Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Ottawa's early pre-sewers sanitation history & Kitchissippi's role

Early Ottawa sanitation is one of those topics that I hadn't intended on researching, it just kind of happened. I was researching a different topic, and discovered that back in Ottawa's early days, before water distribution and sewers, that dealing with human waste was a big problem. Understandably, as Ottawa had a booming population, but no system in place to take waste away. Today we take it for granted that we can use a washroom, and it gets piped away immediately. But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, waste accumulated, and had to be dealt with. Interestingly, some parts of Kitchissippi was used as dumping grounds for collected waste. There were ever-evolving elaborate systems of collection and disposal, and in some cases, the city's waste was carted through and into Hintonburg, Mechanicsville and Wellington Village. Meanwhile the little villages within Kitchissippi had their own issues as they continued to grow, and sewer services were still years away, some not arriving until well after WWII. 

The full story from the April 2022 issue of the Kitchissippi Times can be found at the link below:

Outhouses in Hintonburg along Cave Creek 1911

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