Monday, July 2, 2018

Street Profiles: The History of Sims Avenue

Current Street Name: Sims Avenue
Former Street Names: 1st Street (1889-1894), Albert Street (1894-1908), Huron Place (1908-1926)
First established: 1889

Gerald Sims, from his 1924
Alderman campaign ad.
Name meaning: The street is named for Gerald Sims, who was a local politician in the 1920s/1930s. He represented the neighbourhood, much of which was then known as Victoria Ward, as Alderman for three years from 1925 to 1927 (two of those years by acclamation), and was very engaged in the community. His family were early Bytown and Nepean pioneers. A large portion of the Experimental Farm exists today overtop the original Sims family homestead. Gerald's father, Richard Albert Sims, a well-known contractor in the early pre-Confederation days of Ottawa, was born on the homestead. So Sims claimed family heritage in Victoria Ward when he ran to represent the ward beginning in 1922. He was a veteran of WWI, where he acted as assistant director of the War Purchasing Commission, and remained involved with the Department of the Interior until 1925, when he became Ottawa manager of G. H. Wood and Company ("Manufacturers and Distributors in Canada of Sanitary Products"). After serving as Alderman for Victoria Ward, he was elected twice to Ottawa's Board of Control (1929-1930). He contributed particularly to the Publicity Commission, Playgrounds Commission and Old Age Pensions committee, as well as a director of the Central Canada Exhibition. He was Controller of the Fire Department in 1929 and in 1930 was Controller of the Waterworks Department. He was also a prominent member of the Knights of Columbus, and Grand Exalted Ruler, B.P.O. Elks for Canada and Newfoundland. Sims never married, and died in the same house he was born in, on Sparks Street at the north-west corner of Bay Street.

How named: The street was renamed multiple times due to duplicate naming: there were two First streets in Hintonburg, then Albert Street was an obvious duplicate when Hintonburg was annexed to Ottawa, and then in 1919, the Ottawa Land Association opened up their property and established Huron Avenue just a few blocks away from Huron Place. After much confusion for 6-7 years, the street had to be renamed again, which it was in 1926, to Sims Avenue. It is unclear to me how the name Sims was selected. Gerald Sims was Alderman at the time and may have selected the name himself. Or possibly a group of local citizens may have pushed for it. At the same time, a strong case could have been made for Laroche Park to have actually been named for Sims, as arguably Sims was more aggressively involved in its establishment. Perhaps he accepted the street renaming as a consolation prize for allowing Laroche Park to be named for Laroche earlier that year.

Early Days & First Houses:
Sims Avenue was laid out in October of 1889 as "1st Street" in the John Foster-owned subdivision of land running east off of Parkdale (then known as Queen), from Wellington Street (then known as Richmond) to Sims Avenue. Foster was the patriarch of the Foster family from the Fallowfield area who had bought up land in Hintonburg in 1886. They were farmers, but must have been interested in the investment value of Hintonburg land. They moved into the growing village and opened a grocery in the former Farmer's Hotel at the corner of Wellington and Parkdale. Then three years later, they subdivided the property into individual lots and began to grow the village. The Fosters really only remained in the area a handful of years before relocating back west, but their subdivision plan really created this section of Hintonburg as we know it today. More on the Fosters can be found in my article from two years ago on the Farmer's Hotel (http://kitchissippimuseum.blogspot.com/2016/10/hintonburgs-legendary-19th-century.html)

Plan 106 which first created Sims Avenue (1st Street) in 1889

The lots on the south side of Sims had (and still have) different depths, since the street ran east-west parallel to Richmond Road, but Richmond did not run parallel to the borders of old Nepean Township lot 36. Lot 36 was split in half back in the early 1800s, with Robert Reid owning the farm on the south half. Thus lot 4 is only 73 feet deep at the shortest point. The rear lot lines of each of the lots on the south side is the exact centre of Nepean lot 36.

