I’ve always appreciated the Edgewater Apartments in New Edinburgh. In most other settings, it would be a tidy (if unremarkable) mid-century apartment block, but set in New Edinburgh – the northern portion of New Edinburgh – it takes on a whole different meaning.Continue reading The Edgewater Apartments: Ken Greene Ruffles a few Feathers Along the ‘Royal Route’ (1951)
Tag: New Edinburgh
New Edinburgh Laundry, c. 1922-72
This weekend Kathleen and I went out to take in the sights and the deals at the New Edinburgh Garage sale. It was an interesting walk for my own part. About four years ago, I moved back to Centretown from Vanier North and have not spent so much time wandering around the area, so this was a bit like visiting an old friend.
Demolished Ottawa: Wrens Fly Away With St. Michael
Between 1943 and 1991, the pentagonal lot bounded by Beechwood, Springfield, Bertrand, Vaughan, and MacKay street in New Edinburgh was home to this smart stucco clad concrete building. A project of F.X. Barrette, it was intended to serve as a residence for women and mothers involved in war work and was leased by the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (Wrens) between 1943 and 1946. Today the site is occupied by the New Edinburgh Square seniors’ complex.
Continue reading Demolished Ottawa: Wrens Fly Away With St. Michael
Ottawa’s Apartments, 1955
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.
Ottawa’s Apartments, 1945
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.
Château Charlot: 200 Rideau Terrace
Update: Thanks to the ever-knowledgeable and observant Midcentury Modernist, I realize that I never did note who the architect of the apartment was. George Bemi, who had a long and prolific career in Ottawa designed this midcentury beauty for Robert Campeau. Shortly following its completion, he went on to design the Sampan Tavern Restaurant on Carling. Given this update, it’s back to the top! I originally wrote this in April 2013.
In very much the same way as they are today, the growing pains brought on by rapid growth and development were apparent in Ottawa during the decades following the Second World War. The case of Robert Campeau’s Champlain Towers at 200 Rideau Terrace in Lindenlea provides an excellent example. Between infrastructure that was not prepared for growth, a neighbourhood that was uncomfortable with intensification, legal delays, labour unrest, and, perhaps most visibly, the legendary feud between Mayor Charlotte Whitton and Robert Campeau, its little wonder that it was ever completed.
Fresh from the construction of their first tower apartment (Colonel By Towers, at Bronson and Holmwood),1Babad, Michael and Catherine Mulroney (1989). Campeau: The Building of an Empire. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, p. 60. and an already well-established builder in Ottawa, the Campeau Corporation received a permit on July 31, 1959 to erect an 11-storey apartment building on Rideau Terrace was issued. Wasting no time, the company had excavated the lot in preparation for construction by December. Sensing the opportunity to construct a larger building, the company filed for a new amended permit to construct a 12 storey building with hefty increase in the number of units. City staff pointed out that – as had become increasingly common in the face of high rise development – the combined storm and sanitary sewer running under Putman Avenue did not have the available capacity.2Best, Patrick (1960). “Sewers Delay Campeau Permit.” Ottawa Citizen. June 8, 1960, p. 3.
Perhaps emboldened by his previous battles with then former mayor Charlotte Whitton or a stroke of the sort of brash hubris that he was known for, Campeau reacted to the (illegal) revocation3“Apartment Permit Revoked.” Ottawa Citizen. June 22, 1960, p. 7. of his building permit by declaring that he would press on, saying that “if the city wants to stop me now it will have to pay a lot of money for compensation.”4Best, Patrick and Paul M. Dunn (1960). “Campeau Defies City Council.” Ottawa Citizen. June 20, 1960, p. 7. With that line drawn in the sand, the city was faced with construction that was sure to overwhelm the existing sewage infrastructure, which was already struggling to contain the results of growth in Ottawa and Eastview (Vanier)5Ibid..
“When I look at his houses, I think perhaps nuclear bombardment might not be such a terrible thing after all.”
The situation only escalated from the city’s attempt to cancel the building permit. On June 22, 1960 (the evening following the permit’s cancellation), both Charlotte Whitton and Controller Sam Berger showed up at the site and it was alleged that they “interfered” with the proceedings. In response, Campeau launched a damage suit against the two and mulled having a writ issued against them. In response, Berger suggested that “[if] Mr. Campeau want to sue me for trespassing he is welcome to do so,” adding that “I am not going to be frightened by Mr. Campeau… I am upholding the interests of the residents and if I can help them I will do so.”6Best, Patrick (1960). “Whitton ‘Scene’ At Campeau Site Draws Legal Suit.” Ottawa Citizen. June 23, 1960, p. 1. Two days following, the Deputy City Solicitor affirmed that the revocation was indeed not legal and that, if city council was indeed opposed to the development on health grounds (re: the sewage overload) that they may be able to consult the Ottawa Board of Health.7Best, Patrick (1960). “Building Permit Legal.” Ottawa Citizen. June 25, 1960, p. 1.
Never one to go quietly, Whitton made good use of her On Thinking it Over column in the Ottawa Citizen suggesting that Campeau was manipulating Council to his own ends8Whitton, Charlotte (1960). “In Council Directing Or Directed?” Ottawa Citizen. June 29, 1960, p. 3. and later, painting a picture of him as a corrupt and seedy insider who has co-opted the Board of Control using in camera meetings to keep it quiet.9Whitton, Charlotte (1960). “In Camera Or Cahoots?” Ottawa Citizen. August 15, 1960, p. 3. In the meantime, development continued in the Rideau Terrace area – with considerably less controversy – when a Montreal-area developer was given the go-ahead10Best, Patrick (1960). “City Inspector Gives Okay For Apartment.” Ottawa Citizen. October 5, 1960, p. 57. to construct a 12-storey apartment11Best, Patrick (1960). “Apartment Gets Okay From City Inspector.” Ottawa Citizen. October 7, 1960, p. 2. building on the southwest corner of Springfield and Rideau Terrace.
