April 19, 2014

PODCAST: Lunch Out Loud Ottawa #69 featuring Tracey from Bridgehead & Atherton


Every week we publish a link to the Lunch Out Loud podcast, a weekly show produced by Nick Bachusky and co-hosted by Andrew Miller. In this episode We meet up with Tracey Clark, the managing Director of Bridgehead, the most popular location to get your fair-trade coffee in Ottawa. We talk about the past, present and future of Bridgehead. Lots of great information about the process and some other good news! foodiePrints spoke about A Taste for Life and Poutinefest 2. Music from Devin Atherton.





See also: Ottawa Music Guide
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April 16, 2014

OttawaStart's Weekly Event Round-Up: April 17-23, 2014

First Green
First Green / Photo by Marcel Regimbald from the OttawaStart Flickr Group


Here are our contributors' picks for the best events in Ottawa this week.
See also: What's open and closed in Ottawa for Easter weekend 2014...


Thursday, April 17: Triades at la Maison de la Culture (Gatineau)
Triades is the collaboration of three Quebec jazz singers -- Sonia Johnson (Juno, 2012), Annie Poulin, and Charles Biddle, Jr -- with three prominent Quebec jazz instrumentalists -- pianist Marianne Trudel (who also arranged all the songs), bassist Morgan Moore, and drummer Jim Doxas. Their CD was nominated for a Juno for Vocal Jazz Album this year (Johnson won that award in 2012). Expect songs in both English and French, sung separately and in harmony, with lots of verve and feeling. (From downtown Ottawa, La Maison de la Culture de Gatineau is about 15 minutes by car, via Highway 148, or 30 minutes by bus on STO route 200.)
-- Alayne McGregorOttawaJazzScene.ca


Thursday, April 17: A Dramatic Reading of Pop Songs
Featuring Evan Solomon, Amanda Putz, David O'Meara & Sandra Ridley, a VERSeFest Fundraiser, $10. I'm out of town so I have to miss this but it sounds like oodles of pun. Who could resist Edgar Allen Levigne? Plus it's a great cause, helping to raise money for Ottawa's annual poetry festival, which brings in a variety of poets from all over the world every March. Starts at 7:30pm
-- Amanda Earl, Bywords


Thursday, April 17: Stiff Quickies
The Ottawa Fringe Festival is putting on a fundraiser  this Thursday, April 17 at the Arts Court Theatre & Studio. Dubbed Stiff Quickies: Short Films, Tall Drinks, Deep Pockets, the event will feature a screening with works by several artists and represents a great occasion to support the local cultural scene.
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Friday, April 18: FIFA 14 Video Game Tournament
Stony Monday Riot, a new soccer supporter group, is proud to present the First Annual Borthwick Cup, a FIFA 14 Open tournament taking place on the eve of Ottawa Fury FC`s home opener. Up to 32 participants will be playing for up to $320 in cash. There are a few spots left! For more information and to sign up, visit www.ottawafifa.ca Not a video game person? Come and meet some "rioters" and sample from the bake sale - and get immersed in Ottawa's new soccer culture!
-- Laura Gauthier

Friday, April 18: StillNative Black Keys Tribute 
Local rawbeat rock duo StillNative are putting on a show at the Rainbow Bistrofor their IndieGoGo Campaign to help raise funds to “manufacture, promote and distribute their second LP”. For the occasion, StillNative will be performing a Black Keys Tribute Set along with some original material and they’ll be joined by opening act Rishi Von Rex.
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Saturday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 22: Earth Day events
Earth Day is April 22, but eco-retailer terra20 is getting an early start on Saturday, when they’re inviting people to check out plantable seed paper, meet composting worms and learn healthy snack-making from the National Capital Vegetarian Association. On Tuesday, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa presents Honour Your Word, a documentary film about the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and their efforts to protect their land and environment, at the Mayfair Theatre.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa

Saturday, April 19: Inaugural Season Opener for the Ottawa Fury FC soccer team
Join the Stony Monday Riot supporters group for some pre-match festivities which begin at 12:30pm at Original Burger (873 Bank Street) - Pints of Broadhead are $5. Party heads to Carleton around 2pm (#7 Red and White Limo service). Kick-off at 3pm. All are welcome to join! Ticket info for reduced rate with SMR also available!
-- Laura Gauthier

