Ottawa’s Building Permits, 1950

At a combined cost of $1,722,000, Alvin Enterprises’ Manor Park Extension was the largest private sector construction project permitted in 1950.

Earlier this year in a pique of what I can only describe as a mixture of frustration about a lack of data and nostalgia for some of my field’s roots, I began to harvest more data about Ottawa’s development. It may have been a matter of being dissatisfied with the broad, sweeping motions and proclamations we make about the nature of midcentury development or maybe I just wanted to play with spreadsheets and pie charts like previous generations of urban historians did. Whatever the motivation, I got my wish and wrote stories like Ottawa’s Apartments, 1945Ottawa’s Apartment’s, 1955Laurentian View’s Apartments, 1955From East(wood) Park to West(wood) Park, and The Alta-Vista Drive Apartments and the Alta-Vista Shopping Centre (1956).

This September, while in the Ottawa Room conducting research for an unrelated project, I managed to get myself sidetracked into the Building Inspector’s annual reports. Before I knew it, I had collected them for each year from 1925 to 1950. Although these reports are short, they represent a rich source of information about the city’s development. There are, of course, a number of ways that I can slice and dice this information myself and plan to do so at some point in the future. As a stopgap, until I am able to devote the time to it (which will doubtlessly result in far more interesting directions and conclusions), I have reproduced the 1950 list of permits valued at $30,000 or more. As usual, it’s searchable and sortable.

