Monday, January 13, 2020

Wellington Street Part 4: As the City grows, so does Wellington (1880-1912)

   [Show/Hide Contents]

Before our foray into the east end of Wellington Street in the previous post, we were talking in Part 2 about the first roads in Ottawa and how the fledgling town's road network began to develop in the new neighbourhood that would one day be called LeBreton Flats.

In this post we'll look at the period from about 1880 to 1912, during which time rail lines cross over Wellington at grade, fires ravage the western part of the street, Ottawa absorbs various suburbs, and an excessive number of bylaws authorize the renaming, widening, and paving of Wellington Street. To set the scene, here's what it looked like to walk in the middle of Wellington Street in 1898:1

Photo taken from Wellington Street, looking east, at around O'Connor Street, with the street extending into the horizon. From left to right: The stone and wrought iron fence at the perimeter of Parliament Hill, the north sidewalk (material unclear), a boulevard planted with a continuous row of trees, the roadway which is dirt and rutted, a bicyclist in the road heading straight toward the camera, a horse drawn carriage further away on the opposite side of the street, telephone poles each with nine rows of eight insulators, the south sidewalk (concrete?) with some trees, buildings on the south side of Wellington Street, all around 4 storeys tall. The photo has an all-caps caption at the bottom (from the book from which it was scanned), Wellington Street Looking East

1880 Renaming of George Street, Victoria Terrace, and Richmond Road

At the end of Part 2, I had included plate 43 from the 1878 Ottawa Fire Insurance Maps. Here is a broader view, in which I've combined the plates in the Uppertown-LeBreton Flats area into a mosaic.2 In it, you can see that the segments connecting Wellington with Richmond Road are no longer called "George Street" and "Victoria Terrace", but "Wellington Street":

1878 Ottawa Fire Insurance maps, various plates compiled into a mosaic and cropped to show the area with extent Sally (Lyon, east), Maria (Laurier, South), Broad (west of Booth, West) and the south shore of the Ottawa River (North). The streets, building outlines, and notable geographic features are drawn approximately to scale, with streets named and buildings colour-coded according to construction (wood, etc). From the east, Wellington Street continues past Bay Street, then half a block later makes a 30 degree turn south, where it intersects with the downhill portion of Sparks Street and a projection of Concession Line (now Bronson Avenue at the Garden of the Provinces). Wellington continues to the east abutment of Pooley's Bridge, where it turns further south again, then makes two more gradual turns southwest just west of Commissioner Lane (now Street) and at Hill Street (now Brickhill, in the LRT staging area) where it converges upon Maria Street (now Albert Street; Maria is an extension of Laurier). Individual bridges cross the aqueduct at Bridge (now Booth), Lloyd and Cathcart West (now Lett), all of which intersect with Wellington. Sherwood, between Bridge and Broad, does not extend across or south of the Aqueduct. The point where Wellington Meets Maria/Albert/Richmond Road is not shown on the map.

What's even more interesting (to the type of person reading a multi-part blog series about the routing and naming of a street) is that the segment wasn't formally renamed Wellington Street until two years after the insurance plans were drawn: On January 16, 1880, Ottawa City Council passed By-Law No. 475, "By-Law to change the names of certain streets in the City of Ottawa," a document that was surprisingly difficult to track down.3

Pages 507, 510, 511 of the 1879 bylaw book, showing the first, fourth, and fifth pages of By-law No. 475 (misnumbered as 175): 'By-law to change the names of certain streets in the City of Ottawa'. Changes include: Percy Street to Cambridge Street, Victoria Street to Vittoria Street, Bay Street to Keefer Street, Maria Street to Theodore Street West (sic, later Laurier), Grove Street to Main Street, Tylee Street to O'Connor Street, Reserve Street to Portland Street, Edward Street to Primrose Street, Queen Street to Queen Street West (later Fleet), College Lane to Ring Street, Park Street to St. Andrew Street East, Ottawa Street to St. Patrick Street East, Little Sussex and Metcalfe to Sussex, Nelson Street to Victoria Avenue, Bolton Street to Water Street West, George Street and Victoria Terrace and Richmond Road to Wellington Street, Slater Street to Wilbrod Street west (sic), Ottawa Street to Waller Street, Kenneth Street to Kent Street

The six-page By-Law renames 50 street segments and gives them 44 names, either to replace a name already used elsewhere in the city (as with George St) or to consolidate continuous road segments with multiple names (as with Wellington). The operating paragraph for our purposes, highlighted in the image above (emphasis added), is:
That the streets forming the boundary between Victoria and Wellington Wards and extending from Wellington street to Hill street, heretofore called George Street, and the street extending from Hill street to Broad street, heretofore called Victoria Terrace, and the street extending from Broad street to the City limits, heretofore called Richmond Road, be hereafter called and the same is hereby called Wellington street.
The description makes reference to the boundary between Victoria Ward and Wellington Ward. However, the ward boundaries themselves are defined elsewhere in relation to the street names,4,5 making the reference to this boundary at best redundant and at worst circular!

The other part of the bylaw to nitpick is that it renames the section of Richmond Road "from Broad street to the City limits". In 1880, Richmond Road was the southerly City limit between Booth (then Division) Street and just past where the street made a southwest turn. The City Limits hadn't changed since Ottawa's incorporation in 1855, but there would be five annexations between 1887 and 1911 (three of which affect Wellington Street). I can imagine technical reasons for and against referencing "City Limits" defined elsewhere, instead of defining the actual boundaries using an objective tool such as a surveyor's description.

