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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.

A New Addition to Linda Thom Park

Billings Plaque Just north of the Billings Bridge, on the west side of Bank Street, a new historical marker has been installed.

Sponsored by the Gloucester Historical Society, Association of Friends of the Billings Estate Museum, Gloucester Lions Club and Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, the plaque commemorates the 200th anniversary of the arrival in 1812 of pioneer settler Braddish Billings to the Ottawa area.

The official unveiling of the plaque to honour Braddish Billings will take place Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 10am.


720 Echo Drive – The Enduring Stones of Time

 Originally published in the December 2011 OSCAR.

720-Echo-Drive-smallThe recent Home for the Holidays house tour highlighted, amongst others, a beautiful nearly century-old house with river stone walls at 720 Echo Drive. The lot upon which this house is build was originally part of an estate owned by George Hay, a successful 19th century hardware store owner who later became president of the Bank of Ottawa. His house, a designated heritage building from the 19th century, still stands at 700 Echo Drive.


From the Archives: William Henry Sproule

Another neighbourhood story pulled from the Google News Archives, this time related to the passing of an old-time Sunnyside Avenue resident Mr. William Sproule from the Ottawa Citizen April 12, 1940.

William H. Sproule, Bicycle Champion of Old, Passes On


From the Archives: Oakland Heights

From the Old Time Stuff (OTS) column May 30, 1931 Ottawa Citizen  the note about a house built 34 years prior, that is, in 1897, as the first house on Sunnyside Avenue east of Bank Street.

A Part of Ottawa Was Known as Oakland Heights


Islands of Work

Original published in the May 2008 OSCAR.

Following the dramatic flooding in the spring of 1928, (see last month’s column “Years of the Great Floods”, OSCAR, April 2008, pgs 22-23), Ottawa City Council decided to take action to mitigate against the annual Rideau River inundations. One of the flooding “hot spots” was in Ottawa South at the islands in the river just upstream from Billings Bridge where the ice would often jam causing the river to back up and flood both Ottawa South all the way to present day Carleton University and Billings Bridge (Nordic Circle) west of Bank Street.

Today the Rideau River looks quite different along this stretch, due in part to the flooding abatement project undertaken in 1930-31.


9 Rosedale Avenue Update: No Heritage Designation


Update Sept. 3, 2011: While the City's Built Heritage Advisory Committeedid not recommend that 9 Rosedale Avenue be designated heritage at its Sept. 1 meeting, it "is recommending that city staff look into how an area that includes a strip of land near the canal between the Bank Street Bridge and Bronson Avenue could receive heritage protection", according to a story in the Ottawa Citizen. Read the full story here. Click here to read OSWatch's submission to the heritage committee. See our original story below.


From the Archives: May Court Opening

Now housing The Hospice at May Court, fifty years ago 114 Cameron Avenue was inaugurated by the wife of the Governor-General as the May Court Convalescent Home.

MayCourt-JCDYou can see how the house looked then in this story from the Ottawa Citizen on June 6, 1961.

May Court’s Convalescent Home Officially Opened by Mrs. Vanier

Patients admitted to the new May Court Club Convalescent Home for Women at 114 Cameron Avenue, will find themselves in cheerful surroundings with a harmonious "home away from home" atmosphere.

Able to accommodate 41 patients, the home has five private rooms, 10 two-bed rooms, and four wards with four beds each. For the latter there is a nominal charge of $1 a day – made possible by a government subsidy.