Update: Shenkman’s Park Square Apartments (1936)

The Park Square Apartments, 425 Elgin. One of the few remaining apartments in the city with a Deco or Moderne design and – most likely – a sister to the Normandie Apartments on King Edward. Image: C.Ryan November 2017

A few years ago, I wrote a short piece about The Park Square Apartments at 425 Elgin Street in Centretown for OttawaStart. As with pretty well anything written, there are a number of things that I would do differently now, but it still gets some of the basic idea out. 

Continue reading →

Blog: Newspapers.com Adds The Ottawa Citizen to its Collection

Screen shot of Chris' browser with Newspapers.com showing an issue of the Ottawa Citizen.
It looked like they were getting ready to add it for weeks and most of it has appeared recently.

Especially since Google removed the ability to search from its News Archives,1While you can still browse the News Archives, Google removed the index entirely some time around 2015 if I remember correctly. It’s not without other problems, of course, such as numerous issues missing, many of the scans being mirrored, and adequate-at-best quality. As in its glory days (c. 2010-13), however, it remains free to use. I had long hoped that a fully-searchable source for the Ottawa Citizen would show up online at some point. I was happy to see that Newspapers.com, which I have been using for the Ottawa Journal since 2013, has not only picked up the Citizen, but also the Montreal Gazette, and it appears that the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal will be going up as well. The Citizen back catalogue is not yet complete (holes in the latter-half of the 1970s, most of the 1980s-2000s) but should be soon. Access to issues beyond 1922 requires an upgraded subscription to Publisher Extra. Well worth it for me.

Notes   [ + ]

1. While you can still browse the News Archives, Google removed the index entirely some time around 2015 if I remember correctly. It’s not without other problems, of course, such as numerous issues missing, many of the scans being mirrored, and adequate-at-best quality. As in its glory days (c. 2010-13), however, it remains free to use.

The (Ontario) Department of Planning and Development Encounters the National Capital Plan, cont’d. (1952)

The Department of Planning and Development was one of the earlier tenants in the Bay-Grovesnor Building at 880 Bay. The early modern office’s main tenant was Bell Canada, but in addition to Planning and Development, its builder, Soules Construction, occupied an office on the top floor along with its architect, Charles B. Dolphin. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 59, Item 17.

Picking up from the last one, it’s worth noting that it is not been entirely frequent that a planning, development, or housing issue particular to Ottawa has been considered to merit much more than the cursory attention of Ontario’s policymakers at Queen’s Park and its environs. To be certain, while these are absolutely within the Province’s purview, Ottawa has tended to be treated as something of a peripheral concern. Or at least to a greater degree than most of Ontario’s other municipalities, a bit of a self-governing colony, and even if not, it was normally easier to leave most issues to the City and the Dominion.

Continue reading →

The Edgewater Apartments: Ken Greene Ruffles a few Feathers Along the ‘Royal Route’ (1951)

The Edgewater Apartments, located at 60 Stanley Avenue in Ottawa, as it appears today. Image: C. Ryan, August 7, 2018.

I’ve always appreciated the Edgewater Apartments in New Edinburgh. In most other settings, it would be a tidy (if unremarkable) mid-century apartment block, but set in New Edinburgh – the northern portion of New Edinburgh – it takes on a whole different meaning.

Continue reading →

The (Ontario) Department of Planning and Development Encounters the National Capital Plan. (1951-52)

As I continue my brief hiatus from transcribing the materials from the Ottawa, Eastview & Carleton County Local Government Review (1965) chaired by Murray Jones, it occurred to me that something is missing. One of the central difficulties pointed to in the dozens of testimonials and even in Jones’ analysis is the existence of the National Capital Greenbelt. For the rural and new suburban municipalities of the day, the Greenbelt represented a significant restriction and a loss of potential revenues, and for others it made any sort of urban typology for the Ottawa region hard to establish and operate. 

Continue reading →