Arts and Culture

PHOTOGRAPHY IN OTTAWA

Topley Studio, William James Topley, Library and Archives Canada, Mikan no. 3383131 Established as the capital in 1857, photographers flocked to Ottawa to meet portrait photography demands. The boom attracted photographers such as G.A. Snider and William James Topley who were forced to adapt to changing technologies in order to attract customers in a competitive …

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CAFÉ LE HIBOU

Café Le Hibou was founded in1961 by Ottawa francophone Denis Faulkner, a University of Ottawa student. The coffee shop, which started as “a little place for people to meet and talk and have good coffee and listen to folk singers,” morphed into an iconic venue where popular poets, musicians, and artists performed until 1975. Café …

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THE AVALON THEATRE

The Avalon Theatre opened at the corner of Bank Street and Second Avenue on Saturday 17 November 1928. Reportedly the first movie theatre in Ottawa to show “talkies”, the theatre was on the cutting edge of new sound technology. Its opening warranted a three-page spread in The Ottawa Journal, which declared that the “atmospheric effect …

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PLANT BATH

Photo of the front building of the bath house. Showcases the top red bricking and and engraved City of Ottawa, The Plant Bath.

Anchoring the intersection of Little Italy, Chinatown, and Hintonburg, Plant Bath and the Community Centre has been a focal point and gathering place for the neighbourhood since 1924. The baths were seen as an important step in promoting hygiene and good health, particularly for working-class families whose homes lacked indoor plumbing. Over the decades thousands …

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SOMERSET HOUSE

The building at the corner of Somerset Street and Bank Street was constructed in 1896 in a commercial Queen Anne style for J. Frank Crosby and James A. Carruthers. As the advertisement you are looking at suggests, they specialized in “dry goods” and were the modern pre-curser to a department store, selling wholesale fabric, ties, …

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TIN HOUSE

The original Tin House was designed and built by Ottawa tinsmith Honoré Foisy in the early 1900sand stood at 136 Guigues Street in Lower Town. Constructed from prefabricated aluminum elements in a Queen Anne Revival-style, the facade was likely intended to showcase Foisy’s skills and the products he offered. When it was to be demolished …

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