In the meantime, commensurate with the temperature, Campeau’s plans for what was still a hole in the ground at 200 Rideau Terrace had risen to 17 storeys from the original 11. It appears that the delay gave nearby residents the time to coordinate their efforts and collectively oppose Campeau’s desire to see his project grow any more than it already had. Also helpful to their cause was the re-election of Charlotte Whitton as Mayor. On February 22, 1961, the Citizen reported that “[c]onfronted with outright opposition to ‘piercing’ the present 110-foot ceiling on high-rise buildings, Mr. Campeau gracefully abandoned his plans for a 17-storey apartment on the Rideau Terrace site.”12Wilson, Phyllis and W.H. Arnott (1961). “Campeau Settles On 12 Storeys.” Ottawa Citizen. February 22, 1961, p. 1. Additionally, Campeau knew that if he were to continue to fight, he would not be able to begin construction by March 1 and miss his Spring 1962 opening.13Ibid. In order to expedite the construction process, a new tower crane was imported from Europe which was noted to cut days off the construction schedule.
Never missing out on an opportunity to enlarge his vision for the contentious Rideau Terrace site, Campeau applied to the Federal Works Department for a $100,000 grant to construct a communal fallout shelter in the basement of the apartment. He was turned down on the basis that the program was intended to fund home-based shelters.14“Campeau Bid Rejected.” Ottawa Citizen. November 21, 1961, p. 1.
With the project well under way, it appeared that the ducks were finally lined up and the Spring 1962 opening would be a reality. Campeau, however, was not finished fighting. This time, it was not with the mayor, but rather with the Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers Union and the Plasterers and Cement Masons Union. Beginning in November15“Picket Lines At Apt. Jobs Are Orderly.” Ottawa Citizen. November 28, 1961, p. 19., both unions picketed the Champlain site to protest one of the subcontractors’ use of non-union labour.16Babad & Mulroney (1989), p. 66. Although he was not particularly fond on unions or unionism for that matter, Campeau did recognize them as a fact of doing business and the pickets were generally peaceful.17Ibid. That changed on the morning of January 8, 1962, when a number of the picketers blocked Campeau’s access to the Champlain site and words were exchanged. Following the incident, an injunction was secured and later extended against the unions with the judge reiterating that only peaceful picketing would be permitted.18“Injunction Continued Against Campeau Pickets.” Ottawa Citizen. January 17, 1962, p. 42.
In spite of all the excitement and acrimony, the Champlain Towers were officially opened in 1962. Determined to ensure that the apartments would attract a “good crowd” – and perhaps also in response to Whitton’s claim that there were “grave concerns” that “Government House will become the back yard of a row of apartment houses”19Wilson, Phyllis and W.H. Arnott (1961). “Campeau Settles On 12 Storeys.” Ottawa Citizen. February 22, 1961, p. 1. – Campeau sought and won Council’s approval for a two-storey penthouse addition to the recently-completed building.20“Campeau gets go-ahead for penthouse addition.” Ottawa Citizen. July 15, 1963, p. 3. The gambit appears to have been a success, as the property was noted to have been adopted as the home of “politicians, diplomats, judges, and other leading figures.”21Babad & Mulroney (1989), p. 100-1. By the end of the 1963, the company began running advertisements in the Citizen, describing the penthouses as “sumptuous”, “magnificent”, and “distinguished”.22Campeau Construction (1963). “Champlain Towers – Sumptuous Penthouse Suites.” (Advertisement). Ottawa Citizen. December 14, 1963, p. 34.
The rapid pace of development around Rideau Terrace proved to be quite enough for residents and Council alike. Neighbourhood opposition mixed with Campeau’s very public maneuvers to see the project through showed the limitations in the City of Ottawa’s zoning bylaw and planning process. To this end, the city commenced work on a new city-wide zoning by-law, which was predictably met with opposition from the city’s developers.23Arnott, W.M. (1964). “City seeks extension of zoning bylaw.” Ottawa Citizen. February 19, 1964.
The incapacity of the Putman sewer also had to be dealt with. As noted above, high-rise construction placed a significant burden on a water and sewer infrastructure that was not designed with that level of density in mind and it was quickly found lacking in the face of it. The City was, therefore, forced to search for new sources of revenue that would be considered fair and equitable in increasing the capacity of the system. To this end, the city passed By-Law 449-62 under Section 4 of the City of Ottawa Act on December 17, 1962 which levied a tax of $125 per dwelling on high-rise residential construction, to be applied retroactive to May 2, 1960. The revenues raised under this scheme were to be dedicated to the expansion of the storm and sanitary sewer and water systems.24City of Ottawa v. Royal Trust Co.  SCR 526, pp.526-7.
Upon the passage of the By-Law, a number of developers including the Royal Trust Company, Kenson Construction, Freedman Realty, Pinecrest Investments, Rideau Terrace Ltd., and Shirden Investments filed suit with the Ontario Superior Court, claiming that the By-Law was not only outside of the city’s powers, but it was also discriminatory.25Ibid. The group of developers failed in this petition, but were successful in having the By-Law quashed at the Ontario Court of Appeal. In front of the Supreme Court of Canada, the developers found – in an 8-1 decision – the Court supported the By-Law and noted that it was quite reasonable and legal.26Ibid. The retroactive payments owed to the city were said to be worth approximately $2,000,000 (approximately $15,000,000 today) and worth $400,000 annually. Furthermore, the decision allowed the city to avoid charging “an emergency one-mill tax boost” to cover the costs.27“Supreme Court upholds Ottawa’s high-rise tax.” Ottawa Citizen. May 11, 1964, pp. 1 and 3. Given Whitton’s public explosion in the previous summer during the grand opening of the new storm sewer along Putman (financed in majority by the City of Eastview),28“Both dynamite, mayor explode at ceremony.” Ottawa Citizen. June 13, 1963, p. 5. the decision was clearly something to celebrate.
