Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project


Glimpses of Old Ottawa South's history: local stories of the past, research findings, and snippets of old news items.

Boathouses on the Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal has not always been the quiet waterway surrounded by green parkways which it is today. In the nineteenth century it was a busy commercial and industrial zone. North of Pretoria it was bordered by warehouses, wharves, and railway tracks. South of Pretoria the canal banks were more open but there were wharves, a brick works, and private boathouses. The north side of Dow’s Lake was an industrial site lined with lumber piling yards, a cannery and railway tracks.

Memories of Bank Street Businesses?

Do you remember these businesses? Wong Brothers Fruit Store, 757 Bank Street, 1927-1997 The Avalon Theatre (later the Glebe Theatre), 742 Bank Street, 1928-1956 The Handy Shoe Repair Shop, 1152 Bank Street 1940-1959 If so, your participation is requested for a study on Bank Street workplaces.

Sunnyside Tennis Club

The April 1979 OSCAR contained an article by Lindsay Suthren in which Mr. George Seal of Bellwood Avenue reminisced… “about his childhood in Ottawa South. He can remember the sounds of tennis playing on the four courts of the Sunnyside Tennis Club which was situated in the ravine behind St. Margaret Mary's Church, formerly Calvin Presbyterian Church. Tennis was very popular as was canoeing. There were a number of canoe clubs on the Rideau River and on the Canal within the Ottawa South area.”[1] Tennis boomed in Ottawa in the 1920s. Many clubs – St. James, All Saints, St. Alban’s, and St. Joseph’s – were linked to churches and in 1924 Calvin Presbyterian Church at Sunnyside and Fairbairn acquired enough land behind the church to build six double tennis courts; in fact, only four courts were built.[2]

Percy Algernon Taverner

On June 24, 2015, Ottawa City Council approved the proposal to name a new park at 130 Woodbine Place “Percy Taverner Park”. Here's a short biography the park's namesake courtesy of The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation. Percy Algernon Taverner is buried in Section 50, Lot 63 NE of Beechwood Cemetery. Percy Algernon Taverner was a Canadian ornithologist and architect. He was born Percy Algernon Fowler in Guelph, Ontario, on June 10, 1875 to stage actress Ida Van Cortland, and when his parents separated and his mother remarried, he took on his stepfather's surname.

Ottawa Aerial View 1922

Did your home exist a hundred years ago? How about your street? Have a look of this bird's eye view of Ottawa in 1922 that includes great views of Ottawa South in this image from Rick Wallace's A History of Ottawa East with this photo: National Air Photo Library Archive HA20 [Ottawa] 1922. Zoom in for a unique view of the neighbourhood.

Memories of 'Old' Ottawa South

Jim Robertson lived in Ottawa South from 1947 until 1963 when his family moved to Rideau Gardens. After a career that saw him living in Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa again, Edmonton and Toronto, he is now retired and living in the Bank Street/Hunt Club Road area. Our family lived in Ottawa South during the 1940's, 50's and early 60's. As I have become old, so has Ottawa South become "Old" Ottawa South. Phyllis and Dick Robertson, my parents, moved from McLeod Street to 162 Sunnyside (just east of Riverdale) in 1943, after my sister Mary was born. My brother Dave came along in 1944, and I made my appearance in 1947.

What’s in a Name: Leonard or Léonard?

My curiosity was piqued when I noticed earlier this year that street name signs had been changed from Leonard to Léonard. What was the impetus for amending the spelling? Was there a francophone connection within our Old Ottawa South neighbourhood?  
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