The Story of the GLEBE

from 1800 to 2000

by John Leaning

dedicated to the memory of

Alexander Mutchmor (1834 to 1896)
Thomas Ahearn (1855 to 1938)
Charlotte Whitton (1896 to 1975)
Douglas Fullerton (1917 to 1996)

and many others who made a difference.


1613-1763 Nouvelle France. 9
1763-1791 British Colony of Quebec. Tree cutting commences. 9
1783 Land purchase from Algonquins by Captain Crawford. 9
1792 Subdivision of Glebe into lots G, H, I, K. 12
1800 Frasers acquire Glebe lots excluding clergy reserve. 12
1826 Patterson acquires lot G. 14
1832 Canal routed around Glebe. 12
1836 Church of Scotland acquires lot H as a glebe. 14
1856 Canal transferred to Canada. 16
1866 Bank Street and Bridge built. Civil Servants arrive. 24, 29
1868 Ottawa Agricultural Society fairground created. 18
1870 Railroad forms northern edge of Glebe. 32
1871 Trotting Park and Hotels built. 20, 29
1875-1879 First Provincial Fairs at fairground. 20
1888 Central Canada Exhibition (CCE). 22
1889 Glebe Annexed by Ottawa. 22
1890 CCE becomes Lansdowne Park. 42
1891 Streetcars on Bank Street. 34
1894 Glebe Presbyterian Mission established. 34
1895 Mutchmor School built. First Bank Street Shops. 30, 36
1898 Aberdeen Pavilion built. 42, 60
1902 Clemow - Monkland Parkway begun. 38
1907 Completion of Canalside Parkways. 38
1914 Ottawa Ladies College built. 36
1919 Glebe Collegiate built. 38
1926 Canalside parkway completed. 38
1930 Fraserfield lumber yard sold and subdivided. 38
1939 Rough Riders win grey cup at Lansdowne Park. 44
1947 Ladies College becomes Carleton University. 36
1959 University moves to Rideau Campus. 36
1966 Frank Clare Stadium built at Lansdowne Park. 44
1974 Traffic Calming Plan effected. 54
1990 Lansdowne Park landscaped. 50, 52

This is a story of the Glebe, an inner, older, residential district of the Nation's Capital. It is a story that is mostly history, an explanation of how the Glebe came to be the way it is now. It may be an indicator for people in the future - that they may be able to benefit from the successes of the Glebe and avoid some of the mistakes of the past; maybe in this way it will also be useful and interesting to others in other communities.
The photography for this book is by Marcelle Jubinville, a Franco - Ontarienne living in the Glebe.

Much of the archival photography is from the historical postcard collection belonging to Phil Dunning. The Glebe is a culturally diverse area with a population of many different talents, so this book opens with a drawing by the Glebe artist Bhatt Boy and continues with a Glebe poem by George Johnston. I am much indebted to the Glebe Historical Society for their inspiration and collaboration, especially its coordinator Ian McKercher; Bruce McCallan and his extensive research into Bank Street; Phil Dunning; Christina Bates; Clyde and Penny Sanger; and John Kane, past President of the Glebe Community Association.


While serving as architect to the National Capital Commission during the early sixties, I was writing about how the Glebe and Third Avenue in particular was a good place to live, but how it could be better. A junior property manager with the Commission who was at the time living somewhere in outer suburbia came to me one day, saying that he had heard about my Glebe writings, but that he thought I should keep quiet. The Glebe, he thought, was a bit of a slum, especially on the eastern older side, and not an address to shout about. Maybe at that time he was correct - after nearly thirty years of depression and war it was looking rather dejected. The fashionableness of the Glebe has definitely risen since then to the financial advantage especially of realtors and taxmen. Fortunately for them, it is not just home to socialists who sport beards and long hair, practice yoga and take their ferrets, parrots and pet pigs for Sunday walks. But at least in the Glebe one can do all of those things and not be thought odd - that is one of its main virtues.

I was brought up in the outer suburbia of London, England, and I hated it for its ordinariness, prickly respectability and lack of tolerance for the odd and unusual. Later for my sins I would be a town planning inspector in an even newer outer suburb of Montreal, while studying at McGill University, but somehow it did not suffer the cloying respectability of my former English suburbia, saved maybe by being Québécois.

The Glebe was an outer suburb. It used to be beyond the city limits, but now it is almost in the city centre. That says nothing to its quality of life. The quality of life in any place in the world is a function of one’s immediate surroundings and acquaintances. We had the good luck of finding the Glebe eminently compatible in both senses from the very beginning. We were neighbours to the poet George Johnston who had at that time, while he was on sabbatical, a Quaker Co-op resident in his house. Across the road was a Buddhist Co-op which later became a women’s co-op. Further down the block lived a husky football player who distinguished himself and our block one night in the mid eighties by noisily beating the living daylights out of a thief who was trying to break into his house at three in the morning. Nearby lived Mitchell Sharp, the Minister for External Affairs, as well as Flora MacDonald, a leading Member of the Opposition Conservatives, the owner of the satirical "Frank Magazine", and the ambassador of ill fated El Salvador, a Baptist minister, a renowned ballerina, some teachers and some architects. Our house we bought from the writer economist Scott Gordon
just about the time that he was winning a philosophical battle against James Coyne, the Governor of the Bank of Canada over how Canada’s finances should be run. Our neighbour on the other side was Charlotte McEwen whose well publicised support for the Palestinian cause made us wonder whether our house might not get blown up by Mossad. She in turn was watched by the RCMP from a house across the street. Such was and still is the diverse nature of the Glebe; much more important than the trendiness that one hears so much of in the newspapers, especially during the time of the Great Glebe Garage Sale which takes place every May - one of Ottawa’s major social and retail events.

I think that maybe George Johnston’s poem "The Lily Pond" (1960) best illustrates the Glebe:

“Down at the bottom of Third Avenue
Ottawa has a lily-pond on view,
Neat little stone-edged pond, just big enough
That a small wind will make its waters rough.
Down to it all the children come and play
So gleefully they seem to shut away
The old vehicular world that hurries by.
A willow tree leans out across the sky
And drops its hairy image in the pond
And on the benches round it and beyond
Old men sit, and pregnant mothers sit
Taking their time, making the most of it.”

Welcome to the Glebe.

John Leaning.

1. The Lily Pond, c. 1909, showing the Rideau Aquatic Club, a marina opposite the present Ritz Restaurant at the canalside that existed until the First World War, as well as the rustic gateway into Lansdowne Park. Over the pond is a wooden bridge which was later replaced by a stone bridge about 1912. (Collection Phil Dunning).

2. The Lily Pond, 1999. (Marcelle Jubinville).

3. Patterson’s Creek, 1999. Cedar Lodge has gone, but the ugly O’Connor Street bridge remains. (Marcelle Jubinville).

4. Morris Street, 1999. A group of the first 1890’s urban houses on the south side of the Glebe.
(Marcelle Jubinville).

5. The Great Glebe Garage Sale in 1999 at the heart of the Glebe. (Marcelle Jubinville).

6. Capital Park during the Great Glebe Garage Sale. A group of the earliest urban houses.
(Marcelle Jubinville).

7. Bank Street in 1999. Looking north from Third Avenue across the original St. Andrew’s Glebe.
(Bruce McCallan).

8. The Great Glebe Garage Sale, 1999. Photo taken from Third Avenue. Behind the clown is new infill housing and a restaurant by Douglas Casey. (Marcelle Jubinville).


The Glebe today is a successful neighbourhood, attractive to live in, with a diverse population of all ages and lifestyles. It has not always been so. The built community is just over a hundred years old. Most of the buildings one sees there now are the first ever to be built on the land, but the land since the clearing of the primeval forest well over two hundred years ago has been used for several purposes before it became home to upwards of twelve thousand people. Covered now for about a fifth of its area by concrete, asphalt and houses laid out in rigid rectangles, even with its present day numerous trees and bushes, it is difficult to imagine that just over two hundred years ago the Glebe was an indistinguishable part of the vast primeval North American forest and swamplands or that only a hundred years ago it was still only market gardens and bush.

Up to the 17th century the Glebe was used for hunting, but probably never inhabited, by the Ottawa tribe of the Algonquin peoples who were subsequently dispossessed of their lands by the English supported Iroquois. The Algonquins had controlled the river trade from their Morrison Island fortress in Allumette Lake almost a hundred kilometres up river from present day Ottawa. This fortress was destroyed by the Mohawks (Iroquois) in 1642, for these were times of rivalry and conquest between the English and French colonists and their aboriginal allies and this area was in the front line. From about 1613 until 1763, the Ottawa area was part of Nouvelle France, but the French never settled the area, only plying the fur trade. After the conquest of New France by the British in 1759, the 1774 Quebec Act made the whole area part of the British Colony of Quebec, but still largely under the occupancy of the Algonquin peoples. Following upon the conclusion of the American War of Independence in 1783, Governor Haldimand in Quebec City instructed Captain W.R.Crawford of his Indian Department to purchase most of present Ontario east of the Trent River from the Council of Mississauga Indians to provide land for loyalist settlers fleeing from the newly independent United States and elsewhere. In 1791 the Constitution Act created Upper Canada (Ontario) and John Stegman was appointed deputy surveyor responsible for the subdivision of the new Nepean Township including the Glebe, within the County of Dundas.

By the end of the eighteenth century, cutting of the primeval forest still covering the area had commenced. The present boundaries of the Glebe were not then evident, except on the west side by the edge of Dow's Great Swamp. Originally a track from the Chaudiere Falls at Wright’s Estate to the Billing’s Estate on the Rideau River crossed the western part of the Glebe along the escarpment above Dow's Great Swamp. In 1815 the first road was built through the Glebe along the line of that track but it was abandoned in 1830 when the canal was cut through the "notch" between Dow’s Lake and present day Bank Street. From 1830 there was to be no road in the Glebe, except for the canal access road, until Bank Street was built in 1865.

