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Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project

From the Archives: Thomas H. Brewer

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Brewer Way A park, a pool, a pond, an arena, a roadway. Ever wonder about the name associated with the south-west section of the neighbourhood? Was Old Ottawa South once a hotbed for beer-making activity? Well, maybe. But more important to the area was one Thomas H. Brewer, early resident of Ottawa South. He was a founder of the Ottawa South Municipal Association and a chairman of the Ottawa Amateur Sports Association. From the Ottawa Evening Citizen October 21, 1936, his obituary:

Thomas H. Brewer, Former Alderman of City, Passes On

Thomas Henry Brewer, former alderman for Capital Ward and one who during his more than 30 years residence in the city had taken an active part in community and municipal organizations, died yesterday at a local hospital. He was in his 78th year.

The late Mr. Brewer was born at Preston England in 1859 son of the Robert Brewer and his wife Elizabeth Livesey and received his education there. In his native land he started construction work on docks and harbours and was associated with the Manchester ship canal for a number of years, first in charge of repairs and constructions and later as supervisor of these works. He was also engaged with the Imperial government in public works in Southern Nigeria, West Africa, and came to Ottawa in 1905.

For about 14 years Mr Brewer was superintendent of construction for the Department of Marine and Fisheries with special supervision over lighthouse construction and in this his earlier training served him well. During the construction of the new center block of the Parliament Buildings, following the fire, he was one of the superintendents of work. Some years later he became associated with the Public School Board in a like capacity and was inspector of work at the building of the York street public school and was supervising inspector during the construction of the Public School Administration Building. He retired from active work some15 years ago.

In Community Activities

For several years he represented Capital Ward in City Council and in 1924 ran as controller but was defeated. He did not run again to seek civic office but turned his interests to organizing municipal associations. He has the founder and first president of the first municipal association in the Capital, the Ottawa South Municipal Association, which grew out of a meeting of friends in his home in Ottawa South. He was also the organizer and first president of the Central Council of Municipal Associations.

Commemorated by a Park

Some 10 years ago he devoted great effort to having a piece of vacant land levelled and cleaned up to be used as a city playgrounds and today this bears his name and is known as Brewer Park. During his early days in Ottawa he was active in sports and was president of the Brighton Beach Aquatic Club which has was instrumental in founding. He was also a member of the Dalhousie Lodge, A.F. and A.M. Until recently he made his home on Sunnyside avenue, Ottawa South, but for some months had been living with his son, Giles, on Arlington avenue.

His wife, the former Margaret Howarth, who came to Canada with him in 1905, predeceased him seven years ago. Surviving are his two sons, Giles and Robert Brewer, and two granddaughters, Verna and Dorothy Brewer, all of Ottawa.

The funeral service will be at the parlors of George B. Burney and Son, 338 Somerset street west, on Thursday at 2 pm. Interment will be in Merivale Cemetery.

Last modified on Saturday, 25 April 2020 12:50

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