Project Information
After 1907
1901 Snapshot
Air Photo Study
Image Library
The Manion Family: Seventy Years in Ottawa East
by Dorothy Halferty - Mainstreeter February 1986

For seven Manion children, some now with children and grandchildren of their own, Havelock Street in Ottawa East is the most important street in the world. Six of the Manions were actually born on Havelock: Mary Manion Leonardo at No. 26, the late James Manion at No. 47, while Kathleen Manion Shaw, Alice Manion Leonardo, the late John Manion and Aileen Manion were all born at No. 70. Marlene Manion, the young-est, was born at Grace Hospital, "the only one of us to make her entrance in-to the world that way." She and Aileen now live at No. 70. Mary lives now at 179 Prince Albert, and Kathleen at 2079 Valley Drive, Alice at 63 Havelock.

They still remember a won-derfully warm and happy fam-ily life and here at No. 70, they meet on occasion to socialize and to share memories of past golden summer days. Those were days
filled with play, picnicking, swimming "morning, noon and afternoon" at Brantwood Beach; wintry days of skat-ing at their own or neighbours' backyard rinks, skat-ing on the Rideau River or Canal, or sleighing down hills that have disappeared into busy roads, streets and bus and truck highways.

The Manion property now comprises the original homesite and the one immediately behind it, extending now from Havelock to Harvey Streets and including a large garden area where a-
house once stood. The house has been remodeled down-stairs to make wider halls, two large living rooms, a kitchen and a dining room. The back stairway to the up-stairs has been retained, while the front one has been removed as part of the addition at the side of the house. The effect is one of spaciousness, providing a happy setting for family reunions.

Their father, Michael Manion was fireman/engineer on the CNR whose tracks went along
where the Queensway is now. "When he was coming home, he used a special train whistle call to tell us he was on the way", Marlene recalls. Their mother, Ellen Duffy Manion was a professional cook, and taught her five daughters the art as Soon as they were big enough to reach the tabletop. "Sometimes when Dad came home and saw the table covered with home-made pies, bread, dough nuts, cakes, buns and cook-ies, he would say with a chuckle, "what, no tea biscuits?"

Traffic-Free Streets

When recalling their fav-ourite play areas the Manions noted that there were open areas which since have been filled in with roads and houses. For example, the open area between Brantwood and Brighton beaches was a favourite sports and picnic area, with people coming from as far away as the Lutheran Church on King Edward Aven-ue for their picnics."He often played at Strath-
cona Park," they remember, "and Sandy Hill seemed as much a part of our play-ground as Havelock and other quiet traffic-free streets where we played baseball, 'Run, sheep, Run' Red-Rover and hide-and- seek". They swung from trees like amateur Tarzans and helped themselves (just occasionally, of course) to apple, cherry and plum trees growing in gardens and orchards.
There were family parties with parlour games and music. "Alice could play any tune once she heard it", the girls remember, and "our sessions around the piano were a pure delight with everyone joining in."

Other memories cherished today include "three-scoop" ice-cream cones for five
cents, a runaway horse es-caping from a Morrison and Lamothe bakery wagon, ice-
wagon rides, "hot gruel and onion sandwiches" after skating at 20 below zero, skipping rope and "dibs and marbles" games at school. They also look back fondly on "first jobs" at 35 cents an hour, meat store spare ribs at 5 cents a pound and pumpkin pies given away by a local bakery on Halloween. School days at Holy Family School, Main and Hazel Streets, high school at "St. Pat's" and others; friendships that have lasted through the years all made life good for the Manions, and the Manions were good for Ottawa East, we suspect.

With great sadness, we wish to announce that James Manion very recently passed away. We'd like to thank the Manion family for gra-ciously permitting The Mainstreeter to continue with their story. We'd like to offer our condolences to the Manions and other family and friends.

Return to the Mainstreeter Index