In the end, Campeau got his tower (although at 5 stories less than he had mused) and the City had won the ability to levy development charges based on building class – something very necessary to managing the rapid pace of population growth and construction. The communities surrounding the site at Rideau Terrace would have to wait until the next project – at the Craig and Son property – for their position on development in the area to be acknowledged.
In spite of such a colourful and eventful construction history, Campeau did not hold on to the property for a long time. A mere twenty years later, he sold his share to Vishbon Investments (aka Lithwick Brothers) as part of a greater project to divest the Campeau Corporation from “unproductive” residential holdings and focus on commercial properties, such as the Pinecrest Mall.29Campbell, Cathy (1983). “Campeau Corp. sells its interest in prestigious apartment building.” Ottawa Citizen. July 21, 1983, p. 49.
|↥1||Babad, Michael and Catherine Mulroney (1989). Campeau: The Building of an Empire. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, p. 60.|
|↥2||Best, Patrick (1960). “Sewers Delay Campeau Permit.” Ottawa Citizen. June 8, 1960, p. 3.|
|↥3||“Apartment Permit Revoked.” Ottawa Citizen. June 22, 1960, p. 7.|
|↥4||Best, Patrick and Paul M. Dunn (1960). “Campeau Defies City Council.” Ottawa Citizen. June 20, 1960, p. 7.|
|↥6||Best, Patrick (1960). “Whitton ‘Scene’ At Campeau Site Draws Legal Suit.” Ottawa Citizen. June 23, 1960, p. 1.|
|↥7||Best, Patrick (1960). “Building Permit Legal.” Ottawa Citizen. June 25, 1960, p. 1.|
|↥8||Whitton, Charlotte (1960). “In Council Directing Or Directed?” Ottawa Citizen. June 29, 1960, p. 3.|
|↥9||Whitton, Charlotte (1960). “In Camera Or Cahoots?” Ottawa Citizen. August 15, 1960, p. 3.|
|↥10||Best, Patrick (1960). “City Inspector Gives Okay For Apartment.” Ottawa Citizen. October 5, 1960, p. 57.|
|↥11||Best, Patrick (1960). “Apartment Gets Okay From City Inspector.” Ottawa Citizen. October 7, 1960, p. 2.|
|↥12||Wilson, Phyllis and W.H. Arnott (1961). “Campeau Settles On 12 Storeys.” Ottawa Citizen. February 22, 1961, p. 1.|
|↥14||“Campeau Bid Rejected.” Ottawa Citizen. November 21, 1961, p. 1.|
|↥15||“Picket Lines At Apt. Jobs Are Orderly.” Ottawa Citizen. November 28, 1961, p. 19.|
|↥16||Babad & Mulroney (1989), p. 66.|
|↥18||“Injunction Continued Against Campeau Pickets.” Ottawa Citizen. January 17, 1962, p. 42.|
|↥19||Wilson, Phyllis and W.H. Arnott (1961). “Campeau Settles On 12 Storeys.” Ottawa Citizen. February 22, 1961, p. 1.|
|↥20||“Campeau gets go-ahead for penthouse addition.” Ottawa Citizen. July 15, 1963, p. 3.|
|↥21||Babad & Mulroney (1989), p. 100-1.|
|↥22||Campeau Construction (1963). “Champlain Towers – Sumptuous Penthouse Suites.” (Advertisement). Ottawa Citizen. December 14, 1963, p. 34.|
|↥23||Arnott, W.M. (1964). “City seeks extension of zoning bylaw.” Ottawa Citizen. February 19, 1964.|
|↥24||City of Ottawa v. Royal Trust Co.  SCR 526, pp.526-7.|
|↥27||“Supreme Court upholds Ottawa’s high-rise tax.” Ottawa Citizen. May 11, 1964, pp. 1 and 3.|
|↥28||“Both dynamite, mayor explode at ceremony.” Ottawa Citizen. June 13, 1963, p. 5.|
|↥29||Campbell, Cathy (1983). “Campeau Corp. sells its interest in prestigious apartment building.” Ottawa Citizen. July 21, 1983, p. 49.|
Three Houses, Three Centuries, and a French Connection
Yesterday, being the beautiful day that it was, I went out for a walk. Oh sure, there were book sales and a fantastic brunch at the Rochester Pub, but there was sunshine and a million things to shoot. To say the least, the case was successfully made for me to spring for a Juicepack. Here are three homes that I took shots of while on my walk, ordered from the Confederation era to today.
Nineteenth Century (c. 1867)
Although there has been some disagreement as to the actual date this handsome stone home at 92 Stanley (at Union) in New Edinburgh, there is none that it’s a great representation of the earlier stone homes that were constructed in the community. As MacLeod purchased the lot from the McKay Estate in 1867, that date appears to be the accepted one now. Some sources have suggested c. 1850, however. According to the city directories available for the time, Dougal McLeod (also sometimes spelt “McCloud” and in later sources, “MacLeod”) was a miller and one time foreman in McKay’s New Edinburgh mills.
As much as it may have been a solid middle-class existence, working in the mills was not without its own set of risks. McLeod passed away at 53 on April 25, 1883 due to the all-too-common occupational hazard of Stonecutters’ Disease of the Lungs (Silicosis). He was buried at the nearby Beechwood Cemetery.
Following the death of her husband, Jane McLeod moved into the smaller home behind. The house was then occupied by another McKay foreman named G.A. French.
As New Edinburgh was in the early days of its sort of renaissance as the leafy and generally well-heeled neighbourhood that it is today (with the demolition of most non-residential elements being rapidly completed), the restoration and preservation of the MacLeod House was worthy of celebration. This piece from the March 21, 1970 edition of the Ottawa Journal gives a run down of the subsequent owners/occupants. It appears that it received its plaque in 1992.
Twentieth Century (c. 1935)
Later on during the day, as I was making my way to the book sale at First Avenue Public School, I happened across this beautiful double on First Avenue.
