|Air Photo Study|
A 1901 Snapshot of Ottawa East
By 1901 the Village of Ottawa East had existed for over a decade as an incorporated municipality. The population had grown steadily given that it provided a cheaper alternative to the higher taxes and land prices of the city. Decidedly blue-collar, the major employers were the railways, brickyards and lumber businesses. Council, under the direction of the popular Reeve Henry Roche, was now more preoccupied than ever with public works. Ratepayers were now demanding such luxuries as wood plank sidewalks, drainage, a municipal water supply and electric streetlights. There was only a small iron and wood swing bridge across the canal (from Harvey to Cartier) that could not accommodate heavy vehicles and the trolley car. People wanted a better bridge, better schools and more churches. Ottawa East was growing up.
This 1901 description of the village has been cobbled together from a number of sources that give a relatively accurate view of the time period. The information however should be considered in terms of "circa 1901". For example, the 1912 Fire Insurance Maps used here were apparently updated versions of the 1902 series. Here the town hall is labelled as a school and this is consistent with the records of the Roman Catholic Board minutes. But the building was the same. Compare that to the visual record that exists and it is clear that very little had changed. There were new "granolithic" sidewalks and gates at the rail crossing but it was the same village.
The description has been divided into four parts and can be accessed individually by the links just below:
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