The rest of the area eastward sloped gently downwards towards the Rideau River, intersected by two creeks later called Patterson's and Brown's Creeks, and covered with forest which took Stegman's men five days to cut through for the first survey lines. Patterson's Creek was differently located before the arrival of the canal, beginning west of St. Matthew’s Church, flowing through the present church site (as present congregations know to their cost) and then northwards to the present termination of the inlet. West of that point was a large swamp, an extension of Dow’s Great Swamp, draining down towards Le Breton Flats. Unluckily the surveyor who was working on the Glebe subdivision was probably drowned in the swamp. The early surveyors laid out the land in the same way as was done for all land in Canada - that is regardless of topography. It forms the basis of Ottawa's present day layout, although original Bytown was laid out square as opposed to the parallelogram fashion of the adjacent townships. These early surveyors certainly had no interest, or need to be imaginative. They simply followed instructions. Thus we are stuck today with a rigid grid of roads and lot lines that have little to do with the natural lie of the land, or the future social needs of the community. The early surveyors used the rivers as the starting points for their surveys. Thus the Glebe area was surveyed from the Rideau River to Concession Street (Bronson Avenue). Each concession was 200 acres in extent; 1 1/4 miles by 1/4 mile, a size considered then to be adequate for an individual farm. The subdivision of land was therefore based on rural requirements, not urban. Only Bytown, present day Lowertown, was subdivided for urban purposes. Modern day Glebe is very much governed by that rural subdivision, now demarcated by Isabella, Glebe, Fifth, and Broadway Avenues, by Bronson Avenue in the West and Main Street in the east, before the arrival of the canal.

In 1792 Nepean Township, then known as Township D, of about 60,000 acres, was granted to George Hamilton who applied to settle the area on behalf of 143 prospective settlers. However, by 1797 no one had taken up occupancy in the township, so Hamilton’s grant was revoked. This singular lack of interest in the Glebe area as farming land was to persist for almost a hundred years when it first became part of urban Ottawa, possibly because of the poverty of the land which is mostly sand and glacial till.

In about 1800 loyalist Thomas Fraser of Fraserfield in Edwardsburgh took up the land grant covering most of the Ottawa area. By 1812 the Glebe area grants were taken up by Thomas Fraser's sons. Lot G (Chamberlain to Glebe Avenues) was taken up by William Fraser. Lot H (Glebe to Fifth Avenues) was an unallocated clergy reserve or glebe. Lot I (Fifth Avenue to Broadway Avenue) was taken up by Richard Fraser. In 1814, Abraham Dow acquired land opposite Billingsbridge, a proportion of which was swampland, which later came to be known as Dow's Great Swamp.

There were no recorded settlers in the area prior to the building of the canal. By 1822 there were still only 191 residents in the whole of Nepean Township , which included the Glebe. Before 1824 no one in the township had received title, probably because they had not fulfilled the conditions of settling, building and clearing.

9. Pre 1800 Glebe, before the cutting of the forest. The canal and settlement with the 1792 subdivisions shown. The dotted line shows the outline of the present Glebe. The area is a mixture of forest and swampland.

1820 - 1868 The Canal and Agricultural Land

The Rideau Canal which with Dow's Lake was to determine the west, south and eastern boundaries of the modern Glebe, was started in 1826 and completed in 1832. It had been intended that the canal should be routed north through Dow’s Swamp, along Preston Street, to meet the Ottawa River at the Chaudiére Falls but for the speculative ventures of a Captain LeBreton in buying up the LeBreton Flats area. Lord Dalhousie refused to pay the inflated price and anyway preferred the present route leading directly to Bytown and the defensive works on Barrack (now Parliament) Hill. By act of expropriation the colonial government had acquired the ordnance lands for the purposes of the canal, and the defence of Canada in 1826. The purpose of the canal was to provide access from Montreal to Kingston without having to pass the potentially hostile American frontier. It would not have occurred to Colonel By that by rerouting the canal around the present day Glebe he would be laying the grounds for a distinctive, protected and identifiable residential district. The poor colonel was to suffer for this change of plans and the increased cost of works that it implied. He was called to court, partly at the instigation of Captain LeBreton, but exonerated, dying later in England - a broken man.

In 1826 George Patterson, Chief of the Canal Commissariat, acquired lot G, now the northernmost portion of the Glebe. He may have been the Glebe's first legitimate settler. Patterson’s Creek was named after him, the Patterson’s building a house, maybe the first permanent one in the Glebe, near the present bank of the Canal and Patterson Avenue. In 1827 work on the canal began in earnest, immediately increasing the number of residents of Nepean Township from 580 in 1827 to 2758 in 1828. In 1828 an American excavator, Walter Fenlon, received a contract for work at twenty cents per cubic foot from the top of the Chateau Locks to Dow’s Great Swamp. However he failed his contract and was replaced by another American, Philemon Wright, an entrepreneur and lumber merchant, on November 30, 1828. Wright had settled north of the Chaudiére Falls in 1800.

A deep cut for the canal was made through a notch in the ridge to the south of the Glebe to where the present Bank Street Bridge is located. Dow’s Swamp was flooded with the assistance of the St. Louis Dam, near Carling Avenue, named after its contractor, Jean Baptiste St. Louis who also operated a sawmill at the Rideau Falls, and the dam on the present alignment of Colonel By Drive to the south in 1832. A dam was also erected along the east side of the canal along present Echo Drive causing the flooding of Patterson's and Brown's Inlets, and of an inlet across the north east side of Lansdowne Park from the Lily Pond to the Aberdeen Pavilion. At this same time a road from Bytown to Long Island lock (in present day Manotick) was built over the St. Louis Dam but bypassing the Glebe to the north west. In 1833 William Stewart purchased lot F to the north of the present Queensway, which would later become Stewarton, the southern edge of future Ottawa by the end of the nineteenth century. Thus, until 1865 and the building of Bank Street, the Glebe was to remain a backwater since the main road southwards was on the other side of the canal

Until the 1840's, except for the Pattersons, there were no settlers in the Glebe area. A number of French and Irish squatters had settled east of Dow's Lake but had departed by 1870 when all squatter settlements were terminated.

In 1836, Lot H, bounded by Concession Street (Bronson Avenue), Main Street in Ottawa East, Fifth Avenue (formerly Mutchmor Street) and Glebe Avenue (formerly Carling Avenue), was granted as a glebe of 178 acres for the support of the Church of Scotland at Bytown. This church later became St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church located at Wellington and Kent Streets in Upper town. By 1878 the glebeland east of the canal (Spencerville, now Ottawa East) was sold for $1278. The remaining land, west of the canal, became known as the Glebe after the time of the first subdivision of those church lands, which the church was allowed to lease up to 1875. Originally it was only the Church of England that was granted these glebes, but after a lengthy sectarian battle in the British Parliament at the end of the eighteenth century, some other churches such as the Church of Scotland were granted glebes.

The word "glebe" is derived from the Latin "gleba" meaning clod or soil, hardly what modern Ottawans mean when they refer to the Glebe as an enviably trendy and rather expensive place to live. In the Middle Ages a glebe in both England and France meant a portion of land going with a clergyman's benefice and providing revenue. In England there are many glebes that are vicarage garden plots. The Glebe in Ottawa never performed that function, anymore than it did anywhere else in Canada, even though there were many clergy reserves. Glebes here were regarded as pieces of real estate on which churches could earn money. St. Andrew’s Church for example subdivided their remaining glebe into fourteen lots of ten acres each, anticipating a sudden rise in land rents after the sudden influx of civil servants in 1865 and the building of Bank Street. Thirty years were to elapse before that rise took place mainly as a result of the arrival of the streetcar in 1891 and the private automobile in 1901.

Prior to the housing development which started at the end of the century, the Glebe was not valuable land, neither was it well farmed. St. Andrew’s Church was only able to collect 19 pounds income from its glebe for the year of 1852. Most of the land was used as garden lots for the adjacent urban population, on which their nightsoil was spread. Patterson’s Creek was used for dumping offal. The Glebe at that time was not a very attractive area.

10. The Glebe c. 1848. A map, by the Royal Engineers, of the Canal Ordnance Lands showing flooded land at Patterson’s Creek, Brown’s Inlet and Lansdowne Park. A later alteration shows the 1865 Bank Street Bridge.
(Public Archives NMC 0027912).

11. The Glebe c.1870, showing Bank Street, the Canal Road, the first houses and the Ottawa Agricultural Society fairground.

12. The Glebe c.1895, showing the first urban development and railroads.

About the same time as the granting of the glebe lot H to the Church of Scotland in 1836, the Mutchmor family acquired lot I to the south, but they did not stay for long, moving to the United States in 1839, where economic opportunities, as is so often the case, seemed to be better. In 1841 Upper and Lower Canada were united into the Province of Canada, and in 1856 the canal was transferred to it, thus formally ending its military history. Bytown became Ottawa, and was chosen as the Capital of the new Province, later Dominion. The economy of the area was boosted by the arrival of civil servants, the new Houses of Parliament being opened in 1866. However it would not be until the 1890's that a substantial quantity of house building would take place in the Glebe.

In 1863 the widow of Richard Duncan Fraser, whose family had received the original grants of land throughout much of Ottawa, but sold them, gained control of Lot I west of present Bronson Avenue, calling it Fraserfield. In 1870 the St. Louis Dam north of Dow’s Lake was breached to flood the Preston Street area to protect Ottawa from a forest fire to the west. Many of the simpler pre 1900 houses in the east and south of the Glebe were wood clad before they were brick clad. Fire was to be a major hazard in Ottawa until well into the twentieth century when better firefighting methods were introduced and building bylaws demanded that buildings be brick or stone clad.