OwnerDescriptionLocationValue ($)
A.E. Veitch & Son, Ltd.Addition to Funeral HomeParkdale Avenue35000
K.J. GreeneNew five storey Apartment - 38 suitesBesserer and Chapel Sts250000
A.J. Freiman LimitedAlterations to Beauty SalonRideau Street35000
Gloucester TownshipNew one storey schoolCodd's Road, Quarries108000
Public School BoardNew two-storey garage and WarehouseBell Street40000
People's Credit JewellersNew two storey StoreSparks Street110000
Dominion GovernmentNew one storey Quonset HutsLydia Street122000
Dominion GovernmentAlterations to LaboratoriesBooth Street61000
Landis Realty LimitedNew four storey Apartment - 16 suitesRussell Avenue112000
Colonial Coach LinesAlterations to Bus Terminal and RestaurantAlbert Street80000
Our Lady of Good CounselNew Church and two storey RectoryBayswater Avenue288000
Bessie FinklesteinNew Showroom and Office BuildingRichmond Road35000
Muriel LevineNew two storey DuplexLaurier Avenue, East30000
Dominion GovernmentNew two storey WorkshopExperimental Farm58698
Louis Gendron LimitedFive new one storey single residenceGordon Place35000
Louis Gendron LimitedFive new one storey single residenceVancouver Avenue35000
Corp. of the City of OttawaAlterations and Additions to Civic HospitalCarling Avenue200105
Thos. Robertson Canada Ltd.Alterations and Additions to WarehouseSt. Patrick and King Edward Sts.51000
Dominion GovernmentNew one storey Header House with basementExperimental Farm76158
Parkdale United ChurchNew two storey Memorial HallParkdale Avenue135000
Public School BoardNew one storey SchoolEastbourne Avenue182947
Cameron EstateRepairs to Stores and ApartmentsBank Street50000
Central Mortgage & Housing Co.Twenty new Single ResidencesAnna Avenue137000
Holt Renfrew Co. LimitedNew one storey Cold Storage BuildingQueen Street37000
Leopold BeaudoinFour Apartment Buildings (6 suites each - 48 Units)Langevin Avenue - Putman Avenue and Springfield Road120000
Chas. Ogilvie LimitedNew Elevator Shaft and ElevatorRideau Street60000
New Town Realty Corp.New two storey Office BuildingLaurier Avenue, West81000
M.W. KosubNew two storey Apartment - 6 suitesChurchill Avenue36000
M.W. KosubNew two storey Apartment - 6 suitesChurchill Avenue36000
Dominion GovernmentNew two storey WorkshopExperimental Farm42000
George FentonNew two storey Store and Office BuildingBank Street48000
Alvin Enterprises LimitedSix Apartment Buildings (8 suites each - 48 Units)Manor Park Extension168000
Alvin Enterprises Limited29 Apartment Buildings (12 suites each - 348 Units)Manor Park Extension1218000
Alvin Enterprises Limited16 Apartment Buildings (6 suites each - 96 Units)Manor Park Extension336000
Westboro United ChurchAddition to Church and Sunday BuildingChurchill Avenue91000
Dominion GovernmentNew three storey Applied Chemistry LaboratoryMontreal Road706100
Carleton CollegeAddition to CollegeLyon Street105000
Separate School BoardAddition to SchoolLarose and Champlain Streets35000
Dominion GovernmentFoundation and Footings only for Office Bldg.Tunney's Pasture180000
Norlite Realty CompanyNew Elevator Shaft and ElevatorWellington Street90000
Dominion GovernmentNew two storey Insecticide LaboratoryExperimental Farm99233
H.C. BrennanNew four storey Stores and Office BuildingBank Street135000
Leslie C. ColbertNew two storey Apartment Building - 6 UnitsChurchill Avenue35000
Dominion GovernmentNew two storey Mechanical Shop and Store Bldg.Rochester Street400000
C.J. BoothAlterations to Office BuildingRideau Street30000
M. ShainbaumNew one storey StoreAlbert Street34000
Metropolitan StoresNew EscalatorRideau Street30000
Dominion GovernmentNew Boiler RoomExperimental Farm151000
Charles Ogilvie LimitedNew four storey and Basement StoreBesserer and Nicholas Sts237000
Hobbs Glass LimitedNew WarehouseCooper Street32000
Dominion GovernmentNew seven storey D.V.A. Office BuildingWellington-Lyon-Sparks Sts.5185000
Dominion GovernmentNew two storey Storage BuildingTunney's Pasture450980
Morrison-Lamothe Bakery Ltd.New Storage GarageGreenfield Avenue60000
H. Fine & SonsNew WarehouseMann Avenue82783
Metcalfe Realty Co. LimitedNew ten storey Office BuildingMetcalfe Street760000
Ottawa PlumbingNew one storey Office and Warehouse BuildingSomerset Street, West35000
Jos. FellerNew two storey Single Residence with GarageIsland Park Drive35000
Dominion GovernmentConstruct Footings-Foundations-Structureal Steel only for new LaboratoryMontreal Road118000
Grey Nuns of the CrossSeven storey Addition to General HospitalBruyere Street2400000
Principal InvestmentsNew two storey two StoresRideau Street37500
Minto Skating ClubNew Skating RinkHenderson Avenue73000
Dominion GovernmentAlterations to Uplands Airport BuildingsUplands Airport571500
R.L. Crain LimitedAddtion to Printing PlantRichmond Road310000
Estate D. O'ConnorNew two storey Store and Office BuildingLaurier Avenue, West165000
Ottawa Transportation CommNew Addition to Storage GarageAlbert Street62000
J.W. MobleyNew two storey Apartment - 6 suitesRiverdale Avenue30000
Brewers Warehousing Co.New one storey Retail Store and Warehouse Bldg.Dalhousie and Cathcart Streets45000
The Girls of WisdomNew six storey Hospital BuildingMontreal Road1500000
Dominion GovernmentRenovation of R.C.A.F Messing HallRockcliffe Airport106000
Central Mortgage & Housing Co.New three and four storey Office BuildingMontreal Road1400000
Ottawa Humane SocietyNew one storey Animal ShelterBayview Road40000
Max GoldNew two storey Apartment - 6 suitesFrank Street31500
Max GoldNew two storey Apartment - 6 suitesWaverley Avenue31500
Prescott House & Co.Additions to HotelPreston Street45000
Dominion GovernmentAlterations to Office BuildingWellington Street35000
James R. BeachConstruct part of eight storey Apartment Bldg. Ground - 1st - 2nd floors only - 30 unitsLisgar Street135000
Dominion GovernmentConstruct Heating Plant an Heating TunnelsTunney's Pasture616000
Grey Nuns of the CrossFive storey Addition to St. Vincent HospitalCambridge Street2500000
Albert QuesnelNew two storey Apartment - 6 suitesHilson Avenue35000
Central Mortgage & Housing Co.New one storey SchoolRockcliffe Airport500000