Railway Crossings

The next set of changes to Wellington Street involved the railways. As described in Part 3, the Hull-St. Patrick street rail line was the first on Wellington, opening in 1870. The following year,6 the first intercity railroad crossed Wellington Street: a spur of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa railway, previously called the Bytown and Prescott Railway and later the Canada Pacific Railway.7 The spur line crossed then-Richmond road just outside City Limits to arrive at the north side of the Broad Street station as seen on this 1874 map.8

Section of an 1874 map at the west end of Ottawa, with extent Bridge/Division Street (Booth, East), Eccles Street (South), West of City Limits (West), Oregon St (just south of Ottawa River at Booth, North). Richmond Road crosses the entire section of map. The City limit comes northbound from the bottom of the map up Division Street, turns west (left) on Richmond Road, then turns north (right) west of Broad Street in the middle of nowhere, opposite where Champagne Ave (City Centre Ave) will later be (but nothing is drawn west of Preston). Two rail lines come in from the west: The Canada Central R.R. (C.P.R.) along the Ottawa River which turns north around Nepean Bay to become parallel with Broad Street, where there is a station between Queen and Ottawa streets. The other rail line, St. Lawrence & Ottawa R.R. (C.A.R.), comes onto the map just south of Richmond Road and crosses it at a shallow angle before arriving at its station west of Broad opposite Preston Street, just inside City Limits. Outside City Limits, Rochesterville is labelled as the area west of Division and south of Richmond Road.

In 1879,6 the Canada Atlantic Railway was the second to cross Richmond Road, with platforms on the south side of the Broad Street station, as seen on this 1885 fire insurance map of the Lumber District.9 The map also shows that the St. Lawrence & Ottawa line forked into two tracks just before it crossed Richmond Road: one heading east into Chaudière, the other west to the CPR's tracks over the Lemieux Island bridge (later Prince of Wales bridge).

Section of an 1885 fire insurance map angled with extents Duke Street (North), diagonal of Wellington to Maple (Primrose)/Rochester to Spruce/Preston (East), Little Chaudiere (Bayview Station, South), and middle of Nepean Bay (West). Somerset Street between Preston and Richmond (Wellington) crosses the lower left corner of the map at a diagonal with a marker that it is a viaduct over two rail tracks coming from the south (Labelled C. P. Railway and [Canada Atla]ntic Ry.). The C.A.R. passes through the J.R. Booth/Sparks Estate Yard in an area outside City Limits labelled BAYSWATER, then turns northeast and crosses Wellington just west of where Wellington makes a sharp 30 degree southwest turn at the City Limit. After crossing Wellington, the C.A.R. goes east around a building labelled 'Canada' before ending at the 'Atlantic Yard' in LeBreton Flats parallel and adjacent to Wellington Street just west of Broad Street. The C.P.R. splits just south of the diagonal section of Richmond Road, one part of which goes east into LeBreton Flats, parallel to and just north of the C.A.R. yard at Broad; the other part goes west to the Prince of Wales Bridge (not drawnn), and a switchback connects to the C.P.R. yards in LeBreton Flats parallel to Broad Street at Oregon, which splits into four tracks after crossing the Aqueduct. Two more switchbacks, both crossing the line that went to the bridge, go to the Engine House and to Pembroke on the right of way parallel to Scott Street (now the LRT Confederation Line alignment).

The January 1, 1889 annexation10 of the streetcar suburbs11 of Stewarton, Rochesterville, Mount Sherwood and Orangeville12 would result in the City Limits being extended to the far side of the tracks, along the east edge of Little Chaudière (later Bayview Road, now Bayview Station Road13) and Fourth Avenue (later Bayswater14) which met at Richmond Road.

This 1887 map reproduced in The City Beyond15 shows the railroads with a bit more context, including J.R. Booth's extension of the line around the eastern perimeter of LeBreton Flats. Note that Scott Street west of the tracks is just referred to as "Road allowance between [Concession] A and First [Concession]".15,4

Large section of map between of the west side of the Ottawa area with extents Concession St (Bronson, East), Carling Avenue (South), Centre St (Stirling, West), and the Chaudière islands (North). Individual properties are shown and numbered (not necessarily reflecting any construction thereon) for most blocks except west of the tracks (O Train Trillium Line) and south of Laurel Street in Bayswater. The Ottawa and St. Lawrence R.R. (CPR) comes up from the middle of the south end of the map up along the current O-Train Trillium Line alignment before splitting just south of Richmond Road into parts that go north (over the Lemieux Island rail bridge) and east (into LeBreton Flats), the latter of which also splits into a roundhouse just north of Richmond and a westbound rail line just north of future Scott Street. The Canadian Atlantic Railway line travels over many parcels of land as though it were drawn after the properites were subdivided. It comes in from the right side of the map near Bronson and Catherine and goes west before turning north parallel to the CPR line and turning east to cross Richmond Road and follow the north side of Richmond Road and splits into two tracks at the Broad Street station, one of which continues east up around LeBreton Flats along the north side of the Aqueduct and then crosses Bridge St westbound before going onto the west side of Chaudière island. Wellington Street is labelled in the diagonal section east of the Richmond/Wellington/Broad/Rochester intersection. West of that intersection is labelled Richmond Road up to the point where Richmond splits off southwest into Hintonburg. The road alignment continues west toward Scott Street, which is labelled as 'Road Allowance Between Con. A & First Con.'