A short economic boom in the early 1870's persuaded landowners to try to subdivide their land for housing, but they only sold a few garden lots before a depression hit in the late seventies. In 1879 the remaining land west of Bronson Avenue was acquired by John Kennedy who built the stone house at 6 Lakeview Terrace. Next door a large stone tannery was built by May and Foster where the canal enters Dow’s Lake. Fraserfield, the land west of Bronson Avenue, was purchased for the building of the Booth Lumber and Railroad Yard as far south as just north of present Sunset Boulevard and the Kennedy property. This use was thirty years later to frustrate the building of the Ottawa Improvement Commission's Parkway along Clemow Avenue through the Glebe.

13. The Glebe Presbyterian Mission at 55 Third Avenue, near O’Connor Street, c.1895. (The First Fifty Years of the Glebe Church).

1868 - 1888 The Ottawa Agricultural Society and Early Houses

In 1868 the nineteen acres of ordnance land east of Bank Street adjacent to the canal was acquired by the Ottawa Agricultural Society for the purposes of a fairground. The canal shoreline at that time was different, consisting of a peninsula on which sat the house of a Mr. Craig, just opposite present day Pig (Hog) Island. This was created by the flooding for the canal in 1832. The underlying limestone forming this peninsula is visible today under the canal wall south of Fifth Avenue, where it had been cut for the passage of the waterway. The inlet behind the peninsula extended from present Fifth Avenue to the McElroy Building. The fairground at that time was well beyond the city limits at McLeod Street in Centretown. Access was limited to horse drawn vehicles, and later a twelve seat horse drawn bus, along the new Bank Street, and paddle-steamers along the canal docking at the end of Fifth Avenue (then Mutchmor Street).

In the later nineteenth century before urban housing arrived, the Glebe was the place to go for sporting events. Apart from the Agricultural Fair, there was an occasional circus tent at Renfrew and Percy. At the Metropolitan Athletic Grounds at O'Connor and Strathcona Avenues, Buffalo Bill Cody put on his Wild West Show in 1893. The Mutchmor Trotting Park and the Turf Hotel between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, started by Ralph Mutchmor and E.C. Barber, was leased from St. Andrew’s in 1871. It was there that the Queen’s Plate was run in 1872 and 1880. Also, unfortunately there were less edifying uses of the Glebe. Capital Park was the site of a municipal dump. There was a sandpit at Holmwood and Ralph Streets and for a while, a rail-track to carry fill from a hill on the site of the future Glebe Collegiate to fill in the low area at Second and Third Avenues at Bank Street. On the west side along Dow’s Lake, Booth had acquired Fraserfield turning it into a lumber and railroad yard in 1870, which remained there until the 1930’s.

14. The Ottawa Agricultural Society fairground with the Administration Building and boat dock. Pre 1880. (CCEA).

In 1874, the fairground was enlarged by the addition of a further
24 1/2 acres of canal ordnance land plus fifteen acres of Mutchmor's land to the north. In 1875 the fairground was greatly changed by being devoted to the first of three Provincial Exhibitions held in 1875, 1877 and 1879. It was during the period of the three Provincial Fairs that the first buildings of wood were to be erected. Except for the Main Administration Building these were simple, wooden, farm-like buildings all of which were burnt down in 1907 and later, so that nothing now remains of the nineteenth century buildings of Lansdowne Park except for the fine Aberdeen Pavilion built in 1898. The most prominent building on the location of the present Civic Centre, at the northern boundary of the fairground, was the octagonal Main Administration Building which was later to be moved to the north east corner of the Park. Other buildings located adjacently were the Ladies and Arts Building, the Manitoba Hall, the Dairy Building, the Grandstand, a Bandstand and some stables along the canal bank. In 1877 Elgin Street was extended to Fifth Avenue as a secondary, later primary, road access along the alignment of the old canal road.

By the 1870's, lot G north of the St. Andrew’s glebeland had been acquired by Hickey and Powell, the latter building the Grove Hotel just south of Patterson's Creek and east of Bank Street, in 1873. In 1875 John Hickey, whose family were market gardeners, attempted to market his land under the name of "Bloomingvale", east of Bank Street but failed. Powell was to have the greater influence on the building of the Glebe, his name being preserved in Powell Avenue to this day. In the 1870’s the short building boom collapsed due to economic depression in the United States and the slowing of demand for milled lumber. By 1888 there were still only forty three dwellings in the Glebe area. It was still a rural area, whose residents would object to a proposed annexation by Ottawa which however took place in 1889.

15. The Driveway and the new Bank Street Bridge, c.1914. This form of the bridge has recently been restored.
(Collection Phil Dunning).

1888 The Central Canada Exhibition

The success of the three Provincial fairs prompted the expansion of the scope of the fairground from an agricultural to an industrial and sporting exhibition. In 1888 the Central Canada Exhibition Association assumed the running of the Exhibition grounds, opening with its first annual Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition on September 24th of that year. The Association is an independent body, but is dependent upon public funding in addition to fees for use. At that time it was composed of appointees by Ottawa and the rural councils under provincial legislation and was set up as a more sophisticated alternative to the purely agricultural fair at Richmond.

The re-opening was a great event with pantomime, acrobatic events and other entertainments and refreshments. Electricity was used for the first time in Ottawa at the fairground, promoted by the owner of the Ottawa Electric Company, Thomas Ahearn. Its use proved to be a major draw. The number of exhibition entries was 3500, mainly agricultural, the largest in Ottawa to date. Lord Stanley, the Governor General, opened the exhibition together with his Foot Guards of Honour. The main entrance was via Elgin Street which had been extended to Fifth Avenue in 1877. A curious rustic wooden gateway was built for this purpose at Fifth Avenue. The fine Rideau Aquatic Club marina, later renamed The Rideau Canoe Club, stood adjacent, just in front of the present canal side restaurant. Its foundations are still visible at low water. Some concern had been expressed about the ability of the muddy new Elgin Street extension to stand up to the traffic, but there was no problem. Thus the former agricultural exhibition changed from being a rural fair to one of urban, international and cultural interest. In 1889 the Exhibition gained considerable publicity by having Professor Baptist Peynaud jump off a 150 foot high tower that he had himself provided together with a safety net at the base. His efforts were however much criticised by the nearby St. Paul's Presbyterian Church minister since it might overly encourage young men to foolhardy actions. Nearly 20,000 people attended this show, an immense number considering that the population of Ottawa was only then 44,000.

16. Lansdowne Park, c.1900. Note the lake to the north, the remains of a canal inlet, and the new street cars on Bank Street. (CCEA).

The History of Bank Street

Bank Street has been a primary force behind the urban development of the Glebe, but its history like its location, was determined outside the Glebe. Bank Street may also have gained its name from its having emerged from the bank of the Ottawa River, although it was for a time called Esther Street after Colonel By's wife. Colonel By and the British government had expropriated the Hill in 1826 for defensive purposes, calling it Barrack Hill. The west side of the expropriated area was bounded by Bank Street separating it from Upper Bytown to the west. After 1848 a large piece of this land was returned to Nicholas Sparks since it was no longer required for defence, thereby allowing Uppertown and Lowertown to be joined, in what we now call Centretown. Bank Street thereafter became one of the main commercial streets of Ottawa heading southwards. By 1865 it had reached the limits of the City at McLeod Street.

Commerce had pushed Bank Street to the edge of the City, but real estate demand and speculation pushed it further into rural Nepean and the Glebe. William Powell, member of the Provincial Parliament and owner of lot G in the northern Glebe was the main instigator in setting up the Ottawa and Gloucester MacAdamized Road Company which was to build Bank Street Road as a toll road from McLeod Street to Farmers Bridge, now Billings Bridge, and the Billings Estate. The Mutchmors who had returned to lot I in the southern Glebe in 1861 also saw advantage in Bank Street and donated land for the purpose. Alexander Mutchmor was an entrepreneur more than he was a farmer. His firm, Mutchmor Gordon and Co., was a financial agency which traded in real estate throughout Ottawa. By 1866 the street had crossed Patterson’s Creek and the canal on wooden bridges which were to remain until 1912.

17. New houses on Ralph Street at Browns Inlet on land around the 1912 Baker House.
(Marcelle Jubinville).


18. Bank Street at First Avenue. To the right Dr. McElroy’s House. To the left are some 1928 buildings in front of the Avalon Theatre, the Glebe’s first and only theatre. (Marcelle Jubinville).


By 1866 Ottawa had become the capital of the United Province of Canada. The following year, 1867, it would become the Capital of Canada. Civil servants began to flow into Ottawa and needed land to live on. Glebe landowners Powell, Mutchmor and St. Andrew’s Church began subdividing their lands in anticipation, but severe economic recessions in the 1870’s and 1880’s would delay the demand for land until the prosperous 1890’s. Notwithstanding financial difficulties forcing the mortgaging of the new Bank Street Road, it was all completed by the time of the arrival of the Ottawa Agricultural Society's fairground in 1868, with a horse drawn bus service to serve it.

One of the first building to be erected in 1869 along Bank Street in the Glebe was James Meakin's Gate Hotel north west of the new five arch Patterson's Creek Bridge, now a dry embankment. The next hotel was the Turf Hotel built in 1870 by Ralph Mutchmor, near Fifth Avenue. About the same time Alexander Mutchmor built his house "Abbotsford", named after the birthplace of Sir Walter Scott, the British author of romantic literature of the time, south of Centre Street (Holmwood Avenue). In 1878 upon moving to Kansas City Mutchmor sold his house to Ottawa Mayor C.H.MacKintosh. In 1889 MacKintosh sold Abbotsford to the Protestant Home for the Aged.

