So as I've mentioned here before, my family has lived in the area for over 100 years on both sides of my family (nearing 150 years on my Mom's side). Growing up in the 80s, I was lucky to have both sets of grandparents living within three blocks of me, plus most of my aunts and uncles too. When I was first born my parents had been renting a home on Holland Avenue, half a semi, owned by long-time alderman Rolly Wall. Soon after I came along, elderly neighbours of my grandparents on Cowley were selling their home, and so my parents bought. We lived there 5 years, at 200 Cowley, before the family grew again, and the 1.5 storey house was no longer big enough. My parents had made an agreement to purchase a new-build in Orleans, but the developers announced mid-construction that they were not able to legally build the house on that lot, and they had to cancel the whole arrangement. They offered instead a house on a different lot. My parents, perhaps (thankfully) having second thoughts about an Orleans move, decided to try to stay in the area, but timelines were now tight, since their house on Cowley had already sold and we had to be out in a couple of months. They bought a home in Britannia Heights, where we remained for less than a year, but they weren't happy there.
My Dad Bruce Allston worked at Tunney's Pasture and so he drove and parked at my grandparents on Western each morning and walked to work from there. One day on the walk back home, he spotted the house for sale on Gilchrist and fell in love.
|Dad in front of 70 Gilchrist in I think the fall of 1986|
|Ottawa Citizen - January 12th, 1928|
|The Long family in 1933 (Brady and Harry in back row, |
baby Eddie, Muriel, Margaret, Augustus and Gus in front)
|70 Gilchrist Avenue in mid-30s|
|70 Gilchrist in the late 1960s|
|"Allston Garden" by Patrick Mason (2014)|