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Ottawa Housing Statistics, 1961

An unnamed census enumerator poses for National Film Board cameras in 1961 at the Carleton Lodge. Image: Rudi Wolf / National Film Board / Library and Archives Canada, Acc. 1971-271 NPC, Box 85, Item 96768 (e011177427).

One of the more important sources I have relied on to gain some type of impression of the state of housing in the Ottawa area is, unsurprisingly, the Census. Although not immune to critique, Census data, even at the worst of times, has been a useful source to raise further questions, develop leads, and find new and interesting ways to reframe our understanding of just what it meant at various times to take, produce, regulate, manage, maintain, improve, demolish, and – darn it – actually enjoy shelter.