In 1873, a third hotel, the Grove, was built by Powell just south east of the Patterson's Creek viaduct and north of Clemow Avenue. It was a stone house quite delightfully located by the waterside Electric Park which was a bucolic destination for streetcar trippers from the city. The Grove survived as a hotel until 1891, then as a residence until 1907 when it was demolished. The site then remained vacant until 1926 when a gas station was built which in turn sat there until 1991 when it too was demolished. The site has remained vacant since then. All of these hotels have disappeared without trace. If you want to stay in a hotel in the Glebe today you do so in an eleven story structure adjacent to the Queensway - far less peacefully. It would do the Glebe a lot of good if the Grove Hotel were to be rebuilt.

19. Browns Inlet from Bank Street Bridge showing reeds growing over the former location of the Canal Road. At low water it is marked by a large concrete drain. (Marcelle Jubinville).


20. Fanciful 1910 row houses at 304 - 312 Queen Elizabeth Driveway with a 1970 highrise condominium by Wiliam Teron behind. (Marcelle Jubinville).


23. Houses in the urban vernacular built in the mid 1890’s, on Third Avenue near the canal.
(Marcelle Jubinville).


24. The 1870 stone Kennedy House at 6 Lakeview Terrace overlooking Dow’s Lake.
(Marcelle Jubinville).


An economic depression set in during the early seventies so that little happened along Bank Street until the turn of the century, after the economic boom of the nineties, when the Glebe started to be subdivided into residential lots. Houses were built first east of Bank Street in an area briefly known as Spencerville, and then south of Fifth Avenue on Mutchmor's land. The Ottawa Electric Railway (streetcar) was built in 1891, to serve Lansdowne Park and the new urban area, replacing the horsedrawn streetcars that had been there since 1868. The streetcars were removed in 1959.

One of the earliest houses on the east side of Bank Street, built in 1878, was that of Robert Dewar. It still remains, behind a single storey structure that was for many years Mr.Wong's grocery, at 797 Bank Street. There were about sixteen other similar simple houses belonging mainly to market gardeners built in the late seventies and mid eighties. This section of Bank Street, in the original glebe between Glebe and Fifth Avenues, has always been the centre of the commercial area since it started to develop in the mid 1890's. The first shops appeared sporadically, sometimes built with apartments above. The first grocery store was built in 1895 at Fourth Avenue. By 1910 there were a number of grocery and hardware stores not only in the original glebe, but also north of Central Park. Within the area of the present Fifth Avenue Court the first grocery was built by Moreland, at the corner of Bank Street and Fourth Avenue, within which was a hall which was renowned for providing the first accommodation for four Glebe churches: Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist. Fifth Avenue Court is thus carrying on the tradition of being a gathering place for the community. The Glebe has been fortunate in having such gathering places in its midst.

The only houses of consequence to be built along Bank Street after Abbotsford were that of W.C.Gibson, biscuit manufacturer, at the corner of Holmwood Avenue, in the present location of Sylvia Holden Park in 1886, and that of Dr.McElroy at First Avenue in 1910. His house and Abbotsford are the only significant houses that remain today on Bank Street. In 1899, the first wooden Baptist Church was built at Fourth Avenue, replaced by a brick building in 1904. In 1928, the Ambassador Court Apartments, designed by William Noffke, were built on the site of the former Gate Hotel and the Boat Works, north of Central Park. In 1929 St.Giles Presbyterian Church was erected at the corner of First Avenue, replacing the former Glebe Presbyterian Church on Lyon Street, which had become Glebe United Church in 1925.

25. The Grove Hotel (1873) on Bank Street east side. Behind it is the Electric Park and a bandshell. The new Clemow Avenue Parkway would be built to the right in 1902.
(W.J.Topley 1892, PA 027252).


26 Patterson’s Creek from Bank Street just behind the Grove Hotel c. 1892. The stone steps down to the water still exist. (W.J.Topley PA 027263).


The period 1910 to 1917 saw the development of the Glebe as a truly urban area. The Bank Street Bridge was rebuilt, in 1912, as a concrete arched bridge, raised high over the canal to allow free boat passage and a future driveway. The bridge was also broadened. Pretoria Lift Bridge connecting the Glebe to Ottawa East was built in 1915-1917, replacing the Argyle Street wooden swing bridge to the north of the railroad.

The first Bank Street restaurant appeared in 1914 at Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue. Now there are twenty four, mainly in the original Glebe area. In 1928, the Glebe's first and only theatre, The Avalon, the first in Ottawa to show sound film, was built between First and Second Avenues. Probably defeated by increasingly popular television it ceased operation as a theatre in 1954, becoming a garage, then a hardware store and offices.

In 1901 cars started to appear in the Glebe which partly accounted for its sudden development at the beginning of the twentieth century with the first garages and gas stations being built in 1915. The Samuel Rogers Oil Company had storage sheds along the Canada Atlantic Railway Company's line, now the Queensway, from 1889 to 1906. The first garages were built north of Glebe Avenue and south of Fifth Avenue until by the mid twenties there were about eleven. Fortunately, for the continuity of the shopping centre, none ever appeared in the original glebe. Since the mid seventies all the gas stations on Bank Street have disappeared and only one garage remains at the corner of Fifth Avenue. The forecourts remain however, partly because of residual pollutants in the ground and these garages have become restaurants and shops. The Glebe has also been lucky in that the usual parking lots behind shops separating the shops from the community have not appeared. There was a large empty parking area behind the shops at Fifth Avenue Court during the sixties, happily it was put underground when the Court was built in the 1980's.

27. Central Park, c.1916. A great change has taken place. Clemow Avenue has been built damming the Creek which has been filled to create Central Park and its floral beds. The new First Avenue School (1898) and the O’Connor Street bridge are visible in the distance. (Collection Phil Dunning).


The 1890's and the first urban development

In the St. Matthew’s Parish History 1898 to 1948 there is a description of how the Glebe looked at the beginning of its urban development about the turn of the century. It tells of how the area now occupied by the Queensway was a railway yard and that Elgin Street which then crossed the tracks at grade was often closed because of shunting. There were a few houses at this corner of the Glebe dominated by the former Patterson House at site of the present intersection of the Driveway with Pretoria Bridge. Elgin Street continued south on the former alignment of the old Canal Road as a dirt road crossing the creek on a wooden bridge. Between Patterson Avenue, the creek , Bank and Elgin Streets were open fields, and O'Connor Street stopped at Patterson Avenue. The Ottawa Electric Railway had created Electric Park - a resort for streetcar day trippers, between Bank Street, the creek and Glebe Avenue. Adjacent was the small Grove Hotel across future Clemow Avenue. There were a few houses belonging to truck farmers west of Bank Street between Third Avenue and Holmwood. South of that was a farm. The balance of the area westwards to Bronson Avenue was second growth forest. Bank Street was not paved until 1915 and there were few cars on Bronson Avenue.

Three events sparked the first, long awaited urban development of the Glebe: the building of the Ottawa Electric Railway (streetcars) along Bank Street in 1891; the subdivision of the glebelands east of Bank Street in the mid 1890's, and the building of the Parkways. The streetcars were removed in the late 1950's.

The first development of the St. Andrew’s glebe was accompanied by the building of the Presbyterian Glebe Mission at 53-55 Third Avenue near O'Connor Street in 1894. It was built for the sum of $2000, first as a school, later in 1896 becoming a church. This building is now part of a double house set back from the road. It was replaced by the present Glebe United Church on Lyon Street in 1904, designed by J.W.H.Watts,also the designer of the first wooden St. Matthew’s Church. The first Glebe church to be built was the wooden Zion Congregational Church, of 1892, later clad in brick. Located at 91a Fourth Avenue, it became the Church of the Nazarene in 1942, and finally the present Friends Meeting House in 1966. In the 1980's the Friends (Quakers) sold the original church building, occupying the wing adjacent instead and converting the balance into townhouses. In 1898 the first St. Matthew’s Church was built in wood gothic style, and named after St. Matthew’s in Quebec City where the first minister had served. This was replaced in the mid 1920's by the present gothic masonry building, and their site on Bank Street occupied by Loblaws Grocery, now Phase Two, a clothing store. St. Matthew’s with its tradition of English choral music was to become a major influence in the musical life of Ottawa. The nationally famous chamber music group, Thirteen Strings, was started at St. Matthew’s Church.

28. Bank Street Bridge, c. 1910. This wooden swing bridge was built in 1865. The 1909 Lansdowne Park grandstand is to the right. The bridge was replaced with the present high level bridge in 1912. Note the mud road and the boarded sidewalk.
(collection Susan Hill CA5751).


In 1895 the building of Mutchmor School at Fifth Avenue would start a line of institutional buildings along Lyon Street extending as far north as Carling Avenue. These Lyon Street buildings would mark the western edge of the built up glebe at the turn of the century. Mutchmor School was one of a series of fine schools built at that time to accommodate the children of the burgeoning population of the south side of Ottawa. It was designed by E.L.Horwood and built for $10,470. A second school was built in 1898 at First Avenue and O’Connor Street for $20,484 and designed by Albert Ewart. In 1900 St. Matthew Separate School was built at Lyon and Fourth Avenues on the site of the present Corpus Christi School. Its teachers were the Grey Nuns. The 1904 Glebe Presbyterian Church at Carling Avenue was the northernmost of the row of institutional buildings. It was built there, at a cost of about $20,000, because they wanted to be at the centre of the future Glebe adjacent to the Parkway on Carling Avenue. Unfortunately for them the Parkway would be moved further north to Clemow Avenue and never fully realised anyway. In 1925 Glebe Presbyterian Church would become the Glebe United Church. In 1929 , the Presbyterians built their new St. Giles Presbyterian Church at Bank Street and First Avenue. In 1924 St. Paul’s Methodist Church was completed. They had to wait a long time for their church which had been started in 1913 at the corner of Second Avenue. In 1925, upon the occasion of church union it became St. James United Church. It was eventually amalgamated with Glebe United Church, and be sold to the City in 1974 and become the Glebe’s first Community Centre.