Another noticeable feature, shown in the Plan 106 above, is the existence of Cave Creek right by Sims Avenue. The creek was very predominant in the neighbourhood, and was both a nuisance and a convenience, depending on your perspective. I wrote about Cave Creek a few years ago for the Times (https://kitchissippi.com/2016/03/30/cave-creek-ottawa/). It was a problem because it would overflow significantly each spring as it carried the thaw waters from the farms south of Carling Avenue, and also because it was used as the unofficial sewer system of the neighbourhood long before sewers were installed. However for many it was convenient for that very reason - that it was a handy way to empty outhouses, or obtain water useful for feeding animals or washing purposes. In the 1889 plan, Cave Creek is shown crossing right in front of what is now 477 Parkdale Avenue, and through its property a little, and then continuing north-west, away from Sims. The solid black line on Queen Street (Parkdale) indicates there was actually a small bridge or crossing built over the creek at the time, for the benefit of horse and foot traffic.

The first lot on 1st Street (Sims) to sell happened immediately. The plan was registered at land registry on October 21st, 1889, and the next day, October 22nd, carpenter Eugene Provencal acquired lot 6 fronting Parkdale Avenue and built 477 Parkdale Avenue, which still stands today (though it has been extensively renovated and added on to, and the brickwork came in the 1920s, but the shell of the house dates all the way back to 1889). Provencal was in his late 50s, born in 1836. Seems extra-impressive to me that we can walk by every day in Hintonburg a home that was built by someone born in 1836.

477 Parkdale Avenue (Google Streetview 2015)

In fact, within that first year between October of 1889 and March of 1890, there were four other houses built on Sims, including on the opposite corner of Parkdale, where 479 Parkdale was constructed by cab driver Adelard Bisson.

However most important to this story are the houses which actually fronted onto Sims; and all three of these first houses on Sims were built on the south side of the street. 24 Sims was built by 32-year old mill hand Adolphus Carriere; 34 Sims was built by 28-year old mill hand Thomas Derby; and 42 Sims was built by 40-year old stone mason Joseph Pelkicy (which I think should actually be Pelletier, the scattered records from this era aren't always accurate on spelling).

24 Sims (the Carriere house) still stands today, but has undergone a few changes. I found a photo of it from 1967, and included a recent one for comparison. The three interesting points about this house: the upstairs windows are awkwardly non-symmetrical, and it appears always were; the house has clearly been jacked up at some point since 1967; and thirdly, it is impossible to find a photo of the house without the hydro pole blocking a good chunk of the house!

24 Sims Avenue, January 9, 1967
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-25905)
24 Sims Avenue, 2015
(Source: Google Streetview)

34 Sims (the Derby house) was truly the Derby house. Thomas and his wife Emma remained in the house until his passing in 1942, and his son Eugene was there until his death in 1968. The house was still standing until around 2009, when it was torn down and replaced by a double. As you can see from the below photos from the late-1902s, 1967, 2007 and 2009, it had a very unusual construction, with thee different segments that were added to over time, forming a long narrow home. It is these types of pure-character houses in Hintonburg that hurt a little extra to see demolished when they finally go - just so much history there, in each part of that house.

34 Sims Avenue, January 11, 1967
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-25903)

34 Sims Avenue, circa late-1920s.
That is I believe my great-grandmother Helen
Sauve (Dinelle), who is visiting family at 36
Sims, but the photo captures well 34 Sims.

34 Sims Avenue - September 2007 - now gone
(Source: Google Streetview)

34 Sims Avenue - April 2009
(Source: Google Streetview)

42 Sims, the Pelkicy house, is of most interest to me personally. Pelkicy (Pelletier) built the house and resided in it briefly with his wife and five children, but he sold it within a year. It had a series of tenants and short-term owners/occupants all the way up until the 1930s when the Goodman family moved in and remained for many years (1938-1973), by far its longest occupants. It is a fairly average little house, set back from the street more than just about every house on Sims. However, its importance to me is that this was the first home occupied by my great-grandparents Louis James Allston and Maud Davis, when they first came to Canada in 1913. They married in March of 1914, and were resident of the house immediately afterwards (and maybe even before?). Louis and Maud had both come from the same area of the outskirts of London, England; Louis specifically from West Bergholt, where the Allston name was prominent for hundreds of years. They met on the ship bringing them to Canada, and married in Ottawa within months of arriving. 42 Sims was their first home, and it still stands today, which I think is a really cool thing.

42 Sims (April 2012)
(Source: Google Streetview)

The 1914 Ottawa City Directory listing for
Huron Place, showing Louis Allston at 14 Huron,
the original civic address for 42 Sims (misspelt
as "Ilston", this was fixed in the 1915 edition).