Saturday, April 19: Easter Underground Eggstravaganza
The Easter Bunny is at in again on his third visit to the Diefenbunker! With hundreds of places to hide in our 100,000 square foot bunker, we need your help to find all of the Easter eggs. Come out for our Easter Egg hunt and make an Easter craft! At the Diefenbunker in Carp.
-- Sara-Lynne Levine, Macaroni Kid Ottawa

Tuesday, April 22: Michael Webster's Momentous Ontario Tour
This Brooklyn-based, but Ottawa born jazz musician is coming back to town in support of his latest album. He's a fantastic jazz musician, but the music appeals to more than just jazz aficionados. There's a beautiful atmospheric quality to his music, so it will be a very special evening at the NAC's Fourth Stage.
-- Ryan Bresee



Have a great week!



See also: What's open and closed in Ottawa for Easter weekend 2014...
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April 15, 2014

Rose Simpson: Let's humanize Jim Flaherty, not lionize him

Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina. You can read her previous columns here.

Cotton Candy Clouds
Cotton Candy Clouds by David Johnson, from the OttawaStart Flickr Group


I wonder if I'm the only person in Canada who is creeped out by all the fuss over the unfortunate demise of Jim Flaherty.

I cried a few tears when I heard he had passed, as I would for anyone who had been struck down so suddenly. Poor guy, I thought. Poor wife. Poor kids. For most people, that would be it, a funeral, a wake, some hugs and nice rembrances.

But the outpouring of grief is simply over the top for me. He was a politician, by all accounts, a nice guy, a person who liked to kiss the blarney stone more than his doctor might have allowed.

Jim Flaherty was a guy with a bad ticker who worked too hard, drank too much and didn't watch his cholesterol.

Yet somehow our country has been hurled into a weird ritual of national mourning that is bound to go on for weeks. Most of us didn't know Jim Flaherty and only saw him on budget day when he brought in a mixed bag of programs that a lot of us didn't agree with. There was more money for prisons under Flaherty, bad decisions on defence spending while cutting back on the human side of soldiering, the gutting of the CBC, excruciatingly oppressive energy and food costs, the loss of good jobs to McJobs. Well, I could go on.

All his drinking buddies in the Press Gallery lauded him for saving Canada from a depression, yet it still looks like a depression from where I'm sitting. Half my family is unemployed while the other half is under-employed. Oh yes, and he's making people my age work longer.

So forgive me for refusing to lionize the guy. He wasn't Jim Almighty; he was just a better than average finance minister whom people liked personally. He did good things for some people, other people not so much.

And while we're at it, let's not idolize somebody who died because he didn't take care of himself. He wasn't called to his job. God didn't send down tablets to him. He wasn't Moses or even Noah. He was a politician who had a bit of a God complex who stayed up too late, rode around in limos and private jets and ate and drank at the very best establishments.

Nobody asked him to stay on until the deficit was vanquished. He should have listened to his doctor, reduced his stress levels, and taken more time to smell the roses.

Now he can't and that, my friends, is a cautionary tale.

If you were Jim Flaherty standing at the pearly gates and St. Peter asked you if you have any regrets, what would you say?

I don't think anybody would wish they had spent more time as finance minister.


-- Rose Simpson



See also: Ottawa Parliament Hill Guide
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April 14, 2014

Cool Ottawa Blog: "Ottawa Gig Posters"

Here's a great blog for Ottawa music and art fans: Ottawa Gig Posters, a collection of work from Rocket 57 Illustration. The man behind Rocket 57 is Marc Audet, an illustrator and animator based in Gatineau.

Marc tells us: "I've been working as a self employed illustrator in the Ottawa region for the past 13 years. 99% of what you see on the site is my stuff. I do, on the rare occasion, collaborate with a designer or two. A lot of the stuff I do is for my own band, Still Winter Hills, but I'm making an effort to branch out and work with other bands."