Admittedly, I haven’t been able readily locate a specific date of construction or an architect/builder. The west end of The Glebe (along Bronson) underwent a construction boom beginning in the early-mid-1930s and a number of builders were present. What I was able to locate, however, was its first resident: the ever-popular Dominion Church organist, Allanson G.Y. Brown. Brown was born in York, UK in 1902 and arrived in Canada in 1932. As a young man in England, it was patently clear that he had a knack for ecclesiastical music, replacing his parish organist in York during the First World War.
It appears that Brown was quite a frequent traveller back to to the United Kingdom. A number of records documenting his entries and exits are available at Ancestry.ca. If I were less frugal, I’d have sprung for the global access package, rather than the Canada-only one that I have.
Shortly after his arrival in 1932, he set down to work as the organist at Dominion United Church.
Of course, that was not going to pay all the bills, nor was it going to challenge him musically. The following year, he also began to offer lessons “keen students.”
After nearly eight years of service, he was elected as the chairman of the Ottawa Centre branch of the Canadian College of Organists.
Brown remained in Ottawa until the mid-1950s when he departed for Leamington, ON. His arrangements would actually go on to be used in services all over the continent.
He also won a number of prizes and accolades for his work.
Twenty-first Century (2010)
In the spirit of acknowledging that the privacy standards we operate on today are significantly different than they were in the past, I will refrain from the sort of discussion above. I will say that this modern home, constructed about four years ago is a real beauty and I appreciate it greatly every time I happen to walk past. In this case, it was on Saturday morning on my way to the Rockcliffe Park Library’s annual spring book sale. Always a real treat.
This is where a little bit of the historical fun comes in. Building Permit No. 907454 was issued in 2009 for the construction of a home at 203 North River Road. The contractor on the file was the award-winning G.M. (Guy) French Construction. If you’ll remember from above, following the death of Dougal McLeod, one G.A. French took up residence in the home at 92 Stanley. Before the Vanier Parkway was completed, North River used to be joined with Charlevoix and Mackay and was the road into New Edinburgh from Hurdman’s.
22 Years of New Edinburgh
The Village of New Edinburgh was incorporated by an act of the United Province of Canada (Canada West) under a year prior to Confederation. What is perhaps interesting is that, at the time, it was customary to allow a settlement incorporate once it had reached a population of around a thousand. For its own part, New Edinburgh was said to have reached no more than 300. In his Ph.D. thesis, Gregory Stott suggested that:
There is one clue to the motives for incorporation. At the same time as the bill for incorporation appeared, the Provincial legislature was considering an Act to incorporate the “Ottawa City Passenger Railway Company.” This important transportation act and the act incorporating New Edinburgh both received Royal Assent on August 15, 1866. The incorporation of the railway company stipulated that the tracks would begin in New Edinburgh and run into Ottawa along various streets. Significantly, the Act provided “Ottawa and the adjoining municipalities … are respectively authorized to make and to enter into any agreements or covenants with the said company…” as they related to the maintenance of roads, sewers, waterlines, and of course rail lines that would be created or affected by the creation of the new service. Ir seems likely, therefore, that the call for municipal status in New Edinburgh has much to do with the development of a street railway. Both the stables and headquarters for the transportation network were to be in New Edinburgh. 
Stott continues suggesting that the bulk of ratepayers in the predominantly rural Gloucester Township would have little interest in – or use for – a street railway. This, of course, is quite similar to the state of affairs today, as the support for large public transportation projects is generally more fairweather among the distant suburban and rural areas than it is for those inside the city.
In general, the relationship between Ottawa and New Edinburgh was amiable and there was a high level of integration, with New Edinburgh being hooked up to Ottawa’s water system and a user of their fire protection. It would be in the last four years that things came to sour.
The year 1882 marked a decided turning point in the relations between the city and the village, and consequently the actions pursued by Ottawa contributed to the poisoning what had been a relatively amicable relationship. In December, an Ottawa City Council committee reported that the city should embark on a massive expansion programme, annexing New Edinburgh and significant portions of both Gloucester and Nepean Townships. Heightened expenditures left Ottawa with an impressive infrastructure. However, the increase in local rates caused many people to flee to the outskirts, settling in the neighbouring townships and New Edinburgh. Coupled with this exodus of ratepayers, the economic slowdown of the 1870s left the city with liabilities that outweighed assets. For Ottawa City Council the best solution was to bring suburbanites back forcibly into the urban fold in order to recover this lost taxation. 
Unsurprisingly, the New Edinburgh council found this to be a hostile move  and the community mobilized against it. The mobilization was temporarily successful, and the first annexation bill, introduced in 1883, ultimately died in committee.  Ottawa’s intentions were now public and – much like Rockcliffe Park later on – the village both adopted and was given a style and identity of wealth and luxury. The “Vice-Regal Suburb.”  While the village was able to win a three-year reprieve, the trend toward municipal annexation across the province (and indeed across North America) was both unmistakable and unstoppable. New Edinburgh was annexed by the City of Ottawa in 1886/7.
 Stott, Gregory (2004). “Suburban Dilemmas: The Development and Amalgamation of Ontario Suburban Municipalities 1853 to 1897.” Ph.D. Diss. McMaster University, p. 63.
 Ibid, pp. 64-65.
 Ibid, p. 183.
 Annexations and amalgamations, of course, have remained similarly controversial. Individuals are understandably upset when their attempts at tax arbitrage are thwarted and those recipient locations are similarly upset. Death and taxes!
 Stott (2004), p. 185.
Butternut Terrace Becomes Acacia Avenue, 1949
Urban and municipal affairs are not generally at the forefront of disciplines such as Political Science, Public Administration, History, or Geography. Intermunicipal relations are even less so. Indeed, in her chapter entitled “Neglected Aspects of Intergovernmental Relations and Federalism,” Beverly Cigler identifies Intermunicipal relations as one aspect that requires much more significant study.  Of the (admittedly few) scholars focused on intermunicipal relations, the majority have been interested in the larger issues: the regional planning and coordination of transportation and sewage infrastructure, emergency services, development, property tax arbitrage and service provision, and emergency services. The bulk of these studies have, in turn, been focused on the popular and widespread use by provincial governments of two-tied municipal structures. [2, 3] Although such weighty concerns were undoubtedly the most common and pressing, the relations between municipalities have also included more mundane ones.
