|The index listed here is linked to specific pages
with the detail for each school.
Below that is a brief history of the education facilities built
in Ottawa East from the very beginning of the community. It is suggested
reading before going to the specific schools as it will provide
an historical context for each institution.
|St. Joseph's Scholasticate
Mazenod Separate School
Section 17/Lady Evelyn Public School
Family School/Canadian Martyrs School
A Brief Historical
|The history of schools in Ottawa East directly reflected
the changing ethnic and linguistic composition of the community
over the years. As the numbers and resources of each community group
rose so did the needs for new or better educational facilities.
In the Nineteenth Century the ratepayers in Nepean Township funded
mainly public schools and there were few Separate Schools. In general
Protestants and Catholics, English and French studied together.
This began to change toward the end of the century as the number
of French-Canadian and Catholic families grew, particularly in the
Ottawa East area.
In 1850 the Province of Ontario passed legislation that sectioned
Nepean Township into school areas whereby ratepayers would be taxed
in support of their local schools. Initially Ottawa East was part
of School Section #1 that covered a large part of the northeast
section of the township. By the 1870's, with significant population
growth in Archville (originally called the 'Deep Cut' in reference
to that part of the Rideau Canal) and Spenceville, a new section
was requested by the population. The community wanted more direct
control of their children's education and the convenience of a local
school. As well ratepayers objected to funding the education of
children from the squatters settlement along the canal who paid
First Public School in Ottawa East
On April 22, 1875 Nepean Township Bylaw No. 243 was passed and this
provided for the borrowing of $800 for a new school house. On April
30, 1875, Bylaw No. 245 established School Section #17, which included
all of Ottawa East from Ann St. (Mann Ave.) to Elliot St. between
the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal. The responsibility for the
organization of a school committee and construction was given to
Thomas and James Ballantyne and Archibald Stewart donated land -
familiar names in the history of community.
The school was built on the northeast corner of Centre St. (Concord
North) and Fifth St. (Harvey St.) and opened for students in September
of 1875. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen (January
26, 1876), by the end of the year there were 74 students on the
register with an average attendance of over 50. The article described
the school as a "neat wooden structure, 24 x 20 with 11 feet
This building served as the only school house in the village until
1890 when, under threat from the Provincial Education Department,
a more adequate building was constructed. With incorporation in
1888 as a village, the Ottawa Public School Board came into existence.
The records of this organization indicate that $2,497 was spent
to build the new brick school on the lot adjacent to the wooden
structure. This building, somewhat modified, still stands at 95/97
Concord St. North.
By 1904 the average attendance was 113 students daily and the building
was no longer adequate even though the primary grades were still
housed in the old wooden structure. Finally in 1905, after years
of opposition from the village council, a $10,000 debenture was
allocated for a new school on Ella St. (Evelyn Ave.). The sod turning
took place on June 1, 1905 and by September the building was open
for students. Still standing, the school was later named Lady Evelyn
First Separate Schools in the Ottawa East Area
Towards the end of the 1890's pressure from the French-Canadian
and Catholic groups in the village for a new church and school had
increased dramatically. Suffering under oppressive provincial legislation
that precluded funding of separate schools from the public purse,
these communities turned to the Oblates for relief.
In 1900, Monsignor Duhamel, the Archbishop of Ottawa, had the Oblate
Fathers of St. Joseph Scholasticate establish the Holy Family Parish
and a school to serve the community. The Grey Sisters of Ottawa
took charge of the school and classes for children in French and
English were started in 1901. Originally classes were held in the
famous 'White House' (Maison Blanche), a beautiful rustic wooden
structure built in the 1880's just a few feet from the main Scholasticate
building. The White House also served as the church until Ste. Famille
was built in 1902.
Later a two storey, red brick school was built on the Oblate property
fronting on Main St. at Hazel St. and named Holy Family School.
A bilingual institution, it served the need of all Catholics until
1923 when De Mazenod School was created. Up to that point separate
instruction in French for many children in substandard, temporary
facilities including the church basement. In 1923 classes were being
held in the Graham house on the west side of Main St. With the death
of Alexander Graham, the property was purchased and in 1933 a modern
school was built with the same name.
In 1930 the new parish of Canadian Martyrs was created following
the formation of the English Oblate Province. French-speaking parishioners
remained at Ste. Famille. That year the name of Holy Family School
(Main at Hazel) was changed to Canadian Martyrs School. In 1943
the building was destroyed by fire. Due to wartime shortages of
steel there was a delay in building the new school. Finally in 1947,
the new 9-classroom school with the same name was built on Graham
Both the De Mazenod and Canadian Martyrs School buildings still
stand although not used as facilities for education of children
in the parishes.
Colleges and Universities
Ottawa East of course has been fortunate to have several other institutions
of high learning over the years. These include St. Joseph College
(Scholasticate); St. Patrick's College, St. Paul University, Algonquin
College and the present-day Immaculata High School. The detail of
these various institutions is best described in other sections that
can be found using the links at the top of the page.
|Each of the schools described above have, in their
time, contributed significantly to the life of Ottawa East. While
some records still exist in various archives, very little has been
found to date on the day-to-day life of each school. The material
that has been located, preserved mainly by the churches, has been
included on each schools individual pages. Hopefully, in the not
too distant future, more research will uncover this rich past.
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