If you will remember my “Ottawa’s Apartments, 1955” piece a few days ago, you’ll probably remember that Doug O’Connell was a busy man during the 1950s and 1960s. Whether it be alone, or with his brother in law Allan Witt, O’Connell had his fingers in a tremendous number of pies through those years. As part of my own efforts to untangle the seemingly anonymous development the apartment clusters in Laurentian View, I was able to put a name to the cluster of 7 ten-unit apartments along Byron that lies between Sherbourne Road and the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.
A few days ago, I posted a lengthy story about cluster developments of apartment buildings in suburban neighbourhoods during the 1950s. While I made every attempt to be as complete as possible, I had found that information pertaining to the three clusters (two of which were complete and listed in 1955) in the Laurentian View area was somewhat difficult to come by. There were few reports quickly found in either the Journal or the Citizen, and Might’s Directory, being what it is, was less than useful in learning names and ownership at the time. To that end, since it’s just so conveniently located, I headed out for the Land Registry Office.
“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.
Some restaurants take on a life of their own and go down in history as being legendary for the community, even once long gone. Soggy drunken nights at the Belle Claire or the Saucy Noodle, for example, loom within the memories of many Ottawans. Others appear to make their mark and then disappear once the the lights are turned off for the last time. Or in some cases, once the fire brigade shuts off its hoses.