I was happy to have been asked by CBC to contribute to their series 'Walk this Way', profiling the past and present highlights of neighbourhoods in Ottawa, in kind of a walking tour format. When CBC first came to me, I immediately thought of Mechanicsville as an ideal location. The neighbourhood is turning 150 years old next year (2022), but piece by piece the original, vintage character of the streets of Mechanicsville are being lost as each house is demolished and replaced by a modern structure. While that's the bad news, the good news is there are still plenty of highlights that remain, and I was happy to go over some of them with CBC producer Trevor Pritchard.
CBC posted the article yesterday (Friday) morning, and in the afternoon I joined Alan Neal on All in a Day on CBC radio to discuss the article.
The links to both are below. Of course not everything I would have liked to include was in there, but at least it includes a couple of the most interesting tidbits from Mechanicsville's past. It barely scratches the surface on all the stories that could be told, but it's a good overview. (I am tentatively working on a book on Mechanicsville's history, which I would love to see finished in time for the 150th next year, but my schedule is such that I hate to publicly commit to anything.. but it is in the works at least!). And I genuinely do encourage anyone from within Kitchissippi or the outside to take a walking tour through Mechanicsville. It's a unique area just in how the streets and houses are laid out, and there are so many houses that date to the 1870s/1880s still standing (though likely not for much longer; in fact, one of the first couple of houses from Mechanicsville's first year, 1872, at 134 Forward Avenue is gated off and boarded up, and will tragically be demolished any day no). It's a quick walk up and down the historic Parkdale, Forward, Hinchey, Carruthers and Stonehurst streets, and there is a lot to see.
Thanks to CBC and Trevor Pritchard for the opportunity to be a part of this series. I'm always happy to share the love of Mechanicsville!
The radio spot: