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Remarkable old photos of Ottawa in the 1900s

Ian Smith
Ottawa Post Office burns in 1904

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as “Ottawa” in 1855, the city has evolved into a political and technological centre of Canada.The city is the most educated in Canada,with several post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions. Ottawa also has the highest standard of living in the nation and low unemployment. It ranks 2nd out of 150 worldwide in the Numbeo quality of life index, and it contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With the draining of the Champlain Sea around 10,000 years ago the Ottawa Valley became habitable.[15] The area was used for wild edible harvesting, hunting, fishing, trade, travel, and camps for over 6500 years by local populations. The Ottawa river valley has archaeological sites with arrow heads, pottery, and stone tools. The area has three major rivers that meet, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years.The Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning “Great River” or “Grand River”.

Étienne Brûlé, the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes.Three years later, Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls of the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, who had been using the Ottawa River for centuries. The early explorers and traders were later followed by many missionaries. The first maps of the area used the word Ottawa to name the river.

Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from Ottawa in Hull.He, with five other families and twenty-five labourers,set about to create an agricultural community called Wrightsville. Wright pioneered the Ottawa Valley timber trade (soon to be the area’s most significant economic activity) by transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Quebec City.

Bank St. at Sparks, 1905

Bank St. at Sparks, 1905

 

 

 

Britannia Beach, Ottawa, ca. 1900s

Britannia Beach, Ottawa, ca. 1900s

 

Britannia Pier, Ottawa RiverOttawa in the 1900s (8)

Britannia Pier, Ottawa RiverOttawa in the 1900s (8)

 

 

Broad St., Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

Broad St., Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

 

Butchery on Richmond Rd. in Westboro

Butchery on Richmond Rd. in Westboro

 

Byward Market, Ottawa, 1905

Byward Market, Ottawa, 1905

 

Chicken vendor in the market on York St., Ottawa, ca. late 1900s

Chicken vendor in the market on York St., Ottawa, ca. late 1900s

 

Cows on Fifth Ave., Ottawa, 1900

Cows on Fifth Ave., Ottawa, 1900

 

Daly Building ca. early 1900s

Daly Building ca. early 1900s

 

Daly Building, 1906

Daly Building, 1906

 

Downtown Ottawa

Downtown Ottawa

 

Dow's Lake causeway, 1904

Dow’s Lake causeway, 1904

 

Election Day in front of Ottawa East town hall, 1908

Election Day in front of Ottawa East town hall, 1908

 

Election Day in Ottawa in the early 1900s

Election Day in Ottawa in the early 1900s

 

Elephant parade on Wellington St., ca. 1900

Elephant parade on Wellington St., ca. 1900

 

Elgin St. looking south from Wellington St., ca. late 1900s

Elgin St. looking south from Wellington St., ca. late 1900s

 

Elgin St., Ottawa, ca. 1900s

Elgin St., Ottawa, ca. 1900s

 

Looking west on Wellington St.

Looking west on Wellington St.

 

Macadam Rd. being built now Main St. in Old Ottawa East in the late 1900s

Macadam Rd. being built now Main St. in Old Ottawa East in the late 1900s

 

Maplelawn in 1907

Maplelawn in 1907

 

Metcalfe St. on a snowy day, 1907

Metcalfe St. on a snowy day, 1907

 

Ottawa Electric Railway streetcar in Britannia Park, ca. early 1900s

Ottawa Electric Railway streetcar in Britannia Park, ca. early 1900s

 

Ottawa Ladies College hockey group, March 1906

Ottawa Ladies College hockey group, March 1906

Ottawa Post Office burns in 1904

Ottawa Post Office burns in 1904

 

Race Weekend in Ottawa,1903

Race Weekend in Ottawa,1903

 

RIchmond Rd. near Ottawa, 1902

RIchmond Rd. near Ottawa, 1902

 

Ruins of the Gilmour Hotel on Bank St., Sept 15, 1906

Ruins of the Gilmour Hotel on Bank St., Sept 15, 1906

 

Snow clearing on Sparks St. in Ottawa, 1902

Snow clearing on Sparks St. in Ottawa, 1902

 

Sparks St., Ottawa, 1909

Sparks St., Ottawa, 1909

 

 

 

Stonemasons working on the building of the Victoria Museum in Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

Stonemasons working on the building of the Victoria Museum in Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

 

Sussex St. and George St., Ottawa, ca. late 1900s

Sussex St. and George St., Ottawa, ca. late 1900s

 

The first theater on Old Sparks St., Ottawa, Ontario, 1906

The first theater on Old Sparks St., Ottawa, Ontario, 1906

 

The Ottawa Normal School, June 1909

The Ottawa Normal School, June 1909

 

 

Timber Slide in Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

Timber Slide in Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

 

 

Wellington St., Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

Wellington St., Ottawa, ca. early 1900s

Photos from Ross Dunn

Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News