See also: Ottawa Music Guide
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April 12, 2014

Lunch Out Loud Ottawa: Episode 68 with prototypeD & Sound of Lions


Every week we publish a link to the Lunch Out Loud podcast, a weekly show produced by Nick Bachusky and co-hosted by Andrew Miller. In this episode: We meet with with Janak, Kirill, Karissa and Khaled from the innovative non-profit hub PrototypeD Urban Workshops which you will be hearing about a lot in Ottawa in the future. From how the workspace started to the projects (Bayview Innovation Centre) that they are working on now, we learn about their passion for creativity in several aspects of life on the show. A true example of the future of Ottawa! Music this week was from the very talented Sound of Lions! Check them out at RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest July 12th!



See also: Ottawa Entertainment Guide
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April 11, 2014

Christopher Ryan: Rupert McLelland's distinctive rounded entrances

A weekly feature by Christopher Ryan, a local photographer, blogger and researcher. It appears every Friday on our blog.



When you see them, you can’t unsee them. Mason Terrace, at one time the epicentre of Ottawa’s single largest housing development features homes with rounded front entrances. April 2014. 

I must concede that I’ve spent so much time looking at Ottawa’s construction booms before and after the Second World War that it hadn’t occurred to me that Ottawa experienced one during the War too. Whether it was the larger bureaucracies demanded by Depression-era relief projects, the exceptionally large number of civil servants demanded by the war effort, or the postwar growth of the Welfare State, all those Ottawans needed somewhere to live.

This past weekend I decided to take one of my patented long, meandering walks. Aside from hitting the expected sorts of places, I decided to take a stroll through those residential borderlands between Old Ottawa South and (Old) Ottawa East. Once I hit Mason Terrace, Mount Pleasant, and Brown Streets, I had noticed that the majority of front doors were rounded at the top. Both cute (on the smaller singles in particular) and distinctive, when the majority of all doors everywhere are concerned. Naturally, I was curious.




Not quite Alta-Vista, but a record is a record. While war was raging overseas, Rupert McClelland was housing Ottawans. Source: Ottawa Citizen, November 8, 1943.

Although McClelland’s name does not enjoy the same sort of recognition as other Ottawa developers, his homes and projects constructed between 1939 and 1949 have a certain distinctive feature that others do not.


Yes: it’s the rounded front doors. Aside from the homes around Mason Terrace (as pictured at the top of the story), there are a large number of homes around Ottawa that are a McClelland project. Pictured clockwise are his homes at Marlborough Ave., Leighton Terrace, Breezehill, and Holland Ave. There is a good chance that if you live within the Greenbelt in a home with a rounded front door constructed during the War, it was built by Rupert McClelland. Image source: Google Streetview (Spring-Summer 2012).

Before the record-setting project in Ottawa East, McClelland had generally spent his time constructing a small number of homes around Ottawa: most often doubles, but a number of bungalows as well. While they haven’t all survived the ravages of time, many of his trademarked rounded doors are are enjoyed by residents on Marlborough (Sandy Hill), Renfrew (The Glebe), Muriel (The Glebe), and Breezehill (Hintonburg) among others.


Most of McClelland’s building permits before the Ottawa East project consisted of less than a half-dozen homes. Source: Ottawa Journal, November 18, 1940.

The distinctive doors were likely manufactured at his own factory, which was located at 120 Parkdale on what is now Tunney’s Pasture. It seems to be a good bet that McClelland’s homes reverted to more conventional entrances following the destruction of his factory by fire in August of 1949. The property was expropriated shortly thereafter by Public Works for the construction of a building for the Department of Trade and Commerce (Industry Canada).


A birds-eye of the neighbourhood today. Source: Bing Maps.

In the fall of 1942 an opportunity came up for the purchase of a number of lots near Main Street. The land, which was owned by the Public School Board and known as the Whitcomb Property, was considered surplus and the best use, it was thought, was for housing. Housing, of course, was something that Ottawa was in an eternal short supply of.


McClelland’s big gambit began in 1942. Source: Ottawa Journal, November 28, 1942.

