“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” At least, so the popular saying goes. The market for apartment buildings in the early 1960s was hot. Really hot. It was during this time that such large builders like Mastercraft, Assaly, Minto, and numerous others started looking upwards as much as they were outward into the greenfield development they had been through the 1950s. The action wasn’t limited to the larger players, however.
Back in March, I transcribed the list of apartment buildings from the 1945 Might’s Directory of the City of Ottawa and ran some minor analysis of the proportion of apartment buildings in each of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. I decided to jump ahead to 1955, as a massive transition in the Canadian housing market was well underway.
It’s the consummately ordinary that that tends to grab my attention.
By the late 1920s, if you were to press an Ottawan to name a builder of apartments, there is a good chance they would name Wolf Shenkman. Shenkman arrived in Ottawa in 1904 and quickly began to buy and sell investment properties as well as construct homes. His first apartment building was completed in 1911.1Well, appears to be have been completed in 1911. The first instance of him being associated with apartment construction in the Contract Record is located in the April 5, 1911 edition. It is at the corner of Stewart and Cumberland in Sandy Hill, but have not verified this. See: “Residences,” Contract Record, Vol. 25, No. 14, p. 56.
|↥1||Well, appears to be have been completed in 1911. The first instance of him being associated with apartment construction in the Contract Record is located in the April 5, 1911 edition. It is at the corner of Stewart and Cumberland in Sandy Hill, but have not verified this. See: “Residences,” Contract Record, Vol. 25, No. 14, p. 56.|
If you’ve run into me lately, you were doubtlessly entreated to some words about apartment buildings in Ottawa. I can’t help it, the topic has been rolling around in my mind for a decade or so.
On April 28, 1954, residents of the rapidly developing part of Nepean Township known as City View were welcomed to the grand opening of the Lancaster Shopping Centre. Constructed by subdivider and homebuilder William Lancaster and designed by architect Norman Sherriff, the small plaza opened with Hyde’s IGA Foodliner, Tom Reith’s Hardware, the Elm Grove Pharmacy, and a post office.1Ottawa Journal, April 28, 1954, p. 12.Continue reading Lancaster’s Merivale Night Move (City View’s Lancaster Shopping Centre, 1954)
|↥1||Ottawa Journal, April 28, 1954, p. 12.|
When I wrote last winter about Laurentian Terrace, the government’s residence for young unmarried women in the Civil Service, I was disappointed that I was unable to locate an aerial photograph from when it was still standing. Thankfully, that is no longer the case, and above it can be seen on a clear September day in the shadow of the former Dominion Printing Bureau.
I was walking back home from campus the other day and these brightly-coloured homes (90-98 Flora) caught my eye. As is so often the case, beauty results from conflict and limitation, rather than from whole-cloth design.
This is just a quick one about a building that I’ve always wondered about.