Ottawa’s Building Permits, 1946


City of Ottawa, Development, Ottawa / Monday, December 5th, 2016
Vignette of the British American Banknote Company's Gladstone Avenue facility. Source: British American Banknote Company. "90 Years of Security Printing: The story of the British American Bank Note Company Limited, 1866-1956."
Vignette of the British American Banknote Company’s Gladstone Avenue facility. At $800,000, it was the largest building permit issued for Ottawa in 1946. Source: British American Banknote Company. “90 Years of Security Printing: The story of the British American Bank Note Company Limited, 1866-1956.”

Although the Second World War had ended the previous year, in 1946, shifting Canada’s economy back from wartime production had proven a somewhat lengthier enterprise. Both materials and capital remained in short supply and, in spite of exceptional need, construction had not yet picked up. In spite of this, there were a few bright spots in Ottawa’s construction industry.

The new British American Bank Note headquarters. Source: Ottawa Journal, July 22, 1946, p. 9.
The new British American Bank Note headquarters. Source: Ottawa Journal, July 22, 1946, p. 9.

The single largest building permit issued in 1946 was for the British American Bank Note Company’s new Gladstone Avenue headquarters. The $800,000 facility was constructed by the Austin Company and designed to meet the exacting needs of the printer of currency, stamps, and other documents designed to be difficult to replicate.1Ottawa Journal, July 22, 1946, pp. 1, 9, 17. British American was, of course, a well-established company in Ottawa. From its inception in 1866 to 1946, it was located on Wellington at Kent Street. On April 3, 1946, the Bank of Canada completed its purchase of the property and buildings which surrounded it for a total of $1,170,000. As the central bank’s responsibilities expanded considerably through the War, it was in sore need of additional space and it looked to its neighbours, which included British American Banknote, Canadian Banknote, and the old Ottawa Free Press building.2”Bank Pays $1,170,000 For Larger Site,” Ottawa Journal, April 3, 1946, pp. 1, 12.

St. Stephen's Presbyterian was constructed in 1946 at a cost of $150,000. Image: Google Maps, May 2015.
St. Stephen’s Presbyterian was constructed in 1946 at a cost of $150,000. Image: Google Maps, May 2015.

At $150,000, Abra and Balharrie’s St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church was tied for fourth with Freiman’s significant alterations as the most valuable building permits issued by the City of Ottawa in 1946. The congregation, which was only formed in 1944, grew quickly and the temporary location of the Gladstone YWCA was woefully insufficient. Wartime material and labour shortages both conspired to ensure that the original vision for the new church was scaled back.

Abra & Balharrie's sketch of St. Stephen's as run in the local papers. Source: Ottawa Journal, January 22, 1946, p. 7.
Abra & Balharrie’s sketch of St. Stephen’s as run in the local papers. Source: Ottawa Journal, January 22, 1946, p. 7.
OwnerDescriptionLocationValue
Zumar Bros.Theatre and StoresWellington Street85000
N.C. ArmstrongBowling Alley and StoresWellington Street40000
Connell Cold StorageCold Storage AdditionBoteler Street30000
T. MilonasLaundry BuildingPreston Street30000
A.W. LewisPublic GarageBank Street33000
By Town InnHotel AlterationsO'Connor Street18000
G.T. GreenTwo Stores and 4-Apartment BuildingBank Street35000
Canada HotelAddition to HotelMurray Street18000
Corporation of OttawaHealth CentreGeorge Street24980
General Supply Co.Office and Warehouse BuildingLoretta Street38000
Office Specialty Co.Two Storey Office BuildingAlbert Street40000
Charles Ogilvie Co.Storage BuildingBesserer Street15000
Charles WymanApartment BuildingChapel Street15000
St. John's ChurchChurch AlterationsElgin Street65000
National Drug CoWarehouse - Two storey and basementCatherine Street92000
Morrison-Lamothe, Ltd.Bakery AdditionEcho Drive75000
Estate H. BrouseStore and WarehouseGeorge Street30000
M. ZagermanFour Storey Office BuildingRideau Street100000
T.G. DawsonThree Storey - Store and Medical OfficesCooper Street50000
R. & A. CohenFurniture Store BuildingBank Street65000
Jas. More & SonsOffice and Apartment BuildingArgyle Avenue15000
J.E. LauzonSix Suite Apartment HouseKing Edward Avenue25000
H.V. O'RourkeStore and Apartment buildingSomerset Avenue West15000
F.W. ArgueStorage for TrucksSpruce Street22000
Ottawa Hydro ElectricPower Sub-StationRiverdale Avenue75000
Ottawa Truss Co.Office and Warehouse BuildingBank Street65000
P. D'Aoust & Co. Ltd.Alterations and Addition to Office and WarehouseYork Street20000
Raport Fruit Co.Warehouse BuildingGeorge Street15000
Colonial Coach LinesGarage BuildingBroad Street109000
H. ShepardStoreBank Street18000
A.J. Freiman, Ltd.Alterations to StoreRideau Street150000
Brading's BreweryOffice and Bottling PlantWellington Street100000
Lion's Club of OttawaHealth CentreSomerset Street West28000
McCoy Service, Ltd.Store AdditionYork Street20000
G.R. StewartAddition to Funeral ParloursWellington Street22000
Greene & ScrivensThirty Suite Apartment HouseLaurier Avenue130000
Department of Public WorksStorage BuildingEcho Drive27000
Canadian Brotherhood of Railway EmployeesOffice Building AdditionLaurier Avenue West20000
British American Bank Note Co. Ltd.Office Building and Printing and Engraving PlantGladstone Avenue800000
Public School BoardAddition to SchoolIona Street188282
St. Stephen's Presbyterian ChurchNew ChurchSherwood Drive150000
L.R. LaporteTwo StoresDalhousie Street20000
Charles Ogilvie Co.Addition to Storage BuildingBesserer Street25500
Capital StorageAddition to Storage BuildingCatherine Street15000
Roman Catholic Episcopal CorporationConverting two storey building to Church and ResidenceWellington Street20000
M. ZagermanPlaning Mill and Machine ShopBayview Road24000
Fournier Van and StorageWarehouse AdditionRobinson Avenue22000
Malling Theatres, Ltd.Moving Picture TheatreBank Street300000
Brading's - Capital BreweryBottling Plant Addition, and Office BuildingWellington Street250000
W.J. WillsTwo storey Apartment BuildingBronson Avenue22000
Public School BoardNew Two Storey SchoolAnna Street92000
W.E. Haughton, K.C.Two Storey Store and Office BuildingWellington Street50000
Salvation ArmyPower Plant and Laundry BuildingWellington Street72000
Gallas BakeryAddition to BakeryRochester Street31000
British American Oil Co.Gas and Oil Service StationDalhousie Street23000

Notes   [ + ]

1. Ottawa Journal, July 22, 1946, pp. 1, 9, 17.
2. ”Bank Pays $1,170,000 For Larger Site,” Ottawa Journal, April 3, 1946, pp. 1, 12.

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