The 1888 fire insurance maps16 show these at-grade crossings (including a fourth across Wellington Street not reflected in maps for public consumption17,18,19) with even more detail with the more westerly City Limit. The darker paper is from the original 1888 drawing (with patches pasted in as individual lots were developed), and the lighter paper reflects areas where entire sections of map were redrawn in 1901. As we can see, there was a bit of confusion about the name of the road, possibly owing to the imprecise wording of that definition in 1880: Through the tracks (now within City Limits) it is labelled "Wellington (late) Richmond Road", but west of there in Hintonburg (which would not be annexed until 1907) it is labelled "Richmond Road or Wellington St."

Four tiled map sections, labelled, from left to right, 114A, 112, 113, 114, from the 1888/1901 Fire Insurance plans, with extents just west of Division (Booth, east); Spruce between Division and First (Champagne/City Centre, South), Somerset over the tracks (South), half a block south of Somerset west of the tracks (South); A little west o fSouth St (Garland, West); and a little north of Wellington St/Concession (Albert/Scott, North). The left-most square of map (114A) is on darker (older) paper than the other three sections, which are also smaller. The rail lines are shown in more detail. The CPR comes under Somerset (which is labelled as 'Wood & Iron Bridge') before splitting once for a spur that goes over Wellington west of the Roundhouse, then splits into five tracks, one splits west with a building on the south side of Wellington, two that split east and go into a building on the south side of Wellington, and between those, another which splits into two before crossing Wellington, one going west off the map toward the Prince of Wales bridge, the other going east and splitting after Wellington into three tracks and going into a tangle of tracks that are mostly cut off of the map. The CAR has three lines crossing under Somerset, the left two join south of somerset, and the right two join north of Somerset. Heading north, the left line goes into the same building south of Wellington as the two CPR tracks; the right line goes through the Sparks Estate North Yard/J. R. Booth, then goes east of the building to cross Welilngton just west of First Ave (Champagne/City Centre Ave) and heads east and wraps around the Canada Atlantic yard, ending with a track that splits at Wellington and broad, one of which continues across Broad and northeast off the map.

Great big fires

If the area east of the railyards looks a little sparse it's because of an event that changed the entire lumber district on April 26, 1900:20

Map of Ottawa showing a long red outline, depicting the extent of the fire, around much of Hull, Chaudiere Falls islands, LeBreton Flats, and Rochesterville (CPR tracks to modern-day Booth St all the way down to Carling)

The 1900 fire devastated this area, destroying the "stylish" part of Wellington Street where "where well-to-do Ottawans built their fine homes".21 The block between Rochester and Division (later Booth) would go from having four grand residential addresses along its south side in 188816 to fifteen by 1912.22

Four tiled map sections on the same arrangement as the 1901 map section above, labelled, from left to right, 11, 112, 113, 114, and parts of 108 and 49 north of Wellington, from the 1912 Fire Insurance plans, with extents just west of Division (Booth, east); Spruce between Division and Champagne (City Centre, South), Somerset over the tracks to Wellington (South); Garland (West); and a little north of Wellington St/Scott (Albert/Scott, North). The description and arrangement of rails is similar to the 1901 map except that the CPR lines from south of Somerset into LeBreton Flats are twinned by a Grand Trunk Railway line and these all go under Wellington (Wood & Steel Bridge). The roundhouse just north of Wellington has been replaced with a new one further west along Bayview Road (where Tom Brown arena is now). The Canada Atlantic Railway line which used to cross Wellington just west of Champagne is shown as cut off. On the north side of Wellington where the C.A.R. yards used to be is now a very long building, the International Marine & Signal Co. Ltd, Manufacturer of Gas Buoys & Marine Supplies. The blocks around Preston and Rochester south of Wellington are now occupied with various single and row houses, except for the three north and west quadrants of Preston/Elm/Wellington/Champagne, which are empty, and the block of Maple (Primrose)/Preston/Rochester/Wellington, which is occupied by a large industrial complex.

Being a road, Wellington Street did not burn down like the buildings surrounding it, so I won't dwell on the well-covered topic of the fire. For further reading, see the Urbsite blog post about the fire from which I got the Lumber District and Conflagration map above.

There was another major fire three years later which was more limited to Dalhousie Ward and came up to Wellington Street without crossing it. 200-250 people were displaced, but there were no injuries. The Journal reported the following day that the fire started in one of J.R. Booth's lumber yards, which lost 18 million feet of lumber, valued at over $150,000, and "is thought to be due to incendarism, and John White, a man who has recently been released from serving a ten-year sentence for firing Booth's piles some years ago, has been place under arrest." Because of the substantial attention received by the 1900 fire, City Council decided not to ask for outside assistance, and voted the morning after the fire to grant "$50 to each family, spinster or widow whose property was destroyed in yesterday's conflagration and that the amount be final so far as this council is concerned."23

The Journal23 and the Citizen24 both had graphics showing the extent of the fire (the Journal's shown here):

Map and caption from a Journal article on the 1903 fire. Below the map is the title 'The Area Destroyed.' and a subtitle 'For a view of the relatively greater destruction of the fire of 1900 see map on page 3. The crosses mark where two big fights of the day were made. The two crosses mark where the last successful stand was made.' On the map is the title 'Map showing relative position of burnt district'. The map has outlined that part of Dalhousie Ward east and south of the Canada Atlantic Railway tracks extending as far east as Rochester or Division (one of the crosses is where the east boundary pushes out to Lorne Ave (Upper Lorne Pl) between Maple (Primrose) and Somerset. After there the fire boundary is between Rochester and Division down to Poplar, which it skirts back to Rochester, then skirting Willow to Preston where it continues down to Louisa, which is the southernmost extent of the fire between Preston and the tracks.

