Originally Posted by lrt's friend
That is very interesting. Flooding was a major problem around Billings Bridge until the 1950s so building up the shoreline would make sense. How did you become aware of this? Word of mouth? From reading something? Do you have any idea of when this would have taken place?
I have a great interest in the history of Billings Bridge, because many of my ancestors came from around there.
I do not have documented evidence of when the build-up was done at that particular place but I have found evidence in the Citizen that there was talk about it and approval during the 30’s when everyone was out of work and make-work projects were abundant (that’s when the Col By Drive was built).
1930s island removal proposed
I am a member of the Ottawa South History Project
My real name is Jean-Claude Dubé and I am also a member of the Ottawa Historical Society, the Gloucester Historical Society, the Société Franco-Ontarienne d’Histoire et de Généalogie (Ont) and the Société d’Histoire de l’Outaouais (Que). So history is one of my main interests.
I was told about the dumping of one of the Billings Bridge islands on the north shore by an old-time resident of Old Ottawa South. For your interest, (because I know a fair bit about Billings Bridge also), the part that we now call Old Ottawa South was known as Billings Bridge until an Ottawa South Post Office was established around 1900.There was the new suburban village of Rideauville on both sides of what we call Aylmer Ave. The reason the locals got a Post Office of their own was that you couldn’t get easily across the bridge in the winter and it was washed out in the spring time. The north side of the Farmers Bridge (aka Billing’s Bridge) was well established with a hotel, blacksmith, grocery store etc. Bank Street Road developed north toward Lansdowne Park and the Glebe and not the other way around. (The Glebe was in the middle of nowhere with three hotels, one racetrack and not much else except a few farm houses and well-to-do guys with a home out in the country.
Because of flooding, the right bank of the Rideau was raised from the Rideau Falls to Vincent Massey Park in the 1950’s. Dikes were built from the Stegman rapids at Carleton U to Brewer’s Park and then on the east side of Bank Street.(Windsor Park, Linda Thom Park east) Between the two, there is an eclectic mixture of water control fixtures from the Rideau tennis Club and the west Linda Thom Park where is the raised shoreline that we are both talking about. I say eclectic because there are water control fixtures but no dike at the end of Marco Lane and Rideau River Lane. I would need an engineer to explain to me how the system works.
The Coliseum Building at Lansdowne Park is probably doomed to disappear with the Lansdowne Partnership Plan project and I am trying to write up the history of this 85 years old building of great historical and architectural significance. The architects were Hazelgrove, Burritt and Cecil Burgess. (Cecil Burgess designed the Windsor Arms and the Duncannon, just to name a few). I have ordered a digital copy of the prints and should be getting it in a few weeks. (It takes Library and Archives Canada 6 to 8 weeks to take a digital picture and burn it on a CD).
I have my own recent pictures and a 1947 Exhibition picture with a marquee at the entrance. If anyone has any pictures, prints, articles or memories to share with me, I would appreciate it.
Ask me about Billings Bridge. I may know something.
I am fond of tall buildings and skyscrapers if they are esthetically pleasant or historically significant. Most but not all of the buildings recently built uptown are wonderful and shall be part of Ottawa’s heritage in the years to come. I love the Desmarais building on the Ottawa U campus but the DND building next to it is enough to make me puke.
I’m planning to take pictures close-up of the Congress Centre if I’m around there on a good sunny afternoon when the reflections should be excellent.
I drove by it today. KHOOLE!