Monday, May 28, 2012

Doors Open Ottawa 2012: Château Laurier

This coming weekend is Doors Open Ottawa, and there are about two dozen sites in Centretown and Somerset Ward alone (which I've listed and linked to below). Doors Open Ottawa still needs volunteers, so get in touch with them if you're willing to help out for a couple of hours, even on just one day.

One location, just outside Centretown, is the Chateau Laurier hotel, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with its counterpart, Union Station. Much has been said and written about the Château (including a few posts on this blog.

The two were opened in April 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railway system, and connected by a pedestrian tunnel uner Rideau Street. This tunnel will be open to the public for Doors Open Ottawa this year, a particular treat. The Chateau will have special displays celebrating the century mark.

In 1911, prior to the hotel opening, these 14" wide colour posters were sent all around the world to promote the new hotel. David Jeanes, a local expert on railway history in Ottawa, recognized the image: "This poster is the same image as the framed print which used to hang in the main lobby of the Chateau until the end of the Canadian National era. It was done in 1911 by the famous creator of birdseye views, American artist Richard W. Rummell."

This particular one was purchased at an antique show a few decades ago, and hung on the wall in my parents' TV room growing up. Its colours have washed away, so the image above is after some adjustments in Photoshop.

The image shows the old Post Office and City Hall on what is now Confederation Square, the old Parliament buildings before the fire of 1916, the Alexandra (interprovincial) bridge and canal locks, trains running along the canal, streetcars and horse-drawn carriages, and of course the Chateau Laurier and Union Station.

For a more detailed (and illustrated) history of the Château Laurier, check out Vintage Chateau and Chateau Laurier: 1928 Wing on Urbsite, posted in 2009.

2012 Doors Open Ottawa locations in Centretown

In previous years, I've blogged some Doors Open Ottawa locations outside Centretown, including the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and the former Ottawa City Hall on Sussex.

Here's a list of locations on this year's official list of Doors Open Ottawa locations that are in Somerset Ward (* = in Centretown). Many are on the new free shuttle, and nearly every church in Centretown is on the list. Make sure to check the official website to confirm the hours and other restrictions. The numbers are linked, where possible, to the item in the official listing, and the building name is linked to relevant pages on this blog.

*8. Beaver Barracks, 464 Metcalfe at Catherine (Sun. only)
*11. Blackburn Building, 223 Somerset Street West (Sat. & Sun.)
18. Canadian War Museum, Lebreton Flats: guided tours of the museum's vaults (Sat. & Sun., registration required)
*22. C.D. Howe Building's green roof, 240 Sparks (Sat. & Sun.)
*23. Christ Church Cathedral (Sat. only)
*24. Church of St. Barnabas, James & Kent (Sat. & Sun.)
*29. Commissariat Building (Bytown Museum), North end of the Canal (below Parliament Hill) - I recommend their urban forest exhibit! (Sat. & Sun.)
37. Dominican University College/Saint-Jean-Baptiste Priory, 96 Empress Ave. (Sat. & Sun.)
39. Embassy of Hungary ("Birkett Castle"), 299 Waverley at Metcalfe. (Sat. only)
44. Chaudière Falls No. 2 Generating Station, Chaudière Island, Lebreton Flats (Sat. & Sun.)
*48. First Baptist Church, Laurier and Elgin (Sat. & Sun.)
*49. First Church of Christ, Scientist, 288 Metcalfe between Lewis and Gilmour. (Sat. & Sun.)
*56. City Hall Heritage Building (Sat. & Sun.)
58. Joyful Land Buddhist Centre, 879 Somerset Street West (near Rochester, Sat. only)
*59. Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar at Elgin (Sat. & Sun.)
#60. Laurentian Leadership Centre (Residence of J.R. Booth), 252 Metcalfe at MacLaren (Sat. & Sun.)
*63. Library of Parliament - Former Bank of Nova Scotia, 25 Sparks Street (Sat. & Sun.)
*64. Lisgar Collegiate Institute, 29 Lisgar Street (Sat. only)
*67. McPhail Memorial Baptist Church, 249 Bronson Ave (Sat. only)
*70. National Association of Friendship Centres, 275 MacLaren (Sat. & Sun.)
98. St. Vincent Hospital, 60 Cambridge St. N (Sat. & Sun)
*104. St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 82 Kent at Wellington (Sat. & Sun.)
*114. St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 400 Sparks at Bay (Sat. & Sun.)
*117. Supreme Court of Canada, 301 Wellington near Kent (Sat. & Sun.)

Lots to choose from!

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

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