Once upon a time, there was a small settlement on the banks of a beautiful river. It was a lovely site, with many trees, open meadows of wildflowers and grasses, and a marsh where water plants grew and many different kinds of insects, birds, butterflies, and small animals lived. When it rained, the water seeped into the ground where tree roots could reach it, and it replenished the marsh.
Osborne Street in Old Ottawa South has a lovely park that runs midway down Osborne to the banks of the Rideau River. It is a small park, too small really for a field house or recreational facility, but just the right size for neighbours to share a common green space.
In my daily walks around Brewer Pond, I’ve noticed old signs of beaver activity from the beaver that used to live there in 2014. I figured it was only a matter of time before they returned, and happily, they are back.
Longing for a cool place in these dog days of summer? A nearby swimming hole would be an ideal place to spend some time. In the past, the residents of Ottawa South had a wonderful spot, a beach at the end of Brighton Avenue, now a park with grass and trees, but formerly a haven for aquatic activities on the Rideau River.
Recently on March 1st, as a Saint David's Day tribute, the Bytown Museum posted an historic photo of the Lewis Williams family. Lewis Williams came from Wales in 1817 and settled along the Rideau River in then Nepean Township; the heritage-designated Williams house still stands at 96 Southern Drive, in Old Ottawa South.
96 Southern Drive
1820s and later
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.
Ever wonder about the large bird statues on the southern part of the Dunbar Bridge?
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 took place Wednesday, August 21, 2013.
Old Ottawa South has had many bridges spanning the neighbourhood boundaries over the years.