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Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project

860 Colonel By Drive - Potential Heritage Designation Under Review

The Heritage professionals and City councillors that make up the Built Heritage Subcommittee of the City of Ottawa voted six to one yesterday to reject a staff report recommending that the 111 year-old home at 860 Colonel By Drive not be designated. The home is already on the Heritage Inventory List and part of the Heritage Overlay that covers the houses between the Bank and Bronson bridges along Colonel By Drive and front the NCC path there.

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The Lewis Williams Family

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.

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Wine & Food for a Good Cause

Wine & Food for a Good Cause

Cameron Avenue east of Bank Street came alive with the sound of bagpipes this past Friday evening.  A wine pairing fundraising event was hosted by Linda Hancock (OSCA Past President) and her husband, Mazen Soubra.  About 60 guests were piped in by members of the Ottawa Caledonian Pipes & Drums group.  The bagpipes were a fitting tribute to Robertson House, Linda & Mazen’s home, which is 130 years old this year.  Robertson House is one of the heritage designated buildings in Old Ottawa South.

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Williams House

Northern facade facing Southern Drive (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)
Northern facade facing Southern Drive (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

96 Southern Drive
1820s and later
Residential

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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.

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Monastery of the Precious Blood / Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons

Front (north) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)
Front (north) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

774 Echo Drive
1914 – 23
Institutional

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This Sisters of the Precious Blood, a contemplative order of nuns founded in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, came to Ottawa in 1887. In 1898, they purchased the MacKay estate on Echo Drive, which included a large stone house.

The house was demolished and in 1914 work began on a new convent designed by Alphonse Contant. However, construction came to a halt in 1916 due to a steel shortage during the First World War. In 1917, work again stopped when the architect refused to spend any more money on the project and absconded with the funds. The building stood unfinished for four years. After receiving generous donations of materials and labour from the community, the Sisters moved into the monastery in 1923. Because of the financial problems, however, the building was austere and some parts, such as the chapel, were not finished to the Sisters’ satisfaction until the 1960's.

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Robertson House

Front (north) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)
Front (north) facade (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

32 Cameron Avenue
c. 1887
Residential

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This 1 1/2-storey brick veneer structure was built around 1887 in the then-rural area south of Ottawa. The pitched roof, double-gabled façade, ornate verge boards, and one-storey veranda with its extensive woodwork and central gable are all of architectural interest. The chinoiserie pattern of the railings reveals the handiwork of a proficient local carpenter, but many of the other decorative elements – ranging from the eight-pointed stars in the verge board to the dentils and spindles on the upper part of the veranda – were all manufactured by machine in local planning mills, and could be ordered from design books or catalogues. The L-plan of this house and the asymmetrical façade reflect the ultimate triumph of the romantic sensibility over the Georgian symmetry that had lingered in the Ottawa area.

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Mayfair Theatre

Front (east) facade (Mohammad al-Asad, 2008)
Front (east) facade (Mohammad al-Asad, 2008)

1074 Bank Street
1932
Commercial

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Statement of Cultural Heritage Significance.

The exterior of the Mayfair Theatre faces Bank Street with a three-story brick façade topped by a centrally-located, free-standing curvilinear Spanish Colonial Revival gable. The upper two thirds of the façade constitute a primarily blank, windowless surface with very limited decorative features. These include patterned brickwork and small square artificial cut-stone inlays defining the corners of rectangular brick frames articulating the facade. The building’s lower third opens up along the street level through the theatre’s entry doors as well as the storefront window of a barber shop located to their right. Another store originally flanked the entry doors from the left, but was later incorporated into the theatre.

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Ottawa South Fire Station

Front (north) facade (Mohammad al-Asad, 2008)
Front (north) facade (Mohammad al-Asad, 2008)

260 Sunnyside Avenue
1921
Institutional

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The elaborate Spanish Revival style tells us at a glance that this building was designed by Werner Ernst Noffke (1878 – 1964), one of Ottawa’s best-known architects of the early 20th century. It is also the third-oldest surviving structure built as a fire station in the city. Its construction in 1921 reflected the southward growth of the city and came at a transitional time in the evolution of firefighting technology. As built, it accommodated both horse-drawn and motorized equipment, with the stables for the horses located underneath. Instead of the traditional hose drying tower, this fire hall had a hose drying room in the basement.

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Hunt House

Front (south) facade facing Hopewell Avenue (Kathy Krywicki, 2008)

149 Hopewell Avenue
1898
Residential

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This 2 1/2-storey, front-gabled frame structure was built in 1898 for Benjamin J. Hunt, a pressman. The well-preserved clapboard finish is highlighted by a solid verge board. The modest trellis work on the front façade and at a side entry differ from the more exuberant gingerbread produced in the late-Victorian era.

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