Beginning in 1888/9 and until the annexation of certain lands from Gloucester Township by Ottawa in 1950 (chiefly Manor Park), the eastern boundary of the City of Ottawa was described as “…thence easterly along Beechwood avenue to Butternut Terrace; thence along Butternut Terrace to Acacia Avenue…”  The west side in Ottawa and the east side in Rockcliffe. Of course, today the boundaries have been much-enlarged and there is no longer a Butternut Terrace. Instead, Acacia Avenue runs all the way from Beechwood to the Rockcliffe Parkway. As it would turn out, the renaming of Butternut Terrace to the more-harmonious-with-Rockcliffe Acacia would be a longer-term project and not without a certain measure of acrimony: at least from one familiar individual.
Might’s Ottawa City Directory, 1915 is the first to indicate that the name of Butternut had been changed to Acacia, in harmony with its lengthier component in the then Police Village of Rockcliffe Park. In her Rockcliffe Park: A History of the Village, Martha Edmond notes that, emboldened with their new status as a Village (and therefore enjoying greater autonomy from Gloucester Township), Council passed By-law 29 in 1927, which renamed a number of streets – including Butternut Terrace.  Of course, Rockcliffe was at best able to rename that segment of Butternut between Maple Lane and Mariposa. In order to realize their desire to see Acacia Avenue stretch from Beechwood to the river, they would have to convince Ottawa City Council. In 1928, Rockcliffe formally petitioned the City of Ottawa to change the name, which was recommended for approval of Council by the Board of Control.
4. — BUTTERNUT TERRACE — CHANGING NAME TO ACACIA AVE.
At the request of the Village of Rockcliffe Park, and with the approval of the Acting City Engineer, the Board recommends that Butternut Terrace be renamed Acacia Ave., and that a bylaw be introduced to give effect to the change. 
Given that the name of the street was not changed that year, it appears that Council rejected this recommendation and the issue was not considered to be sufficiently important to vigorously advocate for – neither on the part of the Board nor on the part of Rockcliffe Park.  Although I have not been able to locate Ottawa’s rationale for rejecting the name change, it might simply be a matter of Council feeling that there would not be any major confusion. At least, there would not be had Rockcliffe not renamed the segment between Maple Lane and Mariposa. On maps dated 1895, 1908, 1913, and 1920, Butternut and Acacia do not actually align: there is a slight incongruity at Mariposa Ave.
In Might’s Ottawa, Butternut Terrace was already a memory by the First World War. Even the 1923 edition (the last I have in my personal collection) does not list any Butternut Terrace: either in Ottawa or Rockcliffe. The Ottawa Public Library’s collection of city directories picks up again at 1941.  In that year’s edition of the directory, we once again see Butternut Terrace listed and described as “[part] or Old Acacia av”.  This state of affairs remains until 1949, when the Might’s Directory describes Butternut Terrace as being “now included in Acacia av” and transferred all listings to that street.  It was in 1949 that, once again, the Village of Rockcliffe Park would request that the City of Ottawa change the name. Once again, the Board of Control would recommend that the change be adopted.
11. BUTTERNUT TERRACE, CHANGING NAME TO “ACACIA AVE.”
The Village of Rockcliffe Park has requested that the name of Butternut Terrace be changed to “Acacia Ave.” and has expressed willingness to bear the cost involved.
The Board therefore recommends that the street name be changed accordingly, the Village of Rockcliffe Park to bear the cost. 
Perhaps the coverage of costs is what proved to be enticing, or perhaps it was simply a matter of the City not seeing it worth obstructing the Village of Rockcliffe on, but council proved to be much more receptive the the prospect of changing the name of Butternut Terrace. Indeed, this time would be for keeps and the city passed By-Law No. 55-49 on May 2nd.
A By-law of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa changing the name of Butternut Terrace.
WHEREAS that certain street known and designated as Butternut Terrace and shown on Plan Number 189537 and Plan Number 70, registered in the Registry Office for the Registry Division of the City of Ottawa, is in direct alignment with Acacia Avenue in the Village of Rockcliffe Park;
AND WHEREAS it is expedient to change the name of the said street as hereinafter provided;
AND WHEREAS the County Judge of the County of Carleton appointed Friday the 22nd day of April, 1949, at the hour of 2.30 o’clock in the afternoon, at his chambers in the Court House, Nicholas Street, Ottawa, as the day, hour and place for considering this by-law, and for hearing those advocating and opposing the said change;
AND WHEREAS a notice of such application in a form approved by the said Judge was published in The Ontario Gazette on the 2nd day of April, 1949, and once a week for four successive weeks in the Ottawa Journal newspaper, namely; on the 29th day of March 1949, and the 5th, 12th and 19th days of April 1949, pursuant to the direction of the said Judge;
AND WHEREAS the said Judge has by his certificate dated the 22nd day of April 1949, approved the changing the name of the said street as hereinafter provided;
THEREFORE, the Council of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa, by a vote of at least three-fourths of all the members thereof, enacts as follows:
1. The name of that certain street now known and designated as Butternut Terrace and shown on Plan Number 189537 and Plan Number 70, both registered in the Registry Office for the Division of the City of Ottawa, is hereby changed to Acacia Avenue and the said street shall hereafter and be known and designated as Acacia Avenue.
2. This by-law shall come into effect on the day on which a certified copy thereof is registered in the said Registry Office.
GIVEN under the Corporate Seal of the City of Ottawa this 2nd day of May, 1949.
