|Air Photo Study|
August 24, 1849 - April 6, 1038
|Long before Ottawa East became a village it was known as Archville, named
after Archibald Stewart, a prominent building contractor. As a member of
a prestigious pioneer family that helped shape the face of Ottawa, he created
the first subdivision in the Ottawa East area.
Born on August 24, 1849, he was he second son of William Stewart, a Scot who had immigrated to Canada in 1828. His father made a fortune in the lumber business and land speculation and became a powerful political force in the country. Of significance to Ottawa East, William acquired most of Lot F in Concession C (1834) and Concession D (1844 by Crown Patent). This area extended from the present-day Bronson Ave. east to the Rideau River, and bounded in the north by Gladstone/Mann Avenues and in the south by the Queensway (see map here). William died in 1856 and in 1872 his widow Catherine conveyed 200 acres of the land in Conc. D (east of Main) to her son Archibald. This was the beginning of Ottawa East as a planned community.
Archie registered a plan of subdivision for "Archville West" in September of 1873 (#48 seen here) and this laid out the streets. These included: Fifth (Harvey), Fourth (Havelock), Third (Montcalm) and Second (Greenfield). While he never ran for political office in the community, he kept a close eye on his investments and was involved in major township decisions that affected his land. He donated the land for the first schools (on Concord at Harvey) and was in the vanguard of opposition to annexation in 1883 and supported incorporation of the village in 1888.
Compared to his other projects, Ottawa East was just a minor investment. As his wealth and experience grew, so did his involvement with major projects across Canada. Some of these include: building the Ottawa River locks at Greece's Point, the Intercolonial Railway at New Glasgow in Nova Scotia, the Port Arthur Breakwater and the Tay Canal at Perth. In later years had a major investment in the Alberta coalfields.
He was an intimate friend of Sir John A. Macdonald and for most of his life traveled in elite circles such as the Seigniory Club at Montebello. In the 1890's he married Eugenie Trudeau, the daughter of the then deputy minister of canals and railways. They had one son, William Ranald Stewart.
Archibald Stewart died on April 6, 1938 in his 89th year in his residence
at 219 Cobourg St.
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