Demolished Ottawa: Wrens Fly Away With St. Michael

Beechwood House or St. Michael's Nursing Home, 37 Beechwood, in 1991. Image: City of Ottawa Archives CA024423.
Beechwood House, Cosby House, the Wren’s Nest, St. Michael’s Nursing Home or St. Michael’s Residence. Whatever it was knowns as, here is 37 Beechwood as it appeared in 1991, not long before it was due for demolition. Image: City of Ottawa Archives CA024423.

Between 1943 and 1991, the pentagonal lot bounded by Beechwood, Springfield, Bertrand, Vaughan, and MacKay street in New Edinburgh was home to this smart stucco clad concrete building. A project of F.X. Barrette, it was intended to serve as a residence for women and mothers involved in war work and was leased by the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (Wrens) between 1943 and 1946. Today the site is occupied by the New Edinburgh Square seniors’ complex.