Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"A History Buff's Beef" - interview for Carleton University journalism

Recently I was interviewed by a Carleton U journalism student, who was asking about how Kitchissippi is Ottawa's oldest ward (according to the 2011 Canadian Census National Household Survey) and particularly about the demolishing of the old houses, the increase in new builds, condos, etc. You can view the final article, which includes some interesting applied data from the Household Survey at this link:


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Kitchissippi video footage from 1949!

Today, Library and Archives released a video on Youtube (coming out of nowhere really, the LAC has seen their funding and staff cut so severely, that you rarely see them publish any new materials online - especially videos).  This video is really amazing though, it's a 3-part instructional video made in 1949 for the RCMP by Crawley Films in Ottawa, lasting 24 minutes. It's worth watching the whole thing, though there is about a 5 minute spot in the middle which is largely filmed in Kitchissippi.

I've watched it a couple times, and have tried to identify all the definite Kitchissippi spots that appear in the video.  I'm sure I've missed a couple, but have done my best in an effort to share the video right away! I'll come back and edit as required. Anyone with any tips or can point out something I missed from our area, please let me know!

Go to this link to view the video:

And you can use the following as a guide to help point out some of the clips in Kitchissippi. Unfortunately, it jumps around too quickly in some spots, but there are still some really cool video shots of the neighbourhood from 66 years ago!

So you'll want to for sure check out the clip of Island Park and Richmond Road at 14:33, but here is as complete a list as I can compile for now:

11:36-11:42 - coming down Richmond Road heading east, in front of Maplelawn (Keg Manor). The distinctive stone wall along the left side of the road.

12:05-12:16 - appears to be Island Park Drive, I think at Byron?

12:29-12:35 - seems familiar
12:35-12:44 - familiar also, but might be the Glebe?

12:55-13:01 - driving east down Richmond Road in Westboro, approaching Churchill. You can see the town hall just at the left in the first second the shot appears, and the old Westboro Sports at the northeast corner, plus the Percy Halpenny billboard, and Port's Lunch on the right.

13:01-13:06 - two very quick shots of what look like Westboro/area, but I can't place it.

13:06-13:11 - driving east down Richmond Road at Winona. The "Robinson's" grocery store on the left is what is now the Legion (it was part of a set of twin buildings, the one on the east still exists today with the same appearance, now as Baker Street). Town hall can be seen in the distance on the left. The white Westboro Theatre comes into view along the left at the last moment.

14:33-14:38 - a shot of the old Island Park traffic circle, looking west on Richmond Road. The old Champlain gas station recently given heritage status can be seen at left. What strikes me is how large the traffic circle appears. Old photos did not do it justice.

14:59-15:16  - I think the officer parks on the north side of Richmond Road, in front of the old Methodist/Baptist Church, now the Ottawa Chinese Bible Church, Camera looking east.

15:16-15:26 - Richmond Road looking east at about Athlone. Heath Hardware on the left, and just just past it is the Westboro Confectionery (now Whispers), with its original front porch, but the distinctive three upper windows. The circular sign seen in front of Whispers is a sign for Evans Brothers garage, where Rikochet now exists.The video just catches the red roof and red brick of 270 Richmond Road on the right side of the screen (now Design First Interiors)

16:19-16:21 - A too-quick clip of the driver going down Wellington, going east, towards the intersection of Holland. The Victoria Tea Room, Beamish, and the old Bank of Toronto on the right, and most recognizable is the old apartment building on the southeast corner, which burned down in the mid-90s (Joynts Pharmacy was on the main floor). There's a streetcar waiting to turn left onto Holland coming west down Wellington.

16:21-16:27 - Hintonburg on Wellington, driving east. You can catch the old stone house on the left, and is that a horse and buggy the car pulls up behind?

16:27-16:29 - Somerset going east, after the turn from Wellington, on the approach to the Somerset Street bridge.