That map appears to use the same base map as this 1903 water distribution map,25 cropped to show Wellington Street, Chaudière Falls, and St. Louis Dam at Dow's Lake:

Plan Shewing Water Distribution System of the City of Ottawa, Ont. Scale 1 in. = 800 ft. City engineers office Feb 1903

1908 Renaming of Richmond Road through Hintonburg

Richmond Road came into the City Limits as far west as about Irving (then Sixth Avenue) when Bayswater was annexed on July 27, 1907,26 and to Western Avenue (called Skeads Road until 193027) when Hintonburg was annexed on December 16, 1907.26 Richmond Road through Hintonburg (i.e. as far west as Western) would be renamed to Wellington Street on June 25, 1908, in a renaming that would also extend Somerset (formerly Cedar) and rename Carling, Bronson, and others listed in Bylaw No. 2777's Schedule "A".14 That schedule isn't in the bylaw books at the Ottawa Public Library's Ottawa Room; however, the fine folks at the City of Ottawa Archives forwarded me a copy:

Table with title '(Schedule ''A'' to By-law No. 2777)' and five headings: Street, Location, From, To, Proposed Name. For example, 1st Ave (Street) in City/Hintonburg/Bayswater (Location) between Wellington St. (From) and Dyson St. (To) proposed name is Champagne Ave. There are about 60 entries.

Wellington Street Vidauct

By 1909, with the western suburbs continuing to grow, the at-grade railway crossings of Wellington were getting impractical so a viaduct was built to carry Wellington Street over them. The Ottawa Citizen describes its official opening in an article in its Christmas Eve 1909 edition:28
“The new Wellington street viaduct was formally declared open for traffic yesterday afternoon by Mayor Hopewell and City Engineer Ker and members of the city council. The first vehicles to cross after the ropes were lowered were those of a couple of farmers who were wending their way homeward.

… Formerly at this point Wellington street was crossed by four tracks, three of the C. P. R. and one of the G. T. R., within a space of 1,000 feet. Some time ago the railway commission owing to the frequency of accidents, ordered a viaduct to be built. Work was commenced in June, the city constructing the approaches and the C. P. R., the actual steelwork. While the bridge is now ready for traffic there still remain the macadamizing of the approaches and concrete curb on top to be built.

There was no special ceremony connected with the opening, the mayor simply declaring the magnificent structure ready for traffic.”
An excellent post on Dave Allston's Kitchissippi Museum blog about the eastern end of Wellington Street West describes the viaduct: "It had a total length of 1,150 feet, including 550 feet of steelwork and 600 feet of approaches. It was 38 feet wide, with 30 feet of roadway and 8 feet of sidewalks." The Ottawa Journal ran a photo on December 23, 1909, a day before it opened. The caption mentions that the approaches used fill from the excavation of the Chateau Laurier:

Clipping from a newspaper with a photo (pasted crooked in orginal) with all-caps heading 'The new Wellington Street Viaduct which will be formally thrown open to traffic to-morrow afternoon by the mayor and members of the City Council.' The photo shows a view from ground level of the viaduct overhead, with steel supports and an overhanging sidewalk with railing. There are planks on the ground but the photo from the scanned newspaper is too poor quality to glean other details. The caption below reads: 'The above is a picture of a portion of the new Wellington street viaduct, which will be formally opened for traffic to-morrow afternoon at 2.30 y the mayor and members of teh city council. In the picture is shown the steel work spanning the railway tracks between the two concrete abutments to which the approaches are constructed. Under the steelwork four railway tracks pass within less than 1,000 feet. These were formerly protected by gates, but frequent accidents occurred. Teh character of the ground rendered the construction of the viaduct comparatively easy.  The steel work has a length over all of 522 feet, and is built upon concrete pedestals and concrete abutments. This work was done by the C. P. R.  The balance of the work was constructed by the city, and consists of the pavement over the viaduct, which is made of creasoted wooden blocks laid on tarred planks with sand cushions. The roadway is 30 feet wide. An eight-foot sidewalk runs along the south side. The combined length of the approaches is 645 feet. The filling consists of stone and ashes, and the retaining walls are built of massive masonry. The stone was secured free of cost from the excavations of the Chateau Laurier. Over the approaches there is a steel railing and concrete curb and macadam roadways. The latter two will not be laid until spring. / The estimated cost was $60,000, exclusive of land damages, and the work will be completed within the estimate. The land damages are estimated at $15,000, making the total cost of the work $75,000.'

There had been calls by the Carleton County for it to instead be built 20 feet wider to accommodate streetcars,29 but that would have increased the cost. In fact, between the time that the viaduct was approved and built, Hintonburg was annexed into the City of Ottawa. Carleton County tried to use this as an excuse to back out of its share of the costs, but the Board of Railway Commissioners apportioned them one-ninth of the cost and the Supreme Court denied an appeal.30 Construction had started on May 28 when the roadway was closed, which blocked off access to two grocers on the stretch of Wellington who sued for damages in September.31

In his blog post, Allston writes that the viaduct was motivated by the 1900 fire, which burned the Somerset Street bridge and as a result "Hintonburg was cut off from the east". I haven't been able to corroborate this with contemporary accounts. To the contrary, at a tense meeting in June, 1900, where City Council was asked to retroactively approve a fourth level crossing on Wellington Street, County Councilor D. H. McLean made a deputation to Ottawa City Council, saying "If another crossing had to be tolerated a viaduct should be built over Wellington street west. The public use of the highway was now impeded by three level crossings, and the public needed protection. He considered that as a viaduct would do away with the expense of gates and gatemen, the C.A.R. and C.P.R. would not strenuously object to it."32 A viaduct was proposed, but no mention of the fire as a related reason for building it.