The next house to be built on Sims was 46 Sims, which came less than a year later, between 1890 and 1891. It was built by wood dealer William Cochrane, who had purchased lot 1 from Pelkicy, including the already-built 42 Sims, and built the second house on the lot next door. Below are two classic photos of 46 Sims from 1956, when it was photographed as part of the Urban Renewal project for Ottawa of decrepit/eyesore houses. It doesn't look too bad, other than the debris in the backyard (including the hanging ice skates and suit jacket), though if you look closely, that middle porch support doesn't really seem to be doing its job!

46 Sims Avenue, April 21, 1956
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-25902)

46 Sims Avenue - April 21, 1956
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-25901)

46 Sims Avenue - May 2014
(Source: Google Streetview)

Growth and Development:

In 1898, the house at 36 Sims Avenue was constructed, by a young labourer, Francois Riopelle, but became the long-time home for Morris Miller and his family. It was torn down in the late 1960s as part of the urban renewal project. It had apparently fallen in to severe disrepair. A few photos from the city archives captures the old 36 Sims during its final days, with an old oil drum in the yard, laundry hanging in a few different directions in mid-winter, and a series of little back additions with mis-matched doors, windows and cladding:

36 Sims Avenue, circa 1960
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-20417)

36 Sims Avenue, circa 1960
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-20415) 

36 Sims Avenue vacant lot - September 2007
(Source: Google Streetview)

Sims did not see any construction on the north side of the street for the first ten years of its existence. It was in 1901 that a Swedish immigrant named Charles Ernest Fischer built what is today known as 25 Sims.

The Fischer family came from Linkoping, Sweden, arriving in Canada in 1900. Ernest and Anna had two children, daughter Linéa (born 1890) and son George (born 1891). Ernest built the two-storey frame house on the lot, originally with a flat roof of what was known as "felt and gravel". Later a high-pitched tin roof was added.

25 Sims Avenue - The Fischer house. Circa 1915-1920.
(Source: Newswest, November 1979 issue)

A profile on the Fischer family in Newswest in 1979 noted that Ernest insured the house in 1901 for $300 and its contents for $100. That was the value of the house and contents, not the premium! The premium paid was $6 for three years. By 1925, the house was insured for $1,500, with a premium of $14 for three years.

Ernest was a cabinet maker, who first gained employment at the Oliver & Sons factory on Gladstone near Preston, and later worked for Booth's mill. His income in 1909 was $528.35.

Ernest, Linéa and Anna Fischer, as well as Howard Brady
at right, long-time border with the Fischer family.
(Source: Newswest, November 1979)

Sadly, the Fischers lost son George in 1902, and Mom Anna passed away fairly young as well, in 1928. Daughter Linéa Fischer resided and remained active in Hintonburg her entire life, and passed away in 1976. She was a long-time Sunday School teacher at Parkdale United Church. She kept detailed notes of her family's finances in their early years in Canada, and also kept a detailed diary for most of her life. Newswest writer Peter Ford wrote an article on the Fischers in 1979, and mentioned that he had acquired the photos and papers of the Fischer family, which he used in his detailed article in Newswest. I wonder if those vintage items still exist?

Linéa Fischer's account book for 1909, acquired by Newswest
writer Peter Ford in 1979 shortly after her passing. It's an
excellent sample of what an average Hintonburg family might
have for expenses in 1909. Linéa kept copious notes of her
family's finances during their early years in Canada, and
also maintained detailed diaries during her lifetime.

The next house completed on Sims was in 1902, when carpenter James O'Meara built 31 Sims Avenue. This house would see its share of tragedy during its brief few years of existence. O'Meara himself passed away just two years after its completion. At midnight on Saturday November 12th, 1904, the 34-year old O'Meara was struck and killed by a streetcar while lying on the track at the corner of Wellington and Parkdale. At first it was believed the streetcar caused his death, but the inquest held two days later raised doubts as to whether all of his injuries were sustained by the streetcar, or whether foul play had been involved prior to his lying on the tracks. He had been seen at a local Hintonburg tavern earlier that evening, and had later been seen lying drunk on the front steps of a house at Richmond Road and Fairmont, where a stranger helped him up, and walked with him as far as Parkdale. That individual claimed O'Meara did not want to go home, and instead kept walking west. The inquest revealed inconsistencies in how much money he had in his pocket versus what he had received in wages earlier that day, and other witnesses claimed to have seen him lying down in front of another house, looking more injured than drunk. The entire story was quite bizarre, and no other mention was made of it following the inquest, where the jury simply stated that it was not definite that his death was caused by the streetcar. O'Meara left behind his wife Mary and four young children. Mary remained in the house until 1914. The other piece of bad news from the home's brief history is simply that it disappeared around 1920, demolished or most likely lost to a fire.