(Sgd.) N.R. OGILVIE, City Clerk (Sgd.) E.A. BOURQUE, Mayor 
In general, any change or development – no matter the size or scope – in the general vicinity of Charlotte Whitton’s home on Rideau Terrace seemed to arouse both her suspicion and opposition. In her February 9, 1950 column in the Citizen, she wrote the following:
‘For Sale – That desirable property situated on corner of Rideau Terrace and Butternut Avenue, New Edinburgh, east of Mr. Graham’s gardens: about 4½ acres. This is the only property now left of this natural terrace. With southerly exposure. Five shade trees, city water. Price low and easy terms or will exchange for house in central locality.’
There it is, word for word exactly as it ran in an advertisement in The Citizen on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1900. And as I write this, fifty years later, I look out from that southern exposure on the natural terrace while the sun streams in my study window and lights up all my desk. I can look down even now upon an odd butternut tree but they have felled most of the shade trees to run up houses in the last ten years though a few tall elms are still etched against the sky and on Rideau Terrace two of the grave grey beeches greet one graciously at dawn and dusk.
It is rather lovely here where I have lived and worked for more than two score years: here, and at a similarly light sunroom table, overlooking Francis’ Gully in my own home at Renfrew. And for sixteen summers now I have scrawled away, high on the abrupt ridge above McGregor Lake where my little log cabin is now settled into its long winter sleep.
The Rideau and Butternut Terraces for years met here at the top of the hill and, joining hands, merged and went on together as far as Maple Lane, as gravely and happily as a young couple leaving the church of their marriage. Then the boundaries of Rockcliffe were set and, like most people who leave Ottawa for the svelte village, the meandering extension of the terraces turned its back on its humbler, solid origin and became Acacia, where never an acacia tree nor flower would bloom.
And now, not content with that, this summer Acacia has apparently decided to have nothing more to do with her name and family before her “high faluting” marriage, and Butternut Terrace has been wiped from the face of Ottawa and of Rockcliffe and has become Acacia, right down to Beechwood Avenue.
It’s just not fair, because our side of the Terrace is still in Ottawa, and as such in the public garbage belt, but it has[?] to change its name to match the other side of the street which is in Rockcliffe – hitherto the annex – and with a collective private enterprise garbage system.
And more than that, at the bottom and the top of the Terrace, Rockcliffe has put up a most blatant sign: “You are entering the Village of Rockcliffe. Watch out for Children.” as if they hadn’t dogged and darted all over your way down Rideau, Charlotte, Saint Patrick Streets and Bridge: and along Beechwood, in such shoals as Rockcliffe may never hope to boast – well, not until it goes bilingual.
A Fortified Post
And now, a ray of hope! I have just been out to lunch in Rockcliffe: it doesn’t take a passport yet to cross the line. And they’re mobilizing, and all power to them, against the policy of aggression being followed by totalitarian Ottawa. They are signing up an Elite Guard and, as far as I can judge, the SS will be the women, and some of the shrewdest, ablest women in this city aren’t in it at all, they are in Rockcliffe.
And I am happy! Because I understand that things like leases are subject to such emergencies as flood, fire, famine, earthquakes and war. And it’s war – war between Ottawa and Rockcliffe, and here I am, in the veriest place for defensive or offensive attack in the East, at the top of the hill, on the very frontier, the outthrust peak where the boundaries merge. 
Although I concede that the above is quite possibly a rank abuse of blockquote, it does demonstrate the rather strong feelings the then future mayor had about such things. Indeed, the renaming remained important to her, as she wrote nearly a decade later of nuthatches in her year-end column that “[they] are set solely on spying our and spearing the smallest insect and the tiniest egg in the bark of one of the few great elms that the wreckers have left on our old Butternut Terrace – though now it’s Acacia!” 
Although the above represents a tame example of the operation of intermunicipal relations, it is likely that it represents the most common sorts of interaction between them. Charlotte Whitton’s reaction to City Council finally granting the wish of the Village of Rockcliffe Park may have been simply hers. I have found little to suggest that it was representative of the sort of rivalry that she was attempting to paint.
 Cigler, Beverly A. (2011). “Neglected Aspects of Intergovernmental Relations and Federalism” in Donald C. Menzel and Harvey L. White (eds.) The State of Public Administration: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 316-334.
 One example of such discussions is found in Lightbody, James (1997). “A new perspective on clothing the emperor: Canadian metropolitan form, function and frontiers.” Canadian Public Administration, Volume 40, No. 3, pp. 436-456. Other examples include Andrew Sancton’s Governing Canada’s City-Regions: Adapting Form to Function (1994), Merger Mania (2000), and The Limits of Boundaries: Why City-Regions Cannot be Self-Governing (2008). Additionally, former Westmount, QC mayor Peter Trent discusses such regional governance issues at length in his The Merger Delusion (2012).
 I have a piece centred on Murray Jones’ recommendations in the Ottawa, Eastview, and Carleton County Local Government Review (1965) coming down soon and will discuss the regional coordination and planning of services in more detail there.
 “City Limits and Ward Redistribution Under the new Arrangements.” The Ottawa Daily Citizen. February 20, 1888.
 Edmond, Martha (2005. Rockcliffe Park: A History of the Village. Ottawa: The Friends of the Village of Rockcliffe Park Foundation, p. 74.
 Minutes of the Corporation of the City of Ottawa, 1928. March 5, 1928, p. 105.
 No by-law renaming the street was subsequently passed.
 At the Main Branch, the collection picks up in 1940, however, that copy is missing the Street and Householders Guide.
 Might’s Directory of the City of Ottawa, 1941. Toronto: Might’s Directories Ltd.
 Might’s Directory of the City of Ottawa, 1949. Toronto: Might’s Directories Ltd.
 Minutes of the Corporation of the City of Ottawa, 1949. March 21, 1949, p. 188.
 By-laws of the Corporation of the City of Ottawa, 1949. May 2, 1959, By-Law No. 55-49, pp. 159-60.
 Whitton, Charlotte. “Rockcliffe, Rents and War.” Ottawa Citizen. February 9, 1950.