Another article in February 1911 discusses plans for a joint representation to the Railway Committee of the Privy Council by representatives of the City of Ottawa, Township of Nepean, and County of Carleton, to request a viaduct be constructed. The reasons are mainly for suburbanites to avoid the hazards and delays of level crossings, and notes that many farmers go three miles out of their way to avoid crossing the tracks.33 But nothing about the fire.

Additional suburbs were annexed into the City of Ottawa in February 190934,26 bringing more traffic from these growing former suburbs, and Wellington Street was navigable through the tracks (albeit shared with railroad crossings), so I'd be interested to see more evidence about how this decision came about and whether the fire had anything to do with it. Since the viaduct was built by the CPR and not by the City, a search of the Minutes and By-Laws books only turned up an agreement to build a railing along the viaduct.35

Wellington widening and paving through Hintonburg

Between April 1910 and June 1911, Wellington Street was approved for expansion to 60 feet wide between Merton and Holland. This was done under a series of 11 by-laws reminiscent of an Abbot and Costello act. Each footnote represents a separate bylaw. In order, these bylaws:
  • approved the widening36,37
  • approved the related expropriations of 37 parcels38
  • repealed the expropriations and then approved 37 expropriations again39,40
  • repealed all of the above41
  • approved the widening anew42)
  • approved the 37 expropriations anew43,44,45,46
Much of Wellington's road and sidewalks would be approved for paving in this time as well, with the City generally levying two-thirds of the cost on adjacent property owners:
  • between Broad and Queen, contract with Barber Asphalt Paving Company47)
  • between (a lane between Irving and Spadina) and Pinhey, contract with Ottawa Construction Company Ltd.48
  • between Rosemount and Parkdale, contract with Ottawa Construction Company Ltd.,49
  • between Melrose and Rosemount,50 contract with Ottawa Construction Company Ltd.,51

And finally, various parts of the Scott Street alignment in the railyards were stopped up in April 191152 and approved for sale to the Canadian Pacific Railway (which by this point owned all adjacent lands) in July 191153 after the relevant notices were placed in the papers. This is where the new roundhouse would be built.

Clearing up the 'middle section' of Wellington

As for the Grand Trunk rail line still crossing over Wellington Street at grade just east of the Viaduct, an annotation on the Fire Insurance map in use from 1902 and revised 191254 indicates that J.R. Booth's Railway line was "to be removed". This was done by order of the Railway Commission in November 1910,55 before the Grand Trunk Railway had secured rights to operate under the Viaduct, leading to the idling of 270 workers and 150 freight cars and costing the company $3,000 a day.56

Plate 112 from the 1912 Fire Insurance maps. This shows the section between Champagne Ave and Bayswater Ave north of sOmerset Street, including the entire Wellington Street viaduct. The Canada Atlantic Railway line at the east end of the railyards is labelled 'Grand Trunk Ry (Main Line)' and '(To be removed)'. It is depicted as ending on the south side of Wellington Street just west of Champagne Ave. The other rails are as described in an earlier caption.

This would no doubt be related to the construction of the new Union Station on the banks of the Canal at Rideau Street rendering the Broad Street station redundant. The discontinued rail line still appears on unofficial maps, such as this 1913 one,57 into the 1940s,58 but is clearly no longer physically present.

Photo of a section of a 1913 map of the City of Ottawa with extents Bay Street (East), Somerset Street (South), Bayview Road/Bayswater (West), and Ottawa River/Chaudière Island (North). Nearly all blocks are shown subdivided, most with numbered parcels. The Canada Atlantic Railway line coming up from the south into LeBreton Flats is drawn overtop the divided lots, leading to the Can. Pac. Broad St. Station and continuing past to circumavigate the east side of LeBreton Flats.

While the Citizen article correctly identifies the viaduct as being part of "Wellington Street", many non-official maps (and even the "1900 Conflagration" map above20) still call this Richmond Road. The latest one is from a pocket-sized map dating from around 1912 that I bought in 2012:59

Scan of a map with red, blue, and black ink showing the entire central area of Ottawa from the railway tracks in the west to the Rideau River in the east, parts of Hull and New Edinburh in the north, and Isabella in the south. Only major buildings (Churches, Schools, Parliament Buildings, etc.) are drawn (in red) and labelled. Streetcar (solid line) and heavy rail lines (hashed lines) are drawn in black. The map was colour enhanced post scanning.

Other maps from 1912 (below),60 1913,57 1914,61 and 192962 simply don't label this segment, but do label the segment west of it (in Hintonburg) as "Wellington Street", implying that this section goes by that name, too (and Scott Street wasn't yet connected).

Section of a map with extents Cambirdge Street (East), Eccles, Oak, Laurel Streets (South), Pinhey Street, Stonehurst Ave, Lazy Bay (West), Oregon Street (North). Topographic lines show the rise from Nepean Bay in the Ottawa River to local high points at Champagne and Somerset, down to Preston Street, and back up with a steep hill around Lorne Avenue and Primrose (Nanny Goat Hill). Some major industrial and institutional buildings are drawn in, such as the House of Mercy Maternity Hospital (now St. Luke's Hospital), St. Jean Baptiste Church (now Dominican Colege), Wellington Street publich School (between Bridge and Hill, south side), and various industrial buildings on the Flats. Rail lines are also drawn in though they are difficult to tell from the topographic and street lines. Streetcar tracks are also shown, such as along Somerset through to Wellington, and from Somerset and Preston up to Preston and Albert and east along Albert, and from the Ottawa River down Bridge Street to Queen Street W east over Pooley's Bridge.

