Sunday, April 9, 2023

Holland Junction, the Huron-Byron streetcar yards and development

Holland Junction. Looking west from Holland Avenue up
Byron. May 15, 1951. (Source: David Knowles)

The March 2023 issue of the Kitchissippi Times had a really fun article to research. It was one of those articles that started off with one narrow subject, but as I researched it, multiple twists and turns emerged. 

I won't recap the entire article here, I encourage you to click the link below to read the whole thing at the Times website. However, I will share one extra story that got edited for space at the last minute.

You'll read in the article about how the Agudath Israel had intended to build where the Elmdale Tennis Club eventually did (at the southwest corner of Byron and Holland). And the article notes, correctly, that they instead moved into the old church on Rosemount.

However, what was left out, which I find kind of neat, was that when Agudath Israel agreed to sell the lots to the province to allow for the construction project of Fisher Park High School, as part of the deal they picked up a block of four adjoining, vacant lots fronting Holland and Huron, just north of Byron. These are the lots where 179-185 Huron Avenue North and 146-152 Holland Avenue now stand. This was plan B for where they were going to build their new synagogue and school. 

For whatever reason, Agudath Isreal decided not long after to abandon this plan, and instead move into the Rosemount Avenue church. They sold the lots to Aurele J. Henry, who, as mentioned in the article, built the nine mostly identical doubles.

How interesting to think that a Jewish synagogue and school could have been built either where the Elmdale Tennis Club exists today, or in the middle of the Holland-Huron blocks between Byron and Wellington!

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the story of the Holland Junction waiting room, the streetcar and city yards, and the rest of this great Kitchissippi history that is revealed in this article!

Early 1920s view of a streetcar heading past the
Holland Junction wait station. Looking northwest
at the corner of Holland Byron. (Source: Ottawa's Streetcars)

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