In January of 1943 as McClelland had begun construction of the first eighteen homes, more of the details surrounding the purchase were revealed. McClelland’s project was the single largest component to a project that was being undertaken by the Ottawa Home Builders’ Association that would see the construction of 300 homes to alleviate the shortage. Among the conditions applied to the sale of the Whitcomb Property were:
"The sale of the Board’s property on the Main street, Ottawa East, known as the Whitcomb property to Rupert S. McClelland for $10,000 was announced. Mr. Kennedy stated that the agreement provided that no building costing less than $5,000 would be built on any one lot."
-- Ottawa Journal, January 8, 1943.
Once all of the details were set, construction proceeded rapidly. Streets were laid and the homes were constructed in batches of 15-20 at a time. Always the family man, Mason Terrace was named by McClelland after his brother.



The neighbourhood at 15 years. Source: City of Ottawa, geoOttawa, 1958 Aerials.


“Terms to Responsible Purchasers.” Source: Ottawa Journal, April 8, 1943.


From that point onward, the sky was the limit. Once the Ottawa East project was completed, McClelland proceeded to replicate that success in the city’s west as well. Named after another one of his brothers, McClelland’s Leighton Terrace development (off Island Park) was completed in 1945.


True to his advertisements, Leighton Terrace is home to a number different models of home. Source: Ottawa Journal, August 28, 1945.

As with most active developers, Rupert McClelland would go on to construct larger projects on larger parcels and taller buildings on small parcels. He would also go on to purchase a number of downtown properties. That will, however, be a story for another day.



-- Original photos & text by Christopher Ryan.
(See more on our blog from Christopher...)




See also: Ottawa History Guide
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April 09, 2014

OttawaStart's Weekly Event Round-Up: April 10-16, 2014

Smokin'
Smokin' / by J. Michel from the OttawaStart Flickr Group


Here are our contributors' picks for the best events in Ottawa this week.


Thursday-Sunday, April 10- 13: Ottawa Guild of Potters Spring Pottery Sale
Get your fill of locally-crafted bowls, cups, vases and other works of pottery art at the Ottawa Guild of Potters Annual Spring Sale and Exhibition. Proceeds from the sale of specially-marked pots will go to Helping With Furniture, an awesome local organization that provides used furniture and household items to families in need.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa

Thursday, April 10: Radioactive Series Presents The Goodluck Assembly
The Radioactive music series is featuring indie rock group The Goodluck Assembly live in concert this Thursday night. Presented by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. and the Mercury Lounge, the show will include an opening set by Kennedy Cult, a heartbreak pop four-piece that released one EP a month in 2013.
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Friday, April 11: Messagio Galore Take XIV
Gallery 101, 51B Young St. at 8pm. Performed by the Quatour Gualuor: jwcurry, Rachel Lindsey, Georgia Mathewson, Brian Pirie, & Robert Rosen Featuring work by Richard Beland, bill bissett, Jaap Blonk, Victor Coleman, Dureau de La Malle, Fortunato Depero, François Dufrêne, Paul Haines, Raoul Hausmann, dom sylvester houédard, ernst jandl, Cøghdur Krübben, Alastair Larwill, F.T.Marinetti, Tomahawk, Richard Truhlar, David UU, Don Van Vliet, Frank Zappa & more. $20 at the door. A rare & fantastic opportunity to see a well-choreographed performance of sound poetry, skits, comedy, whimsy, poesie & more.
-- Amanda Earl, Bywords

Saturday, April 12: John Geggie and special guests at the NAC Fourth Stage
For a dozen years, jazz bassist John Geggie has brought superb jazz players from Canada and the world to play together in new combinations at the NAC Fourth Stage. Saturday's concert may be the last, but he's got a great lineup with many Juno-award-winning Canadian jazz musicians. Saxophonists Christine Jensen (2014 Juno) and Joel Miller (2013 Juno), and pianist David Braid (2012 Juno) are all well-known as ground-breaking composers as well as instrumentalists. And when you add in drummer Ted Warren and trumpeter Jim Lewis, who have played in many memorable concerts here, it's going to be an unrepeatable night.
-- Alayne McGregorOttawaJazzScene.ca