The next step of significance for the street came on June 5th, 1911, when the length of Sims Avenue was doubled by the filing of plan 106706, which extended Sims and Foster to Beverley Avenue.

Plan 106706 (Extending Huron Place - erroneously called
Huron Street - east to Beverley Avenue) in 1911

To counteract the declining lot lengths from the original Plan 106, the new plan created the opposite effect, in that it reduced the lot lengths on the north side of the street. As a result, though Gladstone and Foster run perfectly straight from one end to the other, Sims has a distinct "V" shape to it.

Between 1914 and 1915, the first construction on this new half occurred when two new dwellings went up on the north side of Sims (still then known as Huron Place): the triplex at the east end (1-3-5 Sims Avenue), and the double next to it (7-9 Sims Avenue). 21 Sims would come a couple of years later, and 19 Sims in 1921.

21 Sims Avenue, January 9, 1967
(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-25904)

As for the rest of the houses on the north side, 11 and 31 Sims would be built sometime in the 40s or 50s. 39 Sims would be torn down and replaced with a new double at 35-37 Sims. 41 Sims also appears to have been rebuilt at some time, though on the same footprint (possibly with some original components).

11 Sims Avenue - September 2007, old exterior finish
(Source: Google Streetview)

On the south side, the new segment towards Beverley would actually largely remain vacant lots for many years. In the late 1920s, 2 Sims Avenue at the corner was built by Arthur W. Whitcomb, and it still stands today. But it was not until the mid-late 1940s when 4, 6, 8, 20, and 22 Sims would be constructed. #20 has already been demolished and replaced with a new build in 2015. Old 34 Sims has been replaced by the double at 30-32 Sims, while old 36 Sims has been replaced by the triple unit at 36-38-40 Sims.

20 Sims Avenue - April 2009
(Source: Google Streetview)

The growth of Sims Avenue can be well illustrated through fire insurance plans, showing the street at different points in time: 1908, 1922 and 1948. Keep in mind that yellow indicates wood construction, pink is where brick has been added, blue is concrete block or stone, and grey is for small sheds or outbuildings, or additions without utilities. The blue circles represent fire hydrants.

1902 (updated to about 1908) Fire Insurance Plan

1922 Fire Insurance Plan

1948 Fire Insurance Plan

Other early stories & tidbits pulled from the newspapers of the day:

The first mention of the street, or at least of one of its residents, in the local newspaper, was this funny little news item from 1896, about Thomas Derby's wife Emily (the Derby's lived at 34 Sims).

Ottawa Journal - February 11, 1896

This clipping below is notable because it reminds us that for the first 10+ years of Sims Avenue, there was no water nor sewer service available for residents. James O'Meara applied to the town council to ask for access to the then-three years old water network in Hintonburg, which of course had not gotten as far south as Sims (Albert) by 1902.

June 25, 1902

This article appeared in the newspaper at Christmastime, 1902, discussing aid packages delivered by the newspaper to needy families. One such family resided on Albert Street, which I am almost certain was the Desjardins family, who occupied 24 Sims, and had at last 8 children, possibly 9 as per the article. Antoine and Albina Desjardins had all of these children, each almost exactly one year apart in age, the oldest being only 11 years old! Antoine Desjardins made only $300 per year as a carpenter (as per the 1901 census), which was not a lot of money, even in that era. So it is no surprise they appreciated a Christmas package.

December 26, 1902

The Ottawa Journal ran children's letters to Santa as a regular feature each December for a number of years. One such letter in 1918 was written by a child living at 1 Huron Place (now 1 Sims).

December 19, 1918

The confusion related to Huron Place and Huron Avenue both existing just a short distance from one another was brought up in the paper in 1922 (though no change would happen until 1926):

February 3, 1922

Every street in Hintonburg has its share of stories of early fires, and Sims Avenue is no different. Below is the story of a luckily smaller fire that could have been a big tragedy (as many of them were back in that era), at 24 Sims Avenue:

February 17, 1927

Like every street in Hintonburg, Sims Avenue saw most of its young male population go off to war twice in the first half of the 20th century. The article below highlights one resident in particular, Robert Lafleur of 46 Sims, son of William and Maria Lafleur, who had a particularly difficult year in the early part of the war, and had witnessed the torpedoing of the original H.M.C.S. Ottawa.

