“from the Nordic Circle, to the Rideau’s waters, this flood was made for you and me.”

“This is a dilly of a pickle!” Flooding of the Nordic Circle and of Bowesville Road was an annual event. This photo is dated April 8, 1954. City of Ottawa Archives, Item CA003837.

Until it was successfully controlled, that the Rideau River flooded each spring was not a surprising fact to Ottawans. Although the degree to which it did varied considerably over the years, that it did at all was largely a sure bet.

Continue reading “from the Nordic Circle, to the Rideau’s waters, this flood was made for you and me.”

187 Billings Ave

Ottawahh has just posted a short story about the oldest house in Junction Gore (and perhaps the city), along with a gallery of the older housing in the Alta-Vista area. Aside from the very interesting built history – including the number of extensions and resulting almost maze-like structure – Alta-Vista has come to develop more of a reputation as Ottawa’s first postwar, modern-style suburb. Of course, it was also the stomping grounds of the Billings family, but that’s less the popular (though not unknown) image in my experience.

From the article:

The oldest extant house in Junction Gore (and perhaps the whole city) is 187 Billings Avenue in Alta Vista. It’s been there in some shape or form since around 1823 although it will probably be demolished later this year.

I certainly hope that it may receive a last-minute stay of execution through heritage designation. It’s valuable on the basis of age, its relation to the Billings family, the extensions are a testament to our past relationship to our homes (insofar that they often grew with us), and an example of how that growth was not often regulated in the serious ways that it is now.

Take a look at the complete piece here.