 Whitton, Charlotte. “Crazy Like Nuthatches.” Ottawa Citizen. December 29, 1959.
Slanted and Enchanted
This quirky little building has been standing in quiet dignity on Crichton Street in New Edinburgh since the early 1880s and has served a number of purposes. Identified on the 1888 Goad’s Atlas (1898/1901 Revision) as a one-storey wooden Store, it was once attached to its neighbour at No. 44. Before it became a private residence some time in the early 1970s, No. 48 served a variety of purposes. According to a recent heritage report, it began as a woodworking shop, owned by a John McElroy, and in operation until approximately 1885.  In the 1885 City Directory, McElroy was identified as a contractor, rather than a carpenter.  Perhaps a mark of success in business, McElroy vacated the premises and relocated to 68 Crichton. 
As sawdust is useful in the absorbing of liquids, Charles Garrow opened his butchery in 1886.  In 1891, William Short took over the butchery.  Short only remained on the scene for two years and in 1893, Charles Martel tried his hand at operating the butchery.  Similarly, Martel’s tenure in the building was short. It was taken over by John Gleeson in 1895.  Gleeson remained at No. 48 until 1901, when it was taken over by Thomas Green who was not identified as a butcher and may not have used the premises for that purpose.  By 1909, Adjutard (Adjutor) Bedard was operating the premises as a butchery, where he remained in business until the late 1920s. 
Once Bedard left No. 48 in favour of the larger newly-constructed facility at No. 67 Crichton, it became a corner store, operating as Trudel’s Confectionery until the early 1970s, when it was converted to a private residence.
 Report to Planning and Environment Committee, April 12, 2007.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1885, p. 344.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1886, p. 352.
 Ibid, p. 351.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1891-92, p. 83.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1893-94, p. 77.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1895-96, p.79.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1901, p. 66. Note: I do not have city directories from 1902-1908.
 Ottawa City Directory, 1909, p. 63; Report to Planning and Environment Committee, April 12, 2007.
Chateau Charlot: Redux
There is one thing that I neglected to mention in my discussion one of the chapters in the story of Robert Campeau and Charlotte Whitton. From 1926 until 1963, she lived at 236 Rideau Terrace, at the corner of Acacia Avenue.
Rooke & Schnell described Whitton’s new home:
Coincidental with this realization of professional ambition was the most of Whitton and Grier from their modest apartment on James Street into 326C[sic] Rideau Terrace, a charming lead-windowed house in an elegant and quiet neighbourhood near Government House. The home that the two women created was largely a reflection of Margaret’s tastes. While the study was Whitton’s domain, ‘elsewhere Margaret ruled.’ The furniture consisted of pieces of old French of exquisite design, a petit-pont stool, Irish candles in old brass, numerous china figurines from a variety of countries, and splashes of green potted ivy and indoor flowers, ‘and over it all a sense of muted color, a delicacy and daintiness, for Margaret’s favorite colour was pastel green, and in her bedroom … and in the living room the same softness.’ In contrast, Whitton’s study was cluttered with parliamentary papers, statutes, pamphlets, scrapbooks, numerous sharpened pencils for writing her drafts, and a library of 1,000 volumes, one-tenth of them about Elizabeth Tudor. Portraits of Elizabeth decorated the walls. and the queen’s death mask was kept on a shelf. 
Whitton and her partner, Margaret Grier, would spend more than twenty years living at the address together until 1947, when Grier passed away.
Whitton’s distaste for Campeau and his work was already well-established, and it may well have been that his successful move to construct the unwanted residential tower on her doorstep provided enough motivation for her to consider a change of scenery. In 1963 (the year the Towers was completed), Whitton decamped her house on Rideau Terrace and purchased a home at 1 Renfrew Avenue in the Glebe adjacent to Central Park. She remained there until her death in 1975.
 P.T. Rooke and R.L. Schnell (1987) No Bleeding Heart: Charlotte Whitton, A Feminist on the Right. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, p. 67.
 Ibid, pp. 67-8.
 Rooke & Schnell (1987) notes that it was 1967, while a number of other sources indicate the date to be 1963.
Fire Station No. 6
Ottawa’s built-up areas have undergone a rather dramatic transformation in the last few decades. Although most popular discussions may sound more like “I remember when those were fields” or “we used to play on those rocks”, there are a number of areas in Ottawa that were either returned to fallow or converted into park land. Lebreton Flats  is easily the most famous example and the former CFB Rockliffe (CFB Ottawa North) is the most recent notable example of what was once a settled part of the city being now (largely) deserted. Although it never did reach that extent and may not be considered to be the same, the three blocks along Sussex Drive between Stanley Avenue and MacKay St. are nevertheless considerably more verdant than they were a short forty years ago.
For long-time residents of New Edinburgh, this history is no secret. Once the site of numerous mills and other industrial activity, the neighbourhood of the Prime Minister, Embassies of France, South Africa, Spain, and Vietnam, and the Governor General is now almost entirely residential. There are numerous industrial, commercial, civic, and institutional organizations that once called this part of Ottawa home and I hope to explore them in turn. Today, however, I’d like to present a short discussion of Fire Station No. 6.
The Fire Station No. 6 that is pictured above and to the right was not the first version. The 1888 Goad’s Insurance Plan of Ottawa (1901 Revision) shows the No. 6 Fire Station at 37 Sussex, in between a confectionery and a hotel and sharing a block with the Ottawa Street Railway Company’s car shed and – at the time – stables, hay storage, and oat storage. I have yet to find an image of the original facility.
On July 25, 1907, a fire broke out at the W.C.Edwards & Co. factory and planing mill across the street.  The fire caused what was “conservatively estimated” to be $350,000 ($7.1 million+ today) in damage.  In addition to Edwards’ numerous facilities, the fire destroyed C.J. Neate’s grocery, Michael Foley’s Rideau Hotel, and the Blackburn Mica Factory. Fire Station No. 6 was also lost. This was not considered to be a major loss as, while it was in good condition, it was “one of the oldest, having been erected when New Edinburgh was annexed to the city.” 
