A little Bank Street ephemera: the Victoria Steak House opened for business in 1977 and closed at some point in 1978. In its short time, it seems to have had a rough ride. What seems to have begun as an attempt at a quality steak house quickly came to cater to the market it was in during those years.
As it looms over Jack Purcell Park1I really don’t care that the racquet art was inspired by the wrong Jack Purcell., the Governor Metcalfe Apartments at 330 Metcalfe has been witness to a considerable number of changes that have taken place in its front yard, including the construction of the park itself in 1967 and its popular dog run in 2011.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↥||I really don’t care that the racquet art was inspired by the wrong Jack Purcell.|
“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.
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.
Notes [ + ]
|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.
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.
Centretown’s buildings have a number of stories to tell. Some of those stories are tragic, some are tales of faded business glory, and others still are tales of the night life that once kept Ottawa hopping. Still waters run deep, as the saying goes. As is the case with so many of the apartments that Centretowners call home, the Franconna Apartments began life as large single-family home. After playing host to a number of elites in its first twenty years, it was converted into an apartment (named Belgrave Terrace): a common fate that befell these homes once they hit a certain age. Backing on to Gladstone Avenue, the apartment was then threatened with the potential for demolition when the city sought to widen what was then a 30 foot side-street to a four-lane traffic corridor. While the rear annex bears the scars of the widening, that half of it still stands is a testament to the sorts of pressure faced by planners during the middle of the twentieth century.