1912 Re-renaming of George Street and Victoria Terrace

This could be because in on June 4, 1912, City Council officially made 29 paragraphs of street name changes in By-Law No. 3400,63 including duplicate renamings of Wellington and four others that had already been renamed in 1880:
And, whereas, certain portions of that street, in the said City, extending from the Rideau Canal to the westerly limits of the said City, which is commonly known as "Wellington Street," are described on plans in the Registry Office for the said City as "Victoria Terrace" and "George Street," and it is desirable in order to avoid confusion and inconvenience that the said Street should be known as "Wellington Street" throughout its entire length.
[Therefore the City approves]
4. That street, in the said City, extending from the Rideau Canal to the westerly limits of the said City, commonly known as "Wellington Street," shall hereafter be called and known as "Wellington Street" throughout its entire length and the names "Victoria Terrace" and "George Street," which are now applied to portions of the said street, are hereby changed to "Wellington Street."
So, unlike in 18803 and 190864 when only portions of road were renamed Wellington, City Council made sure to declare that the entire stretch from Rideau to City Limits (there's that term again!) would be called "Wellington Street". I guess the City wasn't aware that the reason this street was "commonly known as" Wellington Street was because Council had already officially renamed it (maybe they had as much difficulty locating the 1880 street renaming bylaw as I did)!

And so Wellington Street, forming Victoria Ward's southern boundary, extended from the Rideau Canal all the way through to City Limits at the far end of Hintonburg. This City of Ottawa map of Victoria Ward (from a book of ward maps in the Ottawa Room) is from 1932, but shows Wellington Street as it was by this point in the chronology.65

Map showing Victoria Ward (XI) in Ottawa highlighted in yellow, with drawn and named streets within the ward and some outside for context. Wellington Street extends diagonally from the bottom left (Hintonburg) to the upper right (Parliament Hill), breaking through the frame of the map. North of Scott Street and west of Parkdale is outside the City Limits, but Mechanicsville and Lemieux, Chaudiere, and Victoria Islands are painted in as part of the Ward. Rail lines snake through the ward from the bottom, left, and top of the page converging in the Bayview area and extending to LeBreton Flats in the middle of the map. From west to east, adjacent wards are noted: Elmdale (X), Dalhousie (IX), Wellington (VIII), and Central (VII).

Wellington Street would remain mostly unchanged for the next 50 years, so next time, in Part 5*, we'll instead look at how Wellington Street fared during the rise of the era of suburbs, automobiles, and traffic. As always, I've done my best to filter out the wrong information and provide sources for the rest; corrections are welcome by email, tweet, or comment (all comments are moderated). (*When it's ready, I'll note the planned posting date in the full list of posts in the Introduction post)