November 13, 1942

Juvenile delinquency was handled in a tough and quick manner back in the 1930s and 1940s. The newspaper was full of the stories of the court cases, with judges handing down hard sentences for teens who were breaking the law. Here a 16-year old is sent to 7-10 months for stealing a bicycle and $26 in cash.

February 16, 1944

Here is another near-tragedy story from 24 Sims. This is by far not the first time I've come across a story about a fire started by someone cleaning clothes using gasoline. I guess this was pretty common back in the era, when gas itself was becoming more common.

December 11, 1944

The article below is an amazing story of two brothers from the Cochrane family, long-time occupants of 21 Sims Avenue who happened to run into each other in a small town in Holland in 1945, while soldiers in different units during WWII.

January 24, 1945

This ad below shows you could still buy a vacant lot on Sims Avenue in 1955 for $1,500!

May 25, 1955

Fire struck Sims Avenue again in 1963, this time at 31 Sims, which would have still been relatively new at the time:

May 31, 1963

Perhaps the worst of all of the stories from Sims Avenue's history has to be this one. A very tragic report of Edward Duffy, six years old, who accidentally strangled himself on a basement swing in 1965. His family resided at 45 Sims.

October 6, 1965

To close the article, I always like to try to include a few oblique aerial shots, which provide a rare and unique view of the street. I have a vast collection of such photos thanks to the City Archives and National Aerial Photo Library, and usually can find several high resolution, low elevation shots to include, but oddly Sims just didn't appear on most of the photos. The two vintage photos below are the best I could come up with, and the more recent photo from Bing closes off this detailed, photo-heavy history of Sims Avenue. I hope you enjoyed it!

April 1961, looking east. Sims is the V-shaped street towards
the left, Westmount in the centre, and Parkdale Avenue running
left to right. This photo was taken while prep work was being
done towards construction of the Queensway,

October 1964, this is largely just a view of Parkdale Avenue
looking eastward, with Tyndall at bottom left, but the start of
Sims Avenue can be seen at the top in the middle.

"Bird's Eye View" photo from Bing.com of Sims Avenue
in present day.

(Edit July 8/18: Special thanks to Elizabeth Truemner for clarifying a few details about the Fischer family, and Howard Brady their long-time border. The more I hear about the Fischers, the more amazing their story becomes. The Truemners on Parkdale obtained/were gifted several pieces from the Fischer family, and were able to share several additional anecdotes about the family. I will be sure to write a follow-up on the Fischers someday soon). 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hidden history: The Westboro Magee farmhouse

In the midst of my work with the provincial election in May-June, I was able to complete an article that I had been working on in draft form for some time. I actually was beginning to feel guilty at how long it was taking me; publishing the story of this original old and distinguished house I felt was important, especially as it has been threatened for redevelopment on a few occasions recently.

The house, at 408 Tweedsmuir Avenue, is tucked behind the Circle K gas station (aka Mac's, aka Winks) at the corner of Richmond. It's well hidden, to the point where likely few people even know it exists. The entire neighbourhood has built around it, ever since cattle dealer James Magee constructed the farm house in 1891. At one time it stood in the open wilderness of old Richmond Road.

Please click this link to read more about this great old house, one of Westboro's oldest, and to learn more about the surrounding neighbourhood which Magee established, which was once called "Springdale Park".

https://kitchissippi.com/2018/05/25/westboros-oldest-home/


Rosina Lawrence: Westboro's Golden Era Hollywood Starlet

The new issue of Kitchissippi Times is out, and my column this month covers the impressive "Cinderella story" of Rosina Lawrence, a girl who grew up in Westboro and went on to briefly become one of Hollywood's most promising stars in the 1930s. Rosina was the daughter of a Hollywood movie set builder (who honed his skills building houses in Westboro), who became a prolific dancer as a result of an unorthodox recovery method suggested by a doctor when she became partially paralyzed as a young teen. At one time she was mentioned in the same breath as Rita Hayworth as a promising star of Hollywood.

Long-time Westboro historian Shirley Shorter interviewed Rosina's aunts in 1978, and her notes and quotes were the inspiration behind this article.

