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Welcome to the Home of the Ottawa South History Project

We are a group of local amateur historians whose interest is to research, document, and present facts and information about the history of Old Ottawa South in a fun and informative way.

To find out more about our activities, read this overview article.

Reminiscences by Alderman Alex Roger

Reminiscences by Alderman Alex Roger

Transcibed from a 1950 publication for the 40th anniversary of Hopewell Public School a speech by Alex Roger, Gloucester Reeve 1948-1949 & Gloucester Ward councillor 1958-1960, his memories of growning up in Old Ottawa South.


Billings Estate Commemorative Wall

m 4792 small The first permanent European settler in the area of Old Ottawa South was Braddish Billings in 1812 along the banks of the Rideau River. His holdings were primary on the south bank of the Rideau but included the north bank (later Old Ottawa South) up to present day Cameron Avenue. On the south bank just east of Billings Bridge at the (relocated) outlet of Sawmill Creek along the National Capital Commission's Rideau River Eastern Pathway is a commemorative stone wall in honour of the Billings family, the bridge, and the synonymous village that grew up on the edge of his property.


Story’s Story

By Jean-Claude Dubé

Originally published in the July/August 2012 OSCAR.

698-Echo-Drive-smallThe stately house at 698 Echo Drive has a very significant history that relates to both the City of Ottawa and the Old Ottawa South neighbourhood. For most of the 20th century, it was associated with the owners of the Story Lumber Company, the Doran Construction Company and the Coulter Pharmacies Company.

In the 19th century, George Hay, a Sparks Street hardware store owner who eventually became the President of the Bank of Ottawa, owned most of the triangular-shaped block on Echo Drive between Riverdale Avenue and Bank Street. Upon his death in 1910, his estate was sub-divided into 23 huge lots by S.E. Farley, Ontario land surveyor. The first lot to be purchased in 1912, the one immediately east of his home at 700 Echo Drive was by John A. Story, a well-known lumber merchant.


From the Archives: Rideau Garden Neighbourhood – 65 years young!

On the eve of the local market garden being sold and sub-divided for residential properties, this retrospective, from the Ottawa Citizen June 4, 1947, tells of the farm and the Williams family. Plus, the  newspaper’s editor addresses the question of whether or not to add an “s” to the name of Rideau Garden.

The Williams homestead at 96 Southern Drive still stands today.


From the Archives: Ottawa South Business Ad 1926

Ottawa-South-Planing-Mills-1926-ad-smallThe Ottawa South Planing Mills, located at the corner of Riverdale and Cameron Avenue, operated James E. Wilson, placed this advertisement in a special commerative edition of the Ottawa Citizen August 14, 1926 to mark Ottawa's Centenary (1826-1926).


Celebrating Scouting History in Old Ottawa South

Pack-Report-1962-08-17-parkingpatrol-watercolour-smallOriginal published in the April 2012 OSCAR.

The 17th Southminster Scout Troop will be celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. On January 10, 1932 Southminster United Church was dedicated and shortly thereafter, in the fall of that year, the scout group was established and has called the church at 15 Aylmer Avenue home ever since.


From the Archives: Beautiful New Church in Ottawa South Dedicated

Now in its 80th year, Southminster United Church was formally dedicated on January 10, 1932. From the Ottawa Citizen January 11, 1932, this is one of many stories published that day about the new church.

Southminster United Dedicated With Simple But Deeply Impressive Services

southminster-church-smallThe stately edifice of Southminster United was yesterday officially added to the number of beautiful churches of the United Church of Canada, as all families of the devoted congregation gathered for the dedication ceremonies. The main auditorium and gallery of the church were filled by 10:30 o’clock in the morning. The overflow audience was accommodated in the Sunday School Hall and commodious social hall of the basement, a special public address system enabling these members of the congregation to hear the entire service. The same held true in the evening.

Ideally located, beautifully lighted, imposing of interior and exterior, Southminster is modern in every detail. Citizens of Ottawa South and Glebe districts demonstrated their pride in the building by the large attendance.