Friday, July 27, 2018

The incredible Tunney's Pasture shantytown

This month's new issue of the Kitchissippi Times has just come out, and within it you'll find my column detailing an incredible piece of history that not too many people are aware of. From the early-1930s to as recently as the mid-1950s, there was a village of shanties and shacks that existed throughout the Tunney's Pasture property before (and even after) the government buildings came in. People with nowhere else to go lived year-round, some with huge families (10+ kids!) in tiny 1 or 2 room shacks made of cardboard, tarpaper and found materials. A lot of tricky research went into piecing the story together, and the end result has a lot of photos as well. It's an amazing story, one of my favourite that I've written. Please feel free to have a read at:

(Source: City of Ottawa Archives, CA-18439)


  1. Thanks, Dave. That's really a forgotten piece of history!

  2. I have lived in the Ottawa area for 55 years but had never heard of this shanty town. It reminded me of the area where I grew up in the 1940's and 50's in Toronto. It too was called"Shack Town" in the pre WW1 but I had never heard the term. Before WW1 sqautters settled in York Township on the edge of the City of Toronto. In the 1920's subdivisions replaced the shacks. Your article brought back a lot of memories.
    Bob Stevenson