Show/hide references

  • 1: Carre, William H. Art Work on Ottawa, Canada, 1898, p. 2 vol 2.
  • 2: Goad, Charles E. Insurance Plan of Ottawa Ontario, June 1878. Charles E. Goad, Civil Engineer [Montreal], 1878, Plates 4, 43, 46-49.
  • 3: "By-Law No. [475]: By-Law to change the names of certain streets in the City of Ottawa." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1879. City of Ottawa, 1880-01-16, pp. 507-512. City Council Minutes and By-Laws weren't split into separate volumes until 1890, so it is necessary to look through the minutes book for the relevant year (they also didn't have a topic index pre-1890 either). But the 1880 minutes book opens with a January 19th meeting which is composed primarily of the Mayor's speech. I eventually found the January 16 meeting minutes/bylaws at the end of the 1879 minutes book, and By-Law 475 was misnumbered in that volume as By-Law 175!
  • 4: "18 VIC., CAP 23, An Act to erect the Town of By-town into a City under the name of the 'City of Ottawa'." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1890 (Consolidated), 1854-12-18, pp. 356-365. Section 2 of the provincial Act establishing the City of Ottawa divides the city into five Wards: '...and the portion of the City lying westerly from the Rideau Canal shall constitute two wards, which latter two wards shall be divided by the centre of Wellington street, George street, Victoria terrace and the concession line known as the Richmond road, to the limits of the City...'.
  • 5: "By-Law No. 470: To fix the places for holding the Election of Mayor and Aldermen for the City of Ottawa, for the year 1880, and to appoin tReturning Officers to hold the Nomination in each Ward, and to preside at the respective Polling Places." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1879. City of Ottawa, 1879-12-16, pp. 373-378. This doesn't define the wards specifically, but the polling divisions within them for the 1880 year, but you get the picture.
  • 6: Brault, Lucien. Ottawa Old & New. Ottawa Historical Information Institute, 1946, p. 192.
  • 7: "Bytown and Prescott Railway." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Accessed on 2020-01-09.
  • 8: Mara & Maingy, patent agents. "Map of the City of Ottawa scale 16 chains to the inch 1874." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Accessed on 2019-11-05.
  • 9: Goad, Charles E. Lumber District Ottawa, Scale 400 Feet = 1 Inch [via Urbsite], 1885.
  • 10: "51 VIC., CAP. 53: An Act to extend the limits of the City of Ottawa and to re-arrange the Wards thereof and for other purposes." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1890 (Consolidated), 1888-03-23, pp. 366-374. This is a copy of the provincial Act reproduced in the 1890 bylaw book.
  • 11: Elliott, Bruce S. The City Beyond: A History of Nepean, Birthplace of Canada's Capital 1792-1990. Corporation of the City of Nepean, 1991, p. 137.
  • 12: Brault 1946 p. 28.
  • 13: "City of Ottawa Street Name Changes." City of Ottawa website, Accessed on 2020-01-09, Bayview Road - From Slidell St. to Wellington St. W (addresses: 1 – 163) changed to Bayview Station Road on 2019-06-17.
  • 14: "Schedule 'A' to By-law No. 2777." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1908, 1908-06-25, Schedule A isn't included in the By-Law books. See a photo of it in the 'Viaduct' section of Part 4.
  • 15: Elliott 1991 p. 123. Referencing National Archives NMC11413
  • 16: Goad, Charles E. Insurance Plan of the City of Ottawa, Canada and adjoining Suburbs & Lumber Districts; Revised and Extended October 1898, Burnt District rearranged & revised January 1901. Charles R. Goad, Civil Engineer [Montreal], 1888, Plate 83. Plates 83 and 114 show the same location before and after the fire.
  • 17: Wagner & Debes'. Map of Ottawa [ca 1894]. Wagner & Debes' Geological Establishment [Leipzig], 1894.
  • 18: Map of Electroral District of Ottawa, (City,), Ont, 1895, Plate No 58. I'm not sure where this 1895 map came from; I downloaded the image in January 2014 (likely from Urbsite) but it obviously is from a book of maps, probably of Canadian electoral districts.
  • 19: Reid, Basil. Twentieth Century Map of the City of Ottawa and Vicinity, Shewing Latest Surveys And Improvements. Basil Reid, 1909, A print/copy of this map was on a wall at the Ottawa Public Library's Ottawa Room. It shows streetcar routes in red.
  • 20: Goad, Charles E. Plan showing extent of Ottawa-Hull Conflagration, Thursday, April 26th, 1900 [via Urbsite], 1900.
  • 21: Bond, C.J. City on the Ottawa [Tour guide book]. Minister of Public Works. Queen’s Printer and Controller of Stationery, 1967, p. 97.
  • 22: Goad, Charles E. Insurance Plan of the City of Ottawa, Ontario Volume II, December 1902. Charles E. Goad, Civil Engineer [Montreal & Toronto], 1912, Plate 114. Plate 114 shows the blocks bounded by Division (Booth), Spruce, Preston and Wellington/Albert; the composite image includes parts of plates 49, 48, 108, 111, 112, 113 and 114.
  • 23: "West end of the city in ashes: hundreds once more homeless." Ottawa Journal, 1903-05-11, p. 1. Also from the same page: 'Council to aid sufferers; special meeting held to-day'.
  • 24: "Ottawa Again Baptized With Fire." Ottawa Citizen, 1903-05-11, p. 1.
  • 25: City Engineers Office Feb 1903. "Plan Shewing Water Distribution System of the City of Ottawa, Ont." Ottawa Historical Maps. Carleton University MacOdrum Library.
  • 26: Elliott 1991 Annex 4.
  • 27: "WESTERN AVENUE CHANGED FROM SKEAD'S ROAD / BY-LAW: 6865 (1930) FROM WELLINGTON STREET TO SCOTT STREET." An historical list of street name changes. City of Ottawa Archives, 2001, p. 128.
  • 28: "Viaduct Opened." Ottawa Citizen, 1909-12-24, p. 5 Col 3.
  • 29: "Wider Viaduct." Ottawa Citizen, 1907-09-26, p. 1.
  • 30: "County must pay its share of Wellington St. Viaduct." Ottawa Journal, 1909-04-05, p. 1 Col 2.
  • 31: "Inexcusable Delay." Ottawa Citizen, 1909-09-27, p. 1 Col 7. The grocers were at 922, 926 and 923 Wellington Street.
  • 32: "Tracks Laid: Council Authorizes Another Level Crossing." Ottawa Citizen, 1900-06-14, pp. 5 Cols 4-5.
  • 33: "Action May Be Taken." Ottawa Journal, 1901-02-11, pp. 4, Col 4.
  • 34: Brault 1946 p. 30.
  • 35: "By-Law No. 3024: A By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with the International Marine Signal Company, Limited, for the construction of a railing on the Richmond Road Viaduct." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-05-30, p. 117.
  • 36: "By-Law No. 3011: A By-law to authorize the widening of Wellington Street between Merton Street and Holland Avenue, as a local improvement." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-04-18, p. 82. Amended by By-Law No. 3071, Repealed by By-Law No. 3084.
  • 37: "By-Law No. 3071: A By-law to amend By-law No. 3011." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-08-15, p. 252. Repealed by By-Law No. 3084.
  • 38: "By-Law No. 3074: A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington Street, between Merton Street and Holland Avenue." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-08-24, pp. 258-274. Repealed by By-Law No. 3080.