Sunday, April 13: Ottawa Vintage Fashion Show
Canada’s largest vintage clothing show is happening this Sunday, April 13 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. This bi-annual fashion sale gathers rare-one-of-a-kind pieces, jewelry, scarves, hats, purses, and cocktail dresses under one roof. There’s sure to be something for everyone at any price range.
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Sunday, April 13: “Energy East: Our Risk – Their Reward”
You may have heard talk of the proposed Energy East project that would convert an existing natural gas pipeline through the Ottawa area to one that would carry oil from Alberta to New Brunswick. Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chair, and Eriel Deranger, of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, will be in town to share their views on the proposed pipeline and its possible effects. 7 p.m. at the Mayfair Theatre.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa

Wednesday, April 16: Lunchtime Roundtable, Gotta Go! Campaign
The Gotta Go! campaign recognizes that sometimes, well, you just gotta go. The goal of this new initiative is to get more safe, clean and accessible public toilets in Ottawa. If you’ve ever needed to find a public washroom in a hurry, you’ll understand the urgency. Find out more at @25One Community (251 Bank St., 2nd floor), noon-1 p.m.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa



Have a great week!




See also: Ottawa Events Guide
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April 08, 2014

Rose Simpson: "Dear taxpayer. Thank you for your letter. We misplaced it. Love Canada Post"

Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina. You can read her previous columns here.

First Snow Storm of 2013
First Snow Storm of 2013 / Photo by Zhu from the OttawaStart Flickr Group


As usual, I spent part of the morning pouring over the online want ads looking for a job.
Once in a great while, one jumps out for which I might actually be qualified. It's not often, given my lack of bilingualism and absence of a nuclear level security clearance.
But I'm not giving up.
I need to buy dog food.
One caught my eye this morning.
Canada Post was looking for a writer for its correspondence division. Ah, I thought. I can do that.
I spent some time working in the Prime Minister's Office answering correspondence back during the short term tenure of John Turner's government.
I'd been working as a writer in Pierre Trudeau's PMO, so the correspondence gig was a bit of a demotion. Instead of writing lofty briefing notes for MPs, I would be lending my ear to the gripes of a nation thoroughly pissed off at the Liberals, particularly Westerners who hated The National Energy Program and Trudeau's distain for the common people.
But in politics, sometimes a job is a job.
I must say, the Trudeau folks were interesting, fun and cool as compared to the
Turner lot, known forever in my mind as the Government of Grey Men in Old Man Pants because all his advisors wore their pants right under their nipples. They were also incompetent as hell compared to the well-oiled machine of the Trudeau government.
The correspondence job was a toughie.
It was also awesome.
It made me feel close to other Canadians, even the guy who sent a letter, in which he included a photo of himself jacking off. (Here's my contribution.) or the man who must have spent four hours making a pop up middle finger. He was the best.
I think I would be great at the Canada Post job. I can already see myself in the chair, opening up the email and watching hundreds of pieces of correspondence load, all of them about how pissed off Canadians are that Canada Post is taking away their home delivery, raising the stamp to one dollar, and generally NOT delivering the nation's mail on time.
I might even see my own emailed correspondence in the pile, the letter I wrote this week about the mailman who keeps leaving our gate open so my dogs can get killed on St. Laurent Blvd., the same guy who delivers mail to us addressed to the public school four blocks down, the same guy who gave my husband the finger the other day because he didn't appreciate the ice on our sidewalk after a snow fall.
What a prick.
I would write back to myself the following:


Dear Ms. Simpson

Thank you for your letter. The president of Canada Post would very much like to thank you for your comments and he has made a note of them. (Lie.) I have forwarded your concerns to our Vice-President of Mail Delivery (who is also losing his job). As you are aware, Canada Post is downsizing its delivery service to better and more efficiently serve Canadians (justification for squandering taxpayers' money in the past) and soon you will be able to have the opportunity of getting some exercise by walking your dog to your handy neighborhood communal postal box. The carrier in question will be on the unemployment line very soon so don't be too hard on him. If you don't like him, let your dog loose when he's in your yard and he will be sure to shut your gate in the future.

