Posted by: Jean-Claude Dubé
Editor’s Note: The Prospectus of Ottawa South Property Company Limited is now available online here http://online.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.97827
Ottawa South Property Company Prospectus
Research notes from examining this document at LAC.
Title: Prospectus of the Ottawa South Property Company Limited as regards new stock: incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario
LAC reference no: AC901 A7 1920 no.
Amicus no: 16127963
Barcode: 33286 538857406
Other reference: MIC.F CC-4 no.97827
for the issuance of 2,000 preference shares at a value of $100 dollars each to raise $200,000 to add to the $300,000 already paid up ordinary shares for an authorized capital of $5000,000
J.Roberts Allan, Gentleman, Union Bank Building, Ottawa
J. Albert Ewart, Architect, Booth Building, Ottawa
D.D.Y. Hossack, Gentleman, 337 MacLaren Street, Ottawa
George A. Mountain, Civil Engineer, Dominion Railway Commission, Ottawa
Geo. P. Harris, Insurance Agent, Booth Building, Ottawa
James F. White, Gentleman, 383 Gilmour Street, Ottawa
John Shearer, Civil Servant, Dept. of Public Works, Ottawa Auditor
Alex F. Chamberlain, C.A., 53 Queen Street, Ottawa Banker Royal Bank of Canada, Ottawa
The Ottawa South Property Company Ltd was incorporated in Ontario in 1910. It proceeded to purchase, in separate blocks, a large tract of land along the North shore of the Rideau River, from Bank Street to Hog’s Back. It increased its capital by profitably selling its property between Bank Street in the East to Leonard Avenue in the West. The rest of the property was improved by grading and filling.
A small number of sale of properties were done. However, because of the Moratorium Act in Canada during the First World War, purchasers were not obligated to pay on the principal but only the interest owing. This created a cash flow problem for the shareholders. When the offer of preferred shares was issued in the prospectus of 1920, the original purchasers were called upon to pay the full owing balance on the principal.
In the prospectus, the proposed development was called “The River Hill Estate”. For the time period in Canada, it was very very innovative in design. It integrated building lots with open space, playgrounds and parkland. The business centre core was enclosed within a circular street. A diagonal business main street slashed through this core from North-East to South-West, starting from an inviting pedestrian walk-in entrance at the streetcar stop at Seneca and Grove.
The tract of lands consisted of 172 acres divided in 501 lots. A quarter of these lots had a frontage of 100 feet while the others had frontages of 50 and 40 feet. The lots backing into the CPR tracks (then known as StL&H or O&P and now as O-Train) were 200 feet deep.
The Rideau River shores were designed to be park areas and Cameron Street was planned to be a curved driveway following the river shore from Seneca St to the Canal Road (approximately where Carleton University’s University Road presently meets Col By Drive at the traffic lights above Hartwell’s Locks)
The concept was to maximize use of the Ottawa Electric streetcars. The line which was running from Bank to Sunnyside, then South on Seneca, then West on Grove, would have been extended to Bronson Street and then have returned through the River Hill Estate via the diagonal in its circular town square and then back on Grove at the Seneca intersection. The entire population of the area would have been within close walking distance to public transportation and also to the Experimental Farm and the Hog’s Back Park (now Vincent Massey Park). The 20 acres of Rideau River frontage would have been maintained as a public park. The circular town square was planned to have churches, businesses and 2 and 3 storey apartment buildings.
The 5 acres of land where the Brewer’s Park fields now are were swamplands then and would have had to be filled for development. It would also have been necessary to negotiate with the Federal Government for acquisition and use of Rideau Canal lands and other federally-owned lands.