Please click on this link to see the article: https://kitchissippi.com/2018/06/27/kitchissippis-hollywood-connection/



Saturday, June 16, 2018

How Father's Day first arrived in Ottawa

I've been away from all things history for the last seven weeks to concentrate on the provincial election, but I am definitely looking forward to getting back in to a few projects which I had put on hold, or have popped up over May and June!

One quick topic that I thought I'd cover tonight, is the concept of Father's Day, and how it got its start, how quickly was it adopted here in Ottawa, and how long did it take to become commercialized?

Wikipedia is an easy place to start, and it has the thorough history of the day's origins https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father%27s_Day. In short, it has its earliest beginnings in Catholicism, but in the U.S. did not really emerge with any traction until 1910, coming partially in response to the then-established Mother's Day holiday, and again with a more religious slant, where Churches were focusing their sermon on the third Sunday of June to honour fathers. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited as the first to push the creation of a Father's Day, in memory of her father who raised her and her five siblings as a single parent. Within a few years, President Woodrow Wilson had pushed for Father's Day to become a federal holiday, but Congress was hesitant. Father's Day seemingly never actually became 'official' until the late 1960s, but was driven from the 1920s onwards, as you might expect, by commercial interests.

The first mention of anything to do with Father's Day in Ottawa came in 1913, when the Ottawa Journal ran a short editorial, largely mocking the idea:

May 16, 1913 Ottawa editorial

A year later, the Journal ran an article highlighting that Father's Day was newly being recognized throughout the U.S., but notes that Ottawa has never recognized it to that point, and on top of that, that Father's Day was actually for "the beloved father who has passed this life rather than the living father who is commemorated.":

June 20, 1914 article

American columnist Dorothy Dix was hugely popular and widely syndicated as one of the first writers of advice columns. Her 1921 take on Father's Day and the under-appreciation of fathers in general is quite interesting, in the midst of Father's Day first gaining support in North America:

June 18, 1921

However it is June of 1923 where Father's Day first arrives in Ottawa. The event was pushed by the  Rotary Club, who held a luncheon at the Chateau Laurier on June 18th honoring fathers. The guest of honour was Dr. J. H. Putman, who played a prominent role in Ottawa education circles, but was also father of nine, and a humorous speech on the topic of "Father" was given by Ainslie W. Greene. Greene joked at that luncheon that while researching material for his address, he consulted dictionaries where immediately preceding father was the definition of "fathead", but also that he had considerable trouble finding a resource which gave true tribute to fathers; that in the Middle Ages "a father was frequently recorded as being brutal and a drunkard", and in more modern times "little or nothing was being said for father". In fact Greene was dismayed that he had to turn to the writings of Homer, of the ancient Greek period for positive writings on fatherhood.

June 9, 1923

The Rotary Club's proclamation essentially birthed Father's Day in Ottawa, and of course merchants did not delay in taking advantage. To answer the question I started this article off with - how long did it take for Father's Day to become commercialized? It took four days!

On June 13th, Fisher's on Sparks Street ran an ad promoting "Buy a Tie for Dad!". And so it began...

From the June 13, 1923 Ottawa Journal,
the first ever Father's Day ad run in Ottawa!

Two days after that, the Journal seized the marketing opportunity and basically ran a nearly-full page ad with several participating businesses, promoting this new "Father's Day" and all the ways you can show your Dad how you appreciate it - through ties, a belt, shoes or a cigar!

June 15, 1923 Ottawa Journal

The following four or five years saw the media taking swipes at the obvious commercialism of Father's Day, and it seemed for a while the idea may die off, but despite the skepticism and the deserved mocking of the whole idea of buying-your-father-a-tie-to-show-him-how-much-you-appreciate-him, the powers of big business proved too strong, and Father's Day was here to stay.

March 22, 1927 editorial

So here we are, 95 years after Ottawa's Rotary Club brought Father's Day to our city. Personally, I like the idea of acknowledging the original spirit of Father's Day in using the day to commemorate those fathers who have left us. Maybe I'm a little biased though, as sadly I happen to part of that group as I lost my amazing Dad seven years ago at the far-too-young age of 61. Either way, for all of you who have lost your Dad or are fortunate to still have him with you, or if you are a Dad or a Dad-to-be, I wish you all a great Father's Day here in this great City of Ottawa.