Nearby in 1914 the Presbyterian ( later Ottawa) Ladies College with its remarkable broad eaves was built to the design of E.L.Horwood, replacing the Ladies College in Centretown founded in 1869. In 1942 the College was expropriated for the purposes of a barracks for the Womens Army Corps. In 1947, the building was acquired for Carleton College, which had already begun classes at the High School of Commerce, and which became Carleton University in 1957. It started to expand on the site and might have covered most of the Glebe if it had not been for the decision to move to its present site by the Rideau River in 1959. It became the offices for the Ottawa Board of Education instead, but in 1998 they sold it to a developer who is converting it to condominium housing together with the vacant lots adjacent all in a style reminiscent of Glebe architecture, by the Glebe architect Barry Hobin.

By the 1920’s the Glebe had the benefit of an unusually high proportion of churches and schools relative to population. This was to have a positive influence on the makeup of the future population by its variety of intellectual and cultural options. The Glebe also benefitted from the wise decisions of St. Andrew’s Church to delay development of new land to the west until the easterly portions were substantially built up, and to put in an institutional area just one block away from the commercial district along Bank Street. In 1919 it was decided to build Glebe Collegiate. Land was purchased between Percy Street and Bronson Avenues for $74,000 and building commenced. The Collegiate, designed by J.Albert Ewart, opened in September 1922. In 1929 the High School of Commerce was added to the west end of the Collegiate building, moving away in 1967. Finally the last of the educational buildings in the Glebe, Corpus Christi School, was built on Lyon Street in 1926, an addition being made in 1966.

The last area of Glebe houses to be built were on Booth’s Fraserfield lumber yard west of Bronson Avenue in the 1930’s, the streets being named after Booth’s timber stands in the Ottawa Valley: Kippewa. Opeongo and Madewaska. It is sometimes nicknamed the Indian Village for that reason. Thus the 1940’s saw the completion of the of the development of the Glebe. Its boundaries were moved further west however in the late 1950’s when the Federal District Commission built its driveway 200 feet into Dow’s Lake. Streetcars were installed along Bronson Avenue from the 1920’s to the 1950’s and the Kennedy lands to the immediate south of Sunset Boulevard were developed in the late 1920’s.

29. Rideau Canoe Club, c. 1906. Formerly the Rideau Aquatic Club and marina whose foundations are still visible at low water. (Collection Phil Dunning).


Building of the Driveways

In 1899 the Dominion Government, perceiving the need to improve the general environment of the Nation's Capital, formed the Ottawa Improvement Commission, the forerunner of the National Capital Commission. They in turn hired Frederick Todd, landscape architect of Montreal, to recommend what should be done. One of the main recommendations was the building of a federal parkway from the Parliament Buildings to the Experimental Farm. However there were two major obstacles in the Glebe area. The one was Landsdowne Park which occupied the shoreline of the canal with its ugly stables. The other was the Fraserfield Lumber and Railway Yard alongside Dow’s Lake. An impending visit by the Prince of Wales prompted the Commission to start to build two parkways at the same time, one going through the middle of Lansdowne Park, along the line of the old canal road and then across Dow’s Lake on a causeway, the foundation of which is still visible at low water. The other, built in 1907, went across the Glebe along Clemow and Monkland Avenues. Originally this Parkway was to have gone along Carling (previously Carleton, now Glebe) Avenue but the Commission was frustrated in its attempts to acquire the land. It was also intended that this extension would continue westward over the St. Louis Dam to the Experimental Farm but this was never done because of the intervening Booth’s Fraserfield Railway Yards.

Clemow Avenue was to become one of the most attractive roads in Ottawa, even though as a parkway it did not lead anywhere. American Elms were planted, gracing the Glebe and especially Clemow Avenue, until their destruction by Dutch Elm Disease in the 1960s. Government controls vested in the Ottawa Improvement Commission, the forerunner of the Federal District Commission and the National Capital Commission, were placed upon developments in the Clemow and Powell Estates as well as along parts of the Driveway which encouraged some remarkably good residential development especially around Central Park. By 1907 the layout of Central Park was complete along with a rustic wooden folly on a man made island on the alignment of Metcalfe Street. This particular lodge was known as Cedar Lodge and gave access to Cedar Lodge Walk along the south side of the Creek. This folly along with others along the parkways disappeared during the depression of the late 1930's, but the beautiful landscaping remains to provide the Glebe with an elegant and bucolic waterside setting.

The National Capital Commission had been endeavouring to rid itself of its responsibilities on Clemow and Monkland Avenues since they could never become true parkways, but since these responsibilities were vested in the Ottawa Improvement Commission, through a provincial Act of Parliament, they were not successful until the 1990's. Certainly the residents of the Glebe have not been anxious for the Federal Government to dispose of these roads, they have assisted the area in attaining a visual and social status it might not otherwise have had.

Had Clemow and Monkland Avenues become Parkways they would have ultimately have induced a great deal of extra traffic through the middle of the Glebe. Fortunately quite the reverse has happened. In the 1970's, Douglas Fullerton, then Chairman of the National Capital Commission , became enamoured of the author's proposals for traffic calming in the Glebe, intended to be an example to the nation. He promoted the idea by having Clemow Avenue closed to through traffic.

31. Lansdowne Park Entrance, and the Rideau Canoe Club c. 1911. Looking north from Fifth Avenue and the Driveway.
(Collection Phil Dunning).


Lansdowne Park

In 1890 the Exhibition Grounds were renamed Lansdowne Park after the Marquis of Lansdowne, Governor General from 1883 to 1888. Even then calling the exhibition ground a park was a misnomer since it was only an indifferent collection of quaint mainly wooden buildings set in worn out grass with few trees except in the north east corner together with a small stagnant lake which was the remains of the canal inlet. Many people questioned the location of these grounds so far out into the country - with the city only extending as far as Stewarton, on the other side of the railroad tracks, built in the 1870's where the Queensway now runs, three quarters of a mile away.

In 1892, Thomas Ahearn, founder of the Ottawa Electric (streetcar) Company, unveiled his exhibition of electronic devices at the Park. He was a thoroughly modern man, promoter of hydro- electricity and the development of an electric car. He became the first chairman of the Federal District Commission which superseded the Ottawa Improvement Commission in 1927. The advent of the streetcar and the increased use of the new private automobile rapidly changed the accessibility of the park as well as the surrounding Glebe area, which immediately started to develop as a residential area, especially around the new Lansdowne Park. The Glebe would be built up within the next forty years. A part of the earliest residential development was actually on the site of the present Lansdowne Park between the present Civic Centre and Holmwood Avenue to the north. This was an area known as Lansdowne Terrace, previously a part of the Mutchmor Lands. There were a number of houses there some of which were moved westwards around Ella Street at the time of the extension of the grounds.

In 1898, the Aberdeen Pavilion was built. Although in 1902 it was renamed the Manufacturer's Building, and latterly the Cattle Castle, it was first named after the Earl of Aberdeen, Governor General until 1898. One of its many early uses, in 1902, was as an ice skating and curling rink, a Stanley Cup Game being played there. The occasion was the first Winter Fair in Ottawa which was to be the prelude to a long and successful career of both amateur and professional curling and hockey in the park.

Sport, both amateur but mostly spectator professional, has always been a dominant use of the Park. The umbrella organisation for all the City's sporting activities had originally been the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association, whose various outdoor sports were played primarily at the Metropolitan Grounds in the University of Ottawa, where the Ottawa Football Club had its origins in 1876. It adopted the name "Rough Riders" in 1896 and began play at Lansdowne Park in the early twentieth century earning its first Grey Cup in 1939. It continued at Lansdowne Park until its demise in 1996 due to management problems. The stadium built over the Civic Centre and the South Bleachers is named the Frank Clare Stadium after the Head Coach of the Rough Riders from 1956 to 1969 during which time they won three Grey Cups. After his retirement from coaching Frank Clair became the Riders' General Manager.

Lansdowne Park has been the site of professional baseball as far back as 1898. A team from Rochester, N.Y., called the "Jingoes" was transferred to Ottawa in June of that season and remained there until the end of their schedule. In 1912,the Canadian League was formed and Ottawa became one of their teams, remaining in the Park until 1916. The Canadian American League came to the Park under the name "Senators" in 1939. In 1951 the Ottawa Giants were Ottawa's representatives in the International League. They stayed in Ottawa for one season when the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League moved its triple A franchise to the Park, remaining part of the International League until 1954.

The first professional hockey team in Ottawa started with the Ottawa Hockey Club in 1883. The Ottawa Silver Sevens started with the Club, first playing at the Aberdeen Pavilion in 1904 in the Stanley Cup Games. Junior Hockey was the first tenant of the Civic Centre in 1967. The Ottawa '67's began their existence in that year and continue until today. In 1976 an attempt to house the defunct Denver Spurs in the Ottawa Civics Club lasted only a couple of games when the club folded. Finally after Ottawa Senators acquired a franchise in the National Hockey League their home games were played at the Civic Centre from 1992 to 1996 when they moved to the Corel Centre.

32. Lansdowne Park showing the 1898 Aberdeen Pavilion and the Main Pavilion to the left, c.1910. (Collection Phil Dunning).


