Woolworth’s on Rideau

The Woolworth’s on Rideau Street in 1978. Image: HBC Heritage.

In 1993, after 78 years in business, the Woolworth’s on Rideau Street announced its closure. The ailing chain of discount stores, then in throes of death, undertook to reorganize and closed 150 stores across the country. In Ottawa, aside from the Rideau Woolworth, the Woolco in the Merivale Mall was slated to close.1Kelly Egan, “Cashing out after 78 years; Customers, staff lament downtown Woolworth closure,” Ottawa Citizen, October 23, 1993, C1. According to Woolworth officials, it was tentatively scheduled to close its doors for the last time on December 24, leaving the 50-odd employees with something of a bittersweet Christmas.2”Woolworth to close Byward landmark,” Ottawa Citizen, October 16, 1993, 6.

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Notes

1 Kelly Egan, “Cashing out after 78 years; Customers, staff lament downtown Woolworth closure,” Ottawa Citizen, October 23, 1993, C1.
2 ”Woolworth to close Byward landmark,” Ottawa Citizen, October 16, 1993, 6.

Can There Be Only One?

Universal Appliances, 409 Rideau Street. January 24, 1954. Image: City of Ottawa Archives CA042915.
Universal Appliances, 409 Rideau Street. January 24, 1954. Image: City of Ottawa Archives CA042915.

Universal Appliances, 409 Rideau, and a car painted in a tartan pattern to promote Maytag’s Highlander automatic washer. Unlike the case in a certain movie, it was a popular line and far more than one was produced. Interestingly, the well-known appliance brand does not seem to have been entirely common in Ottawa: it was rarely advertised in either of the local papers when the photograph was taken. Instead, Ottawa was a Connor town, with Inglis, GE, Westinghouse, Easy, Viking, Beatty, and a few others being a common sight in the city’s laundry rooms.

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Demolished Ottawa: Union Station Bowles

It's cute, isn't it? Source: Malak Karsh / LAC Accession 1985-070, Container 27, Assignment 1228.
It’s cute, isn’t it? Source: Malak Karsh / LAC Accession 1985-070, Container 27, Assignment 1228.

Bowles Lunch was once legendary in Ottawa. The location on Sparks was once the haunt of many movers and shakers, while the Rideau location slung millions of lunch plates and became a local legend in its own right, attracting a varied clientele.1”75 Million Lunches Served In His Regime,” Ottawa Citizen, August 13, 1947, p. 15; Eric Minton. “Remember the ‘Lunches? Uwanta, Bowles, Allen’s,” Ottawa Journal, August 12, 1972, p. 31.

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It's cute, isn't it? Source: Malak Karsh / LAC Accession 1985-070, Container 27, Assignment 1228.
It’s cute, isn’t it? Source: Malak Karsh / LAC Accession 1985-070, Container 27, Assignment 1228.

Bowles Lunch was once legendary in Ottawa. The location on Sparks was once the haunt of many movers and shakers, while the Rideau location slung millions of lunch plates and became a local legend in its own right, attracting a varied clientele.2”75 Million Lunches Served In His Regime,” Ottawa Citizen, August 13, 1947, p. 15; Eric Minton. “Remember the ‘Lunches? Uwanta, Bowles, Allen’s,” Ottawa Journal, August 12, 1972, p. 31.

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Notes

1 ”75 Million Lunches Served In His Regime,” Ottawa Citizen, August 13, 1947, p. 15; Eric Minton. “Remember the ‘Lunches? Uwanta, Bowles, Allen’s,” Ottawa Journal, August 12, 1972, p. 31.
2 ”75 Million Lunches Served In His Regime,” Ottawa Citizen, August 13, 1947, p. 15; Eric Minton. “Remember the ‘Lunches? Uwanta, Bowles, Allen’s,” Ottawa Journal, August 12, 1972, p. 31.

Laurentian Terrace from Above

Laurentian Terrace as seen from above in 1944. Source: NAPL Flight A7193, Photo 33, September 16, 1944.
Laurentian Terrace as seen from above in 1944. Source: NAPL Flight A7193, Photo 33, September 16, 1944.

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.

Laurentian Terrace: The Dominion’s Residence for Women in Ottawa

At the top-right, Laurentian Terrace. Home to countless female civil servants between 1943 and 1964. Image Source: Lost Ottawa [Facebook].
At the top-right, Laurentian Terrace. Home to countless female civil servants between 1943 and 1964. The round section is the cafeteria. The larger building to the left is the former Dominion Printing Bureau and if the image were taken today, the National Gallery is what you’d see. Image Source: Lost Ottawa [Facebook]. Colour correction, my own.
As Canada’s war effort continued through the early 1940s, the number of civil servants increased along with it. Many men were serving overseas and hundreds of young women were hired (after an initial lull) to work as stenographers and other junior administrators. When they arrived in the city from around the country (or left their parents’ Ottawa homes), they needed shelter.

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