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Old Ottawa South Community Association

From the Archives: Railway Tracks Going Under Canal

Now used by the Ottawa O-Train,  the decision fifty years ago to eliminate level crossings along the rail line, thereby constructing a tunnel under Dow’s Lake to replace the level railway bridge, changed the face of the western part of town. Here from the Ottawa Citizen article 13 June 1961, the announcement of the planned work.

Railway Tracks Going Under Canal; Begin Work in Fall; Finish 2 Years

The government has approved the depression of the CPR Prescott railway line across the city’s West End.

Expected to start in the fall, the $3,600,000 project will see the line go under the Rideau Canal by tunnel and by open cut from the canal to near Gladstone Avenue.

Not a level railway crossing will be left in the section concerned.

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From the Archives: The Striking Tale of the Fairbairn Farm

Another passage from the Ottawa Citizen Old Time Stuff column of the 1930s, this time the Fairbairn story, printed March 7, 1931, transcribed below.

Another Epic South End History
About Period When Belmont Avenue Was Lane of a Farm

How Peter Fairbairn Broke from Parental Roof and Built First Residence Other Than Homesteads of the Pioneers. C.C. Ray Was Once Large Holder of Ottawa South Property. Worthwhile Story.

This is a story which dates back to the time when Belmont avenue from Bank street to Riverdale was a farm lane, and further back to about the year 1816 when Thomas Fairbairn of Glasgow settled on the north banks of the Rideau river.

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Digging up the Dirt on 'Old' Ottawa South

pa008805_smallAsk anyone who lives in Old Ottawa South and they are sure to say we live in the best darn neighborhood in Ottawa. Our unique homes, shops, school, community and recreation facilities, and natural features, all make our community a very attractive place to live. But, if you could travel back in time 100 years, what would you see? A charming, quiet rural community of farms, dirt roads, and a few shops and homes. Incredible changes have taken pace within a very short time. How did all these changes come about? What traces of the “old” Ottawa South can still be seen today?

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Marking the 100th Anniversary of Annexation to Ottawa

December 16, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of Ottawa's South's annexation to the City of Ottawa. Today, as we find ourselves once again in a heated debate over municipal budgets, it is timely to reflect upon the decision residents of our community took 100 years ago, when they chose to join Ottawa. Then, as now, citizens had cause to consider the merits of Ottawa and its services. They weighed the costs and the benefits of being a part of Ottawa. It was a debate that featured soothing promises from local politicians, and fear and suspicion on the part of some residents.

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Our Community 100 Years Ago: A Sketch of Old Ottawa South in 1911

LAC_Woodside_PA-016818_smallWhat was happening in our part of the City around 1911? Who lived here? What were they concerned about? What local institutions were active?

As we celebrate the start of 2011, a look back at people, places and events of a century ago will give us a broader view of our progress.

Let’s start with “who”. The 1911 Census says 1,485 people were living in Ottawa South. There were 314 households, consisting of 280 married couples, 40 widows, and 20 widowers (but no divorcees). By comparison, Ottawa as a whole had a population of 90,520.

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From the Archives: The History of Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach OttawaIn 1946,  Evening Citizen Staff Writer Cameron James relates the “mostly incidental” story of the Brighton Beach Aquatic Club of Ottawa South. From the Ottawa Citizen August 10, 1946:

When members of the Ottawa South Community Association decided to develop Brighton Beach about 25 years ago, it was intended to have it principally as a bathing spot for the younger people of that section of Ottawa South, east of Bank street. Now it is the most popular bathing rendezvous in Ottawa for people from all parts of the city. On a recent Sunday, as many as 3000 persons visited the beach.

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More Memories of Sunnyside in the Thirties

Sunnyside Avenue near Bronson was a world with few rules back in the nineteen thirties. It was a wonderful place for children, where freedom with relative safety reigned. Bob Stoakes knew it well. He grew up in a house that has stood on Sunnyside near Seneca for more than a hundred years, and he lives there still (after seeing a great deal of the world).

The house itself has not changed greatly over the years. Shortly after Bob’s father bought it in 1915, he added a kitchen and built a back shed.

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Memories of Sunnyside in the Thirties

When my parents moved from Grove to Sunnyside Avenue in 1930, I was seven years old. Our new home was built about 1912. It had a big verandah to play on, a balcony, real wood shutters, and a large wood stove in the kitchen. There were enough rooms so we three children each had one of our own. Dad had a study plus a garden full of perennials — what more could an Englishman want?

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