33.The Aberdeen Pavilion under construction 1898, from the canal.
(Collection Ian McKercher)


From the earliest days of the Exhibition grounds there has been a racetrack, baseball diamonds, and a football field in the location of the present sports field. In 1961 the largest amateur curling rink in Canada was installed. After the second, 1909 grandstand was demolished in 1966 the Civic Centre with the Frank Clare Stadium above was built in 1967, with seating for 32,000, all designed by the Vancouver architect, Gerald Hamilton. The first permanent bleachers on the south side towards the canal were erected in 1962. In 1975 these bleachers were rebuilt and greatly enlarged upwards, but only after they were unsuccessfully challenged before the Ontario Municipal Board by the Glebe Community Association on the grounds that they constituted a vast and ugly intrusion into the parkway scenery and that there was not enough parking. Parking, although insufficient in quantity, was provided at a later date over the area previously used for amateur sports. With the near demise of spectator sports at the park the parking lot remains as a vast blot on the Glebe landscape. By the turn of the century however it is to be hoped that some other use will be found. Ever since the building of the canal in 1826 there have been roads both sides of the canal, where feasible, to assist in the building of the canal in the first place and then to service it. Thus the Glebe has had a road on its three sides, adjacent to the canal, except where flooded inlets occurred as at Lansdowne Park. When the Ottawa Agricultural Society first acquired its fairgrounds the canal road ran right through it to Bank Street, with wooden bridges at Patterson's Creek and Brown’s Inlet. The location of the bridge at Brown’s Inlet is still visible at low water in the winter, marked by a large drain pipe.

34. Patterson’s Creek, c. 1911.From the Driveway Bridge showing First Avenue School and the Cedar Lodge island folly which was removed in the late thirties.

35. The island folly from the west, it was demolished during the Second World War.
(Collection Phil Dunning).


The waterside scenery in the Glebe at the turn of the century was romantic with dense groves of trees. It was this peaceful, bucolic scenery which attracted the wealthy to build their houses here. There were a number of romantic follies and shelters which disappeared without trace during the 1930’s Depression and the War years. One of these was the charming rustic gateway to the Park at Fifth Avenue accompanied by the fine Rideau Aquatic (later Canoe) Club. To the north of this the Ottawa Improvement Commission (OIC) had created the Lily Pond with a wooden bridge over it, which was replaced later by a stone bridge in turn demolished during the Depression. Much was lost during the Depression and War years: the bridge,The Canoe Club and Marina and the rustic gateway to the Park. The marina foundations can still however be seen at low water just north of the new restaurant. This area was spectacularly advertised in 1959 when the sewer pipe crossing here under the canal blew up. The five foot diameter steel pipe stuck up out of the water like an enormous cannon obliging the canal to be emptied and closed for a month while they fixed it.

In 1913 when the Central Canada Exhibition Association (CCEA) decided to build a new Machinery Hall they did so on the east side of the lake that had previously been an arm of the canal, but allowed 140 feet of space to build a future parkway alongside the canal. But the OIC had to wait until 1926, before the CCEA had removed its canal side sheds, and 1990 before it was able to provide for adequate landscape space along the parkway. Even that has yet to be completed since the south bleachers stand in the way. Thomas Ahearn was a dominant force in pushing for the building of the Driveway alongside the canal from Fifth Avenue to Bank Street and then around Dow’s Lake to the Central Experimental Farm.The parkway was a singularly North American idea centred on the use of the car. People would be able to drive around the city oblivious of its design failings. One of these failings was to be the Exhibition Grounds and especially the massive Frank Clair Stadium of 1966.

36. Looking north from the former Patterson’s Creek island folly along Metcalfe Street to the new National Museum c. 1912


37. Central Park looking east along Clemow Avenue towards Patterson’s Creek, the O’Connor Street bridge and First Avenue School.
(Ottawa Improvement Commission Report 1912).


In 1926, Lansdowne Park celebrated Ottawa's centennial with a major celebration, however this was the year that the new parkway was built alongside the canal around the park, severing free pedestrian and boat access from the canal. At the time the severance was much less noticeable than now since cars travelled more slowly and in far less quantity, for the Glebe was still at the edge of the city. There was to be no stopping, no commercial traffic and no improper behavior on this two lane landscaped drive. In order to build this road the stables along the canal edge were demolished and a concrete embankment built. The supposedly ugly Exhibition Grounds were inadequately hidden from view by a row of poplars.

In the 1930’s the City converted the north east corner of the Park into a supervised tourist camp where one could pitch one's tent "beneath the shady trees of Lansdowne Park, the Mecca of Motorists". This use was to continue until the Second World War, when Lansdowne Park, as in the First World War, was again used as a military camp and recruiting centre. After the Second World War, Lansdowne Park recommenced its diversity of events with greater ambition and size than before. In 1947 for example it hosted the Roman Catholic Marian Conference. With 100,000 attending it was the largest ever religious conference in North America. In 1952 the first party for agricultural and horticultural exhibitors was held, and American horses were exhibited at the Park for the first time. In 1957, the McElroy Building, designed by James Strutt, was opened for cultural, international and scientific events. Attendance soared to 533,763, and 602,493 in 1963 (with tickets still only costing 50c.) In 1964 a Midway by Amusements of America was introduced, and the Park truly became a fairground, to the consternation of local residents. There was talk by the late 1960's of expanding the exhibition northwards to Fifth Avenue which would have entailed the removal of some 150 houses and shops on Bank Street. This was quashed in 1975, the Glebe Community Association asserting considerable influence at City Council.

38. The Whyte House (1871) on the Driveway, c. 1911. Looking south from the canal. The Glebe’s finest house burnt down in 1989.


39. The canal west of the Whyte House at the notch, c. 1902. Looking from the west.
(Collection Phil Dunning)


The late sixties saw a turning point in the goals and ambitions of the Exhibition and its surrounding communities, the Glebe and Ottawa South. With the installation of the vast new Midway as well as with the largest ever football crowd of 21,200 in 1964, the local community was becoming divided over how much they wanted a vast entertainment complex in their midst together with all the traffic, noise and pollution it brought. On the one hand many enjoyed the liveliness it brought to an otherwise quiet residential area, they also sometimes enjoyed the profit from parking cars on their land. On the other hand many complained bitterly about having to live in the middle of an exhibition parking lot all over the Glebe every summer, and put up with the noise, rowdyism, and over bright lights it all brought. As always it was the spectator sports and events which brought the most profit and the most disturbance. No one has ever complained about participatory sports. The surrounding areas, after the exodus to the suburbs of the 1950's and the 1960's, started to attract people back again in the late 1960's because of the convenience of central area living. But these new people were also interested in living in peace and quiet; they were often older people, with fewer children who were seeking a quality of life which did not include a major entertainment complex and its attendant traffic.

The successes of the 1967 centennial events, the mammoth Jerry Lewis gathering of 1974, and the Pink Floyd Show which included the visit of an airplane and loudspeaker noise which could be heard two miles away all confirmed the local people in endeavouring to remove the Exhibition, and its spectator events. Finally the end of the 1980's brought a severe and long lasting economic recession .On top of that the Lynx (Jetform) baseball stadium and the vast new Palladium (Corel Centre) were built along the Queensway where accessibility and parking were plentiful. City Council even agreed on the removal of the Exhibition in the early 1990's but that has never been acted upon.

The Park has been under the administration of the City since 1974. Since the mid 1990's a positive attempt has been made to improve Lansdowne Park visually. The Aberdeen Pavilion was restored at the expense of the City and the Federal Government. A proper children's park with adjacent baseball diamonds for amateurs was built at the north east corner, and Sylvia Holden Park was created in the north west corner at Bank Street. Holmwood Avenue was restored to its fully residential nature by the creation of a well treed area along its length, and vehicular access to the park restricted to Bank Street and two entrances on the Driveway. The dilapidated buildings along the Driveway were demolished and a large area of land, originally canal lands, was given back to the National Capital Commission who installed a well treed park.

A near impossible access problem however remains. The few access roads, Bank Street and the Driveway, are operating at capacity without any possibility of expansion, and there are no available corridors of land or the money or the political will to build additional routes leading to the Park even if they were wanted. In 1998, the City is seeking alternative uses for the so called park, to relieve itself of the financial burden, as well as the spasms of traffic the Parks releases.

40. The Dow’s Lake Causeway (1904). Looking from the Experimental Farm towards the Glebe showing the May and Foster Tannery to the right and the Kennedy House to its left. The foundations of the causeway may still be seen at low water.


41. The Driveway from Bank Street looking towards Brown’s Inlet and the Whyte House. c.1911.
(Collection Phil Dunning).


Traffic and the Glebe - a National First

The building of the canal around the Glebe instead of along Preston Street to the west has been a blessing. Only two major roads bisect the area: Bank Street and Bronson Avenue. Bank Street has always been a shopping street in the Glebe, in fact it is now one of the most successful shopping streets in Ottawa. One of the reasons for this is that it has few gaps in the retail frontage. Gas stations which always cause bad gaps have in the past been limited to north and south ends of the main shopping area and now have disappeared altogether, although unfortunately their polluted forecourts remain. Housing comes immediately to the rear of the shops without intervening parking lots, so there is a continuum between shops and housing.

Bronson Avenue however is less favoured. Called Concession Street before 1900 it went nowhere until a wooden swing bridge was put across the canal in 1903 after which one could get to the south canal road and the new subdivision of Rideauville which is now Ottawa South. But it was still a minor road until the late 1950's when the Federal Government at the suggestion of the French planner Jacques Greber started to decentralise its buildings into campuses around Ottawa. One of these campuses was Confederation Heights to the south and to the south of that was built the new airport at Uplands. To service these installations the Federal Government helped plan and subsidise the extension of Bronson Avenue. A massive bridge was built over the canal allowing for the free passage of boats and cars along the two canal parkways below. They also helped build the Dunbar Bridge to the south and the Airport Parkway later in the 1960's. Later from the 1960's to the present day this parkway was and is being connected to other new southern suburbs at the insistence of the Regional Government which is dominated politically by suburban voters. Only now in the late 1990's are efforts being made to put in a rapid transit route along the rail line to the west, a line which should have been put in 1950 when streetcars were removed and before people formed the habit of driving cars downtown. Now the Glebe and especially the people of the Dow’s Lake Area to the west have the misfortune of having one of the most intensely used roads in Ottawa running right through their area complete with high speed traffic.

