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Apartment

Bell’s “Nickel in the Slot” Phone Unwelcome at The Warrington

The Warrington Apartments (1909) lost its free-to-use communal phone in 1917 when Bell replaced it with a “nickel in the slot” phone. Image: December 2018.

Built in 1909, the Warrington Apartments is one of the city’s older apartments and one of the oldest at the southern end of Elgin street.

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Apartment

Update: Shenkman’s Park Square Apartments (1936)

The Park Square Apartments, 425 Elgin. One of the few remaining apartments in the city with a Deco or Moderne design and – most likely – a sister to the Normandie Apartments on King Edward. Image: C.Ryan November 2017

A few years ago, I wrote a short piece about The Park Square Apartments at 425 Elgin Street in Centretown for OttawaStart. As with pretty well anything written, there are a number of things that I would do differently now, but it still gets some of the basic idea out. 

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Apartment

A Modern Elf (A Brief Update to a Brief History of the Elphin), 1966

A few more details never hurt. Even four years after the fact.

Around four years ago, I wrote a short piece for Ottawa Start about the Elphin Apartments, at the corner of Gladstone and Metcalfe in Ottawa’s Centretown. Given the parameters, I was generally pleased with the results but one thing really bothered me: just who was behind the apartment?

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Apartment

Ottawa’s MacLaren House Gets all the Wrong Attention, 1967-93

MacLaren House, in May 2016. Image: Google Maps.

It has now been a few years since I first wrote about the Gilbert Apartments, formerly located at 293 Lisgar and soon to be the site of a new 108-unit Claridge apartment. The Werner Noffke-designed walkup was neat as a pin, but had not really received the care it might otherwise have in the intervening decades and had reached its end of life.

Just a heads-up: this one does talk about the death of senior citizens in a relatively recent period.

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Apartment

The Wedgmont on MacLaren, 1966

The Wedgmont was constructed in 1966. Ottawa – and Centretown – grew upward. Image: September 2017.

A whole lot of things have changed in my life in the last little while that have resulted in me spending time rearranging things. In the middle of all of that, I have also tried to not let this whole blogging enterprise fall by the wayside. It’s one of the more enjoyable things that I have going. In between all of the other things, I’ve been continuing to pick at the long story I have going about the Canada Square project in Toronto at Yonge and Eglinton. That should come soon enough.

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Image

Dining At the Kenniston

Last year, when I wrote a brief piece about the Kenniston, I neglected to include a photograph of the dining hall that was a feature.

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Image

Elgin Views, 1980s

Recently, on the Lost Ottawa Facebook group, an individual named Ronald Temchuk shared some photographs of Elgin street from the early 1980s. It’s not just because I’m a very happy Elgin resident that these stood out to me: I’ve written stories in the past about a few of these places (with many more in the hopper).

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Apartment

Centretown’s Apartments, Civil Servants, and the Great Depression

Chamberlin (Chamberlain) Manor. Image: March 2016.

If you’ve had a chat with me in the last year or so, there is a good chance that I found occasion to slip something about apartments, Centretown, or both into the conversation. It should come as no surprise that during the Depression, construction of all sorts ground to a virtual halt. If you were take a look around the neighbourhood during those years, it would appear that someone forgot to let a small group of developers know that the party was over.

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Condominium

What’s Cookin’ at Metcalfe Court?

To the left, the glistening and recently-constructed home of Fred Cook, journalist and Mayor of Ottawa between 1902 and 1903. Image: Bytown Museum, 1902.
To the left, the glistening and recently-constructed home of Fred Cook, journalist and Mayor of Ottawa between 1902 and 1903. Image: Bytown Museum, P1902.

Metcalfe street was once more akin to the Montreal’s Golden Square Mile than to the mixed-use neighbourhood that it is today. After having been subdivided, the Colonel By Estate’s lots were quickly purchased by local merchants and politicians who constructed large homes, some of which, like the Booth House or Birkett’s Castle, were quite ornate and continued to be appreciated today.

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Image Ottawa

A Ticket at Frank and Elgin (1960)

An officer writes a ticket at the corner of Elgin and Frank streets, 1960. Image: Ted Grant / LAC Accession 1981-181 NPC Series 60-695A.
An officer writes a ticket at the northwest corner of Elgin and Frank, 1960. Image: Ted Grant / LAC Accession 1981-181 NPC Series 60-695A.

Another photograph that caught my eye from the “Meter Maids” collection: this time, one of the new recruits writing a ticket at the corner of Elgin and Frank. One thing that stood out to me here is the Kenniston Apartments in the background, previous to the conversion of its basement to commercial and restaurant spaces.