Thank you for contacting Canada Post.

Sincerely,

name here.

p.s. I'm only fantasizing about this situation as I am not qualified to apply for this position. Apparently, you need to have a Master's Degree to be a correspondence writer for Canada Post, which is further evidence that the post office is squandering your tax dollars hiring an over-qualified person for an entry level position.


-- Rose Simpson



See also: Ottawa Blogs Guide
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April 05, 2014

Lunch Out Loud Ottawa: Episode 67 - Home Inspector & Mackenzie Rhythm Section



Every week we publish a link to the Lunch Out Loud podcast, a weekly show produced by Nick Bachusky and co-hosted by Andrew Miller. This week we meet up with Ottawa and Gatineau home inspector, Eric Ayotte to talk about what new home buyers should be looking for, new technologies in the industry, the cold winter and problems he has seen lately and more! foodiePrints comes on to talk about Flapjack's Pancake Shack and music from the awesome Mackenzie Rhythm Section!



See also: Ottawa Real Estate Guide
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April 04, 2014

Christopher Ryan: A Wolf on Elgin Street (The Park Square apartments at 425 Elgin)

A weekly feature by Christopher Ryan, a local photographer, blogger and researcher. It appears every Friday on our blog.

The entrance to the Park Square apartments, November 2013.

It would be safe to suggest that Ottawa, at the national capital, experienced the depths of the Depression differently than much of the remainder of the country. While constructions projects were cancelled or stalled in cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg, Ottawa (and in particular Centretown) experienced something of a boost in residential construction. Though I have briefly introducted the numerous Snear Miller projects in the past, he was far from the only Ottawan constructing apartments during the Depression.

Wolf Shenkman was perhaps the most active of all Ottawa developers during the first half of the twentieth century and during the Depression years in particular. Hardly a day passed where a property transaction or plan to construct an apartment was not reported on. On October 4, 1934, the Journal reported that he had purchased the lot on the southeast corner of Elgin and Park from Edgar L. Horwood for a sum of $6,000.


That's right, *the* Edgar Horwood. Source: Ottawa Journal, October 4, 1934.

Two years following, the Journal announced that J. Harold Shenkman was to construct a new three-storey apartment at the corner of Elgin and Park Ave for a cost of $23,000.


When it was announced, the digging had already begun on the Park Square Apartments. Source: Ottawa Journal, September 23, 1936.

Construction had continued into the early winter and it was completed in the new year. Unlike a number of other apartments around the city during this time, it seems that occupation commenced with little fanfare. 

A low-key introduction.  I admit that I could have missed a triumphant full-page ad. Source: Ottawa Journal, January 9, 1937.

For the most part, the Park Square has existed in a state of quiet dignity. Occupying a part of Centretown that may be considered to have been relatively safe and quiet (save for the passing trains in the pre-Queensway era), the Park Square story would have ended here. Indeed, most of the references to the apartment that I was able to locate in the Citizen and the Journal were human interest stories. 

During the Second World War, Park Square resident 'Rex' helped to raise funds for the Red Cross. Source: Ottawa Journal, September 27, 1940.

Only 10 years following its construction, Shenkman (via Monarch Realties) sold Park Square to one M.K. Emerson for $55,000. With inflation factored in, a decent, but not spectatular profit. Nevertheless, Monarch's goal of shedding a large number of its small apartments around the city had been reached.

In general, if an apartment building can survive middle age, its chances of long-term survival are higher. Outside of certain circumstances, the value tends to sag at a point from 25-40 years into its life and, depending on which side of the fence you're on, it could be seen as a crisis or an opportunity. In the case of the Park Square apartments, it was seen as an opportunity.

Although a story of success today, the Centretown Citizens (Ottawa) Corporation (CCOC) got off to a rocky start. In 1974, its first year of operation, proposals to purchase the Park Place Apartments, a rooming house at 183 Waverley, and a plan to construct a building on Gilmour were all turned down by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Source: Ottawa Citizen, October 1, 1974.

-- Original photos & text by Christopher Ryan.
(See more on our blog from Christopher...)

See also: Ottawa Guide
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