42. Lansdowne Park from the air towards the east c.1950. Showing the 1909 grandstand; the old Driveway through the Park; the new canal Driveway bypassing it; as well as the market garden belonging to the Old Peoples’ Home, now the Glebe Centre, at the bottom. (CA 8107)


The building of the Queensway, during the 1960’s along the former 1870’s railway track to the north, has had a major effect on the Glebe. Being raised on a seven metre high embankment it forms a major visual barrier and unprotected noise producer. It could be an attractive barrier if landscaped with trees. The Glebe derives benefit from the easy accessibility that the Queensway gives but suffers considerably from its noise and air pollution.

Fortunately the balance of the residential area has had a traffic calming scheme in effect since the early seventies which dissuades motorists from using the Glebe as a short cut. This was one of the first calming schemes to be installed in Canada, intended to be an example to the rest of the Nation. It was therefore promoted by the National Capital Commission when the chairman, Douglas Fullerton, asked the author to prepare proposals in 1970 which were subsequently but only partially carried out by the City in concert with the NCC. Prior to that, Carling Avenue used to extend across the Glebe encouraging large volumes of traffic to O'Connor Street.
In the mid sixties, the City’s Traffic Engineering Department whose main aim in life was the easy and rapid movement of cars, proposed extending Carling Avenue eastward through Central Park and across the canal. That proposal galvanised the people of the Glebe into actions to save their neighbourhood from traffic damage. A big meeting was held at First Avenue School, through which the road would have passed. As a result the road proposal was dropped and the Glebe Community Association was born in September 1967.

As a result of the Traffic Plan originated by the author in the late sixties and with the encouragement of former Mayor Charlotte Whitton, a resident of the Glebe, Carling Avenue was restricted at Bronson Avenue and renamed Glebe Avenue within the Glebe itself. Likewise O'Connor Street was stopped off at Isabella Street. Traffic was in future to be routed around rather than through the area. Parallel with the Carling Avenue alteration was the abandonment of the construction of secondary arterial routes either side of the Queensway which would have destroyed much of the northern Glebe as well as Centretown. The Centretown Plan, for which the author was also responsible, as well as the restoration of the 1912 Pretoria Lift Bridge, stemmed from this process during the 1970's.

43. Traffic Calming Plan, 1969. Prepared for the National Capital Commission by John Leaning showing how streets could be people places. (Extract).

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The Glebe itself has had a slightly declining population of around 12,000 since the 1940's when it achieved its maximum of about 16,000. This decline is notwithstanding the rise in the number of housing units .This has been partly due to infill and partly due to people restoring houses to single family units. Many houses had been subdivided during the Depression and the War. Fortunately there is a strong community spirit which has endeavoured since then to make sure that overdevelopment of the area does not take place. The most threatened area in the early seventies was on the east side where it was allowed until then to build highrise dwellings along the Driveway in what was the poorest and oldest section. This was all changed after three such buildings, up to thirteen stories high were erected along the canal, over furious public objection which subsequently changed the zoning bylaw. Pat Zolf and her broadcaster husband were prime movers in all this. She was a formidable character who lived in the Glebe during the earlier seventies. The end result of all this community effort has meant that one can still live in the area without being overshadowed by enormous highrises. The redevelopment that has taken place since the seventies has been mostly sympathetic infill and upgrading of older homes, prominently visible on Third Avenue near Bank Street, near the former Ladies College ,and especially adjacent to Patterson’s Creek, and Brown’s Inlet.

The car, here and every where else, is having an increasingly negative effect on the livability of inner residential areas. It is the necessary evil of modern times. It pollutes, it is ugly, dangerous, life threatening, and expensive both personally and communally. These facts are not generally understood. For example, in 1974 when the people of the Glebe were asked whether they wanted a traffic calming scheme put in their area, nearly half the people voted against it. When it was suggested that streets should be landscaped, communal places for everyone to enjoy, many were of the opinion that streets were only for cars. These opinions were exacerbated by the facts of the straight and unnecessarily wide road allowances of the late nineteenth century surveyors whose primary thoughts were to provide for the new car. Fortunately mayors Charlotte Whitton and Marion Dewar and Douglas Fullerton, Chairman of the National Capital Commission in the early 1970’s saw otherwise, enthusiastically putting their support behind traffic calming schemes throughout the region. Douglas Fullerton also was responsible for the cancellation of the building of further parkways and instead supporting the construction of bicycle tracks and footpaths.

44. Charlotte Whitton, (1896-1975). Ottawa’s and Canada’s first woman mayor, resident of the Glebe until 1975. (CA 19128).


The Architecture of the Glebe

The architecture of the Glebe is as eclectic and varied as its population. While we do not have any palaces, temples or national shrines, we do have a lot of architecture that in a singularly Canadian fashion is derived from New England, old England, the Mid West, and California. The many little framed houses that cluster together on the older eastern side are typical of smaller Ontario and Quebec towns of the turn of the century. People bought individual lots, hired a local contractor who built according to designs from American and English Pattern books. The Glebe has been fortunate in that it was mostly built in an era of relative prosperity from 1890 to the late 1920's and that most of its built environment survived the destructive modernisation of the 1960's, 1970's and 1980’s when so many houses in the central area were destroyed to make way for highrise buildings and parking lots. Glebe people have preferred to look upon their houses as places to live in rather than speculate upon.

The areas most prestigious houses were built in the 1870's, and the most prestigious of those was the Whyte House facing the Canal to the south, sadly destroyed by fire in 1989, whilst it was awaiting redevelopment as luxury housing. The site is still waiting. The house was built by James Galleti Whyte, an Ottawa merchant after whom the village of Galleta west of Ottawa is named. It was a stone French Second Empire style building three floors high standing on the highest location in the Glebe, surrounded by a beautiful garden. It was acquired by the Apostolic Delegate around the turn of the century. In the 1960's, concerned by the cost of upkeep they planned to have it demolished and replaced by a modern, single storey, split level building. They were overruled by the National Capital Commission since the house faced onto their Driveway. It was then sold to a Catholic order who by the 1980's found it too expensive to maintain and sold it to a developer.

The second finest house was, and fortunately still is, the 1867 Alexander Mutchmor House, Abbotsford, on Bank Street, a neo gothic style typical farmhouse of stone. Saved by becoming, in 1889, the Protestant Home for the Aged, it is now part of the Glebe Centre. For a brief while in the 1970's it too was threatened with demolition because of cost of maintenance. In 1974 upon becoming the Glebe Centre, a high rise addition was built providing much needed accommodation. A further two storey addition for nursing care was added in the former residents kitchen garden to the south in the mid 1990’s.

A third much altered stone house of the same vintage still stands at 6 Lakeview Terrace, probably built by the Kennedy's in 1879. It was neighbour to a large stone Tannery to the south until the turn of the century. A few brick dwellings in the late Victorian style of the 1880's also remain in the Glebe, mixed in with the development of the 1890's. There is Ralph Cottage, a Second Empire style villa at Ralph and Fifth; and the farmhouse built by Joseph Foster, owner of the tannery at the Bronson Bridge. At the end of Clarey Street there is also a 1870 brick farmhouse. All of these houses sat in the middle of farmland until 1890 after which rapid urban development took place.

45. The Panet House, c. 1950, at 237-239 Clemow Avenue between Lyon and Percy Streets. It burnt down in 1957 (Photo R.W.Evans).


46. Abbotsford House, c. 1878. Looking from the south. Built 1867 by Alexander Mutchmor, it’s now part of the Glebe Centre. (PA. 26512).


House architecture of the 1890's was largely inspired by American Pattern Books which were readily available. The first smaller houses were simple balloon framed, clapboarded houses with their ornamental gables facing the street. Many of these delightful houses still stand, their worth architecturally now more appreciated. Two significant groups of these vernacular houses are at the eastern end of Third Avenue and on Morris Street.

In 1898, by far the finest and the largest building in the Glebe, the Aberdeen Pavilion, designed by Ottawa architect, Moses Edey, was built in Lansdowne Park. It is quite unique in North America being probably the largest single span, prefabricated steel structure, decorated in a fanciful Baroque manner, having a remarkable system of roof ventilators, and a large dome at the crossing like a classical cathedral. It too could have disappeared in the 1980's but for the perseverance of heritage buffs and some Government financing. Alongside the Pavilion is the second most architecturally important building in the Park, the Horticultural Building. It was built in 1915 and designed by Frank Sullivan, an Ottawa Architect who was a pupil of the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is a Prairie style building with great wide eaves like so many similarly inspired 1910 - 1930 houses in the Glebe.

One of the last of the high Victorian style dwellings, built about 1910, is the magnificent, ornately towered row at 304 - 312 Driveway at First Avenue, designed by a New York architect for a grocer who had his store in what is now Confederation Square. These too were intended for demolition by a developer in the 1970's and replacement by a high rise apartment building until the bylaw was changed in 1974. Happily they are now carefully preserved as a heritage building.

About 1902, the Clemow, Monkland and Powell Estates were developed. Houses of late Victorian and Edwardian eclectic design appeared in numbers along these parklike streets between 1904 and 1920. The finest of the Victorians was probably the Panet House on Clemow Avenue, standing midway between Lyon and Percy Streets and having a magnificent classical portico. It was destroyed by fire in the late fifties. From 1904 onwards the Ottawa architect W.E.Noffke designed a number of fine wide-eaved California and eclectic style houses around Patterson's Creek, all then roofed in spanish tile, once one of the distinguishing features of the Glebe but now sadly mostly replaced by asphalt shingles, for reasons of cost and maintenance. Especially fine is the Powell House (1913) on Glebe Avenue, and the Baker House (1912) on Brown’s Inlet which since the 1980’s has been restored and is now surrounded by very well designed row houses by Wolfe Mohaupt. Concurrent with these architect designed houses, simpler dwellings, many having gambrel roofs that originated in rural Holland, have appeared throughout the older east and south Glebe, almost all of wood frame covered with red brick.

