives MG393-AN-P-000242-003.

Keeping up with the theme of mayors and their thoughts on housing, I thought it would be fun to reach back a little further. In 1945, the Second World War was coming to a close and Ottawa’s longest serving mayor, J.E. Stanley Lewis, faced with a critical housing shortage.

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Mayor Whitton on Housing (1951)

Charlotte Whitton with Robert Campeau, a developer she would frequently do battle with. Image: Dominion Wide / LAC Acc. 1979-203 NPC, Box 04438.

After having shared excerpts from Mayor Charlotte Whitton’s 1953 inaugural address about housing on Saturday, I thought it might be somewhat interesting to share them from 1951, when she took over as mayor from Grenville Goodwin who passed away suddenly that August 28.1”Seven Hour Seizure; Mayor Stricken When Shopping on Mann Avenue,” Ottawa Journal, August 28, 1951, 1, 17.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. ”Seven Hour Seizure; Mayor Stricken When Shopping on Mann Avenue,” Ottawa Journal, August 28, 1951, 1, 17.

Mayor Whitton on Housing (1953)

Mayor Charlotte Whitton, as captured by Maclean’s Magazine’s Walter Curtin, March 1957. Image: LAC Accession 1981-262 NPC Box 06354 Assignment 574-1.

As I’ve noted previously, I have been working on a thesis about the Ottawa Lowren Housing Company, which was Ottawa’s city-owned, privately-operated limited dividend housing company. Although she was not the inventor of the limited dividend approach to housing, Mayor Charlotte Whitton was among the first Canadian municipal leaders to have any real measure of success making use of the National Housing Act provision and became an enthusiastic booster of its use.

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Then & Now: Woodbine at Queen East

Woodbine, looking north from Queen East, c. 1972. Image: Toronto Public Library, Beaches, LOCHIST-BE-40.

It has not been often that I’ve posted “then and now” photos here on Margins. While browsing the photographs that have been digitized by the Toronto Public Library this evening, I was reminded of one of the more influential-to-me discussion threads on the Urban Toronto boards: Miscellany Toronto Photographs: Then and Now. Although it has slowed down considerably in recent times, the nearly 900 page discussion is a rich one.

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Ottawa’s Building Permits, 1941

The Jackson Building received a $327,000 addition at the rear along Slater in 1941 for the RCAF. Image: geoOttawa.

1941 Ottawa was Wartime Ottawa. Of the top five building permits issued that year, four were issued to the Dominion Government to accommodate the expansion is wartime bureaucracy, and of those four, three were for the wooden so-called wartime “temporary” buildings.

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