The 1902 Goad’s Insurance Plan of Ottawa (1912 Revision) shows that the new No. 6 Fire Station was enlarged considerably, taking over the nieghbouring lot formerly occupied by the Rideau Hotel.
It does not appear that the new station was designed with permanence in mind, however. Within the next couple of decades, the station was considered to be too small, ill-equipped , and in a location that rendered its ability to protect Ottawa from fires ineffective.  The 1929 Ottawa Sewer Explosion, which tore through the city along with the destruction by fire of City Hall in 1931 may have shown the inadequacy of the city’s emergency services and shortcomings of its political fragmentation.  Of course, it may also be understood that the Depression made such expenditures both politically and functional difficult.
A report in the Citizen appears to have implied that the fire Chief had been advocating for a new facility for some time. By 1935, the city had already secured permission from the Province to issue a $20,000 debenture ($340,000 today), pending the sale of the old station, in order to construct a replacement in a better location.  Discussions took place in the following year, with the potential site for the new No. 6 being on three city-owned lots at the corner of MacKay and Vaughan (precisely where it was constructed) being suggested by Alderman S.S. Slinn. 
With the election of a new City Council in 1936 , the Fire Department’s pleas for a new station began to gain more traction.  On September 1, 1937, the Board of Control, on the advice of Mayor J.E. Stanley Lewis, recommended that Council proceed with the issuance of a $20,000 debenture for that purpose.  The following week, City Council approved it themselves.  The Ontario Municipal Board approved the issuance of the debenture. Planning then commenced for the construction of the new Fire Station No. 6, at the corner of Mackay and Vaughan, as Council had discussed nearly two years prior. [14, 15]
While the previous condition of selling the now old No. 6 on Sussex was off the table, it nevertheless remained surplus and a potential source of revenue for the city. Unsurprisingly, the asset turned out to be difficult for the city to divest itself of. When Canada joined the Second World War on September 10, 1939, the Dominion Government began to construct and expropriate buildings across the city in support of the war effort. Perhaps sensing an opportunity, Controller Finley McRae recommended that perhaps the now empty No. 6 would be of use. Of course, the Dominion could have it, with the “same consideration and compensation given to any other city.”  As it would turn out, the Dominion would have a use for it: in the Spring of 1941, it became the new wartime headquarters of the No. 1 Ordnance Store Co., Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Reserve Army. 
Once the war was over, the building was once again surplus. Once again, however, the building found a new purpose. The conversion from Fire Station to Ordnance Corps headquarters left it in better shape and potentially of more utility. On June 1, 1954, the Ottawa Valley Nursing Assistants Centre opened its doors.  Its mission was to alleviate the shortage of Nurses that existed in Ontario and train girls with only their Grade 8 certificate to become a Nursing Assistant. This would reduce the pressure on the Registered Nurses working in hospitals, nursing homes, and the VON. An article in the Ottawa Citizen characterized the facility as a “miniature hospital.” 
I have been unable to locate when the Nursing Assistants Centre closed its doors. It does not appear that it remained in the old fire house for long, however. Although it was still advertising in 1958, it appears that the Province abruptly cut funding to the facility. On September 9 of that year, Charlotte Whitton, using her column On Thinking It Over, pleaded for a stay of execution, characterized the move as “drastic“, and concluded with a suggestion that it was a poor political move “with an Ontario electing in the offing and Her Majesty coming and all.”  It seems that the two classes which were in progress were able to complete, and during that time, there may have been some reconsideration as additional classes graduated.
By 1965, however, most of the lot had been cleared.
 Jenkins, Phil (1996). An Acre of Time. Toronto: Macfarlane, Walter, and Ross.
 “Early Morning Blaze at Edwards’ Mill Costs $350,000.” Ottawa Citizen. July 25, 1907, p. 1. (Part 1, 2, 3, and 4).
 “Court Costs Of Sewer Explosion Case $7,501.72.” Ottawa Citizen. May 30, 1934, p. 4.
 “Fire Chief Sees Parking Danger On Sparks Now.” Ottawa Evening Citizen. February 6, 1935, p. 1.
 Taylor, John H. (2001). “Engineering, audit, and fire: Governance and modernity in depression Ottawa,” in Keshen, Jeff; St-Onge, Nicole. Ottawa: Making a Capital. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 333–345.
 “Con. Lewis Secures Action On Scheme, Engineers to Report.” Ottawa Citizen. July 17, 1935, p. 4.
 “Proposed as Site for New No. 6 Fire Station.” The Evening Citizen. December 15, 1936, p. 9.
 Taylor (2001), pp. 344-45.
 “Sons Replace Fathers Who Are Incapacitated On City Fire Brigade.” Ottawa Evening Citizen. May 5, 1937, p. 5.
 “Board Recommends Debenture to Build New Fire Station.” Ottawa Citizen. September 1, 1937, p. 5.
 “Council Approves Pension Fund For Staff of Library.” Ottawa Citizen. September 8, 1937, p. 5.
 “Discuss Plans For New Fire Station To Replace No. 6.” Ottawa Evening Citizen. February 22, 1938, p. 18.
 I intend to discuss the construction and tenure of the New New No. 6 at a later date.
 “Asks Have Government Pay for All Buildings.” Ottawa Evening Citizen. October 27, 1939, p. 13.
 “Mobilizing Field Park Units For Active Duty.” The Evening Citizen. March 12, 1941, p. 17.
 “Nursing Assistants Train In Old Fire Hall.” Ottawa Citizen. June 10, 1954.
 Mackay, Jeanne. “Nursing Assistants’ Course Opens Door To Wider Field.” Ottawa Citizen. January 6, 1956, p. 24.
 Whitton, Charlotte. “To Ontario’s Health Minister.” Ottawa Citizen. September 9, 1958. (Part 1 and 2).