Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project

Williams House

Northern facade facing Southern Drive (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)
Northern facade facing Southern Drive (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

96 Southern Drive
1820s and later

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An 1827 map of the vicinity around the still-new settlement of Bytown shows the residence of Lewis Williams on this site, across the Rideau River from the house of Braddish Billings. The map is on display at the Billings Estate Museum. On this basis, it is believed that the original portion of this frame structure dates from 1827, placing it among the oldest frame buildings in Ottawa. Williams and his family were among the first settlers of the region, arriving in 1817.

Southminster United Church

Main (east) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)
Main (east) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

15 Aylmer Street (intersection of Aylmer Avenue and Bank Street)

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Two congregations in Ottawa South, the Methodist and Presbyterian, united to build Southminster United Church in 1931 on the site of the former Methodist Church, which had been built in 1909 but torn down to make way for the new building.

Monastery of the Precious Blood / Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons

Front (north) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)
Front (north) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

774 Echo Drive
1914 – 23

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This Sisters of the Precious Blood, a contemplative order of nuns founded in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, came to Ottawa in 1887. In 1898, they purchased the MacKay estate on Echo Drive, which included a large stone house.

The house was demolished and in 1914 work began on a new convent designed by Alphonse Contant. However, construction came to a halt in 1916 due to a steel shortage during the First World War. In 1917, work again stopped when the architect refused to spend any more money on the project and absconded with the funds. The building stood unfinished for four years. After receiving generous donations of materials and labour from the community, the Sisters moved into the monastery in 1923. Because of the financial problems, however, the building was austere and some parts, such as the chapel, were not finished to the Sisters’ satisfaction until the 1960's.

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