The last area of the original glebe to be developed was west of Lyon Street, and south of Glebe Collegiate. It remained a market and students vegetable garden until the late twenties, when many houses in the Arts and Crafts and English Cottage traditions were built as late as the forties. Especially noticeable in this area are the well built houses by David Younghusband. The Fraserfield area just west of Bronson Avenue was built with houses of a similar tradition after the removal of the railway and lumber yards in the early thirties, a remarkable and pleasing transformation.

47. The 1913 Powell House from Pattersons Creek; the site of former Electric Park and the 1873 Grove Hotel (see p. 31), all set in a landscape developed by the Ottawa Improvement Commission in 1907.


The 1870 Kennedy house at Lakeview Terrace, now gutted but hopefully being restored. The dormers and the garage are recent additions (Marcelle Jubinville)


The churches of the Glebe are generally neo gothic in style with the notable exception of St. James, on Lyon Street at Second Avenue, which is Palladian classical. Its architectural ancestor is the Villa Rotunda in Vicenza, Italy, designed by Palladio in the mid Renaissance period. In 1974 St. James became the Glebe Community Centre, a purpose which better fitted its secular origin architecture. The finest of all the neo gothic churches is that of the Blessed Sacrament at Percy Street and Fourth Avenue, which is in Perpendicular Gothic style externally, designed by Toronto architect M.J.Gibb Morton and built in 1931 for the sum of $225,000. Architecturally, there might also have been a remarkable transition in the little Grace and Truth Chapel built by the Plymouth Brethren on Clarey Street during the 1920's. It was sold to the Orthodox Church in 1965, becoming the Cathedral Church of the Annunciation and St. Nicholas. Had the Cathedral had the resources to install the highly ornamental Byzantine architecture traditional to their faith, externally as well as internally, Clarey Street would have become one of Ottawa's more exotic streets. One of the last major churches to be built was the Gospel Tabernacle at Bank Street and Rosebery Avenue in 1924. It is now the Chinese United Church.

St. Matthew’s Church, on Glebe Avenue near Bank Street, has undergone some considerable architectural transitions. Originally a fine wooden Gothic building designed by J.W.H.Watts, it was replaced by Jefferson Church Hall and the present stone church designed by Cecil Burgess in 1929. The corner site on Bank Street was sold for commercial use. Jefferson Hall and the church parking lot at the back was sold to a Glebe developer, Douglas Casey in 1997, who removed them and built some remarkably successful townhouses which match the adjacent church architecture well. He was also partly responsible for the very good infill development along Patterson’s Creek, along the south side in the late eighties.

In the mid seventies the three highrises along the canal driveway to the east were built. The most successful of these is the highrise together with rowhouses at Patterson’s Creek by William Teron. Notwithstanding the variety of urban profile that these three buildings have brought, it is fortunate that the Glebe community has resisted further highrise construction and massive development which would have destroyed the livability of the area.

49. Douglas Fullerton (1917-1996), Chairman of the National Capital Commission from 1969 to 1972, instigator of the world’s longest skating rink, and resident of Clemow Avenue until his death in 1996. (Collection M. Fullerton).



The Glebe could have had many names in its two hundred year history. To begin with it might have been called Stegman’s Horror as that early surveyor and his crew cut their way through its jungle of bush and mosquito infested swamp. Or later it might have been called LeBreton’s Folly, Colonel By’s Grief or later still Mutchmor’s Venture. At one point Thomas Ahearn might have liked the whole place to have been called Electricville. When market gardener Hickey was thinking of developing the northernmost lot he called it Bloomingvale. When St. Andrew’s Church first subdivided and sold their glebe east of Bank Street it was known briefly as Spencerville. At the same time some people referred to the Glebe immediately north of the fairground as Lansdowne Terrace. The Glebe has come to be what people made of it and the people were many and various. The first urban inhabitants of the Glebe were more often English speaking protestants because the original glebe was Presbyterian land, and as often as not Scotch and Irish. These people were first of all thrifty by nature, then they became socially activist and attracted like minded people to the area.

An example is the McKeen family, some of whom were Plymouth Brethren, who started the chapel on Clarey Street and their first Grocery at Bank Street in the 1920's. Later they were to be the founders of McKeen's IGA store, the main grocery store on Bank Street, and later, by another branch of the family, the adjacent Glebe Apothecary. The Badali brothers, the Newlands, and the Morelands were others that founded long lasting and considerable grocery and hardware stores. At the beginning of the second millennium the Glebe is more genuine than just trendy or fashionable. It has become a pluralistic, non sectarian society. One can, for example attend religious services in English, Chinese, French, Ukrainian, Spanish, Korean and Sign. In its shops one can buy goods from most parts of the world. You can learn Yoga and Ti Chi in Glebe ashrams and you could have your hands painted Hindu fashion in a shop on Fifth Avenue.

Ottawa's and Canada’s first woman Mayor, the redoubtable and sometimes ferocious, but publicly spirited, Charlotte Whitton, was a Glebe resident on Renfrew Avenue at Central Park, from 1963 until her death in 1975. Assisted by Douglas Fullerton, she was politically instrumental in getting the Glebe Traffic Plan under way in the early 1970's. Likewise Sylvia Holden and Lionel Britton, after whom two local parks adjacent to Lansdowne Park are named, were well known social and sports activists during the sixties and seventies. Earlier in the century
Moreland the grocer built Moreland’s Hall where Flippers Restaurant now is at the corner of Bank Street and Fourth Avenue. Four of the Glebe's churches had their first services there. Now that location is part of Minto's Fifth Avenue Court which presently serves as a large and pleasant covered public courtyard where public concerts are occasionally to be heard. Fifth Avenue Court had troubled beginnings. Originally there were houses at the back of the Bank Street shops, but during the sixties these were replaced by a gravel parking area for a number of years. In 1979 a developer acquired the site with the intention to have shops around an open courtyard at the rear. When he started, without a building permit, to enclose the courtyard, work was stopped because it was contrary to the zoning bylaw. It was most unfortunate since the developer had the best intentions, so the site stood empty over a winter and he went bankrupt. Shortly afterwards Minto Construction, founded by Glebe resident Irving Greenberg, acquired the site, the bylaw was changed and the work was finished, moving the main entrance to the corner at Fifth Avenue, providing the Glebe with a valuable covered public space and gaining a design award in the process.

The Glebe's Bank Street shops are an indicator of the variety of life in the area. One can buy or eat food of almost any ethnic description in the grocery shops and restaurants along Bank Street. One can buy travel tickets to any part of the world, or buy clothing of almost any ethnic description. There are music shops, a liquor store, a beer store, a witchcraft shop, a bead shop, several bookstores, a launderette where you can eat while you wait, a dance studio, a printing shop, a post office - in short you need not leave the Glebe for want of materials or services.

A while ago I was asked by the Big Brothers Association if I would act as a mentor for any child needing a friend or having behavioral difficulties. I agreed provided it was within the Glebe area, near home. After a lengthy search they phoned me up to apologize for the fact that they could not find any such child in the Glebe. Upon reflection that seemed to say something very positive about life in the Glebe.


This story has been written from information received over a period of nearly forty years. Thus the following are only the most recent acknowledgements:

National Archives
City of Ottawa Archives
Ottawa Room, Ottawa Public Library
St. Matthew’s Parish History
History of Glebe United Church
The City Beyond by Bruce Elliott
Glebe Historical Society
Bank Street Record - Bruce McCallan
National Capital Commission
Ottawa Citizen
Central Canada Exhibition Association
Jim McAulay, sports journalist
Ian McKercher - Glebe Timeline.
A Church in the Glebe - David Farr

The publication of this book would not have been possible without the generous support of the following whose funding has been handled by the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group.

Special gift and grant

Millennium Bureau of Canada
Barry Hobin Associates
Harold Jones
Trillium Foundation


Councillor Inez Berg
Ted Britton
Charlesfort Development Corporation -
Douglas Casey
Regional Councillor Clive Doucet
Glebe Community Association
Glebe Report Association
Home Hardware - Amelia and Chuck Hillock
Loeb Glebe - Christine and Jim McKeen
Pharmasave Apothecary - Claudia
and Doug McKeen
Routeburn Urban Development - Robin Fyfe
and Bill Metz


Alison Dingle
Innis Pharmacy - Roland Innis
Royal Bank of Canada
Murray Young

Christina Bates
Mrs. Lily Bates
Dr. Robert Bernstein
Birder’s Corner Nature Store - Lynn Smyth
Linda Butcher and Wayne Cole
Gordon Cullingham
Dilemme - Bob Trotter and Danielle Plouffe
Phil Dunning
David Farr
Nino and Peggy Gualtieri
Pat and George Hiemstra
Trevor Hodge
Douglas T. Humphries
Nick and Sandy Ketchum
Randal Marlin
Christy Oliver and Bruce Holwell
Barry Padolsky
Eileen Scotton
George Wright

WWW layout for this book: Andre Vellino (

About the Author
John Leaning, whose family has lived in the Glebe since 1957, is an architect, planner, author and artist who practiced in London, Paris, and Stockholm before coming to Canada and later becoming the National Capital Commission’s first Chief Architect in 1966. He was author for "The Revitalisation of Older Residential Districts" which became the inspiration for the Glebe Plan and the Centretown Redevelopment Plan. As an architect he was responsible for the 1965 rehabilitation of Sussex Drive, the 1973 restoration of the Academie de la Salle and the East Block of Parliament in 1975. He is author of "Our Architectural Ancestry". He was a founding member of the Glebe Community Association in the early sixties.

The Glebe Historical Society is a voluntary group dedicated to the preservation and recording of the History of the Glebe. It is the inspiration of Ian McKercher who is its coordinator.