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.
In 1981 Charlotte Gobeil got a rare look inside the Monastère du Précieux Sang then located at 774 Echo Drive in Ottawa South. Her visit with a documentary crew to the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood captures a fascinating glimpse of these cloistered nuns. Ms. Gobeil was welcomed by this contemplative order to witness the women's daily life of devotion.
In this excerpt from the March 1990 OSCAR, June Kelly O'Byrne recounts memories of life on Sunnyside Avenue from the 1920s and beyond, with recollections of family and friends, and recalls the many local stores and businesses in the neighbourhood.
Ottawa South Memories by June Kelly O'Byrne
In 1920 my parents bought a little house on Sunnyside Ave. on a big lot which extended to Woodbine Place. Dad had just returned from the First World War and was fortunate to obtain employment as a Letter Carrier. His "route", as he called it, encompassed Echo Drive at the Precious Blood Convent to Cameron Ave. (Cowan's Ice House and Wilson's Lumber Yard), east to the Rideau River, including what is now known as Rideau Gardens. Some senior citizens may remember him, as he received many a "tip" at Christmas time from the residents of those streets.
For many years, the hill behind St. Margaret Mary Church was the meeting spot for intrepid tobogganers. The February 1983 OSCAR caught a snapshot of the fun.
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.
Many of us have used the path from mid-block along Belmont Avenue into Windsor Park. But did you know that the pathway was formerly a municipal street?
A photo archive of Old Ottawa South from the not too distant past.
Old Ottawa South photographer Tom Alföldi likes to take to the skies for aerial photography. In 2011, he captured pictures of the bridges of Old Ottawa South, which can be seen in the December 2011 OSCAR. Here, have a look at his aerial shots of a few of our neighbourhood buildings.
Sidewalks on Echo Drive east of Bank Street and Pig Island nestled between boathouses on the canal? Yes, in a certain era.