The View From Up Here

The Highlands condominiums shortly after construction. Image: Canada Science and Technology Museum, CN Collection. CSTM-O-521-4.

Though an award-winning project, the Highlands condominium on St. Laurent seems unremarkable – at least in style – to most. Indeed, in spite my own enthusiasm for this brown brick beauty, I’ve more often than not found that most seats on the bandwagon go unfilled. The same cannot be said for the people who have lived in the Highlands, however. Be it the case that they are current residents or past residents, all of those I have spoken to have shared fond memories related to it. To be certain, while tastes change, Irving Grossman’s early 1970s design has stood on its own.

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A Major Development in Sandy Hill

The Major Apartments came to Sandy Hill in 1937, but only two of the three were new construction. Image: Google Maps.

With all of the beautiful and interesting heritage properties that stand in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood, it’s somewhat interesting that the apartments above are (a) the first buildings that I really remember loving in the neighbourhood, and (b) still among my favourite. In a setting filled with delightful institutional architecture and numerous Victwardian houses, for some, it would be a wonder that a small handful of 1930s apartments are what have stuck in my mind.

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J. Morris Woolfson’s Commissions

If you’ve ever looked into the construction of apartments, small commercial buildings, and industrial buildings in Ottawa during the mid-century period, there is a nearly 100% chance that you’ve come across a building that was either designed by or altered by J. Morris Woolfson.

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Ottawa’s Apartments in 1950

Continuing with my use of Might’s Directories to collect data on apartment buildings, above is a map with all of the apartment buildings listed in the 1950 edition. For each of the points on the map, I have given the apartment building’s name (if it has one), its address, and if it has been demolished or replaced, date or date range for when that happened.

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