  • 39: "By-Law No. 3080: By-law (sic) to repeal By-Law No. 3074, intituled "A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington Street, between Merton Street and Holland Avenue"." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-09-06, p. 286.
  • 40: "By-Law No. 3081: A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington Street, between Merton Street and Holland Avenue." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-09-06, pp. 287-303. Repealed by By-Law No. 3084.
  • 41: "By-Law No. 3084: A By-law to repeal certain By-laws relating to the widening of Wellington Street, between Merton Street and Holland Avenue, as a local improvement." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-10-03, p. 310.
  • 42: "By-Law No. 3090: A By-law to authorize the widening of Wellington Street, between Merton Street and Holland Avenue, as a local improvement." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-11-07, p. 316.
  • 43: "By-Law No. 3124: A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington street, between Merton street and Holland avenue." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-04-03, pp. 49-66. Amended by By-Laws No. 3137, No. 3152, No. 3153.
  • 44: "By-Law No. 3137: A By-law to amend By-law Number 3124, entituled "A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington street, between Merton street and Holland avenue."." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-05-15, pp. 90-92. Replaces definition of Parcel 14.
  • 45: "By-law No. 3152: A By-law to amend By-law Number 3124, entituled "A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington street, between Merton street and Holland avenue."." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-06-05, p. 141. Replaces definition of Parcel 13.
  • 46: "By-law No. 3153: A By-law to amend By-law Number 3124, entituled "A By-law to authorize the taking of certain lands for the widening of Wellington street, between Merton street and Holland avenue."." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-06-05, pp. 143-144. Replaces definition of Parcel 35.
  • 47: "By-Law No. 3022: A By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with the Barber Asphalt Paving Company for the paving of Wellington Street from the West limit of Broad Street to the South limit of Queen Street with Trinidad Pitch Lake Asphalt as a local improvement." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-05-30, p. 115.
  • 48: "By-Law No. 3085: A By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with the Ottawa Construction Company, Limited, for paving of Wellington Street, from the west side of the lane between Irving Avenue and Spadina Avenue to east side of Pinhey Street, with Trinidad Pitch Lake Asphalt and Nepean Sand Stone Setts in track allowance as a local improvement." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1910, 1910-10-03, p. 311.
  • 49: "By-Law No. 3249: A By-law to authorize the execution of an Agreement with the Ottawa Construction Company, Limited, for the construction of an Asphalt and Nepean Sand Stone Block Pavement on Wellington street from Rosemount avenue to Parkdale avenue." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-10-02, p. 479.
  • 50: "By-Law No. 3251: A By-law to authorize the construction of a Trinidad Pitch Lake Asphalt and Nepean Sand Stone Block Pavement on Wellington street from Melrose avenue to Rosemount avenue as a Local Improvement." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-10-02, pp. 483-484. Authorization only.
  • 51: "By-Law No. 3254: A By-law to authorize the execution of an Agreement with the Ottawa Construction Company, Limited, for the construction of a Trinidad Pitch Lake Asphalt and Nepean Sand Stone Block Pavement on Wellington Street from Melrose Avenue to Rosemount Avenue." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-10-02, p. 489. Approval of contract.
  • 52: "By-Law No. 3121: A By-law to provide for the stopping up of a portion of the Original Allowance for Road between Concessions ''A'' and ''1'' Ottawa Front, Township of Nepean (now within the limits of the City of Ottawa) a portion of Alonzo street and Richmond street (sic) in the said City." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-04-18, pp. 41-44.
  • 53: "By-law No. 3180: A By-law to provide for the sale of a portion of the original road allowance between concessions ''A'' and ''1,'' Ottawa Front, Township of Nepean, (now within the limits of the City of Ottawa) and a portion of Alonzo street and Richmond street [sic], in the said City of Ottawa, to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1911, 1911-07-03, pp. 207-208.
  • 54: Goad 1912 Plate 112.
  • 55: "G.T.R. Ignores Board Order." Ottawa Journal, 1910-12-22, p. 2.
  • 56: "Is suffering heavy loss." Ottawa Journal, 1911-01-06, p. 1 Col 2. $3,000/day is about $67,000/day in 2019 dollars.
  • 57: Reid, Basil. City of Ottawa Canada January 1913. The Publicity and Industrial Bureau, City Hall, 1909, NMC4262. This is a photograph of a copy of the map located at the Ottawa Room, Ottawa Public Library.
  • 58: V. "Ottawa [Map] Drawn Exclusively for Alert Advertising, 109 Holland Park Ave, Toronto, Ontario, 1940s." Ottawa Historical Maps. Carleton University MacOdrum Library, Accessed on 2019-11-25.
  • 59: Wagner & Debes'. Map of Ottawa [ca 1912]. Wagner & Debes' Geological Establishment [Leipzig], 1912.
  • 60: Cauchon & Haycock, Consulting Engineers [Ottawa]. "Map of the City of Ottawa and Vicinity, Prepared under the authority of Order in Council No. 1802 dated June 26th 1912." Ottawa Historical Maps. Carleton University MacOdrum Library, Accessed on 2019-11-25.
  • 61: "Drawing No. 29: Plan of Ottawa, Hull and Vicinity 1914." Ottawa Historical Maps. Carleton University MacOdrum Library, Accessed on 2019-11-25, I believe this is from the 1915 Holt report, which explains why the map is clearly dated 1914 but Carleton has indicated 1915 in the filename.
  • 62: The Mortimer Company Limited [Toronto]. "A MOTOR DRIVE through Ottawa's Parks and Driveways / Map of Ottawa and Hull also Suburbs Aylmer, Britannia, Carlinton, Deschênes, Eastview, Gatineau Point, McKellar, Rockcliffe, Westboro, Woodroffe." Ottawa Historical Maps. Carleton University MacOdrum Library, Accessed on 2019-11-25.
  • 63: "By-law No. 3400: A By-law to change the names of certain streets." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1912, 1912-06-04, pp. 273-281. The bylaw was approved by County Judge D.B. MacTavish on May 25.
  • 64: "By-law No. 2777: A By-law to change the names of certain streets in the City of Ottawa." City of Ottawa Bylaws, 1908, 1908-06-25, pp. 179-181. Appendix ''A'' includes a long list of street name changes, but is not included in the 1908 bylaw book.
  • 65: "Victoria Ward." City of Ottawa 1932 [Book of Ward maps]. Commissioner of Works, City of Ottawa, 1931, sheet XI.

No comments:

Post a Comment